June 26th ended up being my favorite chase day in June. Good moisture, a boundary and strong shortwave energy would set the stage for supercells across North and South Dakota. I started the day in Rapid City and ended up near Mobridge as two tornadic storms formed not far from the North and South Dakota border west of the river. It was absolutely stunning scenery watching this storm interact with the surroundings! It produced at least two tornadoes, possibly more as it wrapped in rain. It also produced tons of hail to tennisball sized. The structure later in the evening was stunning!
June 23rd and 24th kept us in the northern plains, from Nebraska to North Dakota. Ample moisture, decent shear and good instability would provide for severe storms on both days. Several tornado warned and severe warned storms would form, but would not produce tornadoes. Instead very large hail to baseball size and strong outflow winds would be the primary severe weather modes. Structure of HP supercells and a magnificent shelf cloud from a bowed out line in North Dakota on the 24th would give me great photo opportunities.
June 20th kept us in Colorado for a great set up for higher based supercell hailers. We got them! We also caught 3 supercells that were tornado warned, although none produced. Good directional shear, and lift, but only fair moisture was present. Large temperature/dewpoint spreads would keep storm bases fairly high. Storms were pretty structured and produced copious amounts of hail, some places over half foot deep near Eads. Storms also produced very nice CGs which were quite photogenic due to their higher bases.
I didn’t have a lot of hope for this day. Upslope moisture was piling into northeast New Mexico, with fairly weak shear aloft. Decent instability developed and a series of supercells formed, moving southeast off the Raton Mesa area. As these storms moved southeast, they encountered drier air and weakened. However, early evening, stronger storms formed along a dryline and several became tornado warned. We had already blown off the day and headed north. Fortunately, no tornadoes occurred with these storms.
I wasn’t expecting what I caught on June 16th. Southwest Oklahoma lit up like a Christmas tree as HP supercells graced the landscape, many tornado warned. Good moisture, instability and decent shear, albeit fairly weak in the low levels, was present this day. A north/south boundary would be the firing grounds for storms. We intercepted 3 tornado warned storms, with one likely tornado occurring northwest of Hobart, Oklahoma. The Hobart storm was one of my favorites for the year!
June 12th had some potential, but low level shear was not the greatest. We intercepted 4 tornado warned cells, all of which had decent low level rotation, wall clouds, respectable structure, but just couldn’t produce much. One cell near Cottonwood Falls, Kansas had strong rotation, a streaming tail cloud into the mesocyclone and then we were getting rained on with debris! Thus we vacated our position quickly. Click on the image for a larger shot.
June 11th was highly advertised as a big tornado potential day. Shortwave energy was ejecting from the high plains and would interact with a boundary from northern Kansas through Iowa and Minnesota. By the end of the day, several fatal tornadoes would occur, with the most noted being the Little Sioux, Iowa tornado and the Manhattan, Kansas tornado. We chased in Iowa this day and intercepted several storms that had tornado warnings, including the Little Sioux storm, which was quite messy and rain clogged.
I didn’t have a lot of hope for this day. Limited moisture and CAPE, along with respectable shear, I thought would result in high based storms, producing marginal hail. I did not expect a tornado warned higher based supercell to form and become one of the prettiest storms of the young season thus far. We started with trashy storms near Scottsbluff and watched as this storm developed amidst the piles of crappy cumulus towers associated with those storms. We finally let it pummel s with golfball sized hail near Chappell, NE.