|The storm chase expedition to the US Great Plains for 2010 was done in addition to several "spot" (shorter) chases and took place from May 18 through June 1 of 2010 and has been completed. There was a total of 15 travel days, of which, 13 of these days were available for chasing (day 1 and Day 15 were travel days). In these days, there were 9 chase days, 2 travel / down days, and 2 "bust" days (where a target could not be reached in time for storm interception). The two "bust" (failed-chase) days were May 21 and May 31. The storm intercept team involved this year consisted only of myself and was be "based" out of Dallas, Texas where I flew out to on May 18, 2010 and chase until June 1, 2010. This trip was dedicated to severe thunderstorm research in this area, which includes the Great Plains and the Midwestern United States. Keep in mind that this chase log is scientific evidence and portrays my on-going storm chasing research. It has been placed on this page for easy reference and meteorological interests. Please do not plagiarize or copy this document to other sites for distribution.
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STORM CHASING - CENTRAL UNITED STATES - SPECIAL 2010 CHASE LOG
|CHASER NAME||HOME CITY||CALLSIGN||CHASE DATES||OCCUPATION|
|CHRIS COLLURA||SUNRISE, FL||KG4PJN||5-18 TO 6-1||IT CONSULTANT|
Above is a chase map for the entire chase trip from May 18, 2010 through June 1. The upper-right inset shows the chase area involved in the central USA and the flight to and from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to the "base" city of Dallas, Texas (with a stop in New Orleans, LA going out and Houston, TX returning). The symbol legend is in the lower-left, and any red "X" denotes a severe storm observation, while the green tornado symbols "][" represent a tornado / significant funnel observation. Any red "?" denotes a failed target chase (where the preferred storm-of-the-day / target area was not reached due to time / distance constraints and / or forecasting errors). The total mileage for this trip was 10,424 miles, as the above map does NOT show re-traced paths and / or country roads (AKA: "Bob's" / dirt roads). To put this distance into perspective, this is more than "driving" from Los Angeles to Tokyo, Japan then to Sidney, Australia (if there was a bridge across thre Pacific)! Such a staggering distance put on a rental vehicle in 2 weeks is basically running in circles from state-to-state solely for the pursuit of severe weather!
1). May 19, 3:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm from its point of initiation in Roger Mills County, Oklahoma from northwest of Leedey to its demise well to the east of Guthrie in Lincoln County near Tryon. The chase track was generally along Highways 33, 270, and 105. The storm was a supercell thunderstorm that started out as a classic supercell which evolved to HP. Three tornadoes were observed with this supercell, the first one, and the most visible, from near Leedey, another near Eagle City, and another from near Kingfisher to west of Guthrie. The storm came very close to producing a tornado in Guthrie, but only had a rapidly rotating wall cloud there. The two latter tornadoes of the three were rain wrapped during the storms HP stages. The storm also contained hail to baseball sized (or larger), torrential rains, 70-MPH winds, and frequent lightning. The storm core was not directly penetrated, so hail to quarter sized, heavy rains, and winds around 60 MPH were encountered. Conditions causing the storms were a low pressure system, upper trough, dryline / boundary interactions, and surface heating. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. Documentation was HD video and digital stills. A PDS tornado watch was also valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.
2). May 20, 5:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a very severe, and possibly tornadic thunderstorm near Fairfield, Texas in Freestone County and between north of highway 84 and south of 287. This storm was an HP supercell storm, and its main core, containing baseball-sized hail, was not penetrated. Winds gusting near 60-MPH, heavy rains, frequent lightning with some close hits, and hail to quarter sized was encountered. A large rotating wall cloud was observed on the inflow side of the storm with an RFD feature as well. The storm was caused by the interaction of an outflow boundary and stalled cold front, surface heating, and an upper trough. Documentation was HD video and digital stills. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 9 PM CDT.
3). May 20, 5:30 PM - Observation and penetration of another very severe, and possibly tornadic thunderstorm near Wortham, Texas in Freestone and Navarro Counties west of I-45 and along Highway 14. This storm was an HP supercell storm, and its main core, containing at least golfball-sized hail, was indirectly penetrated. Winds gusting near 60-MPH, heavy rains, frequent lightning, and hail to quarter sized (about 1") was encountered. A large rotating wall cloud was observed on the inflow side of the storm with an RFD / rain hook feature as well. The storm was caused by the interaction of an outflow boundary and stalled cold front, surface heating, and an upper trough. Documentation was HD video and digital stills. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 9 PM CDT.
