Friday 1st July 2022 – Nebraska and Wyoming (Slight Risk)

We started our last day of the season from Chadron with Thunderstorms looking likely to roll off the Front Range of Wyoming and into the Nebraska Panhandle. Seeing as we needed to be in or near Denver for flying home day on Saturday we needed to start North and end South so any storms that would move into South Dakota we would have to leave in the early evening. A few Storms initiated around 3pm west of Lusk and we watched these for a few hours before dropping south towards Torrington and then into Nebraska around the Scottsbluff area. The Tornado risk today was low to almost zero so some structure and cloud art for the Photographers on the trip was needed and today did not let us down. Some Pictures below of the structure in Wyoming and the Sunset from Nebraska to end the Season.

Wednesday 29th June 2022 – North Dakota (Enhanced Risk)

After a few down days and some Astro Photography which even featured weak Aurora we were back into the last 3 days of Storm Action. Starting today in Glendive (MT) the Models were once again struggling like crazy putting initiation all over the place. The SPC had the 2% Tornado Risk in NE North Dakota but that area looked completely capped to me so after having lunch in Bismarck I wasnt going any further east. We actually dropped South to the SD/ND Border and watched some storms that initiated North of the Black Hills roll towards us. But the show was about to start with an arcing line of Supercells erupting near Bowman and it was these we set a course for. The late initiation of these storms meant we only had 90 minutes to enjoy them though.

We simply did not have enough time for these storms to structure up and Sunset Lightning was once again all that was on offer.

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On the drive to our Hotel for the night there was some lovely mammatus on the back edge of the storms now to our east.

Friday 24th June 2022 – Kansas and Nebraska (Marginal Risk)

We started today in Salina and the Models were all over the place once again with a very broad area for storms from North Dakota through South Dakota down through Nebraska and Kansas. We headed North and then West along Interstate 80 before settling on some better looking storms forming a line from Eastern Colorado to the Nebraska Panhandle. Lightning was the main aim of today so I booked the Hotel at McCook (NE) and headed along the Road into that town from Oberlin to set up for some lightning. What I didnt expect was a long base with multiple Landspouts occuring along the line the best of which was over or near to Benkelman (NE). A real bonus couple of Tornadoes for today and we sent the photo evidence to NWS Goodland who verified our pics.

Landspout Below – Jock has a Picture showing the Funnel Above

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Thursday 23rd June 2022 – Kansas (Slight Risk)

We started today in Pratt and had a very strong target of Hays to Stockton a little further north in Central Kansas. After a nice leisurely drive to Hays for Lunch at Gellers Brewery the atmosphere looked explosive. Temperatures today would be in the Low to Mid 80’s and strong easterly winds would transport low to mid 70’s dewpoints into the area well in time and with a Surface Low moving in from the west from Colorado this looked like a very good set-up today and the SPC agreed with a 5% Tornado Upgrade on the 1630z Update. A Warm Front would also be draped somewhere near to Interstate 70 setting up a Triple Point play. Storms would initiate and become High Based elevated storms before the possibility of becoming surface based as time went by aided by an arriving low level jet around 22z. After we came out from Lunch explosive towers were all around us and the first radar blips were showing up on radar. We positioned to the North East around Wilson Lake Reservoir and I noticed 1 storm anchoring itself onto the Warm Front whilst shedding left split elevated storms away to the North. Also noted at this time was an increase in Smooth Channel Lightning and a massive rotating Wall Cloud setting up. The Motion of the Storm was ENE so I re-positioned us to just north of Wilson along the Interstate with the Supercell now to our North-West and west and displaying stunning Classic Supercell structure at this time.

The Storm was also now Tornado Warned and Positive Cgs were landing around us making for some interesting Photography. The Rotation was now very strong and a Tornado Touch down occurred to our west near the Town of Bunker Hill.

Tornado Just to our West Below

The Tornado Sirens were wailing in the nearby town and the Tornado changed shape to a tall Stovepipe at this time

The Tornado was moving ESE and the Storms Meso was moving ENE so it wasnt long before the rope our stage came from this brief Tornado that was on the ground for about 5 minutes. I re-positioned us further east for the next occlusion and the Structure was still stunning all along the route from Russell to Salina.

This Cyclic Supercell rode along the warm front from about 5-9pm dropping 6 Tornadoes along the way, we definately saw at least 2 and maybe more once all footage has been looked at. Finally a Storm that produced some stunning structure along with Tornadoes with the ingredients we had in place. Ended the day in Salina with a Steak Meal to celebrate.

Wednesday 22nd June 2022 – Kansas – Gen TStorm Risk

After picking up the guests for Tour 5 we had driven to Ellis for our overnight position knowing a couple of Kansas chase days were in the offing, the first would be a very weak risk in South Central Kansas, the temps and dewpoints were superb with 88/74 registered at Pratt where we ate Lunch, the problem was only 10 knots of shear meaning storms would rain on themselves and only really the Multi Cell Storms would sustain until dusk, so it was a mainly Lightning show we were after today. The first Storms were very Elevated so to bring the hail out I did a B&W Shot, some of the later storms had quite pokey winds and an 18 Wheeler got turned over near Haviland. We then finished the day with some Lightning shots and Sunset shots at Greensburg before heading back to the hotel at Pratt for the night.

