(17 June 2011)
* *  Mike Umscheid PHOTOGRAPHY & STORM CHASE BLOG   * *


About This Shoot
Date: 17 June 2011
Location: East-central Colorado to West-central Kansas from Calhan, CO to Tribune, KS
Shoot Type: Storm Chase
Rating:
Synopsis:
Intercepted a storm that formed off the Palmer Divide southwest of Limon, CO near Calhan and followed it the next several hours across eastern Colorado with fairly photogenic structure along the way...before ultimately weakening as it moved east of Tribune, KS. Another storm to the south after dark rolled along Highway 50 and I photographed mammatus and lightning behind the storm near Lakin, KS

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Preliminary Storm Reports from 17 June 2011


1630 UTC SPC Products from 17 June 2011


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17 June 2011


Sat, 18 Jun 2011 09:17:41 -0500
June 17 Chase Summary and Images (Day 2): Eastern Colorado to Southwest Kansas -- Long-lived High Precipitation Supercell from Calhan, CO to Tribune, KS
Day 2 was a successful day of storm chasing and photography. My
target was southwest of Limon where I thought the southeastern-most
storm would form and thrive in unrestricted east-southeast inflow air.
Once I arrived at the target area along Hwy 94 near Rush, CO, a storm
was already in progress. I first went north on a county road north of
Rush about halfway to Simla when the storm took on supercell
characteristics. It had classic structure at first and revealed a
slowly rotating wall cloud for a little bit as it approached my
location north of Hwy 94. It then became outflow dominant quickly as
it continued east-southeast south of Limon. I followed it east along
Hwy 94 stopping occasionally to photograph the shelf cloud structure
of the rear flank gust front of this now well-established HP
supercell. Some of the best HP supercell structure came when I
stopped at a location a couple miles northeast of Wild Horse on a
county road photographing the storm with a dilapidated looking wheat
field in the foreground. I then continued to Kit Carson and stopped
again a mile south of town to photograph the multi-tiered shelf cloud
and updraft of the HP supercell with the town in the foreground. I
continued south to Eads and met up with the storm again east of
Sheridan Lake. At this point, I went north and east on some dusty
farm roads with the menacing storm to the north. I stopped for a
quick "grab-and-go" shot of some outflow/shelf cloud structure and
then got my butt back south to Hwy 96 near Towner, CO. I stopped one
last time to photograph the incoming dusty storm with the town of
Horace in the foreground then let that storm finally go after chasing
it for 160 ground miles from roughly 2100 UTC (4:00pm CDT) to 0145 UTC
(8:45pm CDT).

To complete the chase, I stopped to get gas Syracuse, KS then
proceeded to follow another storm (to the southwest of the original
long-lived supercell) east to Lakin. At Lakin, I let the storm roll
over me with some pea size hail and 50 mph winds. Once the storm
cleared, I drove east of town about a mile or two and photographed
some amazing anvil/updraft lightning complete with mammatus and a
pristine clear sky in the storm's wake with stars visible. This was
quite the treat to complete this exhaustive chase! I drove back to
Dodge City watching a fairly amazing lightning display along the way
home.

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(click on thumbnails for pop-up of larger images)

Sat, 18 Jun 2011 00:31:21 -0500
Supercell forming near calhan Colorado. Looking west
  
(click on thumbnail for pop-up of larger image)

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 22:59:32 -0500
1055pm chase update. Let the storm pass me at Lakin KS. Backside incredible. anvil zits, lightning illuminated mammatus.. and stars. Amazing!

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 20:49:55 -0500
chase update 845pm. heading s to syracuse ks get gas and see what up w/ these storms to my west. heading back to dodge after chase

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 18:43:03 -0500
640pm chase update. HP Beeeeaast! Moving southeast across east-central Colorado. Great structure.

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 17:15:06 -0500
Mean looking HP Supercell south of Limon co!
  
(click on thumbnail for pop-up of larger image)

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 16:06:16 -0500
Supercell forming near calhan Colorado. Looking west
  
(click on thumbnail for pop-up of larger image)

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 13:50:44 -0500
chase update 145pm cdt. in Lamar, CO just had lunch will head northwest toward Punkin Center/Karval area (S of Limon) will shoot for southernmost organized storm

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 09:44:39 -0500
Chase Trip Day 2 - June 17. Target: Eastern Colorado downwind of the Palmer Divide for early-mid evening high based supercell potential.
Day 2 target I will first drive out to Lamar for lunch and then
re-evaluate from there. More than likely I will drive northeast
toward Limon for the first storms coming off the Palmer Divide. CAPE
will be marginal at best for severe weather/supercells with 800 to
1200 J/kg expected in marginal moisture of mid 40s to near 50
dewpoint. The deep layer shear is great, however, and the early runs
of the HRRR model depicts supercell looking simulated composite
reflectivity "blobs" in east-central Colorado later this afternoon.
So there is some hope.

Outlook: Day 3 (Saturday) will be in the same general area, so
wherever I end up tonight, I will probably lodge near there for the
night (Burlington or Goodland?) instead of driving back to Dodge only
to go right back out there the next day. After Saturday's chase, I
will drive back to Dodge City to pick up Jay Antle who will drive to
my house late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Sunday and
Monday look like definite chase days as a nice trough approaches the
plains. Tuesday could be another chase day farther south along the
trailing front in northwest Texas/southern Oklahoma or it could be the
beginning of a nice long drive to the northern High Plains (Montana?)
to get ready for the next Pacific jet to impact the northwest yielding
chase opportunities way up northwest by Thursday of next week. This
is still speculative, though, with a lot to potentially change (and it
probably will).