Tag Archives | August 2002

August 28th, 2002 Lamar, Colorado Tornadic Supercell

Left Denver at noon headed for southeast Colorado where more sunshine and a boundary were present. By the time I reached Limon, I already saw thunderstorms explode to my south. So I blasted quickly south on 287 and by the time I got to Eads, the first TOR was issued. All I could see was this electrified wall of white in front of me and of course knew what it meant. I hit the core at 2:55 PM north of Wiley and was greeted with tennis ball sized hail on my already cracked windshield. So I pushed through it. South of it, just north of Wiley, I saw a large slowly rotating wall cloud, perfectly bowl shaped. At about 3:15 PM I could see a rotating dust bowl under it. Not a great dust bowl but I would call it a tornado. It persisted for about 5 minutes.

Then south I went cutting through dirt roads (dry) to get back southeast of the updraft. The updraft was a highly striated updraft at least 10 miles across with a VERY LARGE laminar beaver tail streaming in from the southeast. I made it just southwest of Lamar when I noticed an occlusion taking place and strong wet RFD winds wrapping around the occluded meso. Soon a white cone tornado formed. The debris cloud was entirely of dark brown dirt. It stayed on the ground for about 6 minutes before it dissipated. Then I made it to 287 and zig zigged east/southeast to stay in front of the meso and be able to look down the notch of this now HP storm. A landspout formed to my west, about 10 miles northwest of Twin Buttes and persisted for 17 minutes. The storm continued to march south/southeast, slowly and became an electrified monster!! I called off the dogs and went back through the core to get to 287 again and headed north to get back home.

That is when all things came to a stand still. I passed a bridge where water was flowing up to the bottom and a person’s house was flooded about 4 ft deep. I figured I could make it back to Lamar (only 7 miles), but the road was closed due to flash flooding in front of me. I sat there for 3 hours blocked in front and back by flooding. Hail was piled up at least 6″ deep across the fields.

August 24th, 2002 Paoli, Colorado Mothership Supercell

August 24 kept me in the Colorado and Nebraska area. An old outflow boundary would be the focal point for severe weather this day. I headed out to Julesburg and played an elevates supercell moving across southwest Nebraska. This storm did produce large hail, but I did not see a tornado, even though a couple were reported with it. I ended up playing a very scenic supercell coming out of Nebraska into Sedgwick county, Colorado. This storm was rapidly rotating and exhibited beautiful structure. It also produced golf ball sized hail covering the highway.

August 8th, 2002 Reva, South Dakota Tornadic Supercell

My last day out would be one of my favorite on this trip. A boundary was present from overnight convection across northern South Dakota into North Dakota. I decided to play where the winds were backed and the approaching short wave would intersect the boundary. By 2 PM a supercell rapidly developed along this boundary near Buffalo, South Dakota. This storm became a monster supercell and produced copious amounts of baseball sized hail and a small tornado just northwest of Reva, South Dakota. Then the first cell died as it crossed the boundary into North Dakota, and a second very nice HP supercell developed back over Buffalo.

August 6th, 2002 Lewistown, MT Awesome LP Supercell

August 6th was a simple an fun chase day. For the second day in a row significant severe weather was a sure bet. I spent the night in Lewistown, MT and didn’t have to leave. By lat afternoon an HP supercell developed just east of town. This storm produced high winds and large hail. Another, by far prettier supercell developed just west of the first. It became my favorite LP supercell of the year as it went on to survive for 6 hours and produce softball sized hail.