4). May 22, 6:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of an extremely severe and violent tornadic thunderstorm in Edmunds County, South Dakota from near Lowry and through Bowdle and to just west of Aberdeen along Highway 12 and points north. This storm was a violent cyclic supercell, starting out as a classic supercell, then evolving to HP during its later stages. At LEAST six tornadoes were produced and observed with this storm, all of them significant. One possibly violent tornado was observed near Bowdle, causing significant damage (if not - total devastation) of some farmsteads north of the town. Transmission powerlines and a radio tower were also destroyed. This tornado was a mile-wide wedge tornado, and was observed from close proximity, with inflow / RFD winds approaching 100 MPH (or more). The storm also acquired the "stacked plates" structure during its early HP stages, with the appearance of an "upside-down wedding cake" at times, with a tornado still on the ground. The backside of the storms core was observed, with winds well over 75-MPH, baseball sized hail, lightning, and torrential rains were encountered (I had to seek shelter behind a farmer's shed). The other tornadoes produced by this storm were cones and stove-pipe type tornadoes. The storm was caused by the interaction of a warm front / boundary, dryline / confluence axis, surface heating, low-pressure area, and an upper trough. Documentation was HD video and digital stills. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 1 AM CDT (the following day).
5). May 23, 5:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a severe thunderstorm south of Oberlin, Kansas in Decatur County along Highway 83. The storm was part of a multicell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms, and was penetrated in order to reach other more severe storms / supercells to the south. The largest hail associated with this storm was observed to the east of the chase track, with an impressive hail-shaft visible. Conditions observed were 60 to 70 MPH winds, hail up to 1", frequent lightning, and torrential rains. Conditions causing the storms were moisture convergence, a developing low pressure area, dryline to the west and warm-front to the north, surface heating, and an upper trough. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 12 AM CDT the following day.
6). May 23, 7:30 PM - Observation of a very severe and tornadic thunderstorm north of Oakley, Kansas from Highway 83 in Thomas County. The storm was an HP supercell storm, and its core was allowed to pass to the west. A large truncated cone tornado was noted on the rain-free base of the storm, which evolved to a smaller tornado before lifting in about 5 minutes. The tornado was observed at a distance of at least 10 miles, but well visible and a report was called in for it to the NWS. The storm core contained hail to about 2" (not penetrated) and frequent lightning was observed as well. Conditions causing the storms were moisture convergence, a developing low pressure area, dryline to the west and warm-front to the north, surface heating, and an upper trough. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 12 AM CDT the following day.
7). May 23, 9:00 PM - Observation of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm from southwest of Atwood, Kansas and along Highway 36 in Rawlins County to near Bird City. The storm was another HP supercell storm, also observed from a distance, and two tornadoes were observed in the darkness (illuminated by lightning) from a distance (10 miles or so). One was briefly visible southwest of Atwood and another north of Bird City. The core was avoided but probably contained very large hail. The storm also had an impressive "barber pole" updraft when viewed from the south near Bird City. The storm also was producing nearly continuous lightning (CC and CG). Conditions causing the storms were moisture convergence, a developing low pressure area, dryline to the west and warm-front to the north, surface heating, and an upper trough. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 12 AM CDT the following day.
8). May 24, 4:00 PM - Observation and penetration of a very severe thunderstorm along Highway 385 and north of Hemingford, Nebraska in Box Butte County. The storm was an intense cell embedded in a multicell line of storms. Hail to nickel-sized, torrential rains, frequent lightning, and winds gusting over 80-MPH were encountered with this storm. Tree damage was also observed with this storm. Conditions causing the storms were a strong cold front, low pressure area, surface heating, and an upper level low pressure area. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 8 PM MDT.
9). May 24, 6:30 PM - Observation and penetration of another very severe thunderstorm from south of Hay Springs near Highway 87 in Box Butte County, Nebraska and eventually north and eastward along Highways 391 and 18 into South Dakota and to as far as Mission, South Dakota. The storm was a multicell line of severe thunderstorms, in which en embedded HP supercell storm was observed early on before evolution to a derecho-like outflow dominant MCS. Hail, torrential rains, lightning, and winds gusting to near 90-MPH were observed with these storms. The strong winds kicked up a lot of dust, and pebbles were blown into my chase vehicle at one point. Some tree and sign damage was also noted. Conditions causing the storms were a strong cold front, low pressure area, surface heating, and an upper level low pressure area. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 8 PM MDT.
