Semi-supercell

03 June 2015

Today we woke up so excited about what sounded like an absolutely fantastic set up in our favourite state Colorado. Slow moving discrete supercells with the accompanying wording of ‘tornadoes will occur’ was issued by the SPC and this forecast had held strong over the last 24 hours. Not shy of commiting to such a setup we had driven 5 hours from North Dakota, slept for 5 hours in the car and had driven a further 5 hours for this morning to get into position.

An enhanced risk area with a 10% tornado risk across the high terrain of Colorado and Wyoming had all chasers out and positioning in either the Colorado hotspot of Denver or Wyoming’s Cheyenne ridge.

We opted to drive into the foothills to the west of Denver to watch the initiation over the mountains, something we rarely do, usually opting to pick up the storms further to the eat as they mature and hit the Plains. It's also now something we probably won’t do again as negotiating the busy road network around Denver was an alsolute mare and such a drain on time.

We got to Loveland, slightly west of the I25 and there we waited and waited and waited! It got to the hour of 5pm, the magic hour and a few cells were starting to pop south but that was it. There was nothing to speak of up in Wyoming either. We gave it a while but nothing else was firing. There were some cumulus clouds about but nothing that looked particularly energetic. So we bailed south to try to get on the few storms that had appeared over Castle Rock.

We managed to position pretty well once we’d finally got out of the congested Denver suburbs and got a few pics of the marginal supercell structure. It sure wasn’t the structure fest we’d been expecting, but trying to get south in front of the storm was quite exciting, especially when we were hit with a wall of pretty hard ½ inch hail.

The area was flooded with chasers, many who along with us had really put in the miles for a way bigger show than this. But as they say and most certainly did yesterday, 'that's chasing for you'! We got some pics of the storm and made a few new friends along the way. We also found some adorable cows, one of which I befriended and who wouldn’t follow the herd as they walked with surprisingly little urgency away from the approaching storm and decided to try to stare me out instead, eventually losing due to the persistent calls from his mum.

Weather From Window

Happy Cow

We got some lovely shots of the sky as the storm fizzled but before the day was out, we tried our luck with another storm that had fired behind the one we’d been on. It was only a 30 mile detour from the town we’d been planning on staying in for the night but really that distance is nothing out here, not when  you’ve driven over 6000 miles in just 11 days!

After The Storm

Lightning In Colorado

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

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

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Wed June 2015

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