McDonalds or Storms

05 June 2015

Last night I managed to get off to sleep at around 4am after finally pulling myself away from processing all the photos from yesterday’s tornado fest. In the 4 hours I’d been asleep I’d managed to become dinner for a number of mosquitos and woke with a particularly nasty bite on the side of my cheek and another monster on my neck. I had been worried this might happen, having suffered quite a few bites before bed and had therefore wrapped myself up in my onesie tiger PJ trousers, a long sleeve top, a shirt around my neck and slept on top of the covers. I still can’t decide if something in the room was to blame or if it was a delayed reaction from the horrendous amounts of mosquitos we’d encountered during the day. Either way, it prompted an abrupt departure from the motel room and after grabbing some bits from our new local shop in Limon we headed to McDonald’s to use their wifi and look over the forecast for the day.

The forecast analysis was taking a somewhat backseat however to once again gazing at our photos and those of others via various social media sites – which was kind of lucky as after about an hour or so this was embarrassingly the source of our information that there was already a tornado warned cell just outside Denver, about 50 minutes away! We quickly grabbed our laptops and half-drunk coffees and legged it to the car where we cursed ourselves for being crap storm chasers and half-laughing swore not to tell anyone of being caught out whilst hoping nothing too visually stunning was happening up the road.

Comfort was offered by the huge numbers of storm chasing groups lined up posing in front of big tour vans and chase vehicles for group photos and the like, obviously also blissfully unaware of the early storms.  I felt like winding down the window and shouting ‘tornado, up the road’ in some yahoo kind of way, but in British fashion restrained myself!

Within 45 minutes we were lined up with a bunch of other chasers, many whom we knew and we watched as the low contrast raggedy low based storm passed us by. It wasn’t really much to look at but it had produced a tornado which had been on the ground for a few minutes. It was going at quite a speed though so we let it pass by off to our north hoping the next cell in line might be better.

Storm Chaser Convergence

During this encounter we also picked up one of our other chaser friends who asked if he could hitch on with us for the day as he’d run out of data and was leaving the next day. Now in convoy we scouted for something else to try our luck with. Some new decent looking storms were forming back to our southeast and heading north so we tried heading straight east to intercept them.

Unfortunately the lack of any cap resulted in so many other little cells going up between us and the bigger storms covering the area in an overhanging grey rainy contrast-lacking mess. The storms ahead were now also congealing into a similar yet more severe mess. We lost heart in the attempt to get on anything heading east so diverted south to try to get beneath the mess and on anything new that was to fire. Unfortunately the time it took to do this left us too far behind anything so we decided to call it a day. In fact the best structure of the day came as we left the gassy from another nearby storm that had popped up.

Storm at Gassy

There were some very amusing moments though, and it was incredibly funny at one point to be sitting in the back seat behind Tim making sandwiches for us both as he drove, replacing where I’d been sitting with the laptop, knowing that there was a friend of ours driving directly behind us, laptop placed on the passenger seat in a similar fashion, both vehicles driving around under blue skies desperately seeking out storms but doing it really badly. So all in all, a bit of a weird one and a little frustrating being on the wrong side of stuff most of the day. But then after remembering what happened yesterday, things didn’t seem so bad.

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

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

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Fri June 2015

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