Sunday 26 May 2019

Day 3 - Eastern Colorado

SPC Convective Outlook
SPC Tornado Outlook
Morning surface analysis
Starting the day once again in Woodward (OK) we headed northwest through the Oklahoma panhandle, grabbing lunch in Liberal (KS) in the general direction of Johnson City (KS). As we neared our initial target, a supercell thunderstorm had already developed over Springfield (CO) and was producing hail up to 3 inches in diameter (as per reports on Spotter Network). We headed generally west to intercept, but this cell soon decayed as we approached Two Buttes (CO) - where we briefly met Nathan Edwards.
Our position (blue circle) south of the classic supercell signature on radar near Lamar (CO)
A new storm had fired up well to our west, so to keep up with it we headed north to Holly (CO) then west to Lamar (CO) - by which point we were only a few miles from the now-developing wall cloud. We slowly followed this storm north toward Eades (CO) then east to Sharon Springs (CO). Road options were few and far between, which meant some considerable 'chaser convergence'. Traffic ground to a crawl at times (despite being in a 60+mph zone) and we saw several chasers had fallen into ditches.
About as good as the storm looked, outside of Cheyenne Wells (CO)
Approaching Cheyenne Wells (CO) the storm began to exhibit rapid rotation - we thought it might produce a tornado, but it was not to be. The inflow was notably cold (16C plus a 20 knot SE wind feels pretty chilly!). Soon after other storms began to develop and merge into a bowing line, which raced eastwards - we tried our best to keep ahead of the line, but it caught up with us as we neared Goodland (KS). And so ended our chase for the day, with a hotel booked in Goodland.
GPS Route Tracker

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