2015-08-17 REPORTS - CO/KS/NM

Discussion in 'Target Area' started by John Farley, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. John Farley

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    Had a challenging but nonetheless quite interesting chase across eastern CO. Amazing how short a time it took to go from blue sky to storms everywhere. Did not catch any of the several brief tornadoes (though if I had kept going west from Limon instead of diverting south to intercept an isloated cell near Calhan ahead of the main line, I might have gotten the Kiowa one documented by Marcus Diaz), but still some nice storm structure. Here are a few pics; will post a full report as time permits.

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    HP meso, from the same storm that produced the Kiowa tornado, later on looking northwest from near Simla. I managed to stay in the notch of this HP supercell from northwest of Ramah to near Matheson before having to bail south.

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    Tornado-warned supercell near Rocky Ford, looking south on route 71. In the lower, cropped/zoomed photo, you can see what may have been a narrow sunlit funnel partially visible above/to the right of the wrapping precip - about even with the right edge of the truck in front of me. This was visible for maybe a minute before it was again hidden by the rain/hail curtain. I could see more of it before I got this picture, but it was already starting to disappear by the time I got the camera out and got the pic. When I crossed the storm's path just south of Rocky Ford, there was a narrow swath of hail accumulation (largest stones around an inch, but this was about a half hour or more after the storm passed) and then a few miles where leaves had been stripped off the trees. Also minor wind damage with small branches down, but nothing more than that.

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    Flooded car in La Junta. "Do not drive into water of unknown depth."

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    Sunlit mammatus southeast of La Junta. These were from the same cell that was tornado warned near Rocky Ford and that produced the flooding in La Junta.
     
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  2. Matt Ashworth

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    I had a fun chase with Terrance Cook across the Palmer Divide. We headed out around 11 AM from Denver and camped for a few hours in various towns along I-70 between Watkins and Deer Trail. Once we knew that the system rolling off the Rockies was going to be the play of the day, we booked it down towards Kiowa and managed to spot the tornado there, making 2015 my most successful year for chasing by far!

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    We headed straight for Limon once that dissipated but met briefly with Tony Mesias and Max Olson on the way through Simla. Apparently they saw the Kiowa event as well. Once we got to Limon we let the system overtake us as we took shelter under a Shell fuel station canopy. There we experienced winds that I can only guess were in excess of 80 mph as a fresh tornado warning was issued for Limon. We also experienced frozen rain but none of the supposed quarter/half-dollar sized hail that had been reported. Once that system passed us we decided to call it a day.
     
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  3. John Farley

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  4. Marcus Diaz

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    Drove up to Denver the night before to prep for this event. I'd had been eyeing it for a couple of days, and luckily I had Sunday - Tuesday off work. We started off in Bennett before drifting a little towards Byers as the first towers went up. I eventually said screw it and headed back west where storms were going up rapidly. Got to Bennett when the storm to the south near Simla went SVR warned. On the way south I noticed this meso-looking thing to our southwest with no precip. Thought it was the storm near Castle Rock, turns out we just had a very rapidly developing supercell near us. It didn't take long for the storm to spit out a long small funnel. We kept going south, occasionally stopping to watch the funnel stretch out. I called it in because it was not warned. Turns out it was on the ground around this point.

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    We followed the storm east where it took on a nice but elongated supercell look. We saw another funnel halfway down outside of Limon and another area of rotation next to it.

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    We went due south out of Limon in hopes to see something on the tail end. Well, by then our storm started to gust out.

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    Then the fun really started. Our dirt road actually ended on someone's property. We had to backtrack through the wet and muddy roads for 2 hours before hitting pavement. My prize for the hard work was this awesome sunset on the backside of the storms we chased. All in all, another good day for 2015. And my first August tornado.

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