Wrong decision today - we started at Castle Rock (CO) next to the Palmer Divide where a couple of supercells were likely to develop in the afternoon/evening with perhaps a tornado. However, conditions looked much more favourable for tornadoes in northern Kansas/southern Nebraska with better backed surface winds and an old boundary; so we drove for hours eastwards to get into Kansas. En-route a couple of supercells developed in eastern Colorado, both became tornado warned and the southern one, just southwest of Limon, produced 8 spectacular tornadoes, including an anticyclonic one.
However, these were a good 3 hour drive back to the west and all we could do is sit in the sunny skies in Kansas (the atmosphere was very capped despite there being 4,000 J/kg CAPE) and hope something might develop (while feeling increasingly disappointed that we'd missed out on some spectacular tornadoes not far from where we had stayed the previous night).
|This is what 4,000 J/kg CAPE (convective available potential energy) looks like when capped, and 2 hours later with the cap eroded = explosive development!|
Incredible storm... Just SE of Simla, CO pic.twitter.com/tkjr56BMlK— StormCruzzer (@StormCruzzer) June 5, 2015
Stopping in Hoxie (KS) a nice cumulus tower started going up to our south, and very quickly become a significant thunderstorm. Since it looked nice visibly, we decided we'd commit to this one, and drove south to get closer. It became tornado-warned, and had a very high-based wall cloud at times, but sadly never produced a tornado. Meanwhile another discrete low-precipitation (LP) supercell to our northwest had some stunning structure, was also tornado-warned but to my knowledge also failed to produce.
|Severe thunderstorm (became tornado-warned) near Utica (KS)|
|Mesocyclone visible associated with the Utica (KS) severe thunderstorm|
|04 June 2015 GPS Tracker Route Map|
McDonald's tally: 10
Applebee's tally: 8
Distance driven: 3,882 miles
States visited: 8