10). May 25, 4:30 PM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm just west of Johnson City, Kansas and into Colorado just west of the border along Highways 160 / 89. This was in Baca County in Colorado and Stanton County in Kansas. The storm was a small supercell storm which produced a wall cloud and funnel during its high-point. The storm also contained large hail, gusty winds, and very heavy rains. The core was not directly penetrated, so only small hail was observed. Conditions causing the storms were a stationary front / outflow boundary, approaching dryline, surface heating, and an upper trough. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.
11). May 25, 6:30 PM - Observation and penetration of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm from just west of Towner, Colorado in Kiowa County and into Kansas near Tribune and as far as Scott City in Scott County. This cyclic supercell storm was observed from near Highway 96 in Towner and Tribune and also along county roads north of Highway 96. In Sheridan Lake County, Colorado, the developing supercell storm produced at LEAST five land-spout type tornadoes. The storm became a very powerful cyclic supercell storm, and had a large rotating wall cloud when it was west of Towner. Hail at least 2" was also observed north of Highway 96, which completely covered the ground in some places. The storm split, and the main portion continued eastward near Tribune, Kansas, where two more tornadoes were observed. More large hail and high winds were encountered north of Scott City hear Highways 96 and 83. Largest hail observed falling was up to 2" (half dollar sized). The storm also contained frequent lightning and strong winds (near 65-MPH). Hail fog was observed with the hail falls that covered the ground. The storm also produced some spectacular wall clouds, one of them touching the ground! Conditions causing the storms were a stationary front / outflow boundary, approaching dryline (with a triple-point to the stationary boundary), surface heating, and an upper trough. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.
12). May 26, 5:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of an extremely severe, and possibly tornadic thunderstorm in Weld / Morgan Counties in northeastern Colorado from south of Interstate 76 near Bennett and east to near Wiggins and Highway 52. The storm was an LP and / or classic supercell thunderstorm. The storm core was not directly penetrated, yet hail up to 2" was observed falling on the edge of the storm core, with an impressive RFD. A brief weak tornado was also observed with the storm near Prospect Valley. The storm had also had the impressive "stacked plates" and striations on the updraft, with a very striking visual appearance during its intense stages. Conditions causing the storm were surface heating, upslope wind flow (lee trough), and an upper trough. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 8 PM MDT.
13). May 29, 7:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of severe thunderstorms near Highway 2 from near Hyannis to Thedford, Nebraska in Grant and Hooker counties. The severe storms were part of a multicell cluster of storms. The core of the most intense storm was not directly penetrated (contained hail to near 2"), but frequent lightning, heavy rains, 60-MPH winds, and hail to 1" was encountered. The storms began as a multicell cluster of storms (with embedded HP supercells), but quickly became outflow dominant. A funnel was observed on the southern side of the storm to the NE of Whitman, Nebraska. Conditions causing the storms were surface heating, a cold front, weak low pressure area, and an upper trough. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 11 PM CDT.
14). May 30, 6:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a very severe thunderstorm from north of Nash, Oklahoma in Grant County and southeast into Garfield County near Kremlin near and along Highways 11, 64, and 81. The storm began as a supercell storm (classic) with a wall cloud, then transitioned to an outflow dominant multicell storm cluster of severe thunderstorms. Winds associated with these storms gusted over 70-MPH, with torrential rains, frequent lightning (with some close hits), and hail up to 3/4 inches. The storm core of the supercell was not directly penetrated, and contained hail to golfball (1.75") in size. Some tree damage was also observed with this storm. Conditions causing the storms were surface heating, a slow-moving cold front, low pressure area, upper trough, and dryline / shear axis. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 12 AM CDT the following day.
15). May 30, 8:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of another very severe thunderstorm west of Crescent City, Oklahoma in Logan and Kingfisher Counties near Highway 33. The storm was a supercell storm (classic) with a rotating wall cloud with some brief funnels, and was the "tail-end Charley" southernmost storm in the multicell storm complex (MCS) farther north. The storm core of the supercell was not directly penetrated, but hail to about 1.25" was observed, along with heavy rains, 40-MPH winds, and frequent lightning (with numerous close hits). The main core had hail to tennis-ball sized, and the hail roar / clanking could be heard on the rear-flank of the storm. Conditions causing the storm was surface heating, a slow-moving cold front, low pressure area, upper trough, and dryline / shear axis. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Optima was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 12 AM CDT the following day.
