I’ve been wanting to get out and chase for a while now. Today was looking like the best day I could go out this week, but the action appeared to be heading into the Nebraska Panhandle and I just didn’t want to make that drive for what appeared to be a mediocre risk. After pondering if I should go out or not, at about 2:30pm I decided to call it off for the day; unless by some lucky reason I could find a close to home cell.
About 3pm I looked at the obs and radar and noticed a small set of cells forming just east of Colorado Springs. Storm motion would take these cells NE and I figured I could intercept them about Limon. As they worked their way out on the plains the dew points and shear would get better, so I figured why not; if nothing else it would shake the rust off and ensure all the equipment is still working. So I headed out with the destination between Limon and Last Chance on Hwy 71.
The storm was moving fairly slow and I was able to take some county roads and check out the storm pass slowly by from a nice vantage point on the ridge that Hwy 71 follows. The wind farm was directly to my SE. I ended up moving about a mile south of Last Chance to catch up to the storm for dusk lightning shots. The storm was fizzling out so I left it about 9:15. About 250 miles, nearly 8 hours. Not bad for the first chase of 2013!
If you can play flash then the slideshow [SL] fullscreen [FS] (two icons at the lower right) are the way to view these photos. Nothing fancy, but definitely fun to get out and see some storms!
After yesterday’s strange and incredible lightning and hail storms today was shaping up to be another severe day. The NWS ended up putting a Tornado Watch box over the NE corner of the state at 11:00 am; it was muggy due to the moisture from yesterday and more coming that was trapped in the Front Range area due to fronts, and an upper air disturbance was passing over giving some extra lift. Shear and helicity all looked good for supercells and potential tornadoes.
I left about 2:00 and headed east on Hwy86 as my target was Kiowa, or more like Agate/Byers area. I wanted to sit on the north side of the divide and chase whatever fired from there. As soon as I was past Kiowa a promising cell started to form right around Byers. On my way there two other cells started to form to the SW–although these didn’t show up on radar they were looking really nice; but I went for the maturing cell and stopped on Hwy 36 about 10 miles east of Byers.
NOTE: Click on any picture for an enlarged and higher resolution version (they look better larger). For the slide shows, if you have a flash-enabled browser click on the FS link in the lower right to see a full screen, high resolution slide show!
Supercell of the day as I was approaching from Kiowa.
As I was watching the storm east of Byers, this hit me.
The cell was back building and went tornado warned near Byers. I was expecting the cell to take off and I was in good position for that; but it ended up moving south. I then jetted toward Deer Trail and eventually to Agate and south towards Hwy 86. I figured I could get to Simla or even Ramah if the storm continued due South where the road network gets better.
Between Deer Trail and Agate the large flat rain free base produced rotation and a funnel cloud. It also produced some amazing texture in the anvil/downdraft of the storm!
Great texture in the coulds with another cell to the south!
Funnel cloud formed SW of Agate
On my way south past Agate, the front end of the storm looked very suspicious and as I was driving it looked like a tornado could be occuring. There was a tornado reported but I didn’t know this until afterwards; but I did take this shot of the scud.
Inflow/Outflow SW of Agate; I believe I saw a tornado around this time.
I traveled south to Hwy 86 (near where I started) and then west to the road to Simla. I wanted to get to the road to Ramah, but there was no way without entering the core. I traveled south until Simla and got some amazing, and I mean amazing, structure shots. At this time there was a tornado down but I did not see anything from my vantage point.
I then headed SW of Simla and chased until near dark. I saw a funnel which ended up being a the Calhan Tornado. I was able to chase about a mile east of the core for a while until I decided I needed to book it south to beat the core going west on 94 into Colorado Springs. I ended up a little slow (due to the fast developing cell on the west side of this beast) and got into some golf ball sized hail. The cell that formed over NE Colorado Springs also put down some half dollar sized hail.
