(23 June 2012)
* *  Mike Umscheid PHOTOGRAPHY & STORM CHASE BLOG   * *

About This Shoot
Date: 23 June 2012
Location: Northern Montana north/northwest of Great Falls, MT
Shoot Type: Storm Chase
This was the first day of my annual storm chase vacation, chasing with Evan Bookbinder and Jay Antle. The three of us intercepted this storm around 8:45pm MDT to the north-northwest of Great Falls, MT after a continuous 1200-mile drive beginning from Kansas City! The storm was high-based and became outflow dominant by the time we reached it, however the structure was decent at times as we photographed it from a distance, east of Dutton, MT.

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Preliminary Storm Reports from 23 June 2012

1630 UTC SPC Products from 23 June 2012

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23 June 2012

Sun, 24 Jun 2012 00:14:05 -0500
Longest chase day ever..Kansas city to great falls, MT. Photographed a Supercell north of Great Falls. Canada chasing likely begins tomorrow

Sat, 23 Jun 2012 20:22:28 -0500
7:15 PM MDT Chase Update - Target Storm
Things are changing quickly as the lead shortwave impulse has come across
the higher terrain of Montana in concert with peak heating, the return of
abundant low level moisture (55-60F dewpoints) and strong vertical shear.
Visually, one very impressive/isolated cell has developed a very crisp,
back-sheared anvil northwest of Great Falls. This storm is about 100 miles
NW of our current location, and a right moving supercell should afford a
slow eastward turn. With its slow movement we hope to be in place to
intercept before 9 PM. (This leaves us a good 2 hours of daylight). This
storm is quite impressive on radar for so early in its life cycle as well,
and appears well underway to acquiring supercell structure if not already.
Very excited! - Bookbinder

(click on thumbnail for pop-up of larger image)

Sat, 23 Jun 2012 17:55:54 -0500
chase update 550pm cdt. heading north on Hwy 87 to Great Falls, MT arriving there around 845-9pm cdt.. hoping to get on a storm around sunset.

Sat, 23 Jun 2012 13:08:05 -0600
Wide open Wyoming... A look at the Bighorn mountains to the north... Continuing north on I25 on
(click on thumbnail for pop-up of larger image)

Sat, 23 Jun 2012 13:17:17 -0500
1 PM Update: Onward Through Wyoming

13 hours into the epic drive from Kansas City to Great Falls, Montana has landed us in Casper, WY for the moment as of noon MDT. Incredibly hot airmass has pushed well into the interior with a noon reading of 95 degrees in Casper, and highs of 110F are possible over western Kansas today. Wow! Our thought process hasn't changed since early this morning with a plume of quality moisture (characterized by mid-upper 50F dewpoints) funneling westward through Montana, beneath steep lapse rates and strengthening mid-upper flow. Powerful trough that will bring us a string of opportune days remains off the Oregon coast per early afternoon water vapor imagery. Forecast soundings and shear profiles still look fantastic for rotating storms across western Montana early this evening as the increasing moisture/daytime heating couples with strong, veering flow with height. Really the only lingering concern is with the placement of synoptic scale lift. The HRRR/RAP hold the lead wave further west, yielding an arc of supercells along the MT/ID border across the higher terrain. Without a 120 mph speed limit, this is simply unreachable, so we remain hopeful of additional evening development 00-03Z toward GTF. Already one dust devil across the rolling hills and Cu development over the higher terrain to the north. Stay tuned! - Bookie

Sat, 23 Jun 2012 06:31:03 -0500
Chase Trip Day One, June 23 Target: Harlowton to Great Falls, MT
The time is almost 6:30am and we are less than an hour from North
Platte, NE after driving all night. Well, Evan has been doing all the
driving so far, but I'm about to take over so he can get some sleep.
We are still planning on continuing the drive as far northwest as we
have daylight, as the best area for severe storms/supercells will be
up in the Great Falls area. The NSSL WRF model shows a nice supercell
signal around or just north of Great Falls from 00-03z. At our
current pace, we can reach Great Falls by 01z... which is 7:00pm
mountain time. Sunset in Great Falls is about 9:30pm MDT (0330z). So
that's the plan as of right now... another update later on today.