This concludes the Chase Log for the US Great Plains and Midwest storm chasing trip from May 18 through June 1, 2010. This chase summary includes a total of 15 severe storm interceptions and / or observations. Out of these observations, a total of at least 20 tornadoes / large funnels were observed. The main chase vehicle conducting all chases is a 2009 Kia Optima (rental). This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.
|Severe Thunderstorm over Fort Lauderdale airport ... This caused my flight to be delayed nearly two hours. I watched my plane ALMOST land, then fly back out (abort the landing), and later found out they circled, could not land because of the storm, got low on fuel, and had to divert to another airport to re-fuel. This was the flight that I was supposed to be on. Luckily, I had a continuing service connection (no plane change) in New Orleans, so I simply got into Dallas late.|
|Convective initiation to the northwest of Clinton, Oklahoma as anxious storm chasers watch.|
|Rapidly developing supercell storm to the northwest of Leedey, Oklahoma over Roger Mills county.|
|Tornado to the northwest of Leedey, Oklahoma from the rapidly intensifying supercell. The view is west and northwest.|
|Another possible tornado / rotating wall cloud viewed from west of Eagle City, Oklahoma. The view is to the east.|
|Rapidly rotating / rain wrapped tornado near Kingfisher, Oklahoma. Visually, this was basically tagging scud really close to the ground.|
|The "chaser convergence" with this storm was insane ... Literally traffic jams of chasers and equipment, including the VORTEX II scientists!|
|Violently rotating wall cloud over Guthrie, Oklahoma before the storm moved east and weakened.|
|This is a view looking south at the MCS / thunderstorm line from extreme southeastern Oklahoma. The "area of interest" will be at the extreme southwest portion of this line of thunderstorms, to the lower-right in the picture (in NE Texas).|
|Forward-flank gust front and shelf cloud on the eastern side of an HP supercell near Fairfield Lake, Texas.|
|Interesting bowl shaped and rotating wall cloud on the inflow side of the HP supercell storm near Fairfield Lake.|
|Another HP supercell storm west if Interstate 45 (near Wartham, Texas). The view is to the west and northwest.|
|Rotating wall cloud in the supercell "bear's cage" near Wortham, Texas looking northward and with the rain "hook" behind me.|
|Beautiful mammatus seen from north of the line of supercells on the storm anvil at sunset near Corsicana, Texas.|
|Here is a "storm chaser's worst nightmare" ... Waiting for the pilot car in a suprise long construction delay along Highway 385 in Northeastern Colorado north of Burlington. Not something any chaser rushing to a storm 100+ miles away wants to see. This delay pretty much tanked the chase for May 21.|
|Here is a view of the tornadic supercell in far east-central Wyoming / western Nebraska from at least 100 miles away in SW Nebraska.|
|Convective initiation northeast of Pierre, South Dakota near the intersections of Highways 83 and 14. We watched this develop from blue sky just an hour prior. Believe it or not, this innocent looking cloud will be a violent supercell in about an hour, producing multiple tornadoes.|
|Here is a picture of the developing supercell southwest of Lowdy, South Dakota during its early stages.|
|The same storm develops an impressive and rapidly rotating wall cloud.|
|Developing and rapidly intensifying tornado to the west of Bowdle and southeast of Java near Highway 12.|
|Multi-vortex tornado evolving to a violent stovepipe south of Highway 12 and west of Bowdle.|
|Possible satellite / old meso (or left split) tornado to my northwest just as the main (intensifying) tornado is about to cross Highway 12 to my east.|
|Developing wedge tornado crossing Highway 12 west of Bowdle. The "Dominator" vehicle (Reed Timmer) is INSIDE this tornado as I was taking this picture!|
|Tim Samaras's main vehicle (with TWISTEX) to the left side of Highway 12 (looking east) and a new in-situ tornado instrument (trailing red marker smoke) that measures tornado winds at 0.7m and 2m to the right. The tornado is just to my north and out of frame to the left.|
|Multi-vortex stage of the tornado just to my north (on Highway 12) and west of Bowdle, SD.|
|This has to be one of the most impressive RFD (Rear Flank Downdraft) clear-slots I have ever seen! The violent wedge tornado is to the far right. You can actually see blue sky and crepescular rays of sunlight through the RFD cleat slot.|
|Fully developed and violent wedge tornado just north of Bowdle, SD. The farmstead in the forground sustained serious damage.|
|The arrow in this picture points to a pickup truck with its headlights on ... This was a resident of the farmstead, with his family and his dog, fleeing for their lives and escaping certain death. I spoke to these folks a day later and they said "We had a choice: Cellar or leave - We chose 'leave'!"|
