8/10/2004 REPORTS: Plains/Eastern USA

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Dan Robinson

Most of the notable severe weather was in the High Plains today, but we got a little slice of action here in the east. I observed hail larger than quarters and some street flooding here in my home state of WV, as well as some after-dark lightning.

A few screen grabs are here:

Long night

I got off work at 5:00 and saw the storms building south around the Stillwater area. Left for those hoping I could skim the northern edges without getting too far away. Not to happen, the storms moved off to the SE and the northern storms dissapated before I got to Sooner Lake. Oh well. Came back to Ponca for a bite to eat. In the 30 minutes it took to get a ham sandwich and a couple of cookies wolfed down a new storm had come up and gone severe in the Grant County area. I intercepted it at the Kay/Grant County line on US 60. I watched a distinct lowering with moving scud, but no obvious rotation to it march right down US 60. I never did experience the wind that was reported further south though. Tried to leap frog the cell back into Ponca, but it was building eastward faster than I was driving. I finally got past Tonkawa and let it run me over a bit. No heavy winds, but some really heavy rain.

From there, I moved back into the Ponca City area and set up on the west side. NWS reports were stating heavy rain, wind and hail. As I was reporting into the station, I started getting some small hail. Then a little larger, then a little larger, then BONK!!! BANG!!! 1.50 inch! Ouch! Time to move. They said it was rather impressive over the radio. I let this move on a bit, though it was still small hail coming down, I started moving about the area reporting local road flooding. Up by the Ponca Hospitable seemed to be the demarcation line for the storm as I drove out of the rain/hail into calm conditions not two blocks north. Got a bad case of the giggles on the air after watching a jogger out in the rain when it started to hail a bit on him.

From here, I moved north on 177 to Kildare. I moved about 3 miles west on Highway 11. I could see some lightning and the radar caster was telling me there was a small area of rotation right in front of me, but I couldn't see it. It was all behind a rain curtain. In an attempt to move ahead and south of the storm, I drove back to US 177 and turned south. Not a quarter mile did I get before I ran into a solid wall of rain/hail. I didn't get another 100 yards before I had to turn back. New cracks in the windshield and dents on my roof! I didn't move another mile back north though, before I completely got out of the storm. In fact, the roads were so dry, I was kicking up dust. No wind, nothing. I got out and took a gander up to see what the clouds were telling me and there were stars! How odd this was. 1/2 mile to the south, I could still hear the hail core, and some serious lightning was starting to kick up and right over the top of me it was clear. That was one tightly wrapped storm.

After this, the time was spent chasing after small storms and I finally decided that none of these were severe and made it home about 2:30 this morning.
I chased the storms in eastern Colorado.

Left home at 3pm and raced north to the tornado warned cell coming SE out of Ft Collins, CO. Drove east through Ft Lupton and out to near Milton reservour to keep an eye on the storm. It looked impressive for awhile but was falling apart on the east side and backbuilding to the west.

Headed back west through Hudson to the RFB that had the best updraft. I stepped up the pace into Ft. Lupton as the storm core moved over head.

I wanted to get to HW85 and get south but traffic was not cooperating. Small hail started falling and people took cover under gas station awnings The hail got larger up to the size of golfballs and the sound on my roof was intense. Still slow traffic as the hail shaft overtook me. Nowhere to hide and wham! cracked windshield!

Never did see any funnels or rotation, just a big hailer. :oops:
Started the afternoon in Kiowa hoping to play Elbert County. Ended up racing north to catch up with the tornatic storm pushing out of Greeley. I caught up with the storm (now storms) just south of Prospect Valley. I flirted around with a storm which tried to get its act together, lowering a nice wall cloud for about 5 minutes before it disappated. Some hail over an inch came with this, but it was slush rather than ice. The storms continued more south than east, pushing into the Metro area. After conversing with a fellow chaser out of Loveland, I elected to return home. While cruising I-70 back into Denver, I heard tornado sirens comnig from Aurora (to my south). Apparently funnels were spotted, although no tornado warnings were issued from NWS. I shot some cool clouds before returning home.

About an hour and a half later, another severe cell formed and pushed into Denver. I left my apartment and got caught in the storm which was dumping insane amounts of rain and hail. Up to golfball sized hail fell in areas just to my west and south, but the storm was racing at 40mph and I elected to shoot the flooding of underpasses along 6th Ave. Woke up to see the video on TWC this morning!

All-in-all, not too shabby for an August chase; probably my last of this season with the exception of in town stuff (maybe a weekend gig). Been a wonderful season for me!
We ended up hanging out a bit in Lamar, CO where a lot of parameters started to pile up. I was hopeful and waiting it out, vs running west to get the stuff on the front range. Finally, some massive updrafts were seen up north towards I70 along the CO/KS border.

Finally, I couldn't resist these any longer and we headed out that way. Wound up completely circling one cell, getting into some 1"+ hail that netted a cracked windshield, a pretty nasty "improved" country road that was very slippery, and some nice structure. Motions in the cell we unreal, but it slowly spun itself to death. Never really produced a wall cloud and was rather high based. Did see a cool, and pretty long, cold air funnel up under the vault area during it's LP phase. Also saw what I can only describe as a horizontal funnel. Looked for all the world like a tornado laying on it's site sorta of with a little bit of tilt. This revealed itself when the storm split off a piece of the updraft (like it did several times) and as the cloud material eroded as this new "cell" died, I saw that. I suspect it was the cloud material in the remaining mesocyclone I guess. It was pretty darn cool to watch nontheless.

When that event finally died out, around Sheridan Lake, we headed west to Eads to take a look at some new updrafts which died pretty quick. It was then getting close to dark so we decided to head back south toward Lamar, look at a radar and probably home.

On the way there, saw two more cells blow up and go supercellular in extreme SE CO and had some pretty good structure as long as we had light to see. An MCS had formed north and was barrelling down south. We went back to Lamar to eat and waited it out as it came over. Got some wicked lightning strikes in the wind power windmill farm south of Lamar, then rode the MCS all the way back to Amarillo, just punching out of the gust from before getting home.

Not too bad of a chase for August! :wink:
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