What is your home storm season?

Feb 10, 2004
Scottsdale, AZ USA
Since we are all located in different states and countries around the world, it would be interesting for us to post our own home storm season's vital stats, specific to our areas.

General activity, what to expect, what can be chased there, and nuances of the particular area and tips would be welcomed.

I'll start with Arizona, USA

What to chase: Southwestern Monsoon
Time of year: Approx July 7 - Sept 15
What to expect: Thunderstorm activity in a "burst and break" pattern. Some days on, some days off.
What the weather has in store: Moderate to intense lightning; flash floods; high winds (even to 100mph gust at times); haboob/dust storm with dramatic sand wall; pulse, orographic, and storm-related higher-based convective structure usually (but not exclusively!) non-tornadic; very heavy isolated to scattered rainfall; microburst.
Typical time of day for storm activity: Late afternoon until midnight
Temperatures: Desert heat 100-120 degrees F, milder in the state's alpine regions. Especially in the deserts, precautions must be taken and excess water carried. One cannot count on ANY water to be found in the desert in plant life, streams or mountains. Best to plan for none available.
Terrain: Rocky, mountainous, basins to extreme topography with steep canyons - a desert valley that stretches for miles sweeps up to a jagged sawtooth range 7,000-10,000 ft, volcanic peaks 12,600 in alpine northern AZ. Landscapes are vast, the Tonto National Forest alone is the size of the state of Connecticut. It is sometimes difficult to judge sense of scale. A mountain or canyon that appears 5 minutes away takes an hour to reach. Keep the tank full, it can be 40-70 miles between services.
Cell phones: Often there is no coverage in canyons, mountains, basins. Calls can drop due to terrain. Best in urban areas like metropolitan Phoenix and Tucson. Some coverage as well in the deserts and some parts of the interstates. Carry a CB radio.
Roads: Highways in Arizona are usually very well maintained, remarkably so given the terrain. There are many steep grades and windy roads. Roadside scenery is often breathtaking. There are also numerous primitive roads varying from well groomed to severely rutted/4wd only.
Associated chase hazards: Very capricious lightning (long running channels, "bolts from the blue", lightning from deceptively benign-looking clouds. My rule in Arizona: If it's convective, it's electric.); extreme temperatures; low visibility in blowing sand; flash flood; venomous creatures (snake, scorpion, insect life); human/illegal border activity (chase north...advised); unmarked mine shafts.
Tips: Guide yourself well in the landscape. Read materials written by and talk to guides such as rangers, outdoor enthusiasts and Native guides. Published by the AZ Dept of Transportation, Arizona Highways magazine http://www.arizonahighways.com is another source of information. Stop by Wide World of Maps for good topos and guidebooks http://www.wideworldofmaps.com/
Payoffs: Incredible light and color; picturesque storms and lightning; storms interact with dramatic mountainous or desert terrains; sweeping vistas; interesting cacti and vegetation, canyons, startling moonrises and other sky features. Patience is a required ingredient for chasing Monsoon.
The "official" start of Monsoon is: It does not fall on a specific day, but rather, when a dewpoint of 55 degrees or greater has been achieved 3 days in a row.
Distance from Tornado Alley: One day's drive. Chasing the Monsoon does not conflict with the May/June storm season there.

What is your home storm season? Any nuances or specifics you would like to talk about?

Some people added some good categories, like cell phones. I updated mine.
Brookings, SD

Chase Season: May 20th- July 31st
What to expect: Usually Classic and LP supercells. Lots of nocturnal strong convection great for lightning shots.
Roads: Good road network with usual 1/2 mile gravel roads and plenty of county and state roads.
Area: Flat with less than 30% tree density.
Cell Coverage- Cellular one has both rural and urban coverage. Verizon has good coverage around interstates and urban cities.