|Some flying debris, actually parts of a roof, clearly airborne in this close-up shot of the wedge tornado's southern edge north of Bowdle.|
|Power flash as the wedge tornado reaches and destroys ultra-high voltage transmission lines.|
|Tornado crossing the farm road north of Bowdle as other chasers watch in awe.|
|The violent supercell storm cycles again and the new mesocyclone produces another cone tornado (evolved to a stove-pipe) east of Bowdle as viewed from Highway 12 (the view is northeast).|
|Absolutely INSANE supercell structure north of Ipswitch with a weakening tornado to the extreme lower left of the picture.|
|This is a picture of some of the damage to a farmstead (totally destroyed) north of Bowdle, South Dakota a day after the tornado hit. We had to be escorted by the local sheriff and had permission from the owners to take these pictures. Myself and the TWISTEX chase group were conducting the damage survey in the morning before leaving South Dakota for a target area in NW Kansas.|
|Here is the anvil of a cluster of severe thunderstorms looking south from Highway 83 near the Kansas / Nebraska border. These storms began as multicell, but evolved to supercells once upper level support / low-level dynamics arrived.|
|Here is a truncated cone tornado viewed from north of Oakley, Kansas and west of Highway 83. This tornado was spawned by an HP supercell storm that was a left split from a seemingly more intense southern (right) split. Myself and chaser Dan Shaw were some of the only chasers who saw this, and we reported it to the NWS.|
|Here is another view of the tornado west of Highway 83 by about 10 miles and north of Oakley, Kansas just before lifting.|
|Another HP supercell, also tornadic, produced large amounts of lightning to the southwest of Atwood, Kansas after dark.|
|This is a view west towards what appeared to be a developing supercell storm, but was the start of a line of thunderstorms. The view is to the west from the Nebraska / South Dakota border and south of the Pine Ridge Indian resrvation.|
|Here is a picture of the backside and hail shaft (with an interesting funnel shaped silhouette in the center of the picture) from a supercell storm embedded in a developing squall line near Alliance, Nebraska.|
|Once the storms in NW Nebraska evolved into a powerful squall line, outflow winds gusted over 80 MPH in some places, raising dust as in this picture.|
|Here is a downed tree after the squall line passed through Valentine, Nebraska.|
|Incredible display of mammatus clouds over Valentine, Nebraska an hour or so after passage of the squall line.|
|Here is a view of a developing supercell storm in Sheridan Lake County, Colorado. The storm is developing on the intersection of the dryline (left) and a stationary boundary (left to right) called a "triple point". Look very closely to the lower left and you can see one of the first land-spout type tornadoes I observed with this storm!|
|Here is a picture of the second land-spout type tornado I observed with this supercell in Sheridan Lake County. This tornado developed a bit closer to the supercell than the one pictured above.|
|Yet another large land-spout tornado develops in Sheridan Lake County. This is tornado number three for me, and this one has a expansive dust cloud at its base.|
|These are two land-spouts ocurring simultaneously, and "dancing" around each other. They were roughly a half mile apart, and ocurred just before land-spout in the picture above lifted (to the right and out of this picture) - This makes my tornado count for this storm four and five!|
|The supercell storm in Sheridan Lake County, Colorado had a wall cloud literally scraping the ground!|
|Here is a picture of the hail-fall northwest of Towner, Colorado. The ground is completely covered with hail ranging from marble sized to half-dollar. Note the eerie hail fog hanging in the air. This storm dropped the temperature from 85 degrees to 45 in about 5 minutes!|
|Nice piece of golf-ball sized hail. This was probably more like 2" as it has melted quite a bit.|
|Another tornado develops from the supercell right-split north of Tribune, Kansas. This is the sixth tornado I observed from this storm.|
|Beautiful narrow tornado develops between Selkirk and Leoti, Kansas. This is tornado number seven from this supercell I observed.|
|This is a picture of one of the storm chasing tour groups watching the supercell rain-free base and wall cloud.|
|Here is a picture of an approaching hail core (with green hue) north of Scott City, Kansas and along Highway 83. The view is to the southwest just before getting slammed with golf-ball sized hail.|
|Here is a view of the developing supercell storm from about 25 miles to the northeast on I-76 (looking southwest). This storm initiated off the Palmer Divide (NE of Denver) and began moving northeast.|
