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2018-05-27 Reports: WY, KS, NE, CO

Discussion in 'Target Area' started by Brett Nickeson, May 30, 2018.

  1. Brett Nickeson

    May 28, 2011
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    I got a bit of a late start from Omaha and got into Ogallala about the time there was a supercell developing over the Laramie range. I made the decision to go to WY versus CO/KS due to reasons detailed in the Target thread. Fortunately the cell was in no hurry to move anywhere and I arrived in Cheyenne about the time the first funnel was reported north of Buford. After a comical attempt to fill up the tank involving three broken down pumps and a clueless cashier, I was on my way northwest certain I was going to miss everything. I headed west on Highway 211, a road I had virtually scouted earlier that morning since I figured there would be a supercell very near it and it was the only paved road for miles.

    Driving west towards the rather impressive HP supercell, the main meso was completely wrapped in rain but I thought I caught a view of a funnel or tornado about 10 miles out. I got about a mile and a half from Federal on the edge of the rain and stopped to watch. After waiting several minutes and keeping most of my attention on the new meso forming to my northeast, the rain got swept out and revealed a beautiful slender tornado hidden inside it. This tornado lasted at least another five minutes as it worked its way south through town, damaging several buildings.

    After it roped out, the meso to the northeast really started cranking away and looked especially impressive on velocity scans. After witnessing one brief funnel many miles away, I started to head back east towards the interstate in hopes of getting in front of it. Driving north, the velocity scans indicated a likely tornado hidden within the rain. I was about five miles south of it and had what looked to be about seven or eight minutes before it crossed the road. I decided not to try crossing its path with a likely tornado inside, and headed back south to take Highway 85 to parallel it. Nothing really of note happened from this point on as the storm started to die soon after crossing the interstate. Got a nice shot with an updraft base behind a grass field of cattle, though.

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  2. Anton Falco

    Mar 16, 2016
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    I started the day far to the south, so I had no chance of making it up to Wyoming. Knowing the next day was in the eastern Colorado/Western Kansas area, we pushed towards Burlington, Colorado and were going to try to find something photogenic along the way. This did not go according to plan, as most convection that initiated as we pushed north quickly went linear, and was, in no way, photogenic.

    When we pulled the plug on the day early (around 5pm CST) and as we pushed north towards Burlington to get ready for the next day, a cell to the west of Burlington appeared to be isolated and strengthening. We weren't sure what time we'd end up in the area, or if the cell would maintain its strength by then, but we kept an eye on it as we pushed north. When we arrived at our hotel in Burlington, the cell became tornado warned and had a pronounced hook on the reflectivity.


    We ran to the back of the hotel and began to watch this cell become one of the more photogenic storms I've seen in quite some time. It was a slow moving, and well behaved one. It did not produce a tornado that I could see during the daytime, but I have no complaints on a day that I expected absolutely nothing from; considering it was essentially a re-location day.


    (My apologies on the imgur links. For whatever reason, I cannot get the image embed to work).
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  3. Paul Knightley

    Feb 6, 2006
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    We headed north from Denver to chance our luck with upslope flow over Wyoming, just north of a cold front. As we headed north, storms formed over the Rockies to our west, and so it was an early start to proceedings!

    We found our way to the north-west of Cheyenne, on the road to Horse Creek. We watched our storm to the SW, which had been severe thunderstorm warned for a time, start to fizzle somewhat. A tornado warning was issued for a storm to the NE of Denver, and this seemed like rubbing salt into the wounds.

    However, we persevered with our storm, and continued to head towards Horse Creek. We waited for a while and it began to crank up again, with numerous bands of low cloud racing into the updraught area.

    We found a better position and watched as one, then another, funnels formed to our south-west. Over the next 20 mins or so we watched a tornado develop, and then die out, but further funnels formed. We're unsure whether some of these funnels, especially the very first, were tornadoes - the first may well have been. Thus, by these point we had seen at least one tornado.

    Hail started to fall, and we decided to head north, on the road to Chugwater. I noticed the base was looking very good again, so we stopped, and watched a large cone tornado form, and last for several minutes.

    We then continued to Chugwater, driving through quite a barrage of CG lightning. On reaching Chugwater we headed south on I-25, before stopping and watching the impressive supercell to our south. We spied the closing moments of a large tornado within the rain curtains, but it wasn't something which came out well on pictures. We then saw a cone tornado develop within the rain curtains to our SE, which made it 4 tornadoes for the day, and perhaps 5 if the initial funnel was one, which some chasers have reported it was.

    Unfortunately a number of houses were damaged by the tornadoes, and we saw a vehicle and its trailer overturned at the side of I-25 as we headed south to Cheyenne for the night - the emergency services were on scene, and this would have happened as the storm crossed the road, as we were a number of miles to the north.

    All in all an impressive storm.


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  4. JamesCaruso

    Jul 5, 2009
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    Belatedly catching up on my 2018 chase reports. If you are interested in the WY tornado, stop reading now. Today was the first day of my chase vacation, as well as my first (but not last) bust of 2018. But figured I would post anyway, for posterity’s sake.

    I find it difficult to fly in and chase on the same day. I had to do my analysis in quick spurts, such as between flights, and then in the car with my chase buddy driving but needing to make a relatively quick decision as to what direction to head from the Denver airport. But I guess that's just an excuse. Either way, I have to admit that southeast WY didn't tempt me much this day; the models didn't show all that much moisture getting into the region (even considering that you can do more with less in that area), and I didn't like the northeasterly component to the winds, which I now know was a mistake. In retrospect I certainly understand why the CYS area produced on this day, but come on, it wasn’t so completely obvious was it? There had to be some interest in CO as well, no? After all, there was a contiguous 2% TOR outlook throughout both regions; even if this means nothing about the validity of a CO target, it at least qualifies the WY tornado as a mesoscale accident in my opinion...

    I also have always had somewhat of a bias against chasing in the CYS area, which impacted my targeting decision, but I am now going to eliminate that bias after not only 5/27/18 but also 6/1/18, 6/6/18 (when I was already back home on the east coast), not to mention 6/13/17 (when I was also back home).

    Anyway, we targeted northeastern CO near the KS border. Had a nice isolated storm for a short time, but it never looked that great. Before too long, we found ourselves in the middle of a couple different unimpressive lines/clusters and called it a night.

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