Historically area does not usually see traditional outbreaks as our neighbors in Nebraska and Iowa due (June 24,2003 aside) rather most tornado days involve 1-3 tornadoes.
Green Bay, Wisconsin (for college), Stoughton, Wisconsin (for home)

Peak of storm season: May 20-July 10. Late May through early July is the time period when this area gets its best balance between moisture, dynamics, shear and capping to maximize severe thunderstorm potential (earlier in the year moisture/cape is usually too marginal, and later capping gets too strong/dynamics too weak). As Scott said about SD, classic tornado outbreaks are rare with most tornado days featuring half a dozen or less small, brief, usually weak tornadoes. Even June 23 last year was not a classic synoptically evident outbreak. The reason that supercell outbreaks seldom initiate over the state appears to be because most days with severe weather potential are preceded by an outbreak further west that sends an MCS/sometimes derecho over the state overnight, which leaves a cloud shield behind till 3 in the afternoon the next day.

Road network is fairly extensive, usually not hard to find a road where you want to go (at least in the areas I frequent, which is the south-central part of the state). Topography is less than ideal, however, with hills, trees and cornfields that often make it difficult to get a good view of the sky.
South Sioux City, NE

Chase Season: May 1st - July 31st
What To Expect: All varieties of supercells, squall lines and MCSs. Storms have frequent lightning and pea to golfball hail is common. Many storm systems in this area originate as supercells farther west and begin to congeal into lines/bow echoes approaching the Missouri River. Wall clouds are quite common, tornadoes are possible.
Roads: Can be challenging with the Missouri River. Access to NE/IA/SD is limited, plan your route carefully.
Area: Rolling hills, larger on Iowa Side. South Dakota area is flattest and the best chase terrain.
Cell Coverage: Best on Iowa Side. Most of NE Nebraska will put you in roaming on many plans.
Typical Chase Time: 2:30PM - 10:00 PM
Traditional "hotspot" areas for severe weather include Holt County: ONeill, Nebraska, and Thurston County, Nebraska, which seem to have a greater number of severe occurences than other areas. Other "hotspot" areas would be Yankton, South Dakota to Vermillion, South Dakota.
Northern Kentucky and South East Indiana

Chase Season: April 1st- July 15th
What to expect: Mainly squall lines with the occasional embedded rain wrapped tornado
Roads: Horrible. Very few major highways following no standard pattern.
Area: Mainly one lane highways with tree cover on one or both sides. As you enter NKY you get rolling hills thrown in.
Typical chase time: Mid afternoon into early evening
Cell Coverage: Never been a problem. The occasional drop out due to distance between towers in heavily rural areas.
Distance to tornado alley: Too far for me to consider. Though Indiana is second in the nation for F1+ tornado hits.
This is my take on Southeast Michigan (I'm sure everyone else around here has a much different opinion than me):

What to chase: Derechoes, classic and HP supercells, small tornadoes.
Time of year: Approx May 1 - July 20
What to expect: Mostly linear activity, impressive classic or HP supercells at times, lake breezes can rapidly create squall lines if conditions come together.
What the weather has in store: Moderate lightning, intense rainfall, downbursts, generally weak tornadoes, winds anywhere from 60mph to 80mph (derechoes that can push that much higher).
Typical time of day for storm activity: late afternoon until midnight
Temperatures: 65 to 90 degrees F.
Associated chase hazards: Intense downpours reduce visibility dramatically at times, plenty of trees and forests to block your view, plenty of road construction limits intercept options (and escape routes).
Payoffs: Extended periods of severe weather (May 22, 2004 and May 23, 2004) allows for many intercept chances, spectacular lightning displays if you can get a clear view at night.
The "official" start of the season is: When dewpoints get above 65 and temperatures remain above 70 for three or more days before any cold front approaches.
Distance to tornado alley: Roughly 2 or 3 days (depending on how long you prefer to drive per day), conflicts with season there.

This would be more detailed if I had the format down and more detailed knowledge of how this stuff gets going.
Macomb, IL
Time of year: I'd say March 1 to Nov 1
Expecting: Supercells, Squalls, Derechos
Roads: Great and easy driving
Baton Rouge, LA and Mobile, AL

Season: Year round.

