Tag Archives | Palmer Divide

June 21st Palmer Divide Briefly Tornadic Supercell

We weren’t expecting anything significant on June 21st. However, as often happens in the upslope regions of Colorado combined with terrain features, a decent supercell formed north of Colorado Springs along the Palmer Divide. Good directional shear due in part to strong easterly winds helped the storm to organize and rotate. As the cell approached the town of Kiowa, the low levels started spinning strongly. You can see a hook forming visually and rotate pretty rapidly. A tornado warning was issued by the NWS and soon an area of rotating debris was seen under the hook area of the storm. This weak tornado only lasted a couple of minutes.

As the cell moved further east, it encountered less surface moisture and instability, which caused it to steadily weaken and eventually dissipate east of Limon. Several other storms initiated in the cold side of the first cell’s outflow and never could really intensify for long periods. A fun chase and right in our backyard.

June 7th Palmer Divide Tornadic Supercell

June 7th was a tough choice. We agonized between the Platte river valley north of Chugwater or the Palmer Divide. Since we started in Denver, we chose the Palmer Divide. Of course, by mid afternoon a VERY nice tornado and supercell occurred in the northern target, which made us even more ill. Finally towers and eventual storms went up on the Palmer just southwest of Deer Trail. This storm intensified and right turned moving due south. It did produce several tornadoes, most of which were brief or rain wrapped (as seen below!). It also produced softball sized hail and intense lightning.