Yesterday’s chase was pretty intense with an amazing HP supercell and chaser convergence like I have never seen before. We started just south of DIA and watched the cell develop. We stayed with it all evening and saw glimpses of what were reported as rain wrapped tornadoes. As further discreet cells developed further south, we were in position to continue heading east on Rt. 36 without getting nailed by anything more than small hail We were treated to a few funnels and delightful light show into Colby, KS.
Started in North Platte, NE after forecasting. My morning target was Brush, CO. (I like to pinpoint just for the fun of it). Heading west, we watched the storms developing and putting down hail in Denver. Eight miles west of Last Chance, CO, the storm organized into a beautifully photogenic supercell. This storm produced a number of funnels. Nearing sunset, we headed north and after emerged from the rain to be treated to several rainbows, including a double rainbow. Then, just a few minutes before the sun set, the collapsing storm produced a jaw dropping mammatus display.
We started out at a rather leisurely pace – sort of not really excited or anxious about the day. If it happened, it happened. Our target was SW Kansas. We didn’t get drawn too far south and stayed on the northern storms that had formed. The sky was looking interesting as we were getting closer to the storms and then two cells began to merge. Whoa! Suddenly, one, then two, then three landspout tornadoes started dancing together. As they dissipated, another formed and then there were two on the ground. They disappeared and two more formed. In just a short period of time, the cell merger had produced incredible energy. This storm became a beast and we got up close and personal, watching one of the most amazing tornadoes form, then dissipate, then form again as a rotating inflow band. We followed this storm for hours, seeing 11 separate touchdowns. Vortex 2 arrived and caught 3 of the later t’s, getting great data. The bad news? A corrupted CF Card! I think people back home in Boston could hear the swearing. At least my chase partners were taking photos and video.
First set of tornadoes – later verified as three on the ground:
And more tornadoes….
And the most amazing tornado….inflow band I have ever seen. At one point it was a tornado, then it was a rotating inflow band on the ground (?), then…. well, you’ll see for yourself. We have lots of video of this and it’s just incredible. Never seen anything like it before and we were up close and personal.