4/20/05 REPORTS: High Plains/Southern Plains

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Feb 22, 2004
Golden, CO
Our group on the way back from McCook, NE got this possible funnel east of Last Chance, CO at night. If you squint and use alot of imagination you can see a laminar tube descending from the center of the wall cloud. All of us saw this feature and where sure it was something touching the ground but couldn't tell exactly what. What a beautiful lightning show it gave us. The storm was all around us at one point. :)

[Broken External Image]:http://www.stormchaserco.com/20050420_F1_e.jpg

This chase trip proved that you don't need supercells and tornadoes to have a wonderful time! This trip actually ranks in the top few funnest trips I've taken, mostly in part to the people I was chasing with! Our usual 2005 clan from Colorado ventured out on a well capped day from Denver heading to SW Nebraska. In route, we began to chat over the radio about a vehicle which had been following us since about I-76 in Hudson. The jokes became rampant as we lead them along US Hwy 34 heading into Nebraska, us cracking about how they had to be following us cause no one in their right mind would be out here for any reason other than chasing! *LOL* We dubbed them our groupies and finally were able to meet them at a gas stop in some ho-hum town just east of the CO/NE border. We ventured a bit further east into the capped skies of McCook, Nebraska where I downed a $1.80 double cheeseburger and a Hi-C while praying for something to break. It finally did, but back home. We sprinted back west along Hwy 36 to intercept the MCS developing in Eastern Colorado where we ridded ourselves of a total bust by running into some crazy lightning, several encounters with hail, some low hanging clouds (which we're still anaylzing), heavy rain, fog, sleet, and snow pellets! We had all four seasons fall upon us in a 40 miles stretch of highway centered around Last Chance, Colorado. A very bizzare weather night with a fun twist that made the nearly 600 mile round trip worthy of taking a day off for! This chase personified what its all about. Its not just about the weather, its about the people you're with! Sometimes we rise together, other times we fall; this time, we fell in the mud and enjoyed every minute of it!

[Broken External Image]:http://www.tornadoeskick.com/images/050420o.jpg


Video stills to come later from the MCS encounter in NE Colorado...
Kanani and I targeted Childress, Tx for the day and left amarillo at 1pm. We got to childress and connected to a local wi-fi to catch up on data. There was alot of towering CU but nothing through yet. about 4pm a storm finally made it through the cap SW of us near Sivlerton. We dropped south on 83 to catch hwy 94 west towards Turkey. Once in Turkey we headed north on hwy 70 to a rest stop about 7 miles north of Turkey. It is a prime spot since it is on top of a hill overlooking the canyons and is the highest point for about 20 miles. you just have to watch for lightning since you ARE the tallest thing around. The storm was to our west and had a nice base. It was high based at the time but was getting lower as it moved east and as it began to get stronger rotation We shot a few pics of the banding and structure from here.




Finall the rotation was almost overhead so we dropped back south on 70 to catch hwy86 which heads ENE towards Estelline. As we went east we stopped at the intersection of 86 & 657. The rotation was very strong and it produced the 1st funnel of the day at about 6:20pm. We had a small hill blocking the ground under the funnel so we could not confirm it touched but it was reported to LBB as on the ground but we dont know. here is shot of it.. Look closely in front of the lowering to see it coming down at a 45 degree angle.


as the storm caught us again we moved east more and stopped just east of Tampico where the wall (almost looked like a huge funnel itself) was rotating as fast as a tornado would. It was the best rotation I have seen except for 5/29/04 in Harper, Ks. It produced another funnel but I can say it did not touch down as we were only about 500 yrds due south of it. Another tornado was reported at this time in this location but it was not on the ground. here are a few pics of the wall just before the funnel. We ran into Chuck Robertson right after this and he also said he never saw it touch down before it rain wrapped but who knows what happened after that.



I have video of the funnel but no still but will try and get a video capture. After that is kept rain wrapping and occluding until it finally dumped its core west of Estelline and died.

We broke off it and headed into childress to go after storms firing just NE of there. We dropped to Quanah and took hwy 6 up into Oklahoma trying to get ahead of the storms. here is a pics from near Quanah looking north.


We then went to Eldorado in Jackson county where we encountered dime size hail and about 70 MPH winds. We decided to head home on hwy 62 so we could play in the storms on the way but only saw lightning and rain until we got to Hollis where we drove into a storm that didnt look all that good structure wise but we found quarter size hail in it anyway.

all in all a great chase day considering hardly anybody else thought it would be worth it (suckers!!)lol. We loved having the roads all to ourselves with the exception of a few tv chase crews. 500 miles and 11 hrs out.

Thanks to Bill Turner and Damon Shaw of KAMR amarillo for the nowcasting and thank you Kettle for the wi-fi

We will add more pics to the album later today or tomrrow so here is the link to the whole album. Dont even ask about the pics with Woody. I will let Kanani explain that one.

Originally posted by Verne Carlson
Our group on the way back from McCook, NE got this possible funnel east of Last Chance, CO at night. If you squint and use alot of imagination you can see a laminar tube descending from the center of the wall cloud. All of us saw this feature and where sure it was something touching the ground but couldn't tell exactly what. What a beautiful lightning show it gave us. The storm was all around us at one point. :)

Here is a four-panel sequence of another funnel that I captured while chasing this storm with Verne, Tony, and others. Sorry about the grainy pics. These were grabs from digital video.

[Broken External Image]:http://www.geocities.com/mountainsweather/lgtngfunnelseq_20apr05.jpg
Just got permission to post, sorry for the lateness.

Just wrapped up a month-long rotation in Shattuck, OK (chosen to enhance chase opportunities, which it did not). So Wednesday was a "backyard chase" for me.

Walked outside to see the dryline lighting up at 3:30. Drove N to May while watching a few towers anvil out and hold together. Storms seemed to be split-happy visually, don't know about radar. Chased the northern-most storm to just N of Buffalo before it went SVR and fell over.

Drove back W to Rosston, where I picked up another storm that had been S of the first one. It actually moved mostly N and produced a persistent funnel just N of Rosston during a SVR warning. Then another area of moderate persistent rotation between Rosston and Ellsworth, KS. Began to lose most rotation features just as it went TOR-warned over Ellsworth.

Really thought the Rosston funnel might drop all the way, as it lasted several minutes. Seemed to be undercut pretty badly though, as it was nearly horizontal at times. Actually left an orphan horizontal vortex cloud as it dissipated.

Only saw 2 other chase groups, a Channel 5 guy outside of Buffalo and a group between Rosston and Ellsworth. Sure is great country out there, and great road options.
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