Sunday, May 24, 2020

5/24/2020 Fast moving supercell in se CO/sw KS

Last day of the initial trip had us wondering if central KS would be in play. Initially headed west along I-70 to Wakeeney, but eventually gave up on this play as outflow from decaying eastern KS MCS was skunking the instability. So, we made a quick play for a forecast loan supercell to materialize near Kim, CO. Indeed, this occurred and we latched onto it east of Springfield. Took a bit of time, but eventually, the storm put on a nice structure show. Followed it east, but eventually gave up due to forward speed near Liberal, KS. Shot some lightning/structure from the north as the storm raced east, before heading to Dodge City for the night (log by WSA).

Thursday, May 21, 2020

5/21/2020 Moscow-Liberal, KS supercells

Broad brush slight risk in western Kansas with retrograding surface low and convection near triple point. We initially targeted the area near Syracuse, but after watching new towers and concerned about cluster forming, we turned our eyes south. Watched an LPish storm near Syracuse, but it struggled. Blew if off after looking continually at the NSSL WOF system, which was giving high probabilities of an isolated storm forming further south. Sure enough a storm formed near Liberal. We targeted this area, which was over an hour away. It kept pulsing, and, in fact, we stopped going south for a bit. Once it picked back up, and noticing the undesirable cluster and mess of chasers to the northwest, we pushed south to the storm. Once we got northeast of Liberal, we got to watch a nice LP structure slowly lift north for well over an hour. A new storm formed rear of the LP and began to take on a nice supercell structure visually and via radar. We let the LP go and gunned for this storm just south of Moscow. Routed under the meso and then jumped east for what was a long-lived structure fest in the waning light. Overnighted in Liberal, KS (log by WSA).

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

5/20/2020 Raymer, CO perch

Unzipped structure play in the northeast Colorado grasslands. Checked into hotel early at Sterling, CO and waited for convection along the dry trough/cold front intersection to form over the Colorado grasslands near Raymer, CO.  Sat in Raymer for a bit, and watched storms unzip and mature west of Raymer. Found a nice perch on a ridgeline southwest of Raymer where we watched a beautiful crisp convective structure put on a nice lightning display. Sat and lapsed for what seemed like a couple hours. Trying to reroute after dark east and northeast we suffered a flat tire. Changed and made it to Sterling for overnight. Tire replaced next morning at local tire shop (log by WSA).

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

5/19/2020 Ordway, CO

Very marginal day in eastern Colorado. Targeted area east northeast of Walsenburg out to near Punkin Center. Storms formed, maturing near Ordway and Sugar City. Experienced some non-severe hail near Olney Spring before hoping east for a structure play east of Ordway. A few wisps under rotating part of storm, but nothing we’d consider a tornado. Lighting was fun near after sunset as storms continued to regenerate southward. Eventually pulled plug as stratiform ahead made lightning tough to get. Overnighted in Pueblo, CO (log by WSA)

Saturday, May 16, 2020

5/16/2020 Mills to Roy, NM

Marginal risk day in northeast New Mexico. Targeted the area southeast of Raton, NM … somewhere near Abbot, NM. Waited a bit, and finally a cell formed near Raton and moved due south. New storm formed along southeast flank, and  both supercells moved south if not even a bit southeast. We had trouble with photography due to lack of roads and our orientation/perspective on the storm. Finally made a play south and west, down into the canyon southwest of Roy, NM. A gamble that paid off as we were treated to a heck of a lightning show during sunset deep in the canyon as the supercell moved to our immediate west. Couldn’t track anymore due to lack of roads, so headed toward Las Vegas ,NM to overnight. A new supercell formed off to our south during the drive. We stopped about 30 minutes east of Las Vegas to take in the amazing lightning show from the backside of the supercell. Overnighted in Las Vegas, NM (log by WSA)

Thursday, May 14, 2020

5/14/2020 MRGL over CO

Marginal risk in eastern Colorado over the higher risk to the east in KS/OK, but concerns over morphology. We targeted area northwest of Kim, CO. Arrived in Kim only to have storm forming back near I-15 near Pueblo. We pushed up to near La Junta, and then southwest of La Junta where we intercepted a supercell near Timpas, CO on US 350 southwest of La Junta. Nice lightshow … pushed east only to have rain start to obscure everything. Overnighted in La Junta. (log by WSA

Saturday, June 8, 2019

6/8/2019 "The cash-in"

SLGT ingredients in play, with most favorable being rather steep low- and mid-level lapse rates. Awoke in Burlington, CO and saw no need to leave given placement of a surface stationary boundary and localized maximum in surface vorticity along a line from Burlington to Bird City. Watched TCu from the hotel parking lot and could have seen the first high-based landspout tornado from our hotel room window! Watching from just south of the hotel, strong rotation aloft eventually connected to the surface and produced an interesting dust column a couple of miles or so to our west. 

We held tight near the hotel as convection continued to fight a rather strong cap further the the east in the deeper moisture. Heating and mixing were eventually able to develop more rigorous convection to the east along the boundary and we were treated to some beautiful landspouts near St. Francis, KS.

This was, however, just the appetizer. 

Convection further south and east was still fighting the cap, but we knew if anything could eventually form and take root in the boundary layer, it would be "the" storm to be on. After doubling back-and-forth along I-70, we pulled the eastbound trigger toward a rather rigorous looking updraft beginning to form near Goodland. The storm quickly became surface based and produced some of the best structure of 2019 in the matter of a couple hours. A brief anticyclonic tornado also emerged from what otherwise was a non-tornadic beast of a supercell (see third to last photo, lower-left near lightning bolt and grain bins). Most of these pictures were taken between southeast of Goodland and near Winona, KS. 

Dessert was served as the storm continued its hard right turn deviating from the mean flow. An epic lightning show ensued as we continued on back roads south of Winona. We got a flat tire (again), but were able to limp into Scott City, KS before the storm and get it changed in the parking lot of the Best Western. Overnighted in Scott City. This was the last day of chasing in 2019 for me, and it was definitely a cash-in.