|Rapidly rotating wall cloud north of Bennett, Colorado.|
|I think this was a weak tornado that breifly formed, resembling rotating scud. This was northwest of Prospect Valley, Colorado and not far from Bennett.|
|This supercell produced hail over 2 inches, with smaller marble sized hail covering the road as seen here. My vehicle had dents from this very hard hail (I saw golfball sized), and it cracked the driver's side mirror.|
|View of RFD clear slot directly overhead from the edge of the hail core of the intensifying supercell near Prospect Valley, Colorado.|
|Incredible storm structure of the LP / Classic supercell when it was exiting Weld County and entering Morgan County, Colorado.|
|Some of the V2 (VORTEX II) personnel with a DOW (Doppler On Wheels) type truck scanning the supercell storm south of Wiggins, Colorado.|
|One of the National Severe Storms Laboratory research vehicles with another distant supercell storm in the background.|
|This is a view back towards the weakening supercell storm with a high base and RFD slot still visible to the left.|
|This rather long chase day ended with a stay in Denver, Colorado for the night. Here is the Denver Skyline with a distant supercell thunderstorm (Near Pueblo) looming in the distance.|
|My first, and well deserved "off day" for this trip was spent at Pikes Peak. This peak is over 14,100 feet above sea level. Conditions at the mointain base were light winds out of the SE and 90 degrees. At the summit, temperatures ranged from 30 to 45 degrees, with a stiff SW wind gusting over 50 MPH (72 MPH early in that morning). Weather was crystal clear with high base clouds, allowing a view spanning hundreds of miles.|
|Here is the view looking south from along Highway 20 near the Nebraska / Wyoming border during the off / reposition day of May 28. Wide open spaces - The wild west!|
|This is a picture of the Dominator (similar to Sean Casey's tornado intercept vehicle), but designed and operated by the Tornado Videos (TVN) network. Designer and meteorologist Reed Timmer is standing in the blue shirt. Note the air cannon package, which is designed to launch parachite-borne instruments into a tornado / supercell updraft.|
|These are the "probe" vehicles, each with a mobile mesonet (weather instrumentation), preparing for a chase in Hyannis, Nebraska. These vehicles are part of the VORTEX II project, operated by the NSSL (National Severe Storms Laboratory).|
|A severe thunderstorm develops ahead of the approaching cold front to the east of Hyannis, Nebraska and briefly acquires HP supercell characteristics before being undercut by the outflow.|
|The severe thunderstorm east of Hyannis and near Whitford, Nebraska produced this funnel cloud and weak RFD as viewed from Highway 2. The view is to the north.|
|Here is one of the DOW (doppler on wheels) radar trucks operated by the NSSL for the VORTEX II project as a severe thunderstorm approaches. Storm chase Jim Reed is standing on the SUV in the yellow rain jacket taking pictures.|
|Todays target was in north-central Oklahoma near the intersection of a wind-shift line ands a stalled cold front, and the soouthernmost cells in a squall line stretching into Kansas were the storms of interest. In this picture, an intense cell fires north of Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma.|
|The severe thunderstorm cell north of Vance Air Force Base briefly becomes a supercell storm, producing a wall cloud, before being under-cut by the outflow / slow-moving cold front.|
|This is a picture looking up at a weak forward-flank mesocyclone as the supercell storm evolves to a multicell line near Nash, Oklahoma.|
|This is the wall cloud associated with another supercell storm on the southern-most portion of the line / cluster of severe thunderstorms near Crescent City, Oklahoma. These storms are called the "tail-end Charley" supercells.|
|Another view of the wall cloud associated with the supercell west of Crescent City, Oklahoma with amazing lightning.|
|Funnel cloud and another CG lightning strike west of Crescent City, Oklahoma.|
|This was the last full day available for chasing, but the storms developed too far away in order to make the target and / or make it back in time for my return trip the following day. The yellow "X" is near Woodward, Oklahoma, and that's the closest I was able to get to the storms without driving without sleep and / or missing my flight out of Dallas, TX on June 1. These storms produced MULTIPLE tornadoes in SE Colorado.|
|Here is a picture of some flashes of lightning from a distant thunderstorm over the Gulf Of Mexico while en-route from Houston, Texas to Fort Lauderdale, Florida on the return-flight at the end of my trip.|
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