Severe: October-May

Tropical: June-November

Road network sucks, trees suck, hills suck, river crossing limited.

Nearly inpossible to chase severe weather but if there is a storm I cant tell it no.
There has never been a reported tornado in Los Alamos county (in recorded history of course). Local conditions are not favorable for supercell development.

However, similar to Susan's description we do get a couple months of "monsoon" type weather in July and August. The scenery is amazing in Los Alamos so we can get some absolutely spectacular storm scenes. Rainbows and unusual colors draped across a high desert environment with mountain peaks flirting with 13000 feet.

Plus, Los Alamos is located around 7400 feet ASL so after it storms during "monsoon season" its very pleasant outside.....often dipping into the 40s throughout the summer. You people in the midwest and south can keep the heat!!
Grand Forks, ND.

North Dakota is highly underrated in terms of chasing. Lack of population either inhibits tornadoes from getting reported or obtaining large F-scale ratings. Lack of population and being located on the northern fringe of Tornado Alley limits chaser convergence (a plus).

Chase season generally begins in mid to late May and lasts through August with July being the peak frequency month in North Dakota. April tornadoes are rare here. The corridor of highest frquency stretches from Minot to Bismarck to Jamestown to Fargo.

The Red River Valley of the North is approx 80-100 miles wide, is flat as anything out there with sparse tree coverage. Further west the terrain gets a little more rugged but still light on the trees. Go west of Bismarck and you will see the badlands of North Dakota. Go east of the Red and you are stuck in the trees of MN.

Supercells range from LP to classic to HP with most LPs occuring in the west. ND is also home to some spectacular mid summer MCSs.

Proximity of Grand Forks to Canada will allow for international chasing. Photos of tornadoess in Canada are relatively rare and I hope to grab some this summer.

Hazards. Occasional extreme rainfall/flooding in the east. Any low spot in the Red will quickly become innundated because terrian is so flat. Lots of hail central and west.

Road network: east A+, central B-, west D+
West Michigan: It just sucks.

May into July for severe weather.

Hail: Do not expect to see large hail, anything over 1.75 inch (golfball size)is rare, often you see in the LSR's 0.75-1.00 inch, with a occasionally 1.75 inch report.

Tornadoes: Strongest tornadoes occur in the month of April, June is the peak month.

Winds: Occasionally 60 mph, with some higher gusts. We did have the May 31, 1998 derecho with winds estimated at 130 mph.

A lot of the storms are squall lines, and the occasional pulse variety, with a supercell once in a while. Storms form in the later part of the afternoon, into the evening, sometimes in the early morning.

Lake Michigan, tends to weaken some of the storms, over the cooler waters, sometimes storms will fire on the lake breeze boundary.

Forests, trees, and traffic, from urban areas like: Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Holland, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Muskegon, St.Jospeh, makes it very frustrating. Roads are on a grid system, but often no real good shoulders to pull over on, especially on paved roads, trees along the roadways, do not help. Gravel roads, are better to pull over, but more and more are being paved, plus trees are a problem.

Best bet is to find areas, with farmland, you will see a mixture of woods and farmland. Photos opportunities, not the greatest.

I'll leave it up to others to discuss my current home area (Oklahoma), instead I'll discuss my original home area - the Central Valley of California

Time of year: anytime during the "rainy season" (October-May), greatest concentration is from February to May.

What to expect: hail, funnel clouds, tornadoes (mostly F0-F1).

Terrain: remarkably flat.

Road network: fairly dense grid of roads oriented N-S, E-W, and occasionally NW-SE with few curves.

Visibility: nearly all storms occur in the cold sector so haze and low clouds are almost never a problem. since the region has little in the way of native trees the terrain and road network makes most rural areas very chaseable, although sight lines can be severly limited near almond orchards.

