Colorado Tragic

13 June 2016

A rare enhanced risk over east Colorado looked set to make today a big one, but Colorado, it seems, is never without its share of surprises.

Colorado is famous for its magic when it comes to storms. A weak setup can create incredible weather, and today appeared to have a very strong setup. A big impulse in the jet stream was due to dig in from the west and, with ample moisture available in the plains, everything was set for Colorado’s legendary power to be let loose.

We made our way from our overnight in Nebraska to Limon over 3 hours and took a little time to take stock of how the forecasts were unfolding in reality. Exactly what went wrong, when, and how is an interesting point for discussion, but it seems that the low pressure forecast to deepen on the lee side of the Rockies didn’t do so in the “right” place and so the forecast became out of kilter. The result was somewhat shambolic storms firing around the northeast of Colorado, meanwhile some much better storms took place in the far southeast and into the Texas panhandle later on. These were out of our reach so we persisted with what we could in the Northeast.

We chased everything from small rain clouds to semi-structured cells, which was interesting if not particularly adrenaline fuelled.

LP structure

We stopped in one location where a storm had recently passed through and dropped a load of fairly decent sized hail which, after a little melting, was showing off its interesting internal structure. 

Hail rings

Hail stone

In the end, after watching a few semi-severe storms work through their brief lifecycles we headed for Kansas for the next day’s enhanced risk area...

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

SPC 01:00UTC day 1 forecast for Mon June 2016

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Mon June 2016

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