June 9th, 2004 Woodrow, CO Tornado

Starting in North Platte we targeted Fort Morgan, Colorado, and upon arriving there drove south towards Bennett as we were north of an outflow boundary left over from the previous day and were in stable air, while to the south of the boundary towering cumulus were forming.
Upon arriving East of Denver we decided to go after a cell moving off to the northeast of the city. It had a great two level liberty-bell updraft, but as we started to get close it quickly fizzled out and we dropped off the highway and targeted a cell moving up from the south near Denver International Airport. After we tried to get into the hail and only got plinked we moved to the rear flank of the storm and caught a few big gustnadoes then a brief landspout right near the DIA Doppler radar (both appear in my still of the landspout) before moving north. The storm developed into an enormous HP supercell hailer.
After sampling the hail core which, while it consisted of probably not bigger than quarter sized hail did fall so quickly that it covered the ground in only a minute or so, we moved to the northeast side of a MONSTER core. As we were getting ready to run from the rapidly approaching precipitation, a strong RFD blast around the meso surprised us and produced a nice white truncated cone tornado with a red debris plume near Woodrow, CO. The meso was really impressive with violent rotation. As the tornado was moving straight at us at about 40 MPH and we were on dirt roads we only had a minute or two at most to film before we had to take off. After that it was a mad dash to get out of the way of the core. We zig-zagged in front of the storm for about an hour after that then headed back out to North Platte, Nebraska to set up for the next day’s chase.

SPC Convective Outlook
                   SPC Tornado Prob.                       NOAA Storm Report


Lowering with tail cloud near Bennett, CO. Brief landspout near the Denver Airport's Doppler radar. Near Strasburg, CO, we sample the hail core.  
  Approaching shelf cloud and core near Woodrow, CO. Truncated cone tornado develops as the storm's RFD spins around the mesocylone.  
Video still enhanced to bring out the tornado detail. And another video still enhanced to bring out the tornado detail. After the tornado, a new lowering develops but no new tornado forms.  

All pictures (C) Richard Hamel 2017.

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