Hail: rarely gets over 1" in diameter, but significant accumulations of small hail are quite common

Tornadoes: rarely do damage greater than F1 but usually have photogenic condensation funnels. about 3-6 tornadoes are confirmed in the valley each year, with a greater number of funnel clouds reported. suspect at least some of these "funnel clouds" may really be weak tornadoes, but are never confirmed since they don't pass over areas where they can do damage.

Wind: straight line winds associated with thunderstorms are extremely rare

Opportunities: usually there will be a half dozen per year, again mostly between February and May. some years there may not be any chase opportunites at all - others there may be quite a few (1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2002, and 2005 come to mind).

Hazards: flooding is a big hazard due to the poor drainage - storms can drop over 1" of rain in 30 minutes. also many chase days occur the day after a significant rainfall and there can still be a lot of standing water around. the large accumulations of hail also present a great hazard and often cause motorists to slide off the road.

Distance to Tornado Alley: about 18 hrs to AMA, 19 hrs to DEN, 22 hrs to OKC. each time I've returned to CA from a Plains chase, it has snowed over Donner Summit - even in June.

Other notes:

- Temps in the low 60s and dewpoints in the low 50s are often enough for severe weather here since 500mb temps will generally be below -22C.

- NW-SE orientation of the valley helps back the low level winds making shear profiles especially favorable.

- local NWS offices generally do a better job than the SPC at identifying severe weather potential for this area.

- almost all storms have tops less than 30,000 ft.
Sydney, NSW — Australia

Season: (approx.) Sept. 15–March 15; severe storms have been observed as late as April 14–30 period

Chaseable material: squall lines, supercells, weak single cells — lightning

Usual pattern: hot day, storm builds up in afternoon/evening (typically 1500–1900). Storm can bypass area, leave you with only distant views of anvil: pretty, but frustrating.

What you can get: Straight-line winds of 109 mph; full gamut of supercell spectrum; non-cyclic supercells; cyclic supercells; hail from quarter size to orange size (or, as we know it, "cricket ball size" — still about the same size as an orange, though); generally weak tornadoes, though anything could happen

Chase hazards: well, it's a city, so not exactly the best for chasing in — especially when drivers have a tendency to go nuts in hail and drive around with beach towels covering their windshields, then stop up under any tree or underpass. Also, flash flooding, debris/downed trees on the roads; media often negligent of thunderstorm advice, and weather channel frequently worthless in storm situation, so access to an internet connection is a must.

Pluses: There are some very good viewing points around, particularly in the W/SW suburbs — it's slightly hilly, enough to elevate one above the otherwise flat area to see what's approaching (the best views are often to the W and S, where the storms will typically come from)

Also of note: Storms are upside down here — the updraft base is in the NW part of the storm, with precip to the S and E. The hook then goes up.
Central Nebraska

Time of year: Greatest concentration of of severe storms and tornadoes occur from May through July, with occasional episodes occuring in April as well as into mid-autumn. Early season severe weather is typically associated with migratory cold core upper level systems while mid summer to late fall episodes are commonly produced during a northwest flow regime.

What to expect: Almost easier to state what not to expect! :) Supercells and squall lines are the predomonant mode of convection during the early to mid part of the season with a transition to HP's and multicell clusters during the summer and fall months under northwest flow regimes. Overnight MCS's rolling in from the Nebraska Panhandle are quite common during the season as well.

Terrain: Very flat along the Platte River Valley with rolling hills south of the valley. North to northwest parts of the regions transition into the Nebraska Sandhills. Non-riparian forestation is fairly sparse throughout most of the region offering excellent vanatge points in most locations.

Road network: Platte River Valley pretty well delineates orientation of the road network. In the valley and south, roads are predominately N-S, E-W with numerous FM gravel roads. North of the valley, roads tend to take on the orientation of the terrain and sandy ranch roads are common. Extreme caution must be taken on all gravel and sand roads especially if wet. Also, all "Low Maintenance" roads MUST be avoided!

