I-70 Dust Front and High Based “Cumulonimbus Junkus”

June 18, 2006 by
Filed under: Summary 

East CO and west KS, 15 Jun 6.

SHORT: Tremendous windstorm and dust in east Colorado. High based linear mush in west KS.

LONG: On this 14th anniversary of the great, legendary superdupercell at Beloit KS, we left DEN hoping for a measly LP supercell.

We expected little and got less. The most interesting part of the trip was the result of the development of high-based convection over east Colorado: a collective plume of downburst related outflow than slammed us hard between Siebert and Burlington. This windbag, with severe gusts measured in some obs, raised temps into the mid-upper 90s (daytime heat burst action) and lofted a a lot of dust. Driving on I-70 was difficult for folks on motorcycles and in high-profile vehicles because of the gusty crosswinds and airborne grit. Standing outside in tropical storm force winds — but hot and dry and dusty — wasn’t a good omen for the rest of the storm observation day.

After that we transected a very high based line of crapola over west KS that was good only for marginal/junk “severe” reports, enough to technically verify warnings but not anything truly dangerous outside the lightning. [No actual severe weather was seen by us but we did not penetrate the most dense cores.] We did see a few pretty CGs but the line itself was basically amorphous and free of structure worth photographing.

After snagging some gifts for Steve C from an abandoned railroad right-of-way near Healy KS, we headed for a dinner and room in GCK. Some close CGs and their thunderous accompaniment awoke me shortly after midnight, a result of more storms that formed in the same band of ascent that produced the daytime “junkus,” as the zone of lift shifted E across the GCK area.

===== Roger =====

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