Weather Photos

May 28, 2001

NOTE:Numbers after certain sentences indicate the photo being referred to.

This was an absolutely incredible chase (the best I had to date). I had trouble with my still camera on this day, so I had to rely on video captures for the day's highlights. Scott Blair and I started the day at a Wal-Mart in Garden City, Kansas, so Scott could replace a damaged tire from the day before's chase.1. After the tire was fixed, we headed west towards southeast Colorado and watched the first storm of the day develop in the mountains just south of the Colorado/New Mexico border near I-25.2. Dropping south into New Mexico, we had a view of the updraft base and watched several interesting lowerings form and fall apart.3.; 4. Tracking the storm, we backtracked north on I-25 and encountered copious amounts of hail hindering the flow of traffic.5. Finally getting north of the border again, we noticed the first cell had weakened considerably, but a beautiful LP "mothership" supercell formed just to our west.6. While chasing this cell, we ended up got pelted with some marginally severe hail 7. and also met up with Chris Kridler and Dave Lewison.8. As before, the cell moved off the mountains and weakened, but yet again, another supercell formed to our west 9. and took on a "mothership" look as well.10. Dave appropriately called the area where the training supercells were developing the "mothership machine". This cell got its act together better than the previous cells and developed a well organized wall cloud 11., but the RFD soon cut in and occluded the mesocyclone.12. Just as before the storm continued to the east and weakened, but one last cell developed off the Raton Mesa and neared us with what appeared to be a shelf cloud.13. However, the four of us watched as the apparent shelf soon took on a classic wall cloud appearance near Trinidad, Colorado while it progressed toward us.14. The RFD soon became evident and helped produce a funnel less than a mile away from us.15. The funnel continued to tighten up and lower. At its lowest point, the funnel extended more than 3/4 of the way to the ground, and even though we couldn't see debris, there was more than likely circulation at the ground, making the funnel a tornado.16.; 17.; 18. The funnel then entered the rope-out stage and took on a serpentine shape. 19. The funnel continued getting thinner and shorter, 20.; 21. and it eventually faded away into nothing.
Debris in Scott's tire (Video Capture)

First supercell just south of CO/NM border (Video Capture)Updraft base (Video Capture)

One of the many lowerings with the supercell (Video Capture)Hail covered I-25 (Video Capture)

Second supercell just north of CO/NM border (Video Capture)Small hail just east of Trinidad, CO (Video Capture)

Meeting up with Chris Kridler and Dave Lewison (Video Capture)Third Supercell just east of Trinidad (Video Capture)

Updraft base with inflow tail near Trinidad (Video Capture)Wall cloud with third supercell (Video Capture)

RFD occluding the mesocyclone (Video Capture)Apparent shelf cloud with fourth supercell near Trinidad (Video Capture)

Trinidad, CO. wall cloud (Video Capture)Funnel forming with RFD (Video Capture)

Funnel's tightening up (Video Capture)Funnel's tightened up further and lowered (Video Capture)

Two images stitched together to show length (Video Capture)

Beginning of rope-out stage (Video Capture)Lightning illuminating the dissipating funnel (Video Capture)

Almost gone (Video Capture)

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