Finally we had a severe setup in Colorado; this spring has been mediocre at best thus far on any weather, especially severe. There was a Tornado Watch box issued for the eastern portion of Colorado and it would end up being a big hail day; especially on the Palmer Divide and Denver! I chased with Adam Boggs and we stayed pretty much out of everything severe; except the lightning. This was probably in the top 2 for sure lightning days I’ve ever experienced! It was simply spectacular!
Today was a weird day; Adam and I ran into unique events all day; which made the chase a lot of fun! The first unlikely event was when we pulled off and watched the storms track north over the Grover/Briggsdale area. Off in the distance down the road I noticed a small black dot; which appeared to be coming at us fairly quickly. I got out my 300mm lens and scoped it out, it was a dog, and he was hauling!
Stray Dog running down the road to get to us.
I’m nearly sure the dog was a stray; he was definitely a bit sketchy but did hang around us the whole time we were there. There were a TON of chasers out and he barked at every car he saw. He wasn’t very happy when we left which kinda broke my heart; but there was no way I was bringing him home nor having him in the car…something wasn’t quite right with him.
While the dog was hanging out with us; we got this timelapse of the storms to our west. There was a lowering and some minor rotation which is apparent in the timelapse; the supercell was definitely rotating which is what I was trying to capture. One of these storms put down a brief tornado; although we didn’t see anything.
We were in the middle of nowhere when we saw what appeared to be a Chase Tour group of vans. As we neared they beckoned us to stop and they had an issue…they had locked their keys in their car. They were looking for a coat hanger which I didn’t have; but I went to a nearby fence post and got them some barbed wire. Right as I was back with the wire they got the door unlocked with a car antenna and duct tape. What was hilarious was “Plan B”…yet something else you don’t see every chase!
Working on getting the keys out of the locked vehicle...
A bit further we stopped and watched a flock of pelicans lazily soar through the winds and also saw a cute group of deer. Again not the average chase experience being in the middle of nowhere !
Caught some deer right after leaving the Plan B scene!
Flock of Pelicans where ponds are rare!
We continued on to Hwy 14 and entered the Pawnee Buttes near New Raymer and watched the storms track by and the great sunset! We also got some more great sunset shots south of here as we were trying to make our way back to get some lightning from the southern storms. We saw crepuscular and anti-crepuscular rays which was fairly rare (they ran horizon to horizon) and also caught a rainbow with a gas well. The unique stuff kept coming.
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As we headed south around Orchard the lightning intensified and was hitting everywhere around us! Another something you don’t see every chase is a group of local farmers checking out the storm with multiple lightning strikes hitting all around them and watching them scramble to their vehicles in a frenzy! Been there, done that!
Not much further down the road, around Wiggins, we ran into a field that was on fire; likely started by lightning. We didn’t call in any severe weather today; but we did report this fire to 911. I ran across the street to the house there to warn them of the fire that was spreading very rapidly due to the high winds. First time I’ve seen a field fire that close due to lightning.
The lightning was great; so we went down the road a little and took these lightning shots! Wow!
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I dropped Adam off in Hudson where he left his car and I drove home; at this time the lightning was spectacular in Denver/Aurora area. I decided to drive through Aurora in case there was an opportunity to photograph in the Children’s Hospital garage (my work); but even though I would have gotten more amazing shots; I was getting tired an opted to enjoy nature’s light show on my drive home without that stop; these bolts were CLOSE on the drive! This was again an amazing storm; in the tech center there was 2-3″ of hail standing on the ground. By the time I was in Castle Rock the outlet mall looked like it got hit with a huge snow storm. When I got home the storm passing through SW Denver metro was Tornado warned, at 12:30 at night! That storm dissipated by the time it was in SE Aurora! Really? Definitely a bunch of odd, unique stuff; and likely the best lightning day I’ve ever had chasing!
Amazing bolt of lightning off of I-76 near Wiggins.
Best part, the next day even looked better for severe storms!