Visibility: Visibility is excellent, overall. Biggest visibilty problems occur due to smoke from controlled and uncontrolled burns and during periods of stagnation during the summer.

Hail: Very common, anywhere from pea size up to volleyball size! Larger hail tends to be aggregate/conglomerate type stones, athough solid, layered baseball and softball size hail does occur with very strong supercells.

Tornadoes: Occur frequently with supercells during the spring and early summer. During the heart of the summer, tornadoes produced from HP's are more common as well as weak landspout tornadoes which occur under the developing updrafts of multicell clusters. Most tornadoes produce little damage and many have probably gone unreported until the proliferation of chasing in the local area. Occasional damaging tornadoes do occur from multiple supercells moving at an average rate of speed (May 22, 2004) as well as isolated stationary supercells (June 3, 1980.) LP's are fairly common, especially in the extreme western reachs of the area and can occasionally produce weak tornadoes (May 22, 1996, Benkelman, NE)

Wind: Strong winds of over 50mph are frequently associated with thunderstorms in the region, but widespread damamging wind events are not common except for non-convective events produced by strong, synoptic scale systems. Summer can bring an interesting phenomena to area in the form of nocturnal heatbursts generated from decaying convection (I experienced three such events at my home during July 2003.)

Flash Flooding: Always a hazard, especially areas south of the Platte River valley. Occurs frequently with slow moving HP's and nocturnal MCS'.

Distance to Tornado Alley: Right in the heart of it.

Non Weather Photo Op: The Nebraska Sandhills, the largest formation of sand dunes in the western hemisphere. The view can be quite breathtaking especially on days with a vivid blue sky and scattered coverage of cumulus.


Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee

Time of Year: November through May, but most tyipcal severe weather events happen in November and late Feb through late April.

What to expect: HP's, Classics, Squall Lines, Pulse (every day in summer) Tropical low topped supercells (landfalling tropical systems)

When: Anytime, day or night. A lot of our events happen during the middle of the night, which contribute to a higher death toll.

Most severe setups occur with strong wind shear and very limited instability. But with low LCL's, we can get low topped supercells, usually embedded within a line, to produce tornadoes.

If we get good instability to go along with the good dynamics, wide spread tornado outbreaks occur,which typically happen about once or twice a year. Some are intense.

Large hail is less of a threat, due to the warm, tropical nature of the environment.

This season has been different. Cold, dry air aloft has produced monster hail on several accounts.

Terrain: Not good in most spots. Tree's and curvy roads and some small hills. However, across northeast Louisiana, eastern Arkansas, and northwestern Miss, the area known as the delta, it's flat with few tree's. Very similar as Iowa and Northern Missouri, and Illinois. Good road Network and cell coverage...
North Central Florida, nuff said!

Chase season: June 1-Nov 30 (Hurricane season)

What to expect: Be on your toes! The Florida peninsula can produce lots of crazy weather!! What gets us is the late night HP supercells with an F0 to F2 tornado attached.

Oh, and we're the lightning capital too! :roll:
A very interesting topic, but quite subjectic - here is my honest assessment of 30 years chasing in SE Australia

What to chase: Anything you can get as you cannot be fussy.

Time of year: August to March, although quality vs quantity peaks late November / Early December

What to expect: Mostly multicells. Some supercells, isolation is poor and low level moisture / winds are a concern.

What the weather has in store: Lightning, Hail can get as big as mid west, lots of microburst activity, however even Supercells are mostly non-tornadic.

Typical time of day for storm activity: Generally we peak 2-3 hours earlier than mid west, expect 2-3pm breakout. But varies a lot on setup.

Terrain: Varies from coastal to tablelands, to western plains. Trees almost everywhere, even the outback.
Coastal - very forested except for river valleys such as Hunter River. Best moisture profile ( usually ). Nice scenery including rainforests.
Tablelands - has clearer sections, but also some scattered forests. Convection tends to pop early.
Wetern Plains - some very good view opportunities, but moisture is always a problem.

