June 23, 2014


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Fort Collins, CO
Cheyenne, WY 4:00 PM 6/23/2014
Westminster, CO 9:00 PM 6/23/2014
Pierce, CO
0 mph
Updraft Base, Wall Cloud


Upslope play in north central CO. Target Fort Collins area for later afternoon upslope supercell play. Caught developing upslope convection north of Fort Collins with anvil and attempt at a wall cloud. Followed east southeast noting photogenic storm bases.

Crew and Equipment

Chase partners: COD Trip 5. Equipment: Canon 60D, Canon t2i, Canon EFS 10-22, Canon EF 50mm, Sony HDR-xr500v..




College of Dupage Trip 5 drove from Pierre to Cheyenne on June 22, through the Badlands and Black Hills, making a pit stop at the Wall Drug tourist trap. June 23's setup looked like it would have enough moisture and easterly flow for upslope storms and some veering in the wind profile for a supercell play across north central Colorado.
COD storm chasing isn't just a tour, it's a college lab course. The morning started with a hand analysis of the surface moisture, drawing isodrosotherms with colored pencils.
Victor Gensini goes over his analysis and the morning briefing with the group.
We had time to kill so we went to a nearby park. Some played sports and there was a botanical garden to check out.
There was a small lake with a boat rental too. Holly and I took a canoe out around the lake along with several others in canoes and kayaks. I should have remembered my sunscreen though. The high elevation sun cooked my arms pretty well. Paddling around in a canoe in Wyoming was something I certainly wasn't expecting to be doing on a storm chasing tour, but it was a great time.

Upslope Convection
8 miles SE of Fort Collins, CO
5:17 PM
Updrafts were coming up off the foothills from Denver to Fort Collins. We headed south for the intercept, stopping at another park that had a great view to the west across some water. We waited for the tiny updrafts to come off the mountains and grow when they hit the richer moisture to the east.

Thunderstorm Anvil
9 miles SE of Carr, CO
6:16 PM
One storm took off to our north and picked up a severe thunderstorm warning. We headed up I-25 for the intercept. The anvil stretched across the sky and the dark updraft came into view.

Wall Cloud
9 miles SE of Carr, CO
6:27 PM
We stopped a few miles downstream of the storm and let it come to us as it tracked east southeast. The storm made a brief attempt at a wall cloud, shown here. The cows seemed oblivious though.

Sculpted Storm
9 miles NNE of Pierce, CO
7:09 PM
We followed the storm east of the interstate. It was high based in the rather modest moisture, but Colorado storms can be gorgeous and this one certainly didn't disappoint. Sculpted bands and striations appeared as the storm slowly rotated.

Updraft Base
9 miles NE of Pierce, CO
7:23 PM
The storm's updraft base started to shrivel, but it was still really pretty with the high plains contrast and evening light. We stopped several more times to shoot it as the storm turned more to the southeast.

Dying Updraft
7 miles NE of Ault, CO
7:44 PM
One last shot of the base as it goes overhead, just before dying.
We met up with David Mayhew in a hip place in downtown Fort Collins for dinner. It was a nice end to a great chase day.


Our first upslope day in Colorado netted us some really photogenic supercells. They were high based and didn't have much tornado potential, but they were still great to watch. Hanging out in Cheyenne with the group at the park and on the lake, and then dining out in Fort Collins later really made this a fun chase day too.

Lessons Learned

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