2 June, 2015 – Nebraska Panhandle Chase

2 June, 2015 – Nebraska Panhandle Chase

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Good chase day in the Nebraska Panhandle!

Doug and I started out in Rapid City, South Dakota and liked the Nebraska Panhandle (one of my favorite areas to chase!) as the target for the day.  By the time be arrived in Chadron, NE, scattered weak storms were already coming off the mountains in Wyoming.  We headed west to Crawford (on the section of Hwy 20 dubbed the Crazy Horse Memorial Highway), then through Fort Robinson on Hwy 20 (which at that point is called the Bridges to Buttes Byway).

We found a nice, high pulloff, with a large paved parking lot and watched the cell just to our west:

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Our position is marked with a X on this reflectivity image from Rapid City.  The cell to the WNW had a heavier precip  core which is also seen in the ultra-wide angle images (14mm on full frame):

2116z KUDX

Not long after our arrival, Pennsylvania chaser Brian Morganti arrived and also started taking images of the scene (Brian is at lower left):

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Anvils built rapidly:

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And the weak base widened:

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We headed east and could see more of the discrete updrafts in the general area (note this image was taken at roughly 60 mph, hand held,  while Doug drove – always good to keep the shutter speed up!):

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The anvil mammatus/long knuckles were quite interesting!   These cells were moving into a moderate SBCAPE (~2000 j/kg), but only marginally sheared environment.

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The underside of the anvils (or coalesced/common anvil) became very interesting.  We had ourselves a display of Cumulonimbus Asperitas!

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Meanwhile the discrete cells had intensified.  We found a nice rise just eat of Crawford, NE, where the next series of images were taken:

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The east-most cell soon developed a very nice lowering!

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Concurrent reflectivity (again, we are just ENE of Crawford):

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Precip occasionally wrapped around the updraft:

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A number of couplets were evident on Storm Relative Velocity imagery – with the one I was photographing being the one just west of the green county line that runs south from Fort Robinson:

2209z KUDX SRV

Lower-lowering were lowering out of the lowering!

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And precip wrapped around:

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These images were taken at 200mm on the wonderfully sharp Canon 70-200 F4 IS:

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Zoomed out view shows the next updraft down the line was mostly obscured by its precip core:

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More scuddy lowerings on the updraft we had been featuring:

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The two cores at ~2215z:


2214z KUDX

And SR Velocity at ~2215z – couplets stronger:

2214z KUDX SRV

A couple of images of the further-east lowering:

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Zoomed out again at ~2220z, with the western updraft now visible:

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Concurrent reflectivity:

2220z KUDX

Scuddy lowering close to the ground (this is the western-most of the updrafts):

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Concurrent SR Velocity – above image is the brightest red/brightest green couplet:

2220z KUDX SRV

Then obscured by precip:

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Show wasn’t over with the Asperitas!

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The truck works nicely with this!

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A moving-on-down-the-road perspective:

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Here are some scenes as we approached and skirted around Chadron:

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If you know the area it features some hilly terrain as well as some pine forest!

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Which provided a nice contrast:

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Officially part of the Nebraska National Forest!

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We headed south on Hwy 385.

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Eventually we were out ahead of the convection, which was evolving into a big outflow-dominant blob.

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But that mean it was on to the shelf cloud structure phase of the chase!

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Which soon became rewarding!

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Nice somewhat-chaotic multiple leveled shelf:

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High plains in fine form:

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These are all 14mm, ultra wide angle images.

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Here is a stitched pano from multiple  overlapping14mm images:

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Like this one with the cows, who seem more interested in the dern grass.

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We needed to keep a good at-speed-limit pace and there unfortunately wasn’t a lot of time to stop and watch.  This is ultra-wide to the SW:

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And to the NW:

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And then the stitched even wider pano:

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Structure evolved as we continued south:

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And was weakening:

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But was still capable of some impressive dusty outflow:

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No speed limit applies to outflow!

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And things had really calmed down but the time we arrived in Alliance, NE.

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We headed west to set up for the next day (could only find lodging in Cheyenne, WY).  These images were taken just south of Scottsbluff, NE of the convection that ramped up after we left:

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At least we got the Al Moller ‘back of the cell at sunset view’!

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And zoomed in:

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Eventually this evolved into a bow echo structure with strong outflow – note the good fine lines out ahead of the main convective line.  A great show for everyone in Cherry County! .^)

0259z KLNX

A really nice chase with a wide variety of atmospheric displays!