Thursday, June 5th, 2014
Current time 5:30z (11:30pm MDT)
Location: Lamar, Colorado
13:17z (7:17am MDT) I wake up .
14z (8:00am MDT) Forecast Discussion. The setup today will be similar to yesterday in eastern Colorado except possibly an earlier initiation of convection. (yes!) A slight risk for severe weather for our area and a 2% chance of tornadoes is given by SPC. Better chance for tornadoes in Oklahoma, but it's a very long drive and those storms likely will not initiate until near sunset time anyways.
16:30z (10:30pm MDT) We leave the hotel and monitor the weather while in Lamar.
17:20z (11:20am MDT) NWS in pueblo is observing less clouds over the area than forecasted so instability may be greater today than expected.
17:48z (11:48am MDT) – After spending some time in Willow Park in Lamar, we leave for lunch at Becky’s
19:10z (1:10pm MDT) we leave Becky’s and head to Shell for some gas.
19:20z (1:20pm MDT) I see what I believe was a scorpion outside of the gas station.
19:27z (1:27pm MDT) We leave the gas station and head north on 287
19:40z (1:40pm MDT) We pass Wiley, Co heading north on 287
20z (2:00pm MDT) We pass Eads, CO , continuing north on 287
20:35z (2:35pm MDT) The SPC says 95% chance for tornado watch issuance for our area. Convection is beginning to blossom on radar. Our plan is to head towards Limon, CO because of the decent location to where the storms are expected to initiate and the good road system.
20:38z (2:38pm MDT) We pass Wild Horse, CO on 287
20:49z (2:49pm MDT) We are now under a severe thunderstorm watch
20:51z (2:51pm MDT) Rotation is detected by radar on the cell just north of Kiowa, CO about 60 miles to our northeast. VIL is 37 but it is close to radar station so not necessarily completely accurate.
21z (3:00pm MDT) Passing by some tree damage possibly from yesterday's storms.
21:02z (3:02pm MDT) Wind gusts with cell near Kiowa is 60mph and VIL is 41.
21:05z (3:05pm MDT) A severe thunderstorm warning is issued north of Kiowa, CO. Wind gusts of 63 mph and hail was half- dollar according to radar estimates.
21:13z (3:13pm MDT) We see some distant mammathus clouds. Storm is heading towards Limon, our stop.
21:17z (3:17pm MDT) tops are 29,000ft, VIL is 46
21:22z (3:22pm MDT) 1 inch hail is recorded 8 miles north of Kiowa, CO.
21:25z (3:25pm MDT) We enter Limon for a restroom break
21:35z (3:35pm MDT) We head south on 71.
21:40z (3:40pm MDT) I see a VIL of 80 on radar scope. Very impressive hail core in the storm to our northwest.
21:42z (3:42pm MDT) We hear a weather alert on the radio for a severe thunderstorm warning with the cell moving west at 20 mph. We stop a few miles south of Limon to observe the storm.
21:55z (3:55pm MDT) We are feeling chilly inflow winds. Observation is 72/49
22:05z (4:05pm MDT) The storm is beginning to move southeasterly and tap into more moisture. We are in its path and must head south. A storm near the Colorado/New Mexico border is heading northeast so they may interact in the future.
22:17z (4:17pm MDT) We move south to avoid falling into the path of the storm, which is turning south
22:30z (4:30pm MDT) We stop now, still in the path of the storm, but farther way. Observation of 76/50 at 4:34
22:39z (4:39pm MDT) elevated TVS on radar. Feeling a lot of dust from inflow (hurts my legs more than you’d think). Unlike the dust storm we faced
22:48z (4:48pm MDT) Storm no longer showing a TVS. A lot of in flow dust so we are departing now. Dust all over my eyes. Unlike the dust storm we went through on Sunday, this is going into the storm and is not dominated by out flow winds (which are a sign of a weakening storm).
22:56z (4:56pm MDT) We head east on 94.
23:20z (5:20pm MDT) We make another stop to view the storm. Elevated TVS seen for the last 7 radar scans (about 14 minutes). A new severe t storm warning is issued for a cell directly west of us
23:27z (5:27pm MDT) We leave our spot.
