“Chasing” in the Boston Metro area

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As is often the case during July and August in MA, severe storms were in the forecast on August 7.  By 4 pm, towering cu (cumulonimbus) clouds were already forming and thunderstorms were popping in various areas of eastern Massachusetts, southeastern NH, Maine and RI. On days like this, we are typically glued to the radar (computer, phone aps or even tv) to see if there’s anything near us that we should “chase.”  Trees, traffic, and hills are the bane of a chaser’s chase.

Normally, chasing in this end of the world means hanging out in our nearby park to watch the clouds develop, then watching the storms from the back porch.  Other vantage points include the top of a nearby parking garage from where we have seen a funnel cloud, the parking lot of a local church (high ground with a bit of visibility) from where whe have seen circulation with debris, with no confirmed tornado, Rt. 2 when we encountered a microburst while driving, and last night’s “chase” on Rt. 95/128.

Well, we weren’t really chasing – we were going to a dinner meeting!  Since Ian was driving, I got to actually try to see the beautiful developing storms as we crawled along at 5-20 mph.  At dinner, we were treated to a double rainbow out the window.  On the way home, we got glimpses, through the trees, of a gorgeous sunset highlighting the elevated remnants of a storm.

 

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We Got Whacked!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

We started the day in Amarillo, TX and we headed South through Plainview and kept going. We intercepted our first storm near Barnhart, TX and watched a storm and a possible tornado, later confirmed as a reported tornado.  We continued on past Big Lake, TX and watched a beautiful storm with an amazingly green hail core before we headed away to avoid being pummelled.  Some students from University of Mississippi and the University of North Dakota drove into the storm and the hail core.

Hail core

Hail core

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storms began exploding everywhere and we got cut off on our way to San Angelo and got whacked by heavy rain and a bit of hail on our way to Midland, TX.  En route, we had the fortune to see an amazingly bright double rainbow and when we arrived in Midland, we greeted by fireworks at the ballpark next to our hotel.  I gratefully drank a large beer with dinner and fell into bed.

Double rainbow

Double rainbow

Byers, Colorado

Rain Wrapped Tornado Near Byers, Colorado?

Rain Wrapped Tornado Near Byers, Colorado?

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.

Edge of Storm

Edge of Storm

More Structure

More Structure

Storm Structure

Storm Structure

Chaser Convergence

Chaser Convergence

Last Chance – Again! May 20, 2014

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.

Near Last Chance, CO Supercell

Near Last Chance, CO Supercell

Mammatus near sunset

Mammatus near sunset

Mammatus Crown

Mammatus Crown

May 21 still in Nebraska

A delightfully fun chase with an isolated supercell on the dryline NW of Ogallala. We chased this storm through Arthur, Keith, and Perkins counties, staying just ahead of (most times), the hail core, that was dropping quarter sized hail. One funnel and a short-lived gustnado later, we were treated to a gorgeous sunset mammatus show and one of the best light shows for a long time. What a treat!

Wild Day in Nebraska: May 19, 2012

Target SE Nebraska. Left Valentine early and were rewarded with quite the show. We sat on the front and the low developed with isolated supercells firing. Beautiful! NE of Nelson, NE, right after 5 pm, we got ourselves a brief tornado that formed right in front of us. Whoa! I’ve never been close enough to hear one before. What a treat – especially when it wasn’t strong enough to do much or in a populated area. We played with these storms and with strong gustnadoes (debris flying), beautiful mammatus, and ran into TWC’s Mike Bettes at a gas station in Hebron, NE where he was taping for the Great Tornado Chase 2012.