 

Monday 20th June 2022 – NE/SD/ND – Slight Risk

Started the last day of Tour 4 from Rapid City and knowing we had to be back in Denver for tomorrow morning our hand was forced to chase the bottom end of the risk which in the end worked out really well as the Tail End Supercell was pretty much the strongest cell of the day and had a decent Tornado Warning when it was near Alliance. Once again the chase terrain was very challenging with the Storm tracking across the Nebraska Sandhills and with its forward speed at 50mph made it almost impossible to get in front of.

We tracked the storm as far east as was possible until around 6pm and finally let it go on its way through North Central Nebraska into South Dakota and got some pics from the back of the Storm before ending the day at Julesburg (CO)

Sunday 19th June 2022 – MT/SD ( Slight Risk )

After a few tourist days visiting Devils Tower and Mount Rushmore we were back into Storm action today with a really nice risk in SE Montana and NW South Dakota. The models were showing a couple of long tracked Supercells heading from SW To NE initiating over the Big Horns of Wyoming. We awaited the dominant Supercell near Broadus and watched as it came into view at the same time as being Tornado Warned. Montana sure does not let you down with its incredible Structured Supercells and today was no different.

The Storms motion was making it hard to keep up at times but we tried along dusty dirt tracks through Capitol and then Camp Crook as the Storm headed towards Buffalo (SD)

The storm briefly looked tornadic whilst it was south of the boundary but ultimately once it crossed the boundary it became an Elevated Supercell, still lovely structure but more of a hail machine now and we encountered Tennis Ball Sized Hail east of Buffalo.

Knowing tomorrow was our last chase day before the journey back to Denver I opted to leave the storm and headed for Rapid City for the night. The Sunset on the backside of the Storm over some South Dakota Volcanoes was stunning still.

Thursday 16th June 2022 – Nebraska (Slight Risk)

After swapping out the broken down car we knew that the High Plains would reignite over the weekend so made our way back from our overnight stay in Madison (Wisconsin) And along the way Storms were expected to erupt at Sunset in SE Nebraska so we set course for an overnight stay at Lincoln which wasnt a bad shout as that seemed to be the epicentre of where the storms were impacting from 8pm until 3am so a busy evening was had. 2 Lines of storms erupted with 3 Supercells lined up south of Interstate 80 and a line of elevated Supercells north of the Interstate and all these were drifting slowly south east. I got us into a nice position between the 2 lines in the dry slot and at one point we had 360 degree lightning.

Radar Grab below

We eventually made our way to our hotel and shot lightning for hours. A really severe storm rattled through around 130am with Quarter sized hail and 80mph winds which made for some great video. A very loud night with close thunder banging away into the dawn hours. Great Fun!

Wednesday 15th June 2022 – Wisconsin (Moderate Risk)

Started the day in Iowa and SPC Upgraded the Enhanced Risk to Moderate on their 1630z Update and bumped the Tornado Risk upto 15% Hatched. But once again we would have to chase in less than favourable Terrain in Wisconsin. Knowing the area pretty well now from previous visits I positioned us east of Lacrosse and far enough back from the Mississippi River Valley.

The Day started off with Elevated Overnight Storms moving away into Minnesota that had some cool wave features associated with Undulatus Asperatus

Models were showing a very messy storm mode with a quick transition to Linear so the trick today would be to get on a storm early with a half decent view and then bug out. I somehow managed to pick out of the mush a decent looking storm which was just over the river near Decorah and kept a close eye on it as it travelled North East. Once it turned east and started throwing out Smooth Channel Bolts I knew the storm had become surface based and was riding the warm front. Now was the time for intercept near Tomah so we headed north to get NE of the Storm. Once again the Storm was heavily HP and the Tornado rain wrapped the theme of 2022. We did see the very end of the Tornado as it was too our North but contrast was abysmal.

Around this time the whole complex lined out into a Tornado Warned Squall line and we had 4 Tornado warned areas of this line segment to our south, great eh ?? Well not if your Car loses power and blows a water pump. We limped to a BP Service Station on I-39 and waited a tow truck to get us to Madison Airport where a replacement car would be. A few interesting hours with tornadic line segments ensued. A very strange day indeed!

Monday 13th June 2022 – South Dakota (Slight Risk)

Another day and another High Plains risk around the Wyoming and South Dakota border. SPC actually had a 5% risk in North Dakota but my attention was drawn to a Surface Low approaching the WY/SD Border area near Belle Fourche so it was that little town that was my target for a 2nd day running. Today would be a late cap breaker so we spent the day at a local State Park and some of the guys did some swimming. We headed back into Belle Fourche and waited with numerous other chasers as the Cumulus started to get more agitated around 7pm.

We headed North around 715pm as Precip started to show on radar and was surprised to see a baby needle funnel cloud associated with no storm just hanging out north of Belle Fourche for a good 10 minutes so watched this little guy for a time.

Storms today seemed to be very low topped around 25k feet and quite slow moving so we had plenty of time on deserted roads to get some nice shots of the building late evening storms.

Some very Interesting features SW of Hoover (SD) but no ground contact was seen at our location just a low hanging wall cloud not surprising given the 73/65 spreads

We headed further North and East to track these storms but light was starting to fade, just enough time before we headed back to Rapid City for a structure shot, but a very underwhelming day in the end.