Moose, trolls and fizzlers

06 June 2018

As we were on the border of Big Horn national forest and we weren’t convinced of any target areas being better than where we were, we decided to meander through the forest for a couple of hours, taking in whatever we found on the way, and then hope that some storms would be available, as the models implied they might be, on the other side of the mountains.

At the first viewpoint we stopped at we were joined by a second vehicle within about a minute which turned out, quite randomly, to be another of the UK chase groups out here - guys we know via Torro and previous years: Pete, Dan and Berni. We had a good old catch-up talking over the highs and lows of the chase season and motel life. We gibbered together for about half an hour before heading on through the hills. 2 minutes on down the road was our first impromptu stop - seeing a decent display of iridescence in the clouds. No storms around so any weather phenomena will do.


Carrying on it wasn’t long before we met another (new) friend - a Moose. He wasn’t far from the road, chilling and eating. It was a fantastic opportunity to get pretty close. Given some patience we ended up with him about 10 meters away for a good 20 minutes or so. Indeed after a while I left Cambo to it while I went and took some timelapse of a bubbling cumulus to our southeast that itself was too good to ignore. In these parks it’s always interesting to observe the behaviour of passers by. People stop if they see someone with a camera. Then they get out of their car and take a photo (from next to their car) then back in and hit the road. I imagine many people will recount having seen the moose to anyone who’ll listen later that day, yet very few are willing to go more than a few paces from the car, let alone the full 50 meters down to a prime spot to get a close-up.

Wistful Moose

Moose Eyes

Continuing on we stopped at a couple more nice spots on route, then headed into Ten Sleeps (the town named for the number of sleeps to be expected on the journey to it) to get some fuel and figure out a plan for the storms. There were a few firing over the mountains and some more out to our west, and we kept an eye, but nothing too exciting was going on. We ‘nurdled’ around some storms in the vicinity of Worland and a couple of them looked promising for a time - they had some decent rotation and were tornado warned (spuriously, but it still helps) though ultimately they weren’t amounting to much.

Wall Cloud

Timbo Sky Scape

Mountain Storms

At this time we started getting word about a tornado ongoing near Laramie, about 4 hours south of us that a few chasers were on. It looked amazing. The good thing with tornadoes in Wyoming is that there are about 580,000 people in the state and it’s somewhat larger than the combined area of the UK*, so even a long lasting tornado is relatively likely to be harmless. This one lasted a full hour and didn’t hurt anyone, but it was an incredible looker. Kudos to the chasers on it...and very painful for those of us who weren’t! Anyway...shan’t dwell any further on that.

We wrapped up the day in Wormland (Worland) and set ourselves up to try and forecast where tomorrow’s epic would be. In meteorology weather forecasts are often judged by how good they are compared with “the same as yesterday” which is often the perhaps we just head to Laramie and hope?

* Wyoming: 97914 square miles; England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland: 94681 square miles

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 2018

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Wed June 2018

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