Tornadoes & Storm Structure: Highlights of a Northeast CO Storm Chase!

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It always begins by Bennett: A storm is born and our Colorado chase day begins

Distant updrafts near Bennett mark the start of our chase; we blast toward Hoyt to intercept
We catch the tornado-warned storm near Hoyt as it is producing this photogenic rotating wall cloud
Ominous skies as the supercell makes its way into Sterling while tornado sirens blare

Let the structure-fest begin

We paralleled the storm as it approached Galien, then positioned to take in its awesome supercell structure as we let it approach. An inflow tail surged in from the right to meet the now rapidly-rotating wall cloud.

A ground-scraping meso and possible wedge tornado

East of Galien the storm really ramped up. We made our way to the southwest of Marks Butte and pulled over to watch as a tremendous RFD surge wrapped itself around to meet the inflow. The cloud motion was tremendous and a ground-scraping meso came into view. I was convinced that a wedge tornado was ongoing at this time and indeed, although it was largely passing across the open plains, EF0 damage was later confirmed at this location.

It gets messy: Time to wave goodbye

After taking gorgeous structure and colouring once again, our storm became messy and we decided to drop south to intercept another developing supercell coming up from Yuma. A wall cloud developed and the storm became tornado-warned as we got in front of it and it came into view.

As rotation increases and the storm organizes, the scene becomes, simply, classic Colorado

Rotation increases and a dusty multivortex tornado spins up near Holyoke

Perfectly positioned, we were able to relax and enjoy the view as the supercell moved slowly in our direction. As it did, rotation increased and a cone-shaped funnel developed. Although the cone was brief and lasted less than thirty seconds, the rotating lowering continued and dusty vortices began dancing around at its base: tornado!

It was there and then it was gone, but the pretty scenes continued

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