Time to shake the rust off the gear and mind; it’s storm season again! Coordinated with Adam Boggs and chased with him today. Always great to have his custom software aboard and his excellent navigation skills. We knew today was going to be a slight risk and that the upper level trough was not necessarily going to be timed correctly with daytime heating max; and there appeared to be somewhat of a cap in place too; but still felt there could be something worth chasing.
We met in Aurora and headed east on I-70 and then US 36; our target was around Anton area…at least to wait and see how the day progressed. The cells in our area had a difficult time with the cap and were eroding…we decided to hit the cell about 45 minute north forming around Sterling…southern Colorado looked nice but it was more than we wanted to drive given we wanted to be back in Boulder by 2am. Driving north on 63 was uneventful until we were about 10 miles south of I-76, and then nice looking mothership supercell appeared! We stopped and took some photos; Adam got some great timelapse with his new nifty camera showing this mothership spin like a top!
We decided after getting about 15 minutes of timelapse to follow the storm north as it was getting close to dusk and the lightning was awesome. Of course, as our luck would have it; as soon as we found a nice perch and got the equipment set up (and the sunlight dim enough for several second exposures) the storm died and lost its lightning! But there were other cells just west that were producing some nice lighting and we got a couple of shots. I love the colors around dusk so we shot some photos and the headed west to get closer to the cells producing better lightning.
We ended up in the massive wind farm just west of Peetz on the Colorado/Nebraska border and had a bolt hit the tower next to us (that was scary); we ended up driving to get out of the rain and set up in between three cells and got some great lightning shots. Most of mine were out of focus; still getting use to the new lens I bought (focus on infinity does not work when shooting lightning and each lens has its sweet spot approaching infinity for crisp focus). But viewing the lightning in the middle of the massive wind turbines that went on past the horizon was excellent fun!
The drive home had some wicked lightning along I-76. Down south near Lamar were a couple of tornadoes after dark; so it was a severe day in Colorado. We got some small hail near Brush; but that was the extent of the hail we saw.
Overall, great fun chasing with Adam, and a great start to the 2012 season with a rotating mothership supercell and some fun lightning!
NOTE: View larger pictures (even full screen) using the option links in the lower right of the gallery below.
We’ve been wanting to do this trip for a while; so we decided to embark on a long 3-day weekend trip with my dad and my kids to go Selenite digging in the Great Salt Plains in North-central Oklahoma. I did some calling around and because of the oil boom and the Wynoka Rattlesnake Festival no hotels were available except in Enid; so we opted for a place in neighboring Anthony Kansas–the Anthony Motel & Cafe.
The Cafe was closed and I think we were the only non-oil industry guests at the motel; but it was nice enough…we got the Harley room so who could ask for more? Got there Friday evening and hung out in the room and went to bed early. Drove south to Cherokee OK on Saturday morning and headed out to the Salt Plains. Being a storm chaser as well; I was amazed that we were in the center of the high risk area; so we kept our eye open for building storms all day…
The wind was brutal; about a 30-40 mile southerly wind all day that picked up about 3:00pm…so we decided we had enough digging and decided to leave. Of course, like everyone else, we lost several things that blew out of the back of the truck and we couldn’t catch them it was blowing so hard!
We dug all day and found that the Selenites were a couple of inches below the ground. Hunter discovered that if you dug near the standing water you’d find crystals right away. They said to dig a hole in the sand, let it fill with water (we are at the water table) and then use a bucket or can to wash the sand from the walls. This did work and crystals did fall into the murky, sandy water; but we discovered that the Crystals exist right at the interface between the sand and clay usually; so we ended up just digging horizontal about 3″ below that interface and then pulling out the crystals on the top of the sand rather than in the water…seemed quicker and easier. You can either set out the crystals in the wind to dry; or just toss them in a bucket…we did both.
There appeared to be several types of crystals. Those that formed in the sand, we called them “Sandy”. Those that formed in the clay that were larger and brownish. Those that formed in clay that were bow-ties of sand in clear crystals, we called them “bow ties”. Those that formed in both sand and clay; we called them “changlings”.
Note that digging this way you have to be careful with your shovel as it is easy to break or bend it…we bent one of ours and another person there broke their metal shovel. The clay is stiff and heavy; so go easy. Daphne discovered the “motherload” of the day which put us into the great clusters and bow-tie crystals…of course this was just before we wanted to leave so we ended up staying an extra hour…but it was worth it.
We went home and saw the storms forming on radar…the ones that looked to impact our location of Anthony were at the time near Woodward, OK; which is where several folks died. The storm directly impacted Cherokee where we were all day (note that when we drove through every carwash and other bay was taken by cars already). I decided not to chase the storms given I was with the family and in Erin’s truck (hail damage was not an option; plus some of the side dirt roads would not be good in her car) so we decided to hang out in Anthony. About dark; the storm came through and we took refuge in the local funeral home basement; which was the normal storm shelter after the sirens started blaring! The kids got a good experience of what it is like to be a citizen in tornado prone areas (they’ve been on several chases with me prior…so they know that side too; which isn’t as scary). The twister went about 4 miles SE of town on its way to Wichita.
On the way home Daphne wanted to see “tornado damage” so I chose a route to put us through where I read there were touch-downs. We saw some damage near Hudson which was relatively minor; albeit still scary!
Overall a great trip, some amazing crystals and chased by a storm on a high risk day in the heart of tornado alley! Great fun!
The gallery below is best viewed full screen (click that FS option in the lower right)…
Rockhounding for Selenite, Cherokee Oklahoma - April 2012
Someone asked me about all the twisters I have seen and it got me thinking back on all of those good times. I decided to write down this list as it seems with the passing years I have a more difficult time remembering each one of them. I have photos and videos for most of the new ones; and have a couple of photos of the older ones somewhere; hopefully someday I’ll dig those out of my folks photo albums.
July 1977 South of Johnstown
From the deck of my hometown house we could see a landspout looking structure south of town (we were on the north side; about 5 blocks and over a slight hill is the southern end of town–so we saw it clear in the sky south of town). Dad immediately grabbed our neighbor Wayne (who is a photo genius) and we headed out in my dad’s old truck to check it out. My first chase!
I was starting to see it over the hill when Wayne told my dad to turn around as it was spinning right on us. I looked up and saw the swirl in the clouds that I will see many times throughout my life. That ended my first chase as a kid! I’ve been absolutely hooked since.
April 1983? Key Largo Florida waterspout
Still verifying the date; will have to cross-reference from vacation pictures someday at my folks place.
This was a fun story; it was stormy at our hotel on the beach in Key Largo, FL and I was on the beach. I saw a funnel come down into the ocean many miles away. I got excited and went to fetch a camera in the hotel room. I was sprinting up the stairwell steps and accidentally ran into a lady walking the other way; I missed her, mostly, and I apologized profusely; when asked the reason I was in “such a hurry” I said to fetch a camera for the twister. She told me how I didn’t know what I was talking about; “this is not tornado weather, I am from Kansas I should know”. She went on and on telling me how stupid I was, meanwhile I was missing the show! I couldn’t take it anymore and said sorry and bolted off to fetch the camera. By the time I arrived at the beach again, it was gone…I’m sure it was gone when she checked it out too, knowing my luck! Crazy kid!
June 1987? landspout west of Johnstown (called 911) (filmed on betamax)
This one was cool. I was hanging out with a buddy Dave and he was splitting for dinner; walking him to his car we looked west directly up the street and I saw a funnel behind the trees beyond the end of town. I saw the dim outline of landspout dust near the ground. I ran inside and grabbed my Dad’s Beta-max video recorder and filmed this cool tornado for about a minute or two before it was completely obscured by the trees.
I called 911 and the lady said she wouldn’t raise the sirens unless someone else called it in. I had no clue of NWS at the time and wasn’t an official spotter, so my only experience listening to Dad’s fire department pager was to call 911. Because of the lengthy conversation with 911 I missed some of the tornado, but still got a little on video tape.
