(US Chase Report) 31st May 2010 - Colorado Tornadic Supercell
This was our last chase day of our 2 week chasecation. Helen Rossington, Brendan Jones, Matt Clark, and me had seen several supercells and other great storms, but a definitive tornado had eluded us thus far this year. We couldnít have dreamed what the last day would bring us!
We began the day in Garden City, KS, and left the hotel at around 1200pm CDT. Our initial target was Springfield, CO, and we headed there in time for lunch. En route, we noticed some early convection developing to the west of town and by the time we reached there (1.10pm MDT) thunder was grumbling overhead. We ate lunch at Subway listening to this, before heading to the west of town for a better look at the updraught.
By the time we got into position, there was a decent base to the west (10-15 miles west). We decided to hold back in order to appreciate the structure although before long a couple of brief funnels developed. We headed west to Pritchett, but decided against going to the south because of the approaching hail core. A cell merger seemed to occur as a cell to the south moved in. Shortly after we observed a funnel/tornado to the SW, although it was partially hidden by precip from our angle. We then headed back east to Springfield, and then dropped south towards Campo, stopping about 7 miles to the north. We then spent over an hour watching the cell go through various stages, including at least one stout funnel, which I think may have been a tornado, having read other reports. We also saw frequent, multiple CGs close to our location, one of which started a grass fire a few hundred metres to our north. Our UK phones didnít work, so we decided (after some debate) to report it on SN, via the Ďotherí section. It seems that this may have lead to the local fire department arriving, although perhaps someone else reported it too.
Once it began to rain/hail, we headed south to Campo. By now, the storm seemed slightly outflow dominant, but there was still a lot of motion in the updraught/wall cloud area, which was close to being overhead. We then continued to the south of Campo, stopping at am intersection with a few dirt roads, where other chasers were too. We were also there when a small dust whirl passed right across us! A few stray hailstones dropped occasionally. Then, Matt suddenly pointed out a new funnel (weíd already seen one just to the north a few mins earlier) just to our south. Of course, as many others observed, this quickly developed into the most amazing tornado Iíve ever seen! We headed south once the large hail began to drop, and stopped several times to observe the tornado, complete with rainbow! Eventually, we headed as far south as Boise City, OK, and could still see a tornado to the north Ė whether this was the same one or a different one Iím not sure.
We then headed east towards Guymon, observing some great structure, but no more tornadoes. We ended up staying in Guymon, before heading to Denver, and ultimately the UK on Tuesday!
Helen has posted many pics on Facebook here: http://www.facebook....95&l=c0fea5e8e5
Brendan has a blog of all our chases here: http://www.eots.co.u...eplains2010.htm
Finally, I have some raw YouTube HD footage here: