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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Now the focus shifts

Usually when we get to mid June the traditional chase season is over. Looking out over the models it seems that this is the case for the start of summer here. The focus now shifts to lightning shots from the monsoonal flow and the random highplains landspout days that may develop from boundaries setting up out to the east!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Baseball hail north of Yuma, CO!

Just 30 mins ago on live stream! Followed the long lived storm from DIA to almost the NE border yesterday afternoon. It was showing great upper rotation at 102 kts gate-to-gate at times and many times tried to get an RFD notch and a tornado spun up but just did not have that extra factor to get the job done.

Michael, Eric and Dann where also out where we ran into baseball hail on the ground north of Yuma, CO. Michael got his windshield cracked. I managed to keep the new Subie out as I've abused her enough in La Grange, WY this year.

The Aurora, NE tornadoes were absolutely AMAZING! Congrats to all who scored on that storm!

2009 Tornadoes: 17
Lifetime Tornadoes: 116

Meso south of Ft Morgan CO!

Live streaming now - tornado watch in progress!

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 <<

Big hail and tornadoes in w KS today!

Huge cape and southwest flow over western KS sets the stage today for large hail and isolated tornadoes as most of central KS is under a moderate risk and 10% risk for Ts!
I will be heading out very soon with an initial target of Goodland, KS.

  • Dash Cam streaming at TVN

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Butt dragging wallcloud

Last night was a race between tornado warned storms in ne CO. Today eastern CO lights up again as unseasonably moist air upslopes against the mountains!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

2009-11-09 Report

Heading south on SR71 from Limon, CO to intercept a very small cell coming east out of Pueblo, CO. The cell dramatically increases in intensity around 23:18z. A new cell forms to it's south about the same time. The southern cell looks like it will dominate at times but the northern cell is the one that goes on to produce the brief tornado below.

Thanks to JR Henley of WDT for sending out this screen grab from our iMapTracker. Here you can see I was on the northern storm which visually looked more intense and I felt (correctly) would be more likely to produce! Time above is 23:55z just north of Ordway, CO

Wallcloud forming east of Ordway, CO around 00:29z looking back west from southeast of Sugar City, CO on CR31

Wallcloud gets stronger! 00:32z looking west from southeast of Sugar City, CO on CR31

Scuddy wallcloud with tornado embedded inside! 00:34z on CR31

Tornado emerges from the scuddy wallcloud and is moving my direction! RFD driven golfball (and Larger) hail is pounding my car and I have to retreat back to a cottonwood grove.

Tornado! 00:35z southeast of Sugar City, CO on CR31

Base Velocity scan from GR3 at 00:42z after the tornado became rain wrapped and passed my road. My true location was down by Michael Phelps icon. Once I start streaming my GR3 does not always update quickly.

Gene Moore also saw this tornado, here is his post from StormTrack:
We can verify an intermittent tornado occurred from near Ordway to south of Sugar Springs. What we witnessed was the same feature as shown in Verne's post. There was a large funnel with a clear space just above the ground. It extended rotating condensation to ground and condensation vortices intermittently; one passing about 100 meters ESE of us which I thought was too close considering the conditions. We never saw it "planted" but the hail fog did obscure the subject at times.

I was with Klipsi and the French chasers with Swiss chaser Dean Gill from the Swiss National Weather Service. We endured a horrific barrage of hail to stay with the storm and finally threw in the towel and parked under a tree. We caught up with the storm and rode the south flank then core punched on #50 north of John Martin Reservoir as hail turned the road white. I'll add the tornado shots as time permits.

2009 Tornadoes: 13
Lifetime Tornadoes: 112

Back to back to back tornado days in and around Denver!

Last Sunday 6/07, Tuesday 6/09 and yesterday 6/10 saw tornadoes, large hail and funnel clouds in and around Denver. Early June is prime season for Colorado and this year is right on schedule. After a couple semi-frustrating trips to MO on 6/07 and 6/09 we are inclined now to stick closer to home with all the activity here!

Yesterday Michael and I separately jumped on the cell up by Greeley and saw a mean shelf - outflowish storm that was repeatedly tornado warned but did not produce as far as we could tell.

Today brings an even higher risk of tornadoes along the Palmer Divide according to the 0z RUC!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Tornadoes in MO.

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Oregon, MO Tornado 23:58z

Here is a photo of a possible tornado/funnel cloud that was roping out when we emerged from the rain as a giant supercell moved past Oregon, MO.


Sunday, June 07, 2009

Tornadoes in Colorado!

While Verne and Michael raced out to Kansas for the moderate risk, I slept in and awoke to find a large landspout visible outside my bedroom window!

I hopped in the car and watched it dissipate to my south. Michael then told my of some strong cells to my southeast, so I raced down and caught another beautiful tornado north of I-70.

Here is some video of the second tornado:

Here are some pictures of the damage at the intersection of E-470 and Smokey Hill Road:

Moderate risk for severe weather in eastern KS!

A 4am check of the SPC Day 1 with a moderate has Michael and I out the door and on I-70 eastbound. Right now coming up on Colby, KS with an initial target east of the triple point in Salina, KS.

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  • FM TRex 600 - down, motor arrived but needs new drive gear.

Friday, June 05, 2009

2009-06-05 Report

Michael, Eric, Christian, Joe and I wait at the McDonald's parking lot in Cheyenne, WY for hours until the cells to the north start to pop from Chugwater, WY to the north. They don't look like much at first and the MD issued indicates that this initial activity will only weaken the cap for a later wave that will be the main show. Text messages from Randy Denzer and Mike O'Keefe give us a heads up that Reed Timmer and the TIV are up there and seeing a wallcloud forming. We go ahead and decide to head up there and check out the towers. Little did we know that this would be the main show about to start!

Classic flying eagle radar image with large hook. Notice Michael coming in from the south. I had shut off my spotternetwork to use my last USB port for Delorme to navigate in from the north. (radar grab by Randy Denzer)

4:22pm MDT LaGrange, WY tornado!

Bad roads and a poor decision to approach the storm from I-25 and ChugWater, WY exit put us into the core with BASEBALL sized hail!

We try to hide under a pine tree at an old service station but my new car is badly damaged on the hood, roof and cracked windshield.

As baseballs continue to fall we get a great view of an amazing tornado.

This tornado will become the most heavily sampled and studied tornado in history. VORTEX 2 crews were all over this tornado!

The Subie took a pounding today and had we not gotten under a huge pine tree to shield the car it would have been alot worse! The hood is the worse damage, if I repaired that the car would be almost good as new again. I likely will not get it fixed because I would just have to stress again about hail cores! (photo by Joe Pohlen)

Tornado was preliminarily rated an EF1

The Carlsons', Verne, Michael and Eric

The Carlsons', Verne, Michael and Eric

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