Marginal Beginnings

01 May 2015

We landed yesterday in Denver, knowing that we were landing both a little ahead of the main storm season, and likely a long way further north than the storms when they did start showing. Part of our reason for coming here was that, if the storms were holding back then we’d go and explore some of the towns along the Front Range until some severe weather began to emerge. It was therefore a nice surprise to find the SPC applying a "Marginal" risk to eastern Colorado, for storms coming off the Front Range.

Long-time readers will know that we often talk about chasing on days with Slight, Moderate or High Risk, or days where there is a 'See Text' – where a discussion is issued without a specific area. This generally worked well but there was an issue in that 'Slight Risk' could mean quite a wide range of weather, from mild through to not-quite-moderate risk situations. To answer this the SPC have now modified the categories to Marginal, Slight, Enhanced, Moderate and High. So today’s warning represented the lowest risk the SPC will get out bed for, but nonetheless the risks existed, and were pretty much on our heads, so it would be rude not to take a look.

We took some time to sort out our various kit, subscriptions and other things that only work once we get here, but once they were done we headed south from our starting point in Boulder, near Denver. The storms were already starting over the mountains, and as is often the way in these scenarios they were fizzling somewhat as they came off the higher ground. We found a spot near a place called Golden where we could see one of the better storms in the area coming over the mountains. We found a decent viewpoint and parked up to watch it approach.

It turned out to be the strongest storm in the area, and was even severe warned for a short while. We got to enjoy some decent lightning and accompanying thunder along with our first stormy views of the season.

Weather Photo Front Range Storm May 1 2015 Colorado

Weather Photo Front Range Storm And Our Car May 1 2015 Colorado

The storm petered out as it rolled off the mountains and we made our way back to Boulder. On our way back the windscreen randomly cracked. There was no obvious cause, but we were glad to be fairly close to the airport still, as tomorrow would need a trip back to exchange the car. Hopefully not starting a new track record of broken windscreens…

SPC Day 1 Weather Outlook as at 06:00UTC (01:00 Central Time the night before)

SPC 01:00UTC day 1 forecast for Fri May 2015

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Fri May 2015

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