MON 28 MAY 2018Two potential targets today - somewhere near WaKeeney (KS), and points south along the dryline in Kansas, or Palmer Divide and points to the northeast in NE Colorado. SPC had a broad 5% tornado risk in the morning, but we opted to head for Limon (CO) and play the Colorado target primarily because of the visible outflow boundary over NW Kansas that was slowly creeping into eastern Colorado, and the fact that at the time the HRRR model had been consistent on developing a couple of supercells near the Palmer Divide.
|SPC Tornado Probability Forecast|
I started getting doubts about whether we'd made the right decision, and noticed each new run of the HRRR model was backing off the idea of anything developing over the Palmer Divide. We eventually made it to Limon to refuel, but then headed back east in the direction we'd come from to Bovina (CO), where we parked up for a bit. We had driven quite a bit westwards so was essentially committed to whatever developed in Colorado, rather than heading back and chasing in Kansas.
Clouds continued to break, and convection began to fire along and north of the outflow boundary, visible as a broken line of developing cumulus. Paul Knightley and Helen Rossington joined us for a bit and we observed how much shear was notable in the cloud structures. A thunderstorms was gradually developing to our north, so we nudged east to Stratton (CO), then north towards Kirk (CO), giving us an option to head west towards a now severe-warned thunderstorm near Cope (CO), or east to another thunderstorm near St Francis (KS), just over the State border.
|Phone pic of convection beginning to develop to our north, from Bovina (CO)|
As we approached Cope (CO) I could see a beautiful landspout to our south, sadly we couldn't stop for photos, but once we did stop a few minutes later there were 2 landspouts on the ground. This storm continued to produce multiple landspouts, and we lost count - we think we saw 4.
|Twin landspouts north of Flagler (CO), as seen looking south from near Cope (CO)|
|Phone pic of the rain monster approaching from the west|
|Rope tornado eventually drifts across the field right next to us, picking up dust debris - near Cope (CO)|