May 20 - 31, 2010 Field
Covering the States of Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska,
Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming
Matt, Kathy and Tom Dolan
Thursday May 20, 2010 - California to
The trip started in Rocklin,
CA traveling through the snow covered Sierras with us stopping for the
night at in Wendover, Utah.
Our target area for our initial storms for Friday was in the area of
Eastern Wyoming and Nebraska
Friday May 21, 2010 - Utah to
Our target area is the Eastern side of Wyoming starting in Cheyenne. We
arrived as the storms were initiated in the North.
The entire area both north and south of this location were Tornado
Warned from 2:25 PM MDT to 10:00 PM MDT.
We fueled up in Cheyenne, WY and started heading north on Hwy 25 when
the first Tornado was spotted before we could arrive.
We followed this storm north and concluded the day watching the lightening in
Saturday May 22, 2010 - Wyoming to South Dakota
We worked our way into South Dakota heading through Mount Rushmore to take in
We then headed towards the center of the State of South Dakota.
We could see Cumulus clouds forming far to the north which soon developed
into tornados west of Aberdeen.
Our position was too far south to reach
the strongest thunderstorms developing up near Bowdle, South Dakota. The
Bowdle Tornado was an EF4 from later surveys.
Included in this website is a
study of this storm.
We drove up to Gettysburg SD and stopped at Lebanon to reset our GPS unit and
allow the Tornado warned storm in our path to clear to the North.
We had great views of the lower clouds racing towards the storm and the
clouds above moving north. We had a storm chaser stop by and chat with us while
we were observing filling us in on the tales from the Tornado to the north. We
were also greeted by some towns folks from Lebanon who drove up behind us and
greeted us to their community.
The town Tornado Siren went off while we were observing but most of the
activity was about 15 miles to the east of us.
View of the Tornado warned storm above just to our east from our viewing point by
Lebanon SD. The tornado would have been located in the base of the hook
area. We were positioned on the northwest side of the storm with
our view blocked by rain.
View above of the storm winds where red is winds moving away from the Doppler
green is towards as seen in the base of the view. This storm is moving towards Faukton SD. The winds appear to be nearly vertical in this view
where the tornado was located.
The view above is the rotation seen in the Doppler image. The updated Tornado
Warning on this storm had a Storm Spotter reporting a funnel cloud from the view
from the Faulkton side. Ours was obscured by the rain falling with this storm.
Once the storm passed we continued our way to Faulkton. We were treated to a
lightening show that went on for as far as you can see for our drive to the
Aberdeen, SD. The Tornado from this storm was an EF-1 and killed 18 cattle
and destroyed 12 large grain bins.
Plans for Sunday will likely have us head toward the southern part of South
Team Twistex research vehicle was located in the motel parking lot in
Aberdeen, SD. Used by Tim Samaras during production of Storm
Chasers on the Discovery Channel.
Sunday May 23, 2010 - South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas
We headed south from Aberdeen, SD to work our way to the northern area of the
Tornado Forecast area. Our target for today was having us start in McCook, NE.
arrived in the area with storms initiating deeper down in Kansas. The area was
in a tornado warning.
We continued south to target the first storm south of us with plans to move
east to allow it to travel by us. We traveled between the two storms to avoid
any hail damage.
Monday May 24, 2010 - Colby Kansas to Larned Kansas
After watching the lightening show last night and waiting for the tornado warned
storms to past to our north we decided to navigate south instead. We located a
town and pulled in to the targeted motel. Weather vehicles were everywhere and
they asked if we had reservations. Seems we picked the town Vortex 2 was based
in and all the rooms were booked. We found a nice room at the motel next door.
This morning went around and toured the various vehicles.
Stopped and briefly chatted with Josh Wurman as they were preparing the
equipment and was given a brief tour inside DOW 7. The Dow's were part of
the Vortex2 project that toured the plains tracking down thunderstorms that both
produced or fail to create tornadoes.
Radar equipment being prepared for the days operation by Karen Kosiba.
DOW 6 and DOW 7
We headed west and targeted some rapidly developing storms south of Goodland
Storm Setup south west of Goodland Kansas
wall cloud below the thunderstorm is visible.
view inside the storm to the left is showing the internal rotation of
Tuesday May 25, 2010 - Learned, KS to
Kansas City MO
today was towards Kansas City MO. We were able to intercept a
thunderstorm south of Iola, KS touring the areas around the structure.
This one went up about 35,000 feet and was producing rain.
Wednesday May 26, 2010 - Kansas City, MO
to Denver, CO
Thunderstorm south of the Denver International Airport.
Wall Cloud below and trailing the thunderstorm. The above lowering to
the right started with a cone shape then thickened up prior to
Base Reflectivity View within the storm with a lowered wall cloud
visible in the radar data. View on the right is the rotation
within the wall cloud in area of lowering funnel.
Base of Thunderstorm
Moonrise to the south of the Denver Airport. No plane activity for a
Awesome lightening show and hail storm hitting north of Denver.
Thursday May 27, 2010 - Denver CO to
Travel day to position for Friday storms in North Dakota. No storm
activity on today's forecast.
Friday May 28, 2010 - Casper, SD to
Bowman, ND then Glendive WY
We visited Mount Rushmore and then to Rapid City before heading to
North Dakota. The storms initiated west of us and we drove to intersect
them in Wyoming. We ran into a highway closure forcing us to route
stopped for the evening in Glendive WY. We ended up being in the path a
several large thunderstorms so move the car to under a gas station
shelter as the hail, heavy winds and downpours went by.
To continue... Rapid City SD on Saturday then...