Wednesday 6 June 2018

Day 11 - Wyoming

WED 06 JUN 2018

Last night we decided our target for today would be SE Wyoming, starting at Chugwater (WY) initially, and then re-evaluating from there. Since we were starting the day in Buffalo (WY), we had at least a 4 hour journey ahead of us to get into position - so had planned to be ready to leave by 10am.
SPC Forecast
SPC Tornado Probability Forecast
Roll forward to this morning, and things didn't look quite as clear-cut as they perhaps did yesterday. Still a risk in SE Wyoming for tornadoes, but also couldn't rule one out near where we were either since a few storms were likely even near Buffalo by the afternoon. So instead of our planned 4 hour drive to SE Wyoming, we opted to stay local and chase the storms that would eventually fire over the mountains.

We took a drive through Bighorn National Forest, reaching altitudes of over 8,000 ft with patches of lying snow still on the ground, before deciding to head back east and keep an eye on the storms developing over the mountains. At times they exhibited some nice structure, and were very slow moving - leading to a risk of flash flooding. But ultimately no tornadoes happened (it was a low risk anyway), unlike in SE Wyoming where a significant and long-lived tornado occurred not far from our original chase target!
Thunderstorm develops over the mountains SW of Buffalo (WY)
Thunderstorm develops over the mountains SW of Buffalo (WY)
Ended the day at Casper (WY) contemplating what meteorological conditions had helped the storm near Laramie (WY) create such a significant tornado, while trying to not be too hard on myself as to why we didn't aim for our original target. Sometimes storm chasing comes with a bitter pill to swallow...

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