June 25, 2015


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Cheyenne, WY
Lincoln, NE 7:06 AM 6/25/2015
Sterling, CO 10:29 PM 6/25/2015
Cheyenne, WY
0 mph
Updraft Tower, Rain Free Base


Marginal upslope supercell/tornado play off the Cheyenne Ridge. Caught developing discrete cells north of Cheyenne that split and dissipated. Retargeted for cells to east and south with reported tornadoes, but cells soon congealed into messy, outflowy complex in western Nebraska.

Crew and Equipment

Chase partners: Sean Casey, Mike Browne. Equipment: Canon 60D, Canon t2i, Canon EFS 10-22, Canon EF 50mm, Sony HDR-xr500v.




June 25 was my last chase with Sean Casey and Team TIV. He’d release the IMAX film “Extreme Weather” a year later. The season was winding down and it was just Mike Browne, Sean, and I making our back toward Denver in the TIV’s support vehicle: Doghouse. We had a marginal upslope play off the Cheyenne Ridge, but sometimes those 2% days are some of the most magical. We lumbered our way along 80 west through Nebraska for an afternoon initiation of storms near Cheyenne, hoping to hit the lottery and maybe squeak out one last tornado for the movie, or at least some gorgeous upslope structure.

11 miles NNW of Cheyenne, WY
2:05 PM
Storms started to pop just north of Cheyenne off the Front Range and we went north up 25 to watch the budding convection, finding a scenic and open spot.

Sean and Bull
11 miles NNW of Cheyenne, WY
2:07 PM
Sean hanging out with one of the locals:
Mike Browne readies the anemometers on our stick probes with a developing storms in the background. Kind of an iconic Wyoming scene.

Developing Storm
11 miles NNW of Cheyenne, WY
2:10 PM
He sure put on a good show for us and made a great foreground as we watched updrafts go up. Bull and developing storm:
The initial storm split and fizzled due to the light, straight shear profiles. We moved to catch new development, noting a gorgeous low precipitation supercell over the remote expansive Wyoming grasslands.

17 miles WSW of Yoder, WY
4:59 PM
We tracked storms as they drifted toward the Nebraska Panhandle. Lots of updrafts were going up all around now and starting to congeal into a storm complex. A tornado was reported on a cell in the complex just to our south, but we had no visibility on it. It was probably brief and rain wrapped though.

Nebraska Shelfie
1 miles SSW of Chappell, NE
7:19 PM
A more robust supercell with what looked like more legitimate tornado reports was tracking southeast about 60 miles to our east. It wound up being the storm of the day, probably because of its proximity to a frontal boundary, but we were out of position well to the west after chasing the initial Wyoming activity. The line congealed into a massive squall and we decided to call the chase. Stopping for a "shelfie" as the shelf cloud races in from the west:

Ovid, CO
8:08 PM
Heading toward Denver, we stopped for dinner in the tiny town of Ovid, CO, finding a local Mexican joint just as the raging storm complex hit. It was kind of surreal in there. The small bar was crowded with crass good 'ol boy cowboys. "How It's Made" was playing on the TV and Sean was totally engrossed in it. And then the family that runs the joint invited themselves over to the table to hang out with us, while we wondered who was cooking the food.


My last chase on this IMAX film project was a bust, but we didn’t have our hopes up and were playing long odds on the way back. It was a super pretty day out in the High Plains, however, and I had a great time.

Lessons Learned

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