06/09/04 REPORTS: CO, OK, Central Plains

Larry J. Kosch

Sounds like a lot of damage reports coming in from the various tornado reports in CO and OK coming in. Post your first-hand chase reports here. 8) LJK.
I ended up chasing the mother of all storms today, or so it seemed. After taking a beating in Lakewood with the hailstorm that ripped through Central Denver, I scurried along I-76 heading northeast to intercept a series of storms that dumped some hail. Water was sweeping over CO-52 east of Prospect Valley, so I had to divert to continue my trek eastward. I jumped back on I-76 as warning died.. continuing my trek along I-76, I was minding my own when a TORNADO WARNING went up with radar indicating a tornado literally right over my head. Some rotating clouds disappeared into the incredibly heavy rain (no real hail to speak of).

I jumped off onto Hwy. 6 and popped into Sterling about the time a tornado was touching down. I waited the rain to ease and lights and sirens led the way into the damaged city. A roof was blown off a car dealership and smashed down on several cars. Many trees came down as well, crashing onto houses and cars in the residential areas along the north side of town.

After shooting some vid, I continued into Ogallala, NE where I have pitched camp for the night in anticipation of tomorrow's Nebraska action. Quite the day for chasers here in Colorado, as this picked up where Monday left off in Wheat Ridge.

More details and pics later...
Didn't plan on chasing today, just a day to cover the rest of the miles from WV to NE/KS. I planned on heading to North Platte for the night, but when eastern Colorado started going nuts I decided to try for tail end charlie near Lamar. After numerous road construction stretches on I-70, darkness setting in, and the cells beginning to line out, it became obvious I wasn't going to make it in time to see anything.

Watched a nice stacked-plate shelf cloud roll into Colby tonight with lots of blowing dust and a possible gustnado underneath. Some good lightning strikes here and there, but that's about it.

Been hanging around Colby, KS and will spend the night here, should be within easy driving distance of wherever tomorrow's target will be.