23:33z (5:33pm MDT) Observation of 74/51
23:40z (5:40pm MDT) We stop to look at the lowering but nothing happens yet. Storm seems to be splitting up. We have a good view of the north and south cell and the updrafts and downdrafts that are beginning to separate them. South cell is the one with the mesocyclone.
23:45z (5:45pm MDT) We turn onto 287, heading south, retracing our route from earlier today except now heading south instead of north!
0z (6:00pm MDT) Elevated TVs still present at 10,000 feet but not a radar detected meso-cyclone yet.
0:02z (6:02pm MDT) 2 elevated TVs now on the same cell. We see scud where the tornado would be, but nothing too meaningful yet
0:20z (6:20pm MDT) The elevated TVs dissipated but it has now redeveloped!
0:29z (6:29pm MDT) Echo tops are over 50,000
0:35z (6:35pm MDT) We stop to observe the storm
0:43z (6:43pm MDT) Tornado warning issued for our cell.
1:02z (7:02pm MDT) We leave our spot while the storm recycles. Higher clouds are moving one way and lower clouds another so we do have at least broad rotation. The storm is gusting out but it can definitely still strengthen. Tornado warning won’t be reissued after the current one expires.
1:14z (7:14pm MDT) After lowering, the VIL is climbing back up. This indicates that the updraft is growing again.
1.75 inch hail 9 miles northeast of Haswell.
1:34z (7:34pm MDT) We head farther south from our quick stopping spot to stay out of the way of the storm.
1:45z (7:45pm MDT) We leave our spot and head towards Lamar for a rest stop. We are losing daylight and the storm is moving in our direction.
1:53z (7:53pm MDT) We are heading south and 10 miles away from the precipitation.
2z (8:00pm MDT) We leave the gas station and continue south into Lamar
2:05z (8:05pm MDT) Tornado damage reported in Hasty, only 15 miles west of Lamar according to a tornado warning issued 8 minutes later from this time. (in theory we could have seen it from our location, but there was probably a combo of trees blocking the view and/or rain)
2:08z (8:08pm MDT) While I had my doubts about this storm producing a tornado despite everyone else’s enthusiasm, I found a couplet that my red/green colorblind eyes can see on the latest radar scan I and am hoping if a tornado touches down, we see it before we lose all daylight (and it doesn’t hit any of the towns around this area). Hail core on this storm is looking crazy impressive visually and Hail estimates are 3.25 inches according to radar!
2:11z (8:11pm MDT) We pass the hotel we stayed at this morning on the left... while still storm chasing (we should have just stayed there all day hahaha)
2:13z (8:13pm MDT) A tornado warning has been issued as the storm approaches cities (well towns). The tornado warning is based on radar scans. We are in Lamar at the moment and under the tornado warning.
2:15z (8:15pm MDT) We stop in a Walmart parking lot in Lamar to see if we see the tornado or rotation. Visibility is poor due to bright and tall store signs in the direction of the storm and lack of daylight.
2:53z (8:53pm MDT) We wait out the storm in the Walmart parking lot after taking some nice lightening pictures outside. The storm has slowed down significantly and the couplet is 10 miles to out west southwest direction.
3:05z (9:05pm MDT) We find a lost dog in the Walmart parking lot. Mike Lee spots it, Sherilyn and Ryann walk out to comfort it, and then we all comfort the dog until the owners come back.
3:10z (9:10pm MDT) The owners come to take their dog back home.
3:16z (9:16pm MDT) We stop at Shell for some gas.
Approx 3:20z (9:20pm MDT) We take 385 east outside of Lamar and towards Garden City, Kansas.
4:18z (10:18pm MDT) We enter Granada, CO continuing west on 400 (still the Santa Fe Trail)
Approx 4:30z (10:30pm MDT) We enter into Kansas.
Approx 5:10z (11:10pm MDT) We arrive at the Sleep Inn in Garden City, KS.
Today was a really long chase day. The storms were really nice, but traveling up and down the same roads definitely added to it being a long and exhausting day. But it was worth the exhaustion because despite again missing a tornado that was very close to our location, we did see a lot great structures. It was very rewarding to find a lost dog (who ironically ran away because of he was afraid of storms!) in the Walmart parking lot and the lightening from the storm made for some nice pics and an awesome experience. Another good chase day, although I think over the past 2 days we have traveled up and down just about every major road in this part of eastern Colorado!