07/20/06 REPORTS: WY

Chased southeast Wyoming July 20, and encountered a beautiful mothership in Goshen county.


I headed up from Denver and arrived in Cheyenne at 12:30, treated to cloudy skies and what looked like it could be a bust! Around 1 PM as skies cleared, storms fired up over the Medicine Bows, followed by a couple of LPish looking storms northwest of Cheyenne off the Larimie Range. Nothing spectacular. What was interesting is what happened when I went north on I-25. In northern Laramie county, about 15 miles south of Chugwater, a line of cores developed. They all looked pathetic. At 3:35 PM, I noticed an INTENSE circular updraft exploding almost overheard. I could see the vertical wall of the updraft with overturning convection about 5 miles south of me. I drove south as a hail core opened up on I-25. It pelted me with 3/4" diameter hail from 3:42 - 3: 49 PM when it moved northeast, as everything else was moving southeast. It covered the ground white! I drove north to Chugwater and headed east on 313 to stay in front of this now intense hail storm. Interesting too, was another supercell coming off the Laramie Range headed south of Wheatland. This storm had a beautiful wall cloud, tail cloud, nice classic supercell structure and was sparking CGs like crazy! But, I had to stay with my storm, left mover or not.

The updraft had taken on a nice backward's "C" shape, with a butt dragging wall cloud and hail core from hell!! The updraft was on the north/northeast side of the storm and the core was west through south of the updraft. A pronounced rain foot extended towards the updraft as scud was rapidly rising into the base. I decided to sit 13 miles east of Chugwater on 313 and wait for this monster to overtake my position. As I did, funny enough, a long pencil funnel formed next to the wall cloud and extended about 1/4 way to the ground. It persisted for 3 minutes. Anticyclonic? I don't know. At 4:40 PM the core overtook me as I watched 2.0 - 2.5" diameter (measured with a ruler!) beat the crap out of my van (again! LOL!!), strip trees and break windows in this farm house. This continued until 4:48 PM when high winds, 60 MPH + accompanied the hail and I left blasting farther east on 313 to avoid another broken window in the van. I stopped again about 7 miles southwest of Hawk Springs to watch it again and low and behold another funnel formed. This one was a bit larger than the last, but was soon not visible due to the approaching core (now pelting me with 1.25" hail!). Time now 4:57 PM. I continued to US 85 and north to Hawk Springs, then east on CR 32 to the NE border to get in front of the now weakening updraft. We also saw the COD gang. Great to see another chaser out on this beast! A question for the COD folks. Did you see anymore funnels or what the funnel west of Hawk Springs did? Once I lost visibility of it due to the core and scud, I was curious if it fell apart or persisted longer.

I stayed with the storm till it approached the NE border and rapidly fell apart, spewing INTENSE CGs VERY close to my position, along with 1" diameter hail. I then blew it off at 5:48 PM and headed back to 85 and south to catch a storm east of Cheyenne, which died by the time I got there.

Check out www.stormchase.net and click on the 2006 Chase Accounts link and check out that account, and others.