June 16, 2015


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Valentine, NE
Denver, CO 5:29 PM 6/15/2015
North Platte, NE 9:58 PM 6/16/2015
Dunning, NE
0 mph
Striated Updraft Base


Northwest flow supercell play in Cherry County, NE. Intercepted striated HP supercell near Dunning, NE before it gusted out.

Crew and Equipment

Chase partners: Herb Stein, Sean Casey, Justin Walker. Equipment: Canon 60D, Canon t2i, Canon EFS 10-22, Canon EF 50mm, Sony HDR-xr500v.




The next few chases were my last run with Sean Casey and the crew of the Tornado Intercept Vehicle, shooting an IMAX movie about tornadoes out in the Great Plains. I was forecasting and navigating for the Doghouse, the support vehicle. I flew out to Denver from Saint Louis on June 15 and met Herb Stein at the Denver airport. I think we were waiting for Mike Browne, Doghouse’s driver, to fly in from California, but he got hung up somewhere. One of my more distinct memories from this chase was sitting in the bucket seats at the terminal, and while we waited I noticed that Herb and I were coincidentally wearing almost the exact same thing: navy t-shirt, khaki shorts, grey socks, and hiking boots. I snapped Brindley with a photo saying we looked like twinsies. We lost Herb a few months later to cancer, and that was one of the silly memories that stuck with me. “Mad Max” Mike wasn’t going to get in until much later so Herb and I grabbed Doghouse from one of the long term parking lots and drove it east to meet up with the TIV team for the next day’s Nebraska chase.

Sand Hills
3 miles NNE of Thedford, NE
1:19 PM
We overnighted in North Platte and set an initial target of Valentine way up in the North part of the state. Without Mike Browne, Herb wound up driving Doghouse while I navigated, and Sean Casey and Justin Walker crewed TIV. Herb shoots the sand hill country of central Nebraska:

Cherry County
18 miles N of Thedford, NE
5:37 PM
Cherry County Nebraska has gorgeous scenery with rolling green hills and huge skies. The roads are sparse, however, and the terrain will occasionally obstruct your view of the storm’s base so it’s less than ideal for storm chasing. Huge, isolated supercells with spectacular structure tracking east southeast under northwest flow aloft are not uncommon in late June and into the summer so the area is a favorite haunt of storm chasers. A severe warned thunderstorm complex approaching from the northwest:

Striated HP
8 miles NE of Dunning, NE
8:14 PM
Our storm started to organize and we went in for the intercept northeast of Dunning, NE. The storm was sporting some laminar striations in the base and was in a bit of a high precipitation state, meaning our chances of getting a tornado were not particularly good. We setup for a few structure shots and a mock deployment of the tornado probes in front of the storm for use in the IMAX film. The storm gusted out hard with cold outflow and fell apart as it approached so we called the chase and headed back down to North Platte for the night.


With little to show for the chase other than some brief HP structure and stock shots for the IMAX movie, the chase was a bust. It was our first chase of many on this run, however, and we hoped to have a couple good chases at least and a tornado shot to end the season on a high note.

Lessons Learned

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