May 22, 2015


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Limon, CO
Springfield, IL 8:09 AM 5/21/2015
Limon, CO 9:31 PM 5/22/2015
Rush, CO
0 mph
Wall Cloud, Updraft Base


Upslope play in eastern Colorado. Intercepted a pair of adjacent storms noting updraft bases and brief wall cloud.

Crew and Equipment

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




May 23 was Brindley’s and my first day of a multi-day run with the TIV and Doghouse crews after I took a short break to attend my sister’s wedding. Of course that meant I also missed a huge chase day on May 16, but family comes first, and it was a heck of a wedding: on the beach in Florida. The first part of this chase trip was setting up for a string of upslope days in eastern Colorado. Hopefully we’d get some pretty supercells and a tornado too. Colorado had completely spoiled us on the 9th, but we were looking for more.
Brindley and I left the day before the first chase event, driving straight through to Amarillo to catch up with TIV and Doghouse. Gizmo adorns the dash, one of many gremlins that routinely pops up in the van.

There was a little debate about whether to play the easter Colorado upslope or the Mexican upslope in southwest Texas with storms firing along the Rio Grande. Given the lack of roads, displacement from the upper level flow, and targets for the following days we decided against Texas.

Gassing Up Doghouse and "Bubbles"
2 miles SE of Amarillo, TX
7:08 AM
We met Mike Brown the next morning, Doghouse’s dedicated driver. I’d now be able to focus on navigating and forecasting from the shotgun seat. We caravanned behind TIV and Doghouse in the van until we got to Limon where we could leave the van at a hotel.

Upslope Storms
4 miles WSW of Limon, CO
3:59 PM
First storms rolling off the upslope hills in eastern Colorado:

We waited for them just outside of Limon.
“Mad Mike” Brown is right at home in a custom built chase vehicle and the kind of character you’d expect to find in the Mad Max movie.
Initial storm activity was lackluster, cold and outflow, but a bunch of cows came up to the fence to see if we had food. Herb Stein feeds them some grass:
Sean Casey handing over some choice greens:
Skip and Brindley selfie:

TIV and Storm
1 miles SW of Hugo, CO
5:04 PM
Drifting east to follow an east west line of strengthening thunderstorms:
The rural highway was crowded with chasers and storm tour groups. Several stopped to say hi to us and check out the TIV.
International chasers on a “chasecation” that we had met last year in Texas:
Our upslope storms weren’t getting their acts together, failing to organize into robust supercells. It’s more along the lines of what we call “upslop”.

Wispy Anvil
18 miles S of Hugo, CO
6:09 PM
We dropped south toward new development that was discrete and not undercut by outflow. A small cell to the southwest with wispy anvil stretching for miles overhead to the northeast:
Doghouse and TIV in gorgeous eastern Colorado:
Mikey Brown, master of the Doghouse:

Wall Cloud
7 miles E of Yoder, CO
7:17 PM
A couple cells coming off the upslope south of Denver were starting to get their acts together as they crossed I-25, taking on supercellular characteristics. We scrambled west for the intercept. A wall cloud came into view on the northern cell:
Photogenic Colorado stormscape:

Twin Updraft Bases
9 miles SSE of Rush, CO
7:26 PM
We had a view on two distinct updraft bases for awhile, and watched both for potential tornadic activity.
Photogenic base:
The base moved overhead but failed to organize much.
We had some interesting churning motion overhead, but the cell began to fall apart, putting down a big cold pool.
Up ahead, the dirt road was blocked by an auto accident. A car had flipped over. Emergency crews were already on the scene when we arrived. As we shot the storms moving overhead, a medevac helicopter landed in the field and airlifted two people out of there. We feared they might be chasers at first. Who else would be racing down a dirt road in front of a supercell? There was no news of any chaser accidents though.
As the storms gusted out we decided to call it a chase and head back to Limon. Watching our outflow dominant supercell march along to our south:


Our first run on this trip was a bust, and it was a forecast bust for tornadoes across the whole region. Storms failed to organize, with what looked like some issues of insufficient shear. Robust updrafts formed but quickly put down by cold pools of outflow. It takes a bunch of these rather lackluster upslope days to get one that’s magical like May 9th, though. We’d have to keep trying our luck and hope to get another catch. Not much happened on the far south Texas target either. There was a tornado report, but it was a difficult sighting on an HP with sparse roads.

Lessons Learned

Follow On The Web!
Storm Chasers Giving Back!

Webpage, graphics, photos, and videos © Skip Talbot or respective owner 2018. Skip's Webzone