Tuesday May 24, 2005

     The area northwest of Goodland looks good for convection today. After visiting the Goodland National Weather Service Office the SPC upgraded the area to a Moderate Risk. Storms quickly popped in northeastern CO just before 2 pm and headed eastward. The storms were weak at first but take off once they reach the previous days outflow boundaries. We caught up to an anticyclonic rotating storm near Yuma, CO to the northwest and an outflow storm with a nice shelf cloud to the southwest. We headed east on 34 to stay ahead of the storm as another storm formed directly overhead near the town of Wray, CO where we were almost directly underneath the mesocyclone. A brief gustnado developed as the RFD wrapped around the storm. We continued heading east on 34 into NE to try and get ahead of the storm as it turned into a large Severe Thunderstorm line with winds of 75 mph. Near Benkelman we take 161 south into KS but quickly realize we will not beat the storm as the sky turns green to the west and a large dust cloud marks the leading edge of a 75 mph gust front. We head back north to Benkelman, NE to avoid the worst of the storm but still has enough of a punch to take the antennas off the roof of the van. After stopping at a local bar to wait the storm out we head back to goodland to spend the night. After dinner we again catch a great lightning show to our west and get some great shots of lightning from the digital camera as I finally decide to try and catch lightning with a long shutter speed. Some anticurpuscular rays out to the west stretch all the way to the clouds to the east.
     Here are some pics of the storms over Colorado with lightning over Kansas:

A developing wall cloud to get things started.
The storm develops rotation with a blue hue just above the wall cloud.
The storm gets better organized.
Rotation becomes very evident at this point.
We realize the storm is rotating anti-cyclonically.
The light blue color is a persistant feature with this storm.
The storms rotation produces many layers of clouds.
This is as close as this storm comes to a tornado.
The storm to the south with a very visible gust front.
A portrait view of the very large storm.
We continue driving with this storm to our south.
And this storm to our north.
The gust front pushes ahead of this storm.
While the mothership begins to land with this storm.
All the while this storm was forming overhead.
This storm also had a very intense mesocyclone.
As this storm gets close we decide to get out ahead of it.
The RFD comes wrapping around the storm to the south.
Eventually producing a gustnado that was caught on tape.
The storms form a large MCS with very gusty winds.
A still shot of the gustnado.
Another shot of the gustnado.
The gust front racing ahead of the storms with 75 mph winds.
Anti-curpuscular rays to the east of Goodland.
A close-up of one of the rays.
Back in Goodland a very photogenic sunset.
This would provide a great backdrop for some lightning shots.
This is my first attempt at taking pictures of lightning.
After a while I got the hang of things.

  • Back to May 23, 2005
  • Ahead to May 25, 2005
  • Back to the Storms Page
  • Back to the Front Page