Chase: June 7, 2012. Palmer Divide – Calhan Tornado

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). 

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.


This was a monster…and the structure was incredible!


Backhalf of this supercell; it was huge!


Looking Southeast…


This supercell was tornado warned at this time.


Incredible structure. Could that have been the tornado the sirens were blaring for?


Storm structure remains incredible as the storm heads towards Calhan.


Repositioned to stay ahead of the supercell!


Awesome structure, still!


Tail cloud plus incredible vault! Love the blue veins!

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.


Calhan tornado behind the rain!


Calhan tornado June 7 2012


Just after the tornado – I got back in front of the storm


Great structure in this supercell all day!


Overall, great day.  Saw two tornadoes, a ghostly mothership, and had a fantastic chase!

All About Art – Dave Alexander in Perry Park Sentinel Newletter

Suzanne Jenne was kind enough to interview and post this article in our local monthly newsletter, the Perry Park Sentinel.  She makes it sound like I’m doing this all the time; I wish I could be that busy with music!  LOL!  For those that wanted to read the article, here it is.  Thanks to Suzanne and the folks at the Sentinel for their support!!! –dave

All About Art-March 2012

Happy New Year to all and by the time you read this, Chinese New Year celebration will have come and gone so a belated Gung Hey Fat Choy to you!

After being absent for several months, I’m taking up the pen again and have decided to feature local artists in this year’s “ All About Art”  segment so that you may learn more about the genius that surrounds us here in Perry Park.

Dave Alexander

This month’s article focuses on Dave Alexander who is a fascinating electronics wizard, computer programming expert, musician and producer.  One of Larkspur’s best kept secrets, Dave is known internationally in the electronic music world in places such as England, Japan and especially Germany.  His projects and interests are diverse and eclectic. I think you’ll see why.

Dave began his college study in engineering, but, knew early on that computer device design wasn’t for him.  He segued into business management and realized that human interaction was an important component to his happiness.  Cycle forward a few years and Dave found his forte in consulting in the PeopleSoft software arena.  Somewhere along the way Dave was a DJ at KUCB 1190 AM and resident at several clubs in Boulder 4-5 nights a week, where he met his wife Erin, the business manager at the station.  A few years later and Dave finds his career has taken him to Children’s Hospital in Denver as a PeopleSoft applications consultant.  Mix the passion for music with a real gift for “things technical”, add a flair for design and marketing and you are looking at Dave Alexander!

Dave has developed a clever process for making music.  He tends to look at his music work in terms of “projects”.  He defines a “project” as a “stream of consciousness”: a certain type of sound, the perfect sound.  Dave is actually a member of 5 different collaborations or “projects” as he calls them.  “Obliq Recordings”, “Multicast”, “Replicast”, “Freq Modif” and “Ted Sturgeon” are all  joint partnerships with other musicians in, distinctly different music styles.  Equuicast is a collaboration of long time Denver pioneering electronic bands Equulei and Multicast.

While he plays “keyboards and technology” he is largely responsible for producing recordings on CDs and, yes, records.  He started in the ‘90s, working with his college roommate, then moved on to evolve this project-oriented style of production.  That’s how ”Freq Modif” a funky electronic style (check out the single inspired by our community, “Larkspur”), started out. The “Multicast” project is a bit more “down tempo”.  “Replicast” has more jazz influence.  “Ted Sturgeon” yet, another project, is decidedly acoustic. .  At any given time he is running 5 or 6 different music production projects…this is one VERY busy guy.

Dave and Erin have 2 children, Hunter (11) and Daphne (7), and he works full time so has limited hours to make music.  When he collaborates with the various project musicians, he tends to set up a play “date” and then they all jam for 4 to 6 hours straight.  Next he goes back and edits that content down to 1 hour highlights of the session.  Then the fun begins as he resamples or redoes tracks, and then produces them, primarily as records.  He’s intrigued by the mystique of records.  Besides collecting historical records, he focuses his spare time innovating in the processes of record production, packaging and distribution.

The challenge for an artist as busy as Dave is that he continually has to manage his time by asking himself, “what do I want to do today? do I want to play music, or edit and produce it?”

His love for technology has driven him to build his own studio, an impressive enclave full of analog and digital production equipment.  He used to begin his search at 5:00 am each morning scouring newspaper ads for used synthesizers to add to his extensive collection.  Thank God the internet came along and made that job easier!  His favorite medium for electronic expression is analog, which produces “big, thick, fat sound”.  Dave feels there is a “warmness” to analog sound that digitally produced sound just doesn’t have, but enjoys working digitally as well for his ability to manipulate the output.  “It’s like working with puzzles” Dave says.

Dave recently did a 6 channel surround sound engineering project for “First Friday” on Santa Fe Ave in Denver and another on Platte, the art event where galleries open their doors for the first Friday evening of the month.  Another recent project is with the Aurora History Museum and Regis University Department of War History honoring the heroes of our wars!  Dave is also working on a project to collaborate with Denver International Airport for “Everything Art”.  The annual CMKY Festival in April of 2012 in Boulder is also on Dave’s radar screen. The festival brings in electronic musicians from all over the world.  Laurie Anderson, the renowned performance artist is a headliner at the event, so Dave will be in esteemed company!

Dave has an interesting point of view relative to making, producing and listening to music.  He believes the next few years should prove an interesting passage for those who get their music through the internet and for those who make music.  All of his music is available for free download at his website!  While we live in challenging economic times, it’s an incredible time to be a musician, an artist or a writer with the changes in technology and platforms available to us.  It’s exciting to see the wave of innovation that is occurring again. Dave is a great example of a musician who’s determined to collaborate on music-making, but also passionate about producing and distributing his music without the help of a large music company.

Round about this time in our interview, I am wondering if Dave ever sleeps!

He then starts talking about his personal interests.  He chases storms every spring!  He is an avid Rock Hound!  He is a fish breeder!  He collects historic record memorabilia!  Dave and his son have developed an IPAD application to redirect surround sound!

If you’d like to learn more about this amazingly talented musician, sound technician and producer, check out the following web sites:

Multicast – Sea-Foam Green – New Track!!

After most of the winter hiatus, Multicast is back! This time with a track to lull you into a trance…or simply to sleep! Sea-foam Green is about the seashore experience; I’m sure you’ve all been there and done that! Sitting on the shore listening to the waves unravels everything inside of you and brings out the relaxation in any of us. This track is a metaphor for this feeling…the lapping patterns of the waves making peaceful sea-foam.

Please don’t operate heavy machinery or drive while listening to this track. You’ve been warned!