Thursday, June 04, 2009

June 4th Chase Teaser

Another lovely, back yard chase today.

Quick synopsis:

Both RUC and NAM kept the plains pretty well capped, but we had a great instability axis along and east of the Front Range. The lower level winds never really worked out well for us, but storms did take advantage of the insane lapse rates and fired especially off of the Palmer. Aside from getting pulled over (thank you Colorado State Patrolman for not giving me a ticket even though I deserved one), we were able to make it on some tough roads to CO 86 in time to see what seemed like a "left split" storm off of the main cell. This one had an updraft on its northeast side ... we were to the northwest and had a perfect view. You can see it in the first image below. To make a long story short, another storm formed to our north and took up a similar profile. Very odd storm orientation. Anyway, I had to gas up in Limon, so we decided to head up CO 71 to intercept the second storm which slowly died as it approached. All in all, a fun chase though ... got some very interesting structure.

Chase partner today was Jason Burns.

Interesting updraft on the northeast corner of the storm. This tower was rotating and at times, had a nice wall cloud. It reminded me of the Alta Vista tornadic storm last year, though almost in a "mirror universe".

Looking west to the second intercept. Again, updraft on the north side of the storm, low, and rotating.

Did a little four-wheelin' on cake batter near Cedar Point.

Sunset colors near the old Aurora Airpark.

Alta Vista comparison. (Left: Alta Vista tornadic LP supercell, looking NW; Right: Today's storm, looking to the east.)

Radar of our first storm. Note the "hook" on the NW side.

The second storm (north of the warning) at its peak intensity.

All in all, a fun day ... and tomorrow looks better!


Radar imagery used with permission (IPS Meteostar)


sknr31 said...

You the man, Dan!

Scott Hammel said...

It was kind of a weird day. We got suckered for a minute on the north eastern storms but made it back to Deer Trail for the second big cell. Here's to a good chase tomorrow!

p said...


Dann Cianca said...

Thanks Skinner, Pawlee!

Scott: I didn't have time to get suckered anywhere. I hit the road when I got off work at 3PM and, well, got right on the closest storm. :)

Matt Johnson said...

Wow looks busy in Colorado today. I assume your out chasing and hope you caught a tornado.

We woke up to snow Saturday here in Calgary. We are sure living up to the stereotype of that it always snows here!!!

Dann Cianca said...

Matt, it's been a busy couple of weeks! I can't believe you guys got snow!!! Hopefully you'll get something to chase up there soon!