Sunday 12th June 2022 – South Dakota (Slight Risk)

Started the day in SE Nebraska and a mammoth drive ahead of us to get onto some Supercell Storms rolling into South Dakota from Wyoming. My Target was Belle Fourche and SPC went with a 5% Tornado Risk for today. Our Journey through the Sandhills was stopped by Lunch in Valentine (NE) and then onto the Badlands and Rapid City for another break. We arrived at Belle Fourche at the perfect time with a Stunning Supercell 30 miles west of Town and also as soon as we got there a Tornado Warning. A first look at the Storm showed a HP Supercell with Giant Hail heading towards us. This whole Season has been the year of the Ice Machines unfortunately but very pretty storms to look at.

Around this time Belle Fourche was taking an absolute pounding from wind driven Baseball Hail. We tried to keep in front of the storm and dropped down towards Sturgis and the Bear Butte Volcano, the Supercell duly obliged and sat pretty much behind the Volcano.

Bear Butte Volcano Below

We then repositioned further east down I-90 towards the Badlands and watched the now bowing line move away, a nice LP Supercell right at the back of the line drifted in front of us to end the day.

Saturday 11th June 2022 – Nebraska and Kansas (Slight Risk)

The first day of Tour 4 we started from our overnight stay in Ogallalla with 2 possible targets the first in the high plains and the second what I felt was a better Tornado risk in SE Nebraska and SPC went with a 5% in this area. After a quick lunch in Beatrice I was confident we were in a good position with strong convection noted to our west along a boundary. A Tornado Watch was issued and the first blips on radar went up 15 miles to our west.

We dropped south from Beatrice avoiding the 4″ Hail this time and stopped at a great elevated location where we could see 3 Supercells all lined up and all were Tornado Warned, our location within 2 miles of a Town had Tornado Sirens blaring continuously and the structure on our storm was stunning.

Radar of the 3 Supercells lined up below

I noticed around this time the middle Supercell took a sharp south turn and was about to boss proceedings so relocated us further west.

It was becoming apparent that the main supercell was going to contain a rain wrapped Tornado around this time and a Tornado was ongoing from looking at Base Velocity near Maysville. We continued south stopping for structure shots hoping the Tornado would clear some rain away for a sneak peak but it was not giving away any easy shots.

I decided the only way to see these Tornadoes today was to get in there and get involved so went back east towards Blue Rapids (Ks) to try and get a position north of the Tornado but before we could get there the Tornado had blocked our path with power lines over the road and trees down everywhere. We had to abort back west and into a barrage of Smooth Channel bolts striking all around us. Knowing tomorrow contains a very good risk in South Dakota we cut the chase off and headed to York Nebraska for the night ready for the long drive North West Tomorrow.

Thursday 9th June 2022 – Nebraska (Slight Risk)

Started today in McCook (NE) and it was the last chase day for Tour 3. Todays Set Up would be a Triple Point risk near the Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska border area, hoping a Supercell would erupt early evening and ride the Warm Front. Early signs were good with some strong surface south easterly winds transporting low 60’s dewpoints into the target area. Some early storm in Colorado tried to tempt us but kept to my target area of around Imperial to North Platte area. I noticed a nice boundary with agitated cumulus starting to grow and around 6pm the first blips on radar and echo tops appeared near the town of Grant. Cumulus was now starting to explode through capped layers right in front of us.

3 Storms started to boss proceedings but it was the middle storm that took over SW of North Platte and started to turn south east and ride the warm front, this storm really looked the part for a good hour with various funnels half way to the ground. Ultimately the chase turned into a structure show though after the storm had crossed the warm front and we now had an elevated LP Supercell for the last part of the chase down towards where we started at McCook. Some incredible structure was too be had though.

Tuesday 7th June 2022 – NE/CO/KS – Slight Risk

Started today in McCook (NE) with a firm solid target of another NW Flow Supercell moving South East but this time we would have much better moisture to work with and also a weak surface low centred near the CO/KS/NE areas. We headed off towards Sidney to pick up the first sight of our Supercell and she was a real beauty.

The Storm took off at quite a pace SE moving at 40-50mph so this was going to be a hard one to keep up with and we would have to use Dirt Tracks to do it.

When we approached Sedgewick (CO) the storm really tightened up and we had areas of much stronger rotation above our heads. And just south of Sedgewick we watched the first Landspout Tornado of the day from this storm form in the field next to us. No chance to get out and take pictures with a big hail core heading str8 for us so we continued on towards Amherst where the storm put down another much better Landspout Tornado.

This was becoming a very fun chase, blasting down towards Imperial more dirt roads this time full of puddles made for some interesting driving, the structure now was starting to look ominous with 3″ Hail starting to be reported.

