Thursday 4 June 2015

Day 8 - Palmer Divide

WED 03 JUNE 2015

First we had to get our chase vehicle checked over by the rental company to ensure it was roadworthy, after the deer-induced damage from last night. They said as long as the headlights were working properly then the car should be fine to drive. We aim to get the car replaced at Denver airport at some point, but for now it is driveable and we have storms to chase!

We left Nebraska to drive back into colourful Colorado - a quick bite to eat in Fort Morgan (CO), and then nudged south to Keenesburg (CO) where we sat for a good hour or two waiting for initiation. Easterly upslope flow over the Rockies would then develop a few thunderstorms, which as they moved farther east and across the Plains were expected to turn severe, with a fairly high tornado chance expected also.

A few showers/storms attempted to form, but collapsed back down again several times, before one near Castle Rock (CO) began to be much better organised and long-lasting, and soon became severe warned. We decided to give this one a go, albeit some 60min drive away, but we got there in good time. En-route a new cell had developed to the west of the original one, but given the fairly rain-free bases we positioned ourselves to be sat between the two cells to keep an eye on both bases.
A rather outflow-dominant severe thunderstorm behind a church near Franktown (CO)
The first supercell weakened very quickly as it drifted east towards Limon (CO), while the second supercell started to become very outflow dominant. Still, we stuck with this one as it was literally the only severe warned storm for at least 100miles around, if not more. It did get better organised as it moved between Franktown (CO) and Elizabeth (CO), with a visibly rotating wall cloud, but eventually died a very rapid death in roughly the same place as the first supercell - presumably moving into an environment where there was more capping.

All in all a bit of a disappointing day, not just for us but for most chasers that were out and about in Wyoming and Colorado, given the environment something didn't quite play ball and there were very few supercells to chase.
03 June 2015 GPS Tracker Route Map
2015 STORM CHASE stats thus far:
McDonald's tally: 9
Applebee's tally: 7
Distance driven: 3,367 miles
States visited: 7

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