06/12/05 REPORTS: Plains

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My son Michael and I headed out from Denver to check out the cell that went tornado warned in weld county, CO. By the time we got east of Denver that cell had faded away, we continued to follow a line of broken cells out HW36 past Last Chance, CO where we saw a few brief gustnadoes and outflow dust. We followed each tail-end-charlie tip of each line but only saw shelf cloud features and a few brief wallclouds. Called it a day in Burlington, CO and shot back west to home.

Thanks to Katie for nowcasting today!

Can't wait to hear what Tony and Jon caught on the supercell near Lubbock, TX today! :)
 
First of all, if you've looked at the talk thread, I had no desire to drive as far as Texas in either direction, so I was chasing in OK hoping for something along the boundary.

This is where I need to thank Shane Young for keeping me off of the TOR-warned cell in Osage County. It would have probably been a good spot for hail, but unless it covers the ground for some camera shots, it's not worth going to.

I was trying to go to Enid at first, but I was stuck at a train crossing in Caldwell, KS for 30 minutes while severe storms were ongoing in Kay and Noble counties. Turned around as the train in question did not move and the convection would be to the east by the time I got there.

Played boundaries all day while getting closer to OKC. At one time, there were severe cells that blew up an hour to the west and half an hour to the east while in Guthrie, OK. Went west to Kingfisher after waiting a while and saw some interesting clouds hailing from a shelf cloud, but there was no rotation, although it looked ominous enough to at least keep an eye on. A cell ended up developing between me and the shelf cloud when trying to get away from it (I'm assuming this was the line that produced the 80 mph winds). I decided I didn't like winds that strong, so I went to OKC and then headed north towards home.

I was at the northern end of OKC metro when the warnings were issued for OKC metro up to Guthrie. Luckily for me, the line started to stall a little bit and I got ahead of the shelf cloud by the time I got to Perry. What really seem to make the day, strangely enough, was the torrential rain that came down after I outran the shelf cloud. Something about driving in 100-200 feet visibility near sunset with rain crashing on your windshield and lightning frequently striking within a mile of you.

Rivers are high everywhere in my area in Butler, Sedgwick, and Sumner counties, and will soon be high in Cowley county. I'm glad I didn't have to dodge the barricaded roads near my home in Douglass, KS. The river situation nearly made me stay home as I drove over two rivers that were high on my way into OK.

Anyway, nice road trip into OK and I got to see the sun shine on both sides of the boundary. If I didn't have such a long drive home and 80 mph winds were more like 60 mph winds, I probably would have allowed the squall line to pass over just to see some severe weather.
 
Congrats to Tony and the others from Colorado that were able to make the trip down to TX. Unfortunately, I didn't have the time, energy or funds to make the epic journey to Kent Co. TX (Google maps just told me it would've been a 15 hour drive from BOU!). Instead I played the tornado probabilities north of the low. Made it out to Goodland, KS and checked data around 18z when the SPC put out the discussion for the Tor Box for CO, KS and sw NE. Decided to head to the south end of the box where storm motions would be more reasonable and there was more instability (and by more I mean barely 1000 j/kg haha) considering temps were struggling to hit 70. Shot down to Cheyenne Co. in Colorado where I was north of the twin cells that showed supercell characteristics and dropped some large hail in Baca Co. However, all indications were that these were weakening so I abandoned them and headed northeast toward Scott City, KS. Amazingly the sfc winds were still out of the south here which made for a uni-directional shear profile and the storms quickly consolidated into a squall line. Since the temps were only in the mid 60's and CAPE was nowhere to be found they there weren't even strong updrafts -- never ran into hail and were only some occasional CG's and IC's. Despite the lack of substantial storms, it was a fun day of chasing since I took my gf out for her first real chase and saw some nice wildlife -- antelopes, fighting llamas , etc.! The convenience store in Sheridan Lake, CO also has the best soft serve ice cream machine in America. Here's to hoping there are some decent upslope events in Colorado in the near future because this dry spell I am having is killin me!
 
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