23 May, 2015 – SE Colorado

23 May, 2015 – SE Colorado

Processed - 1200 - IMG_1751

Doug and I started the day in Burlington, Colorado where the very nice Best Western was practically FULL of stormchasers.  The College of DuDage crew, a bunch of old chase friends, cats from Australia – everyone at Continental Breakfast was forecasting!  Doug and I worked the convection near Pueblo, Colorado the day before and while it was pretty, it really wasn’t much to speak of – I didn’t even get the DLSR out.

So this was Doug Glennie’s first real storm chase.  We hung out with and ended up tandeming with John Moore/Steve Sponsler, KathyVelasquez/Melody Kircher/Ana Kukulj (and it was the first time I had seen Kathy since Linda Kitchen’s passing), and Jack ‘Thunderhead’ Corso (who I hadn’t seen since 1997!).

Headed west to Limon and then did the long through the middle-of-nowhere drive down to Rocky Ford and LaJunta.  We had to sneak between to updrafts just north of Rocky Ford:

Processed - 1200 - IMG_1740

One of the cells was (radar indicated) Tornado Warned but we saw nothing remotely threatening.  We had to sneak through some deep standing water (NOT flowing) in La Junta, which I wouldn’t normally do, but we had Jack Corso as a ‘tracer’ and we plunged in with no issue after Jack made it through.

Processed - 1200 - IMG_1743

After heading east of La Junta on US50, we started to see a lot of other chasers as we moved south of the main cell.  Everyone we saw was pretty well behaved and leap-froged in an orderly manner.

This was a day where it was hard to get a shot of the storm without getting inadvertently ‘photo-bombed’ by other chases.  Case in point, these guys:

Processed - 1200 - IMG_1751

And their support vehicle:

Processed - 1200 - IMG_1752

And both together:

Processed - 1200 - IMG_1754

One of the advantages of having a Sunroof:

Processed - 1200 - IMG_1767

The cell was marred by precip falling into the updraft:

Processed - 1200 - IMG_1788

But it was a pretty scene none-the-less:

Processed - 1200 - IMG_1800

And then the College of DuPage folks wanted to pose with our storm (good reason to keep that shutter speed up!):

Processed - 1200 - IMG_1802

A wee bit of a downdraft cut became apparent – amounted to not much:

Processed - 1200 - IMG_1841

And we observed some nice Shelf structure (Dough was pleased so that was good!):

Processed - 1200 - IMG_1845

At one point we pick up one of our fellow chaser, when they were inadvertently abandoned by they chase partners (yes, one of the groups we were tandeming with!).  Canadians save the day – and then we ‘hid’ them to see how long it would take their chase partners to notice they were missing!  We milked it and all had a good laugh!!!

Processed - 1200 - IMG_1848

Shelf structure improved some as we got closer to Lamar:

Processed - 1200 - IMG_1859

Wet storms were very much the theme of many 2015 chase days on the plains!

Processed - 1200 - IMG_1864

Nice scene with scuddy lowering and shelf:

Processed - 1200 - IMG_1880

Things wound down as we hand time to socialize as the Arizona/California folks had to head back home.  Hey, there’s Steve!

Processed - 1200 - IMG_1886

A fun chase and then Doug and I, along with Steve and John, headed down to Amarillo, Texas for the night (where we initiated Doug at The Big Texan)!