Friday, 26 May 2017

May 25th - report


We started the day in Limon, Colorado, with the idea that areas east or north-east of there would be interesting from a thunderstorm perspective, as moisture had spread in from the north-east behind a weak cold front. Upslope flow, surface heating, and modest upper support were all expected to combine to allow thunderstorms to develop, and vertical shear should help organise these.

We drove to Burlington and met up with UK chasers Tony Gilbert and Dan. We chatted to them for a while as storms developed to the north-west. After a while we headed off just north of town and watched a weak area of thunderstorms to the west gradually become more organised. After a while Pete Scott and Dave Ewoldt appeared and we chatted to them for a while, watching the now strong thunderstorm to our west, which put down some cool CG lightning bolts. Those guys headed off as the rain began to arrive, and we did too, very shortly after.

We headed east on I-70 and found a rest area atop a hill - we stopped there and looked back and were greeted with a great view of the now-supercell storm to our west. Cammie and Tim, UK chaser friends of ours, then turned up so we chatted to them for a while watching the storm move slowly towards us.

As the rain was about to arrive we continued east to Goodland and then dropped south. We wanted to try to stay ahead of the storm but there are precious few roads in the area, and as we then headed ENE towards Oakley, the storm was in a position to cross our path before we could nip through. With 80mph winds and baseball sized hail we decided not to punch through! I measured a 43mph gust at arm-height, which is pretty decent!

In the end we got to Oakley and took stock at a travel plaza. We decided to head to Garden City for the night. Pete and Dave were also in town so we've just had dinner with them at Applebee's, which was a lovely way to round off a very nice chase day.

Pete and Dave and storm clouds

Looking west towards a developing supercell, north of Burlington, CO.

Supercell from a rest area along I-70, just over the border in far NW KS.

Sunset somewhere south of Oakley, in the middle of nowhere, KS.

Jellyfish clouds north of Garden City, KS

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