Cell phones: Outside majopr highways, hahahaha.

Roads: Can be poor by US standards, often there are simply no road options to good looking cells. Terrain dictates roads even close to Sydney - for example you cannot effectively chase anything 1-2 hours NW of Sydney as it is all mountains with no roads.

Tips: Don't come here for tornados, you will be dissapointed. Take time to look at the scenery. Go to the beach. Bushwalk a rainforest.
Howdy everyone,
Well, here is the vital stats for my stomping grounds, the High Plains of Eastern Colorado.
Chase season: April 30 - September 20
What to expect: Colorado's eastern plains usually experiences it's first severe weather around the 30th of April. (Though this year it came early- on April 20 an HP supercell developed just north of the Palmer Divide and raced east/northeast, dropping hail ranging in size from golfball size near DIA to grapefruit size near Otis, in Washington County and Yuma, in Yuma County. All this after NE Colorado spent most of the day socked in under a stratus deck; the warmest temperature in this part of the state was only 62 degrees at Burlington; it got chillier farther north.That's Colorado for ya!)
Our first true severe weather outbreak usually is waiting in the wings and happens about May 10-20. A good example of this is May 17, 2000, when over 22 tornadoes dropped from HP supercells rotating around a deep lee side low that formed directly overhead. The first severe storms hit just before 11 a.m. and continued until about 7 p.m. that night. One of those tornadoes passed directly over my farm, but that's another story for another topic. (Hmmm...) June is our best severe weather month, with classic and LP supercells in abundance. We usually have severe weather about 20 to 25 days out of the month in a normal year. Colorado's strongest tornado in recent history struck the city of Limon on June 6, 1990, almost 15 years ago. It carved a half mile wide path of destruction through the downtown buisness district as well as the northern residential area of that town. It was an F4, and it was thanks to our improved warning system that no one died in that storm and only twenty or so were injured.
Once we hit July and August, we hit monsoon season, when thunderstorms are almost a daily occurrence in a normal year and are often slow moving (thanks to sluggish winds aloft during that time of the summer) HP supercells that can create severe flash floods (July 31, 1976 Big Thompson Canyon Flood; July 28, 1997 Fort Collins Flood; and July 29, 1997 Pawnee Creek Flood) and very large and destructive hailstorms (July 11, 1990, "7-11" Estes Park to Colorado Springs- over $625 million in damage from golf ball to baseball size hail that fell for a long period of time; many of my fellow CO chasers that live in the Metro Area probably remember that one well!) However, July storms can also be tornadic (July 5, 2000, beautiful classic supercell dropped a multiple vortex F3 just after dark, a mile or so north of Dailey in eastern Logan County (east of Sterling, for those who are not familiar with the area) that obliterated 5 farms and caused well over $1 million in damage; July 21, 2000, "wedding cake" LP drops highly visible F2 over eastern Weld County, near Masters, which was on the ground for over a half hour and was well documented by news choppers and chasers alike.) Our severe weather season generally winds down by September 10, though we can still have nasty storms after that, just not very frequently.

Time of day: Though they can form as early as 11 a.m., most storms here hold off until about 1 or 2 p.m. Best time to chase is 1 to 9 p.m.

Cell movement: In April, May and June, cells usually move in the typical east/northeast direction. However, in July, August and September, storm motion is usually from northwest to southeast.

Storm formation points: Storms usually develop in one of three places around NE Colorado: A) The Cheyenne Ridge B) The Palmer Divide or C) The Foothills.