July 1987? Milliken / Gilcrest landspout (in clouds) (filmed on Beta-max)
This one was sweet. I went outside for some reason and looked up at the clouds and they were dark and dreary. I got my Dad’s Beta-max camera, got on my bike and rode to the far eastern edge of town (about 3/4 mile away). I filmed this incredible skinny tube that made it half-way to the ground did a 180 degree U-turn and then started back up. It disappeared into the clouds so all there was a U shaped rope!
Then I noted several miles to the north it came back down to the ground kicking up some dirt from the fields. What crazy structure! I’d estimate it was directly north of Milliken at this time in the Big Thompson River valley. I ran to my friend’s house that lived right there and called 911; then we watched in the field across the street from his house until it roped out. I got some sweet video, probably 10 minutes worth on tape! Oh, and once again, 911 wouldn’t officially run the sirens in town unless the sheriff gave a confirmation, which didn’t happen. Luckily no damage was done that I heard of.
Got about 10 minutes on video tape. Nice mix tape so far, the one above too and a funnel from another storm! NOTE: The whereabouts of this tape is unknown. I don’t know if my mom donated the tapes or perhaps it got recorded over (I reviewed most of our old tapes in my college days and didn’t find this particular one, bummer!), so I’ve never heard or seen of these storms since. Keep an eye out at some thrift store near you!
Spring 1990. Officially trained and certified with National Weather Service as a storm spotter. I went with my dad at the training in Greeley in about 1990. That was a great and useful course; I still refer back to the manual they gave us for storm structure schematics!
June 15, 1990?89? (http://www.thorntonweather.com/blog/weather-history/june-12-to-june-18-this-week-in-denver-weather-history/). Colorado National Speedway. I think the year is wrong, they say 97 in the article; I remember Fathers Day, 1989, 90, 91 timeframe? Perhaps a different storm? Any ideas? Father Days landed on: Jun 18 89, Jun 17 90, Jun 16 91, Jun 21 92, Jun 20 93, Jun 19 94
This one is pure luck. We were sitting down for dinner on the Fathers Day or similar celebration dinner with my family (don’t remember the exact year, the one in the article is not the correct storm). I looked out the dining room window towards the south and saw the evil looking finger in the sky far south of town. I only saw it for about a minute before it was obstructed by houses. Since we were in the middle of dinner; no one shared my enthusiasm to run out and chase it. Heard it reported over the police/fire scanner and later the news said a tornado was by Colorado National Speedway, I believe it tore up a couple of trash cans, maybe some of the stands. I’m still researching, if you remember this twister and any details of it give me a shout.
March 23, 1996; Jefferson County Airport inflow band touchdown
This one was way cool; but this was before I carried some kind of camera with me. I was driving home to Boulder from work in Golden. Along Hwy 93 intersection of McCasulin at the open space parking lot I parked and checked out the eerie clouds. However, in the nice inflow structure/tail a little section started to swirl, you know, the good swirl in the clouds that can only mean one thing. I estimate less than 15 seconds later there was a nice funnel cloud.
The funnel came down and hit the grounds somewhere probably West or a bit NW of Jeffco Airport. There was a tornado in Boulder that day too that was very photogenic; but the one I saw wasn’t it. Another person pulled into the parking lot to go mountain biking and he saw the tail end of it too! It was about 8 minutes later the guy in the bike arrived. The tornado had just roped out before he got there…and he didn’t believe us on how close it was to him.
I drove by Nate’s place in Broomfield and knocked on the door. He answered the door and had a surprised look on his face. I snagged him and we chased the storm. My sister took this when the storm was out west of Fort Lupton, the only shot of that storm that I know of.
Jefferson County Colorado Supercell March 1996.
