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May 21, 2014:
Tornado-warned Colorado storm

May 21, 2014: Today, Peggy Willenberg and I moved southwest from our starting point in Sterling, Colorado, to get into position in front of a cell coming out of the Denver area, where a brief tornado was reported near the airport. (There were many tornadoes reported today, but this is the only one that's yielded convincing video that I've seen so far.) We got in front of the storm north of Bennett and watched it make a serious effort at organizing as it spun. We followed it east, watching the rotation and staying ahead of the hail. It was a beautiful storm, especially with the green light that suggested how much hail it held. Share

Video of tornado-warned Colorado storm on May 21, 2014. Video by Chris Kridler.

Click on the thumbnails to see a larger image.

    We started our day in Sterling, Colorado, and dropped southwest to get in front of the storm coming out of Denver.
    The storm had produced a tornado near the Denver airport, and it came toward us, just north of Bennett, with what looked like a wall cloud.
    The base evolved.
    It looked ominous.
    There were signs of rotation.
    The hail shaft looked ominous, too.
    I loved the look of the storm over the wheat field.
    There was a lot of motion in the clouds.
    This was an apparent wall cloud with lots of hail behind it.
    It really looked as if it might try something here.
    Then it got toothy.
    More toothy!
    The green suggested a nice hail core.
    And it was so pretty over the field.
    A funnel-like shape formed in the front edge.
    This scud rotated up into the front edge. Very cool!
    The storm moved east.
    I loved the tracks in the field east of Strasburg and the perspective they offered.
    Now this is real estate I want to buy - in front of a tornado-warned storm!
    A wall cloud started to form as seen from our position northeast of Byers.
    The green light illuminates the lowering.
    The wall cloud was fuzzy but convincing.
    Here, at 4:13 p.m. Mountain Time, it really lowered. A few minutes after this, a tornado was reported. I found this interesting given that my video showed the rotation becoming more broad as we moved away.
    Just before this was shot at 4:26 p.m. MDT, the touchdown was reported, but we were moving east with the legions of storm chasers who were under this beast of a storm and didn't see one.
    It lost its strength and merged with other storms coming out of southern Colorado, but it briefly had a frisky lowering under it.
    The wind farm, shot south of Last Chance, was striking against the stormy sky.
    Fun times with old friends ended the day in Limon - Scott McPartland, Bill Hark, Dave Lewison and Peggy Willenberg.

2014 reports and photos | blog | main gallery page

All photos copyright 2014 by Chris Kridler,,