June 4, 2016


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Mitchell, SD 9:49 AM 6/4/2016
Fort Collins, CO 7:28 PM 6/4/2016
0 mph
Dust Devil


National Geographic tornado research operations day 6. Repositioning day from South Dakota to Colorado, but had a chance to intercept a dust devil in northwestern Nebraska.

Crew and Equipment

Chase partners: Jennifer Brindley Ubl. Equipment: Canon 60D, Canon t2i, Canon EFS 10-22, Canon EF 50mm, Sony FDR-AX100.




Team Duck's Forecast:

" Day 1 Synopsis: A surface low pressure system is located over Minnesota today, with a cold front extending through IA, KS and through the OK and TX panhandles. A warm front is draped over the midwest. Surface ridging is located over the northern Rockies, while upper level flow extends from the southern Canadian plains southeast into the midwest forming the eastern trough. Despite the frontal passage, dew points remain relatively rich in the plains, with values in the mid-60s through OK, northern TX, southern NM and eastern KS. This moisture source will likely play an important role over the next couple of days. The primary severe risk is over the eastern CONUS associated with the draping warm/stationary frontal system. Non-zero thunderstorm potential will generally be east of the front, or over the high terrain of Colorado and New Mexico, with marginal severe potential possible in the later. With no appreciable operational targets, today is a driving/down day. "

Swett, SD
17 miles S of Kadoka, SD
1:13 PM
Team Turtle Summary:

"Where is Skip and what is he doing? I’ve come to the fringes of the Northern and High Plains on an extended drinking trip, and along the way have developed a serious storm chasing problem. Well, at least that’s what it feels like as the weather gives us scraps at the start of a three week long chase trip. We wander from brew house to cantina day after day, gripped by a debilitating compulsion to witness deep and persistently rotating updrafts. Today, and completely at random, we stumbled upon this tiny tavern in south central South Dakota. I recognized it at once. Do you guys remember awhile back when I shared a real estate listing for an entire town in South Dakota that is for sale? I said the storm chaser community should pool their money together and buy it so we all have a Northern Plains crash pad and hang out joint. This is totally it! It’s still for sale too.

I’ve been almost completely off Facebook for the past week or two, which has been pretty nice actually. I’ve been working hard on a project and trying to get it done before this trip. Facebook can be a huge time suck and I didn’t want the distraction or the regrets seeing posts from the Plains when I couldn’t make it out. So I’ll probably continue to enjoy my Facebook vacation until we start seeing some real weather again. Until then, we drift haggard, dusty and unkempt from the Dakotas to Front Range slopes trying in vain to sate an unquenchable Convective Addiction."

Dust Devil
3 miles NW of Bayard, NE
3:40 PM
We saw some dust devils while passing through the Nebraska Panhandle, and diverted off the highway to catch some. I caught one on foot even! At least we got some kind of vortex to intercept.


Lessons Learned

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