May 21, 2021


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Scottsbluff, NE
Sidney, NE 1:03 PM 5/21/2021
Sidney, NE 9:36 PM 5/21/2021
Peetz, CO
0 mph
Cloud to Ground Lightning


Dryline/upslope play in NE panhandle. Targeted Scottsbluff for afternoon tornadic supercells, but waited north of Sidney, NE hedging on ne CO target. Robust supercells failed to materialize in the warm sector with only elevated convection north of the cold front and mediocre cells in the Sidney area. Relocated to Peetz, CO for sunset lightning on high based storms before calling chase at dusk and returning to Sidney.

Crew and Equipment

Chase partners: Jennifer Brindley Ubl, Tracie Seimon, Anton Seimon, Hank Schyma. Equipment: Sony AX100, Samsung S9, Photography courtesy Jennifer Brindley Ubl shooting on a Nikon D4s.




High Based Cells
Dalton, NE
5:37 PM
It seemed like the entire chaser world had converged on Sidney, Nebraska. Our group spent breakfast chatting with the University of Illinois crew, Reed Timmer, and others before we went for our target toward Scottsbluff. We couldn’t fully commit, however, and wound up hedging just north of Sidney. We waited in the fields watching high based and unorganized updraft bases while locals stopped to check on us.

Tumbleweed Race
2 miles SSE of Peetz, CO
8:17 PM
Hope faded as the afternoon progressed and we eventually went for a secondary, consolation prize target in far northeast Colorado. We stopped on the edge of a plateau outside of Peetz and waited for a line of what was little more than showers to track to toward us. The group was kind of down about the busted day, but an idea popped into my head on how to cheer everyone up: a tumbleweed race. The barbwire fence was packed with tumbleweeds, and the winds were howling out of the south. We each picked our prized racer from the patch. Brindley, positioned downstream with her camera, counted down and we lofted them up into the air to see which wind roller would cross the finish line first.

Tumbleweed Race
2 miles SSE of Peetz, CO
8:17 PM
Less than a second before our photographer was nailed by a speeding tumbleweed:

Tumbleweed Race
2 miles SSE of Peetz, CO
8:20 PM
The race definitely lifted spirits.

2 miles SSE of Peetz, CO
8:23 PM
The line of weak storms arrived, and we watched a gorgeous sunset with a little cloud to ground lightning before calling it and heading back to Sidney for the night.

8:33 PM

8:36 PM

8:37 PM

Tracie and Jody
2 miles SSE of Peetz, CO
8:39 PM
The line of storms caught us before we could get our take-out back to the hotel. While I waited for Brindley to check us in, the back hatch of the car was still getting slammed with wind driven rain despite being underneath the covered pull-in by the front door. So I decided to drive around and back in so we could unload without getting as wet. As I pulled away, two storm chasing tour vans I hadn’t seen waiting pulled in and took both spots under the covering. Annoyed, I backed in anyway, super close to one of the vans when I realized it was Silver Lining. I unloaded the car onto a bell cart, literally back to back with Roger Hill as he unloaded the tour van. Brindley returned just in time to see the seemingly cordial and brief confrontation about the May 28, 2019 incident that ensued.

“Skip! We need to have a little chat.”

“Sure, Roger. Any time.”

The scene was fit for a storm chasing film drama.


Storm wise this was one of our most lackluster chases of the season, and yet it still had several memorable moments.

Lessons Learned

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