Road network: I will be discussing the roads east of I-25 and north of I-70, which is my territory. We have a pretty consistent road network in northeastern Colorado, with roads pretty much following the set N-S/E-W pattern. One place to avoid is northeastern Weld County (the Pawnee Grasslands) north and east of Briggsdale; it is very easy to get lost in that couple hundred square miles if you don't know the area. A rule of thumb is that these roads often defy what they are shown as in the DeLorme atlas. The roads are very curvy and pass through lots of steep draws and creek bottoms. Flash flooding is common, especially in July and August, and you ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WANT TO GET CAUGHT UP THERE IN AN HP STORM AT NIGHT! That happened to me and my dad once and it was SCARY AS HELL! Otherwise, the county roads are fine.
There are three east/west highways north of I-70: Highway 14 (northernmost option; runs from Fort Collins to Sterling, passing through Ault, Briggsdale, New Raymer and Stoneham along the way), 34(middle option; our section starts at at Loveland and runs slightly south of east through Greeley, Fort Morgan,Brush, Akron, Yuma and Wray on into Nebraska; and 36 (the southernmost option, which begins at Byers and shoots east to Last Chance, Anton, Cope and Idalia before it jogs north 3 miles and turns back east, entering Kansas.)
There are a total of 6 north/south options. They are: Highway 79, which is farthest west; it runs for only 22 miles from Bennett to Prospect Valley.
Then there is Highway 52, a weird highway;the first section runs east from Boulder, through Dacono, Fort Lupton, Hudson, and Prospect Valley before it makes a right angle north in southwestern Morgan County and ends at Wiggins. The second section (which I am very, very familiar with as I drive it every day from mid August-late May to and from school and every Sunday to and from church) is Main Street in Fort Morgan, then heads north out of town, under the Interstate and over the South Platte river, heading north for twenty five miles. It has essentially NO SHOULDER whatsoever and has lots of curves as it goes through the Wildcat Creek valley. It is not a fun road to drive on a daily basis, but should suffice if you need to intercept at New Raymer.
The third road is Highway 71, which in it's entirety runs from southwest of La Junta all the way to the Black Hills, where it terminates at Hot Springs, South Dakota. However I will focus on my section of the road, which is from Limon to the Nebraska border south of Kimball. For the most part, this is a very desolate road; it only goes through four towns: Snyder (about 150 people) Brush (population 6,000 or so) Last Chance (nothing more than a crossroads) and Limon (just a little over 2,000 souls). If chasing south from Brush, make sure you fill up because there is NO GAS for 76 miles. If chasing north from there, do the same because it is something like 89 miles between Brush and Kimball, again with no service.
The fourth is a nasty piece of work called Highway 63; it runs south from Atwood through Akron and ends at Anton. Avoid this road at ALL COSTS; the state has not maintained this road and hasn't repaved it since the 1970's. Nothing but 53 miles of suspension-wrecking pavement. We had to bring a combine we had bought down this highway a few years back and one of those monster potholes damaged the axle badly :evil: Highway 61 is a pretty decent road: it is only 42 miles long, running from Sterling to Otis. It is in pretty good shape and is good if you need to drop south from Sterling or north from Otis to intercept.
Highway 59 is much like 71; long and lonely. It goes from Eads all the way to Sedgwick, however I will discuss the section I am familiar with, which crosses under I-70 at Seibert and heads north to Sedgwick. From Seibert, it is 26 miles to the interseciton with 36; it then jogs east 6 miles and resumes its northerly course just west of Joes. From there, it is 33 miles to Yuma (population 3,285). From there, it is 37 more miles to Haxtun, then yet another 24 to Sedgwick. It is a good option.
The final and easternmost north/south option is U.S. Highway 385, which probably rings a bell for all who have chased in the Texas Panhandle. That is because this is probably the longest north/south road in this part of the country: it runs all the way from Big Bend National Park to Rapid City, South Dakota, then becomes 85 and goes clear to the Canadian Border! Again, my focus is on the northeast Colorado section, which runs from Burlington to Julesburg. From Burlington (population 3,678) it is 56 miles to Wray (population 2,187) and then 37 miles to Holyoke (population 2,261). From there, the last leg of the Colorado section of 385 is 30 miles long, passing through Julesburg (population 1,467) and into Nebraska. Whew, that was a lot of writing! I hope anyone who wants to chase here finds this useful. Maybe I should write a guide for chasers to the highways of northeastern CO... :D

Visibility: Visibility is excellent for the most part. Only things that might hamper visibility is occasional hills/ridges. Best visibility is east of Akron, where the land is much flatter (west of Akron the land becomes more transistional between plains and foothills, i.e. more low hills, canyons etc.)
though it is still very good out here where I live. Right around and north of Wray there are a lot of sandhills, which cut down on visibility to some extent so watch out for that.

