Saturday, May 24, 2014

5/21/2014 Supercell east of Denver, CO

The last promising day for Pops and I was in Colorado with strong southeasterly winds aiding a post-frontal upslope initiation scheme.  The Denver Convergence Zone never really got cranking given the southeast trajectories, but a storm was able to fire southwest of Denver and moved over the airport with significant hail present (causing some damage to Frontier aircrafts I believe). As the storm pushed east into manageable chasing territory, we navigated northeast of the hook echo in what was becoming a large HP supercell. We caught a glimpse of the reported rapid rotation and funnel clouds, but the storm was not able to constrict the low-level circulation into a sustained tornado.  You will see from the timelapse just how close this was to being a large, wedge shaped tornado.  I think if the surface temperatures were slightly higher, we would have been dealing with a significant event (I was chilly most of the day with a small jacket on!).  We released from tornado chase mode as the circulation became rain-wrapped and positioned far east to enjoy the structure that only lasted for an hour or so, but created some nice photo ops and put a cherry on top to a very successful few days in the High Plains.

PS, Pops is becoming really good at storm feature identification!

Watching planes fly overhead east of the Denver International Airport

About as close to producing a large tornado as you can get...
Timelapse (click to play)

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