[u][b]Tue 24th June 2014[/b][/u]
Our final day of Tour 4 began in Sterling Colorado.
Whilst todays risk looked to be a repeat of yesterday in NE Colorado, as we approached the target area so the whole system broke apart leaving us with nothing more than a Particularly Drizzly Situation.
To our North, across in Wyoming things were starting to look interesting. A short hop on the freeway past Cheyenne and out on route 85 NE and we started to see 2" hail along the road. A beautiful hailbow stretched across the road ahead and a few sorry looking motorists emerging from the abyss licking the wounds on their vehicles. Although there were a few lowerings, a wall cloud as well as a radar indicated Tornado Vortex Signature we saw no evidence of anything else from this storm and it soon began a rapid decay as we headed South via Pine Bluffs to Cheyenne, our base for the night before returning to Denver and the flight to London.
Photos from todays chase can be found on the following [url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/htak3nmei1ga7c3/AAAfWQqrgDPJdnVCq3rYwDm4a/Day%2011%20-%20June%2024th"]Dropbox Link[/url] and all the [url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/htak3nmei1ga7c3/AADVSVut43KGJYwdsgIU7D1na/HD%20Movies"]Videos can be found here[/url].
From Colorado to Kansas, thru Nebraska, the Dakotas, Iowa, Minnesota, Wyoming and finally back to Colorado this is a truly wonderful and varied country. If it weren't for these tours I would never have visited many of the places or have had the opportunity to meet these kind people.
Stormchasing has a massive following here in the US which is growing all the time. Unfortunately as in all walks of life there are those few who loose sight of the fundamental goal which is to provide timely information to protect life and property and further scientific knowledge. Only when that primary goal has been met should we look to capture the true spectacle of mother nature.
There are those who talk about regulation of stormchasing. In my opinion it needs no more than a code of ethics which we should all abide by in life to look out for those around and apply a good deal of common sense on the roads to ensure a safe environment for all.
As a visitor to this country, I'd like to think I've personally done everything I can to uphold this and given the severity of the storms over the past 2 weeks particularly in Nebraska would like to think that the timely actions of our team in reporting and advising has helped the affected communities in some small way.
I will once again be making my photos and videos available to the [url="http://stormassist.org"]Storm Assist organization[/url], all profits which go to helping communities affected by Storms. I encourage you to visit their site and review their merchandise in particular their videos/BluRays available at a very reasonable price.
Thank you for following these blogs this year and thankyou to Paul, Richard and Netweather. I hope you've enjoyed the coverage of these past 2 weeks of wild weather.
[u][b]Mon 23rd June 2014[/b][/u]
Today we left Nebraska crossing the state line into Colorado. SPC had a slight risk for the state as well as a 2% tornado risk which was briefly elevated to 5% and then dropped again.
HRRR indicated development in the NW portion of the state so we headed west of Sterling near Jackson Lake State Park to watch and wait.
After brief interest with the storms developing to the South of Denver, we returned and focused on the storm near the Wyoming state line which was already Severe Warned and developing rapidly. As we approached from the SE we could see a few funnels dropping in the distance and the storm was structuring up nicely.
This really was a structure day, some hail on the way back to Sterling and a beautiful example of a Back Sheared anvil however conditions really weren't conducive for any further development.
Overnight tonight in the town of Sterling.
Photos for the day in the [url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/htak3nmei1ga7c3/AADV3dyB5TfsLS7w_UiYRYapa/Day%2010%20-%20June%2023rd"]Dropbox Gallery[/url].
[u][b]Sun 22nd June 2014[/b][/u]
Given our far north location and the southerly risk area, we used today as a positioning day to head south towards the eastern Colorado state line ready for Tuesdays risk east of the Rockies.
Heading south a developing cumulus field showed signs of development. As we neared North Platte the field became agitated and rapid convection was evident with tops soon reaching 40000ft+
We passed through some heavy rain on the I-80 West and stopped just west. The storm was already dropping 3" hail by this time and a few funnels were seen forming but nothing else. A few photos included in todays [url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/htak3nmei1ga7c3/AACXlUk_03bPAmfr0YV6ltOsa/Day%209%20-%20June%2022nd"]Dropbox Gallery[/url].
Overnight tonight in the town of Ogallala Nebraska.
[u][b]Sat 21st June 2014[/b][/u]
We began Saturday in Waterton South Dakota. SPC and HRRR were indicating a South Dakota Target today and with a boundary laying towards the North of the state this was prime territory for storm initiation later in the day.
We headed to Redfield for Lunch. On leaving there and heading west the storm had started taking hold into the boundary layer and tops were were already climbing rapidly through nearly 60000ft into a classic supercell structure.
As we approached Bowdle, the storm was taking on real structure with a wall cloud forming to our west and rotation clearly evident. The storm tried a number of times to drop a funnel and then dropped a rotating wall cloud as it continued to move Southeast.
We eventually moved southeast to Faulkton which would soon be hit by torrential rain and hail. Just as we were about to leave the cell became tornado warned. A massive shelf cloud was evident on the storm as we headed east then south out of town ahead of the circulation which although not confirmed most probably contained a rain wrapped tornado.
After driving through torrential rain and winds of around 70mph, we arrived at Mitchell SD for the night.
Photos from today can be found in the [url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/htak3nmei1ga7c3/AACOWrV7znS1rpbv1dmTWY3Pa/Day%208%20-%20June%2021st"]Dropbox Gallery[/url]
[u][b]Fri 20th June 2014[/b][/u]
It's Friday and SPC have todays Tornado risk firmly in Minnesota; and as Paul quite rightly quoted Land of 1000 lakes and a billion midges! Nestling up on the Canadian Border, Minnesota is a beautiful green state with lakes covering much of the North and East.
Todays chase would start at Wahpeton, following the development of an LP Supercell which we'd already seen the predictions for on HRRR and then watched its developent as we drove North from the Dakotas.
Today was a low CAPE and high Shear day, and although the storm was Tornado Warned and definitely showed tornadic potential dropping numerous funnels there were no reported Tornadoes. We followed the storm east with some great structure evident at times and rotation close to Henning but eventually broke away from it and headed south just after that point. The storm lost its tornado and severe warnings as it headed east across the state towards Wisconsin.
The drive back was beautiful with green farmland and lakes everywhere. A few lake and sunset photos included in the gallery as well as a structure panorama of the storm.
All photos from today can be found in the [url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/htak3nmei1ga7c3/AACIDPPjaCLh-8jtqM_J7zpla/Day%207%20-%20June%2020th"]Dropbox Gallery[/url]
HD Videos from the trip are in the [url="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/htak3nmei1ga7c3/AADVSVut43KGJYwdsgIU7D1na/HD%20Movies"]HD Movies Dropbox[/url]
One final note and indeed a very sobering thought given the events of the past few days. I received comment yesterday from a US stormchaser commenting on the quality of our info over the past week in particular mentioning data they'd reviewed for the Pilger day. He mentioned we were tagged at Norfolk Nebraska that day and were one of the first out there. I commented that we were with Fire/EMS that day on the hills outside of Pilger, spotted the tornado re-forming and in discussion with them they acted on this instantly. If our actions meant a valuable few minutes or even just seconds of extra warning time were given then it makes everything totally worthwhile.
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