I went on my first solo storm chase on Sunday May 24th. I was heading home from church around 1pm, noticed that the skies were looking very ripe for storm development. Upon looking at a surface plot I noticed a convergence line that had setup in the Denver metro area and storms were firing off this line and propagating northeast. I made a quick look at updated imagery and decided to grab my gear and head out to try to catch some storms. As soon as I got the vehicle setup I noticed a tornado warning had been issued for the northern Denver area. This storm fired off the convergence line near Commerce City and rapidly developed into a rotating mesocyclone. A couple of colleagues were already northeast of this tornado warned cell and catching some amazing photos from it. I headed north on I25, then up on I76 to Hudson. Filled up on fuel and received an updated radar scan on GR from a wifi spot (Thanks Eric!). Decided to head east on Highway 52 trying to beat a 1.0” hail producing storm before it crossed the highway. I arrived in Prospect Valley at the intersection of Highway 52 and 79 with only experiencing heavy rain and small hail. I collected some photos and continued heading south on Highway 79 towards Bennett. From Bennett I headed east and stopped in Strasburg. I received several updated radar scans and collected some nice photos and video of the gust front shelf cloud advancing eastward. GR radar was showing a cell moving north towards Deer Trail so I set out to try to intercept. Arrived in Deer Trail but couldn’t get ahead of the storm so I changed course and continued to watch the shelf cloud rolling eastward and showing some small scale low level circulation. I watched this cell for awhile until it lined out, then decided to head back home and caught up with some other chasers for some dinner. Made for a great day with good photos and fun! Total Miles: 188 miles. Pictures: Video:
Strong storms are rocking western and central Nebraska tonight. Strong instability and an abundant moisture field is firing off these severe storms. With dew points still in the 60's and surface convergence boundary line, this provides for a great mechanism to fire off these storms. Strong southerly low level jet and a decent area of CAPE will keep these storms going into the night.
North Platte is getting hammered by these storms. Rotation is noted on the storm south of North Platte with a low level change in velocity of 40 knots, fairly strong!