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Monday, June 15, 2009

2009-06-15 Report - Elbert County Tornadoes!

Moderate risk had been issued for Kansas.
A 10% risk of tornadoes as close to CO as Colby, KS. I opted to not leave extremely early this day as I knew I could make the western areas of the target and still get in a half day at the office.

On the way out to Kansas for the moderate risk I kept an eye on a rapidly developing cell over Castle Rock, CO. After gassing up in Limon, CO and talking to Michael on the phone I decided to get some lunch and hang out for a bit - just in case! I could see the storm over Castle Rock on radar and visually I looked rather impressive from the western edge of Limon.19:32z

The storm started showing meso markers on GR3 and 69 GTG on WXWORX. I rushed back northwest on I-70 and headed west on HW86 towards the updraft. My first view of the base revealed the first tornado in the distance! I knew I had something big on the ground already!19:39z


The tornado as I get a good view of it. This is slightly after it's strongest phase. Before this it was an even wider cone! This tornado 9 miles south of Elizabeth was rated an EF-2 by the Pueblo NWS. It had a path length of 4 miles and was 1/4 mile wide at it's peak!19:41z

The tornado begins to elongate as it moves slowly south. 19:44z


Tornado #1 begins it's rope stage. 19:46z


I'm live streaming on TVN iMapTracker as long as the cell phone signal holds! (thanks to Jesse Markham for the screen grabs)

Tornado #1 ropes out. My timings put the tornado on the ground for 12 minutes! 19:49z

Tornado #2 comes into view to my north as a strong cone! It did not hit anything substantial and was rated as EF-0 20:11z

Repositioning again I see what is tornado #3 - although I cannot fully confirm contact with the ground. 20:18z

Tornado #3 on the left with rope tornado #4 beginning to orbit around it as a satellite vortex! 20:19z

Strong rope tornado #4! 20:20z

Tornado #4 twisting to the west at it's contact point! It did not hit anything substantial and was rated as EF-020:21z

The storm moved east and became outflow dominant as it approached Limon. In Limon, CO it dumped marble size hail for a good 20 minutes.


What a fun local tornado chase.. Thanks to Michael for nowcasting!

>> NWS Damage Survey is here <<






3 comments:

Anonymous said...

4 tornadoes! Whoa! You go, dude! I missed the live stream, but the photos are awesome. Congrats on a great catch!!

Jon Van de Grift said...

Nice catch! Wish I could have made it down there - had to teach today. The Greeley storm wasn't nearly as impressive by the time I made it up there.

Anonymous said...

Wow, these were almost as good as Kates pictures!!!!

The Carlsons', Verne, Michael and Eric

The Carlsons', Verne, Michael and Eric

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