High Plains Drifter


disclaimer:  "The meteorological views/forecast thinking expressed are those solely of the author of this blog
and do not necessarily represent those of official National Weather Service forecast products,
therefore read and enjoy at your own risk and edification!"

June 22, 2010

Chase Trip Day Five (6/21) Summary

Photographed a number of supercell storms on Day Five.  We targeted the Fort Morgan area and a storm had already developed out near Boulder on our drive to Fort Morgan.  When we arrived at Fort Morgan, we decided to hang out there as there was a growing towering cumulus field to our south.  We ventured south on Hwy 71 to near Woodrow then east about halfway to Hwy 63 southwest of Akron.  The first storm that went up showed nice signs of organization but failed to make it to the next level and ultimately died.  We then watched a cool looking anorexic tower go up to our immediate southeast which had a neat anticyclonic swirl to it.  Finally, we decided to bail on this area and head west toward the original “Boulder” storm which at that point had moved east to between Prospect Valley and Hoyt.  We briefly photographed a shelf cloud from the storm that developed rapidly immediately northeast of the “Boulder” storm.  We dropped south to get to our final position to photograph the southwestern most storm now our west… west of Woodrow.  This storm cycled through a couple decent occlusions with the main updraft area finally catching up with the original outflow boundary from when the storm was previously very outflow dominant.

The problem was the storm to the northeast was sending a wad of cold outflow ultimately wrecking our storm.  Ugh.  We then decided to just blast east and south to get distant structure of the whole mess that seemed to be unfolding.  The big HP-supercell that finally emerged from this mess was moving rapidly east-southeast and it was a major chore to try to keep up.  We never got east of the inflow notch area like we wanted… so we followed it all the way east along Hwy 36 and got pinched off before we could get to Idalia.  The velocity signature was incredible with a wet RFD surge of inbound winds 80 to 100 knots from Goodland’s radar approaching Idalia.  We didn’t want to mess with that so we just bailed south on County Route V/40 (Bethune road).  A distant left-moving supercell was becoming increasingly visible and photogenic to our southeast and we stopped a few times to shoot some images of the incredible Cb structure with overshooting top.

We found a wind farm near this highway and we stopped there to photograph the distant left-mover.  As we were doing this, another storm formed to our north-northwest which quickly grew into a nice LP supercell behind the HP beastie.  We sat there and photographed this storm for awhile then headed east to Hwy 385 north of Burlington where we decided to head north and get a little closer to it for sunset shots.  We pulled off on a high spot a couple miles east of Hwy 385 north of Burlington and photographed the LP to our northeast now which formed a beautiful corkscrewing updraft with well established inflow tails from the south.  There was an outflow boundary collision almost exactly where we were at…perhaps a few miles to our southeast…where the final supercell of the day grew rapidly.  After sunset, this storm put on an awesome Cb lightning “zit” display above and to our southeast.  Cool outflow from this storm then blocked our view and we had to get south again on Hwy 385.  We found a nice spot to photograph from again just off Hwy 385 about 7 miles farther south… and to our east was this majestic supercell, glowing with intracloud lightning and amazing convective looking backshearing anvil structure that was beautifully formed.  There was just enough astronomical twilight left to get good images of this beauty looking off to the east.  After having fun with this for awhile, we continued east toward Goodland to see if we could do some more photography, but as we approached Goodland, the storm died.  At the Goodland McDonald’s we saw storm chaser Mark Farnik who was with two of his chase partners and we enjoyed shooting the breeze there while we ate and in the parking lot for some time.  This was a very fun storm photography day despite no tornadoes observed.

Start:  Colby, KS
End:  Goodland, KS
Day Five mileage: 442 mi
Trip mileage: 2451 mi

Preliminary images from Day Five chase:

20100621_195752

20100621_203630

20100621_213356

20100621_214258

20100621_221143

20100621_221716

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