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Not a whole lot happened today. We hung out alngside VORTEX2 in Limon, CO for lunch. I got to introduce myself to Dr. Bluestein, which was pretty exciting. As Roger and David were talking to Howie, Chuck Doswell also came in for Subway. It’s nice to see that, amongst all the chaser hordes that crowd the roads these days, long-time chasers can still meet up like they’ve been doing all these years. It makes me wonder what the chasing community will look like in twenty years, when we are the old-timers that others look up to. Will chasing continue to explode in popularity, as it did following the release of Twister and the TV show Storm Chasers? Or will our numbers dwindle as people realize the hobby isn’t as glamorous as the media makes it out to be?

But I digress. I sat with David during lunch and he went over his forecasting methods and his predictions for the day. What he saw was a large number of storms erupting simultaneously, because the cap was present, but very week. Typical afternoon heating to temperatures in the low 80s would be sufficient to overcome convective inhibition (CIN).

Well, his forecast panned out, and soon a nice storm was tracking over the Denver downtown. There was a report of hail six inches deep on the ground, closing I-70 west of the city. It was the first tornado-warned cell of the day, and we went after it.

However, soon its radar appearance was unfavorable, and we decided to chase a fresh cell to the south that was rapidly intensifying. VORTEX2 decided the same thing.

We positioned in front of it and watched it for a while. It was pretty and had a deep green precipitation core full of hail, but it was not terribly organized.

It had some nice rotation to the base, but eventually the precipiation took over and the cell took on a high-precipitation characteristic.

The cell chased us back to Limon (again) and we decided to bust north on I-70 through the core to try to reach a new cell further north. We were going 30 MPH on the interstate with zero visibility and strong winds. Hail covered the ground in huge piles that looked like melting snow. Even now, driving back north to Denver a few hours later, the shoulders of the road still have a few inches of hail. Well, Roger changed his mind, and we went back south and then east to try to get back in front of the Limon storm again, because it was looking better again on radar.

Well, that all changed. As we got close, it was clear that the cell had not recovered from its initial core dump and had no chance of producing any tornado. It was also merging with a new cell that was slamming into it from the south. It was becoming dark and late, so we threw in the towel and are now making the two-hour trek back to Denver.

So, today was a bit of a downer, but after yesterday’s incredible experience, I think any day short of an outbreak would have been disappointing. At least we didn’t miss much of anything. That Denver cell we abandoned apparently produced a short-lived tornado, and some out-of-reach cells in Kansas were also quite active, but despite all the tornado warnings and tornado “reports” from the public and spotters, there was not much to see here.

So that’s that. Tomorrow I get to screw up my sleep cycle again by flying back home. My summer job starts on Monday. I’ll have a wrap-up post tomorrow, and in the coming weeks I’m going to put together all my video into a presentation.

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