Chase account 1 June 2011 (Part 1) -- early frustration
* *  Mike Umscheid PHOTOGRAPHY & STORM CHASE BLOG   * *

Mon, 6 Jun 2011 22:42:55 -0500
Chase account 1 June 2011 (Part 1) -- early frustration
Summary & Images (part 1)
My storm chasing target on June 1st was near the Colorado-Kansas
border. I set off for the Elkhart area initially, but when I arrived
at Rolla, I decided to head due west via county roads as storms
developing over the Raton Mesa were beginning to move northeast toward
southeastern Las Animas County and into western Baca County. I
figured that these storms would continue to roll off the mesas and
mature as they neared the Pritchett and eventually Springfield areas.
I finally arrived to Hwy 287 near Campo. The initial storms that
moved out of the mesas weakened, but there was new storm development
back farther southwest into the mesas again -- really too far for me
to try to intercept. To make matters worse, the storms were
organizing rapidly and not moving. They were still a good hour to
hour and a half intercept through the mesas to reach them. It was
either that or just try to be patient and let them come to me. Well,
as this was happening, severe storms were developing rapidly off to my
northwest. These storms were an easier intercept for me, so I decided
to head north for an intercept. As I approached Lamar, there was a
downtrend in strength occurring with these storms. I went west on a
county road about a mile or so and monitored one of the dying storms
to my northwest (image shown below). It didn't take long to realize
that this area of storms were toast. Frustrated, I went into Lamar
and stopped at the Wal-Mart to pick up a 8GB compact flash card since
I left two of my high storage cards at home (whoops!).

When I came out of the Wal-Mart, the storms to my south were
organizing into a decent cluster of severe storms as they were exiting
the mesas and heading into Baca County. Well, instead of going after
those, a new storm was rapidly forming back to the west of Lamar again
near La Junta. Obviously, this was a much easier intercept, and I
liked the fact it was more discrete than the storms farther south --
offering perhaps a better photography opportunity. Well, I went
west...and once again...upon my arrival the storm absolutely died a
horrible death. So now, I was really out of position to get back to
the south to intercept the now ongoing severe cluster in Baca County.
This was extremely frustrating. Every decision I was making seemed to
be the wrong one. I pretty much gave up at this point and started my
drive back to Dodge City empty-handed. (continued in Part 2...)