Distance to Tornado Alley: Right on the western edge of it, baby!

Non-Weather Photo Ops: The Pawnee Buttes and surrounding chalk bluffs in northeastern Weld County are awesome. Area around Wray is also scenic. Lots of abandoned farms/barns for those who are into photographing those. Also, there are tons of windmills around here; they make cool subjects for sunrise/sunset shots! :D The mountains are only a hundred miles away; on clear days you can see them very well! A kind of prairie photographer's mecca, if you will! I know I love it! 8) 8)
L.P. of Michigan...

Time of year: May 10 - July 10
What to expect: A whole lot of linear activity, yet we do get many treats, with tornadic storms/supercells...
What the weather has in store: Wind gusts to sometimes extreme speeds (100+ MPH), tornadoes, hail, flooding...
Typical time of day for storm activity: 3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Temperatures: In the summer, we'll usually reach the 80s into the lower 100's...
Terrain: Lot's of trees... But many clear areas, especially in the southeastern half of the state...
Cell phones: Almost ALL areas...
Roads: We have pretty good road networks throughout the southern half of the state...
Associated chase hazards: Idiot drivers, usual storm hazards, especially heavy rain, due to the fact most of the supercells are HP's...
Tips: Unless it's a potential outbreak, don't chase in Michigan unless you live around here...
Payoffs: Many beautiful supercells, when they do occur, that few others see...
Originally posted by Alex Lamers
Terrain: Rural areas in Southwest Wisconsin becoming more urban into Southeast Wisconsin. Obviously the land is more flat immediately along the Mississippi River and tends to be closer to the Wisconsin/Illinois border. However glacial carvings from thousands of years ago left us with the Kettle Moraine, or namely lots of gently rolling hills. Forests are not ABUNDANT but trees can obscure visibility at times.

I wouldn't call the the land along the Mississippi flat, unless you mean the actual river bottoms themselves, which are only 2-3 miles wide. Southwestern Wisconsin is the only unglaciated part of the state, and water has had 500,000 years to carve deep valleys, creating BIG hills.

As far as my area goes (western Wisconsin), I would say that our season is about the same as the rest of the state. I would extend it through August though; we usually have some activity then.

Eau Claire is a little north of the biggest hills, so terrain is a little better. But the farther north you go the more trees you will get.
Originally posted by charlie roswell+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(charlie roswell)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Alex Lamers
Terrain: Rural areas in Southwest Wisconsin becoming more urban into Southeast Wisconsin. Obviously the land is more flat immediately along the Mississippi River and tends to be closer to the Wisconsin/Illinois border. However glacial carvings from thousands of years ago left us with the Kettle Moraine, or namely lots of gently rolling hills. Forests are not ABUNDANT but trees can obscure visibility at times.

I wouldn't call the the land along the Mississippi flat, unless you mean the actual river bottoms themselves, which are only 2-3 miles wide. Southwestern Wisconsin is the only unglaciated part of the state, and water has had 500,000 years to carve deep valleys, creating BIG hills.

As far as my area goes (western Wisconsin), I would say that our season is about the same as the rest of the state. I would extend it through August though; we usually have some activity then.

Eau Claire is a little north of the biggest hills, so terrain is a little better. But the farther north you go the more trees you will get.[/b]

Notice he said "more flatter", implying that it's better than other areas (even though "better" may not mean "good").

I'm about 10 miles from the Grillonator, and our time is usually mid May through August...