So, I got tired of getting pelted with hail, so I purchased a Baron WX Mobile Threat Net Weather station for the car; only went out in college periodically because I was so busy all the time and couldn’t see the storms out far east of town. After working at NOAA in Boulder I realized that technology is it and after the last storm I was hooked again! Because of work constraints, however, I didn’t really get to go out much until the late 90s. Instead I watched storms over the internet and see what my target would have looked like. I learned a lot and did this for years. Here are some shots of the dash of my chase vehicle.
After learning “DaBaron” I wanted to try it out; but loved the idea of being driven around the plains, staying at a nice, clean hotel and getting up and predicting the weather each morning. This was on the Silver Lining Tours Master Class tour. 10 days on the plains, learning weather (got some nice software and skills on the trip). Was a great time; I have a DVD if you want to swap one of yours.
June 7 2005 South Dakota badlands, SW of Wanblee SD, Jackson County
Jackson County Tornado June 7 2005
June 9, 2005. Hill City Kansas #0 (This was reported to the NWS by the folks I was with; he was a NWS employee, but this picture isn’t that great).
Hill City Tornado, June 9, 2005
June 9, 2005. Hill City Kansas #1 (Truncated Cone)
Hill City Tornado June 9, 2005
June 9, 2005. Hill City Kansas #2 (The infamous tornado)
Hill City Kansas Tornado June 9, 2005
June 9 2005 Palco Kansas
Palco Tornado, June 9, 2005
June 9 2005 Damar Kansas double twister
Damar Double Tornado June 9, 2005
June 9 2005 Ellis County Kansas
Ellis County Tornado, June 9, 2005
June 11 2005 Caprock Texas (or was it 10th)
Caprock Tornado, June 11, 2005
June 12 2005 sw of Jayton Texas (Kent Co) #1
Kent County Twister #1
June 12 2005 SW of Jayton Texas (Kent Co) #2
Kent County Tornado, June 12, 2005
June 12 2005 SW of Girard Texas #3 multivortex
Kent County Multi-vortex June 12, 2005
June 12 2005 SW of Girard Texas #3
June 12 2005 Jayton/Hamlin Texas #4
Hamlin Tornado, June 12, 2005
June 14 2005 Trego Center Kansas Mothership (this was confirmed by Doppler on Wheels that was right next to us)
Trego County Toranado, June 14, 2005
What a great learning experience! Much quicker than learning it without for sure! I had a blast and I highly recommend Silver Lining Tours!
(((Doing what I could I got in some chasing in 2006 and 2007; but work schedule prevented me from doing too many chases; thus no tornados but many great structure, lightning and storm photos!)))
May 22 2008 Hoxie Kansas
This is the same day as the Windsor tornado. I was past Sebert and didn’t think I’d make it back to the Front Range, especially since the storm was moving Northwest (huh?). Kansas was supposed to go bonkers on two consecutive days…I chose to chase western Kansas!
I ended up in good position on a Tornado Warned storm but needed to hold out for the core to cross the road; this was west of Hoxie Kansas and I didn’t think it wise to core-punch this beast. That ended up being a very wise move! I pulled off in the field entrance and watched several storm chasers get ditched on a slick-as-ice road (I tried it and backed up). I got just a couple of still shots that are quite Photoshop-ed to get good contrast; it was a HP supercell day! Immediately when the cell passed the road I headed east to get into great position, but ended up stopped by downed power lines (and a roof) across the road. The power lines were snapped in 3 or 4 segments, wow! It seemed so cruel to me for the Mother Nature to blow away two of the homes in the middle of no-where–miles and miles of nothing in every direction! The tornado was pretty big from the video I’ve seen, I think I saw it beginning to rope out and come out of its rain-wrapped environment.
Hoxie Tornado May 22, 2008
June 15 2009 Elbert County Colorado #1
It was Daphne’s 5th birthday and I worked from home so I could go out and chase this day. I targeted the Palmer Divide and assumed action would start around 3pm. I was waiting for my new HD video camera to be delivered. The moment UPS arrived the storm of the day was passing over; so I hopped in the car and headed out. About 7 miles from home I caught this awesome supercell; chased it to Colby Kansas and saw the best stuff here! Amazing that the battery came charged enough to take this amazing video!
