June 25, 2014


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Spearfish, WY
Laramie, WY 10:00 AM 6/25/2014
Spearfish, SD 8:30 PM 6/25/2014
Devils Tower, WY
0 mph
RFD Gust Front


Upslope play in northwest Wyoming. Intercepted HP supercell east of Devils Tower. Core punched hooked coming out on southern as storm was tornado warned. Noted photogenic structure south of storm before it fell apart.

Crew and Equipment

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




More upslope play for the College of DuPage Trip 5 thunderstorm lab. This day we were looking at catching storms coming off the mountains in northeast Wyoming. Shear was modest again, keeping the tornado probabilities low, but there was ample moisture and easterly surface flow for upslope storms.
We headed north and then northeast out of Laramie, WY toward Lusk for lunch.
The drive was gorgeous with rocky crags and wide open vistas. Victor cranked some tunes on the radio, making for a great drive through the high terrain.

Overshooting Top
27 miles N of Lusk, WY
3:48 PM
An upslope storm had formed on the Black Hills in southwest South Dakota, seen here with backsheared anvil and overshooting top.

Spearfish, SD
5:44 PM
We checked into our room in Spearfish before heading out for new development to the west in Wyoming. Convection was exploding all around us.

Black Hills Storm
Spearfish, SD
5:45 PM
We meandered through the Black Hills in Wyoming, down the same road Brindley, Phil and I traveled on June 13. I was having some serious deja vu retracing our steps. We stopped on a hill with a view to the west. An HP supercell was several miles out and approaching our position. It went tornado warned as a hook echo developed.

Devils Tower
Devils Tower, WY
6:51 PM
The ball of the hook was passing to our south, but we still didn't want to get left behind as the storm cored us. We raced west into the hook of the storm and then south to get out from under it, which was our only effective road option. Looking south I could see the streaky, sprialing bands of the "Bear's Cage" swirling. We took the vans down twisting wet roads as fast as conditions permitted making for some rather tense driving. The real sight was when we passed Devils Tower, however. The monolithic stone feature was buried in the rear flank of the supercell. The cloaked silhouette of the massive figure loomed out of the rain. It was a creepy yet an awe inspiring sight. The winds of the rear flank were also whipping the rain up the back face of the tower and over the top. I could just make out the plume of the spray, like a wave breaking against a cliff, as we passed it heading south.
We came out the bottom of the hook just as a couplet intensified on the velocity scan, indicating a likely tornado. We simply had no view to the north, however. The Black Hills refused to give way and give us a glimpse of what lay inside of the storm.
The hills finally gave way to some open plains near Sundance, WY. We stopped for photos. The structure on the storm was still very photogenic, with a layered rear flanking gust front and deep aqua core.
We got blasted by some rather cold outflow and the storm quickly fell to pieces as it gusted out, so we called it a chase and headed to our rooms in Spearfish.


This was one of our more exciting days out with Trip 5. Our intercept and core punch of the tornado warned supercell in front of Devil Tower was thrilling and the structure afterwards was photogenic. There was a reported tornado on the storm, but we just had no view of it between the Black Hills and HP storm mode. Seeing Devils Tower shrouded in the core with a spray coming off the top from the RFD winds was one of the most memorable sights of the trip too.

Lessons Learned

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