I went on my first storm chase ever and it was a blast! Dann Cianca, Jeff Auger and I headed out to northeastern CO on Sunday September 21, to try to catch some storms firing off of the advancing trough from the Pacific. As the afternoon went on we observed lots of convection to our north up in Nebraska panhandle and decided to engage on an intercept. Our target area was Sidney NE with a severe warned mesocyclone supercell just north of the town. As we got closer to our target it was advancing ESE just north of Oshkosh NE. We continued to pursue our target storm even though our road network was getting less opportunistic and daylight was getting shorter. As we headed north of Lisco we noticed our storm was weakening and a large rain and hail shaft spilled out behind the main core. We were loosing our chance of an intercept with a dissipating storm. At this moment we decided to end the chase of this beautiful storm but were thrilled that we had the chance to watch the evolution of this storm. What a wonderful site!! As we started to head back towards home we came across some mature storms giving off cloud-to-ground lightning at the CO/NE border. We stopped along the road to capture some amazing lightning filling the night sky. After an hour and a half we decided we had captured our fill of lightning photos and decided to pack it on home. After 12 hours of traveling and observing the wonderful landscape we were satisfied with our successful chase.
Updated on September 16th 2008. Fairly strong high pressure is dominating our area at the current hour and will remain for the next couple of days through this week. On Wednesday and lee side trough will develop on the eastern plains while the western slope will experience increasing clouds and precip associated with a short wave trough moving through tracking towards the NE. Mountain areas could see some lingering clouds and precip with remaining moisture in the mid levels. As the weekend approaches, moderate upper level system will push east across the western US. On Saturday increasing clouds along western CO with precip developing in the afternoon. Eastern CO will experience upslope flow on the plains with clouds developing late Saturday. Sunday will continue to have cloudiness through the morning. On Sunday afternoon a lee side Low will develop and last into Monday morning generating conditions for increasing clouds throughout the day. A strong area of moisture convergence will be present along with precip developing Monday afternoon and evening. These conditions will maintain into Tuesday.
Associated with these surface conditions is the upper level support necessary for these conditions to lapse. An upper level trough system will reach the CA coast on Friday and dissipate as it rolls over the Sierra Nevada Range and down onto the Eastern Great Basin. A second wave in this trough will redevelop on Sunday and continue to dig across the Eastern Great Basin but will only provide a weak jet influence on the CO region as it crosses CO on Monday. This weak upper level support will influence showers and cooler temperatures across the Front Range but will not lead to anything of significance.
It has been several months since I have written a blog. Lots of changes since then...I finally graduated college from Metro State with a Meteorology degree in May. Soon after that I started a summer job with Jefferson County Sheriffs Office in Emergency Management working on a fuels crew. We cut trees and chipped all the brush and moved logs with big machines. It was a great experience and enjoyed my time with them. I originally took the job thinking we would be doing more wildland fire related stuff and also have a good potential to do weather observations in the field. As it turned out we only went on a couple small fires and I had the privillage of taking weather obs on those fires. So that was a good experience. The rest of the time we were in the forest cutting trees creating a fire break along a community road.
After a few months of doing that type of work I realized that I needed to move on to a more professional and stable job since that was only seasonal work. I really wanted to get some sort of weather related job just to start out and get my feet wet. Lucky for me I had some personal contacts that I got a hold of for a reference to a local meteorological software company. A couple weeks later I was interviewing for a software test position for part time work. It turns out that on Monday September 8th I was hired on by IPS MeteoStar Inc. in Englewood, CO for a meteorological software tester.
So far I am really trying to dive into the job and learn as much as I can working hard. This new job is a step into the hallway of meteorology. I am excited to work for a local Met company where my wife can continue to sprout her career as an EMT in Denver. I am hoping to have a little more extra time to do some of my own forecasting and be able to post updates here. Hopefully I can do a better job of posting than previously.....