Tag Archives | Nebraska

May 27th Northeast Colorado/Southwest Nebraska Tornadic Supercells

This day had a lot going for it. Great shear, good moisture and instability, and a dryline would help set the stage for intense supercells. Our first storm of the day formed near Ft Morgan and tracked northeast along I-76.  It became a rather large and occasionally disorganized supercell. However as it approached Sterling, it wrapped up hard and produced a brief, small tornado. Further to the east, a second, well organized and photogenic supercell formed. It produced a few brief tornadoes, however the structure of this storm would be one of the prettiest for 2019! As it came towards Imperial, a beautiful sculpted storm was present. At one point west of town, not only did the storm have a stunning appearance, but a partially rain wrapped tornado became visible. The cone shaped twister was on the ground for a few minutes before wrapping in rain again as we lost visibility of it. An amazing day with gorgeous storms and a few tornadoes! Enjoy the photos below!

May 17th Southwest Nebraska Tornadic Supercell

May 17th was an amazing day. Storms formed along a dryline in northwest Kansas and northeast Colorado and pushed into southwest Nebraska. One supercell approached McCook, NE and dropped a few tornadoes along the way. Strong wind shear, great instability and good surface moisture set the stage for this and other storms to form. The first tornado was quite pretty as it tracked just west of town. A couple more formed in the hills where roads were bad and thus not greatly visible from where we had to intercept them. None the less the storm was a very pretty supercell and long lived. It persisted for several hours before weakening north of Kearney, Nebraska.

May 16th North Platte, Nebraska Supercell

May 16th was the day before the big day. Limited moisture would cause storms to be higher based, thus increasing the wind threat as well as hail. However little tornado threat would occur. We intercepted a cluster of storms which would move northeast towards North Platte and become severe. Hail to golfball size, pretty structure and intense lightning would occur from these. The tail end cell broke off from the line and became a pretty supercell right at sunset. The colors, structure and lightning were very pretty! Enjoy the photos below!

June 17th Colorado/Nebraska Tornadic Supercells

June 17th had big promise. Great wind shear, good moisture, high CAPE and a dryline and outflow boundary intersection set the stage for what would be a great day! We started in Ogallala, Nebraska and just had to drift westward towards northeast Colorado. Mid afternoon initiation was pretty convincing that supercells and possible tornadoes would occur. The initial supercell spun like mad, dropping baseball sized hail and producing at least two tornadoes. Structure was very pretty, however blowing dirt in the rear flank downdraft area (rfd) would block viewing of the mesocyclone at times. A big dusty tornado occurred near Julesburg, CO followed by another tornado near Big Springs, NE. The cell would eventually gust out northwest of North Platte, NE but not before producing one more small tornado. A fantastic day that produced an awesome supercell. Meanwhile, SLT co-owner Caryn Hill chased locally and intercepted a highly sculpted tornado warned supercell near Otis, Colorado! Probably the best structure for 2018 to that day! Enjoy the photos!

June 11th Eastern Nebraska Tornado Warned Supercell

June 11th featured very high surface moisture and extreme instability. A boundary laid across eastern Nebraska and would be the focal point for severe and tornado warned storms this day. By mid afternoon, strong convergence along the boundary would result in rapid supercell development, with one storm in particular near Fremont, Nebraska becoming tornado warned. Shear steadily increased through the afternoon and caused this supercell to spin wildly! It produced a couple funnels, large hail and some wind damage! After a few hours, numerous storms formed and quickly developed into a linear MCS that marched across the area into western Iowa, becoming tornado warned periodically.  A fun and exciting day for the tour that really wasn’t expected just a couple days before! The old motto of never give up holds true!!!! Enjoy the pics!

May 10th Southwest Nebraska Supercell

May 10th took us to western Nebraska for severe storms.  Good instability and shear, as well as convergence along the dryline, would allow significant storms to form. However, due to lack of good deep moisture, the cells would be higher based than you would like to produce tornadoes. We intercepted a few storms this day, but the best and prettiest was a supercell that formed southwest of Ogallala, Nebraska later afternoon. This cell would have that classic mothership appearance, produce baseball sized hail and also became quite electrified. We were able to capture some great images. Also, we deployed our slow motion lightning camera which caught numerous bolts in slow motion!

Here’s a link to the lightning video:

May 7th Valentine, Nebraska Electrical Storms

May 7th really didn’t have much going for it. It was the first day of Tour 3 and we wanted something to chase. We left Oklahoma City early bound for Valentine, Nebraska, some 650 miles away. Decent shear, but very limited moisture and instability would result in high based storms to form. What we didn’t expect was the amount of lightning that was occurring with these storms. Right around sunset they became quite electrified producing numerous cloud to ground lightning strikes. We pulled east of town as they became severe warned and watched the show. Very pretty and long lasting lightning display rolled on for hours.

Enjoy the photos!

June 20th Southern Nebraska Lightningfest

June 20th took us to southern Nebraska.  Excessive heat, steep lapse rates, moderate CAPE and moisture, as well as a local boundary across the I-80 corridor would set the stage for severe storms this afternoon and evening.  Clusters of storms formed west of Kearney, NE and drifted south. Their outflows kicked up new storms ahead of them by early evening.  Due to steep lapse rates and optimum freezing levels, the storms were incredibly electrified!  Some of the best lightning of 2017 occurred that evening, well into the night time hours. We stayed in front of the cluster of severe storms into Kansas well into the night time hours. A great day for the lightning lovers! And who isn’t one????

 

June 12th Wyoming and Nebraska Tornadic Supercells

June 12th had the potential to be a record breaking event for eastern Wyoming, as well as the Nebraska panhandle. At the end of the day numerous tornadoes formed across the landscape!  Very high moisture, extreme CAPE, very strong wind shear and upslope into the Laramie Range would cause several supercells to form.  We chased the first supercell of the day, which produced a couple of tornadoes near Lingle, Wyoming.  This storm was tornado warned for many hours as it moved northeast across eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska.

Later we would drop south towards Scottsbluff, Nebraska and catch a tornadic storm that came out of Colorado (See the next chase account from SLT co-owner Caryn Hill!!!!!). We witnessed 3 tornadoes from this storm. Later in it’s life cycle, it would become one of the most photogenic supercells of 2017 as it rolled across the Nebraska Sand Hills headed for southern South Dakota where it dissipated after midnight.   For an event to be this strong, this far west, it was almost unprecedented.  SPC even had a Moderate Risk for eastern Wyoming, only the second one in history!  They were also forecasting strong tornadoes, which did occur.  Hail and lightning in these monster supercells were incredible as well! Enjoy the photos!!!!

 

June 27th Southwest Nebraska/Northeast Colorado Tornado Warned Supercells

The first day of the Reunion tour provided a decent high plains set up. Upslope flow into western Nebraska would push 60 dewpoints along a boundary as moderate westerly mid level winds would help generate enough wind shear for supercells. Two such storms formed along the northwest/southeast oriented boundary and would produce giant hail to softball size. Both supercells were tornado warned with the second storm producing a confirmed tornado near Eckley, Colorado. Structure was decent as well. We came back through the area the next day to find thousands of acres of cropland shredded to the ground, mostly corn. Sometimes hailstorms can produce more significant damage than a tornado can. This was the case with these storms.