Friday May 30, 2003 - Colorado - Severe Inflow/Outflow Winds


Click here for a more detailed blowup map.

We started our day off early from Columbus knowing we had a long drive ahead. We headed toward Sterling, Colorado. Once we got in the area we started to notice a nice cell going up to our south. We headed south and as we did noticed more cells trying to go up, but they would pulse before getting to too large of an updraft. They were beautiful nonetheless. One of the towers popped directly above our heads. Dave Floyd the WCM who gave us a tour at the NWS in Goodland, KS informed us that the tower had a reflectivity return of 55 DBz on NEXRAD radar, yet there was very little rain below with this LP updraft. View time lapse video of the towers going up. [1.6 MB]

Tim Vasquez gave us a call and let us know that a cell off of the Rockies was coming down and there were a couple boundaries near Byers, CO where he thought that the storm would explode. We were in hot pursuit and found the developing cell just north of Strausburg, CO.

Sure enough once we got near Hoyt, CO the cell met us and had an enormous amount of inflow and outflow winds. We were watching a wall cloud in the distance when we noticed a sharp wind shift coming out of outflow and into inflow. This peaked our interest. We drove farther into the inflow winds to get away from that "couplet" area so that we could get out and take a look at the clouds above the wind shift boundary. Sure enough a beautiful meso was working with rapid rotation. View time lapse video of the mesocyclone. [1.6 MB]

The amount of outflow and inflow through that area was amazing. Our guests were all outside as we watched a large dust cloud heading toward us. We got everyone in the vehicles just as we got sand blasted. We stayed with this cell for quite some time and watched a beautiful meso and wall cloud evolve just before getting undercut by the outflow and dying. View time lapse of the wall cloud developing. [2.0 MB]

The storm gave us one last ragged wall cloud around sunset before we called it quits.

We spent the night in Fort Morgan, CO at a Best Western.