Begin: I began in Denver, TT began in Las Vegas, NM
Lunch: TT lunch in La Junta
End: Burlington, CO
TT miles: about 500
I took a much needed 2-day break and recovery period after the end of Tour 6. Chris worked as tour director for the first two days of Tour 7. The group had little to chase on the first day (June 24), and on the 25th they observed severe weather in northeastern New Mexico near Las Vegas.
On the 26th, the severe risk was marginal along I-70 from about Limon eastward into Kansas. SPC upgraded to slight risk around Goodland to Russell in the 20Z update. Upper flow was from the northwest, and moisture was marginal. I met Dallas Raines in Denver and we headed east midday. The plan was to meet the Tempest group and I would switch places with Chris. Impressive storm towers were going up early again just east of Limon, and Dallas and I chased a strong cell southward from Flagler to Kit Carson.
Unsurprisingly, this cell was high-based. It showed some quasi-supercell structure as it approached U.S. 40. At one point, along the lonely dirt road between Flagler and Kit Carson, Dallas and I were standing beneath the storm base and we heard a weird “whooshing” sound to the north. I couldn’t figure out what it might be! A few seconds later, a gustnado swept right past us, about 10 yards away! It was sweeping through the wheat field and didn’t pick up much dust, but it was a rush to have it pass right by us on its way south!
This storm was somewhat ho-hum and seemed to be struggling slightly. The Tempest group was now on it near Kit Carson. Dallas and I noticed a new strong updraft to our north-northeast, and we decided to go for that one. Chris G. and Tempest soon followed. This storm quickly became supercellular, and it provided the town of Wray with a heckuva hailstorm. We were approaching Burlington at this time. The storm was diving to the southeast, and we came up to its south side about 12 miles north of Burlington. It was now a pretty LP supercell.
This storm began to shrivel up as we moved east with it towards Goodland. Additional storm towers went up south of I-70, so we headed south out of Woodland in case these became strong. They did not, and we all went back to Burlington for the night.