Elbert County #1, June 15, 2009
June 15 2009 Elbert County Colorado #2
Elbert County #2, June 15, 2009
June 15 2009 Elbert County Colorado #3 (plus satellite #4)
It then dissipated as you see in the video; but a need then comes back out of the cloud. The video is six to eight times sped up, so this was about 30 minutes of video if I remember correctly). The original funnel had left and I couldn’t detect much rotation; but then a needle came back down probably out of the same Meso-structure; very cool. I then took off to go after it. I drove through Elbert County and over one hill I saw a huge funnel with a sattelite tornado around it. I can’t confirm these were on the ground; I didn’t have a good shot and was hoping around the next turn there would be one but there wasn’t. So I only got a shot while driving which wasn’t so good (the focus was on driving at that time). I followed it to Colby KS; had an exciting encounter with hail and incredible (and scary) structure.
Elbert County #3, June 15, 2009
Elbert County #4 Satellite, June 15, 2009
Music in the following by my band, Multicast…
June 7, 2012: Palmer Divide / Agate Tornado
I what appeared to be a brief tornado but because I couldn’t confirm rotation from my location I figured it was just scud. But after watching some other chaser’s video I realized that I did witness a tornado between Agate and Deer Trail on this monsterous supercell. I was driving at the time so I don’t have a picture or video.
June 7, 2012: Simla, CO Torando
I had gained good position on this amazing structure supercell and it was tornado warned as it headed NW of Simla. From my vantage point I couldn’t 100% confirm a tornado but after confirmation from other chaser video and accounts I do believe I saw a tornado; and the position of the tornado was consistent in the meso as the later Calhan tornado.
Funnel embedded in rain core, NW of Simla Co June 7, 2012
June 7, 2012. Calhan tornado.
As I was driving I saw a funnel form but there was no good place to pull off the road at the time; so I continued to watch while the funnel grew in size. I eventually was able to pull over and got some cool shots as the funnel drifted into the rain core. Later video capture shows the funnel back-lit by lightning. Although I never did see the funnel reach the ground; chasers closer to the storm did confirm and there was damage. I was trying to stay in front of the storm to capture structure shots so I wasn’t as close as others.
June 7, 2012 Calhan CO Torando as it drifed into the rain core
Summary. That’s it for the official count. I have seen lots of wall clouds, funnels, swirls, gust-nadoes, etc; but I only count them if I can confirm it is a tornado (and I call that into the weather service). In the last several years I’ve not seen any “official” twisters but I have seen many situations that were highly suspect…just couldn’t confirm rotation or ground debris usually because I was in bad position relative to that part of the storm. I’ve also been on many storms with confirmed tornadoes but just in the wrong place; part of the fun of chasing!
I had been wanting to take a tornado tour ever since they were first offered; the thought of not having to drive and get to see how hard-core storm chasers travel everywhere sounded great; and this company had the “Master Class Tour” which was a severe storm forecasting class at the same time as a tour! Perfect!
Here is the original journal I posted with pictures while on the tour to communicate back to loved ones and friends! What a great trip and opportunity!
We were in a Severe Thunderstorm watch this afternoon but as I was chasing all the storms were dead before they got 30 miles east of the foothills, but there was heavy rain, slow moving storms and I knew after dark it would be a great lightning show. I triangulated a great place between a couple of storms and then drove to find a good overlook to the northern storm which was pumping out some great lightning. I had to finally leave once the bolts were a little too close for comfort, but I had a great 30-45 minute session without rain!
July 13 2011 Parker Lightning Show
Been some nice monsoons coming through, great lightning in 2011!
Had a great chase with Adam Boggs today, went to the Nebraska panhandle for a slight risk. Nothing was materializing so we decided to go after this discrete supercell well behind the front line of storms. Was able to get about 60 minutes of video shown here.
The music is my band Freq Modif with a track appropriately named Mesocyclone which I’ve been wanting to release for a while.