Sunday, 5 July 2015

Sunday 24th May 2015 - Colorado & Kansas - Slight Risk

This was a great days chasing and much better than the day before with almost the same synoptics on the table as well. We left Garden City with a chase target of SE Colorado as this was where the best clearing skies, low level shear and synoptics were placed, all the models also broke out a few supercells over the area from about the 21z timeframe. We got onto a nice looking Supercell about 20 miles south of Lamar which was producing Baseball sized hail at the time, We let the core pass to our north and noticed a brief weak EF0 Tornado about 6 miles SE of Lamar. Our only route after that was to head into Lamar then head east on Highway 50 through the hail core to get to the structure side of the storm. We took mainly golf ball sized hail with a few baseballs thrown in which was great for the guests not so great for the cars which picked up a few dents along the way.

Below : Structure East of Lamar

After this the Storm went very outflow dominant and another storm developed over Springfield which was now the tail end charlie so we headed south straight away, our old storm was now firmly in the HP Mode and gusting out.

Below : Hp Supercell SE Of Lamar

The tail end storm was not up to much so we started to head east towards the Kansas / Colorado border, about this time we noticed a huge nuclear bomb type of convection over towards Liberal and having seen this before with the Broken Bow Supercell from 2013 we raced off east towards this now full blown Supercell, other storms were also developing around this storm and by the time we got there it was pretty much a mess of convection, so we called off the chasing and headed back to Garden City, This would be yet another mistake because as soon as we got to the hotel we were hearing report of a 1 mile wide night-time wedge Tornado from the supercell we had just left, this would have been easy to chase knowing the terrain and roads in SW Kansas like I do.

I was slightly conpensated by the fact that few chasers saw this tornado as is was shrouded in fog and was mostly rain wrapped for most of its life. Even so it would have been an amazing sight, It is still not explained how something so large can develop and survive in temp/dew spreads of 61/54 and veer back veer wind profiles that looked plain ugly.

Whilst out eating dinner and with sick radar images coming in on the tv screens above our heads this tornado still on the ground was taking aim straight for Dodge City, Our old storms we had been chasing in Colorado had now already gone over us heading eastwards. The Supercell thankfully was enveloped by the line about 20 miles SW of Dodge and crapped out, A very very lucky escape for a large town in Western Kansas.

SPC Reports for this day below

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