The Storm was just too fast for us ultimately so we took a break in Benkleman and then headed south and west to near Atwood to watch the sun set and light up our storm as it crashed away South East.

Monday 6th June 2022 – Kansas and Colorado (Slight Risk)

Another day and another NW Flow day with storms lining up and forming a south moving MCS overnight. This pattern has been stuck for a while now. Once again we knew tomorrow looked good in Nebraska and this time we would actually make it up there tomorrow so we headed north to see if we could pick up any weak storms on the way. Once again it was Lightning and some structure with not a lot else on for today and certainly no Tornado risk.

Sunday 5th June 2022 – Kansas (Enhanced Risk)

We started today in Colby and there were 2 very distinct targets today. The first SW Nebraska and NW Kansas and the 2nd new one which had arisen from the previous days SE Moving MCS which had thrown off a very nice Outflow Boundary over South Central Kansas. Overnight Model runs had also trended to the southern target so its back south we go and a Lunch stop at Dodge City. Risk Zones Below and HRRR projected Supercell around 7pm.

So we sat and we sat and we sat, 5pm 6pm 7pm – The Cap was very very strong BUT we never give up in chasing and I ventured towards some agitated cumulus down near Medicine Lodge and at 815pm Boooooom. We have lift off and within 30 minutes a Striated Supercell moving straight South into Oklahoma.

Now was the fun part, the Supercell started to throw out clear air Anvil to Ground Bolts a good 30 miles in front of the Storm and the guys caught some absolute stunners two of which are below from Graham and Reiner. Ended the day with another 2 hours of Severe storms slamming the hotel at Enid.

Saturday 4th June 2022 – Kansas and Colorado (Slight Risk)

Started the day with an early start at 8am from Seminole and knowing the next day would be in Nebraska it was a kind of drive north and see what pops up type of day. Storms were mainly multi cell with some Supercell structures at times. After a quick lunch stop in Amarillo we continued northwards towards the I70 area west of Colby and watched a Supercell roll into Cheyenne Wells over the border in Colorado. We did actually witness a brief weak Landspout Tornado with this storm. At times the structure was very nice see below.

We then tracked this Storm to just south of Colby where it really became interesting as it joined other storms heading SE out of Northern Kansas and all started to grow upscale into a damaging SE Moving MCS. We sat just to the west of the line and watched it slide away whilst shooting some amazing Cg Lightning.

Friday 3rd June 2022 – New Mexico (Slight Risk)

We started today in Seminole (Texas) and had a chase target of SE New Mexico, storms would form off the Sangra De Cristo Mountains between Roswell and Carlsbad and drift SE and become more Severe the Further east onto the Plains they went. SPC issued a 2% Tornado Risk and we got onto the Storm we would follow most of the day around 4pm. This Storm really started to structure up as it passed to the west of Hobbs and was on a South moving course for Jal (NM) We noticed numerous funnel clouds as the storm was fighting elevated and surface based phases. Picture below is just south of Jal (NM)

As the storm continued its south passage it became Tornado Warned near to Kermit (Tx) but no Tornado was seen. We bugged out for some arty Mammatus and Sunset Colours and ended the day where we started in Seminole.

Wednesday 1st June 2022 – TX & NM (Slight Risk)

We awoke today in Lawton with another 2% Slight Risk and a sagging cold front which had swept through overnight. We had to find the SE Surface winds and plotted a course to Lubbock for lunch. It became clear that the front would once again undercut storms today so we favoured an area around Hobbs for initiation and 2 Supercells formed which we got in front of. Another 2 Storms popped up around this time which made things interesting for picking a target storm and would later have an impact. Radar of initiation.

We headed South to the Town of Jal (NM) and the storm was started to get its act together with some stunning Cg bolts ahead of the Storm.

Double Cg Strike below

The most exciting part of the chase was to come though as we headed east back into Texas towards Andrews. The Supercell behind us had already been undercut and lined out and only 1 Storm remained. This Storm had reported 4-5″ Hail on it so we ventured into the NW side of the storm to take a look and got greeted with 80mph RFD winds and small hail at first, we ventured probably too far though and as the wrap around took shape we started to take 4 Inch stones with were deafening, all 3 cars windscreens got put through and some of the most amazing scenes were now on the road with 1 Foot Drifts of Hail and Hail Fog on our road.

Drifts upto 1 foot deep Pic Below

The Cold Front had now undercut all the Storms and an Upscale MCS was now in progress so it was game over for chasing today. We headed north to see if we could get some nice sunset shots and the guys shot some lightning at the system moving away. It was only then that we saw the scars of what 4″ Softball Hail can do to Motor Vehicles.

Some of the Lightning and Blue Hour pics below