Colorado Storm Chasing

My Colorado storm chase trip has been a great success.  I followed a jaw-droppingly structured supercell from Pueblo to Lamar, Colorado on Thursday, and intercepted a couple of very nicely structured supercells in the general vicinity of Punkin Center, Colorado yesterday.  I’m hoping for more of the same great structure today, and maybe even a tornado.  Here are the specifics of my storm chase and live streaming plans today:

I am streaming my storm chase today between 11am and 10pm MDT.  My LIVE chase cam can be found at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mike-phelps-mobile-weather-stream/.

My blog with updated chase forecasts and storm video is at https://stormstream.wordpress.com/

Storm and nature pics at http://www.flickr.com/photos/stormscapephotos/

FRIDAY STORM CHASE TARGET: I-25 corridor from Colorado Springs to Trinidad, CO and points east and southeast from there.

FORECAST: Today should be an active severe weather day across southeast Colorado.  An upper disturbance is approaching, dewpoints will be in the 55 to 60 F range, and good directional and speed shear will exists to promote supercell development.  If anything, the supercells that form today will have awesome structure, and they could even produce a tornado or two given the low LCLs forecast.  One of the negative factors today will be the fairly widespread stratus clouds and convective debris clouds that will not thin or break until late morning or early afternoon.  This will limit heating and in turn, keep the CAPE lower.  One factor that has been key in the storm in recent days not producing tornadoes has been the lower CAPE values.  If the clouds across southeast Colorado clear earlier, then the tornado potential today will go up.  Also, there is some question as to the timing of the disturbance (the trigger).  If it arrives by 4pm then look out, but a later arrival would limit the severe potential a bit.  Overall, I think the best play today is to head west from my base in Lamar, in the general direction of Pueblo.  I’ll probably be on the road by 11am MDT, as I am expecting initial storm development along the I-25 corridor in the 2pm hour.  Like the past few days storms will move east and then turn southeast when becoming mature, and they will move at easily chaseable speeds.  I will again need to be very mindful of the large hail threat today and do my best to stay out of that stuff!

Sunday looks like another active severe weather day, but the focus tomorrow may shift northward to areas along and north of the Palmer Divide, or basically along and north of I-70 and US 24.

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