Day 2 (31 May 2010)
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We started off from Edmund at a lazy 10am and I was in with Todd.
We stopped for breakfast and also to allow Todd to pick up the last member of the party whose flight had been delayed and who had to drive all the way from Denver
Again, it was a lovely sunny day and we had no idea what to expect.
There's a 2% tornado risk from the Storm Prediction Cente
We headed towards the only storm within a few hundred miles, but it didn't look anything special - maybe another good thunderstorm.
Once we got there we could see the storm front with the associated rain and lightning.
We positioned ourselves in it's path and waited to see what happened.
There was a nice low hanging wall cloud and we could hear the nearby town's tornado siren - unfortunately a little premature...
It looked visually promising with circular cloud movements (mesocyclone) but at this stop the clouds just passed overhead and we moved on once the rain hit us.
We stopped a mile or so down the road to watch the storm and waited to see if anything happened.
This time we were in luck. A funnel cloud did appear from the rotating cloud and slowly turned into a tornado and touched down about 1/2 a mile in front of us.
We were gobsmacked at the fact that we had seen the whole thing happen in front of us - normally a tornado will be spotted after it has already formed.
What we didn't originally realise was that the tornado was heading right for us (but Todd did). We were busy taking photos and video and then got the call from Todd to move.. we did sharpish…
We moved on down the road and pulled over to watch the tornado come up behind us and cross the road. Another photo opportunity.
This one was fun, the winds really picked up and we got sand blasted (more like grit blasted!). Shortly after that we were pelted by the hail and we had to retreat to the cars.
We stayed with the storm and it dissipated whist being shrouded by rain. Amazingly we then saw another one form. Again we watched this one move and again get rain shrouded and disapper. Shortly after saw or third tornado and this one stayed in view with it even dissapating in front of us (an interesting view).
From a distance it looked like this - no hint of what it had harboured.
This was on Highway 287 approximately 5 miles south of Campo, Colorado.
After that we were shown a brilliant lighting display where the nearby storms were merging and only had to retreat when the rain hit us.
We then had to drive in a really heavy downpour to go get some food.
We finally finished eating and got to our hotel at midnight and we had to be up and out by 7:30 ... nice :(
A fantastic Day 2 over and done with and 508 miles covered (1183 to date).
Ryan Hoke, our Meteorology universtity student posted a good video on you tube
My own video is here:-
Another one of our group (Peter Wharton) took this photo; it shows how big the tornado is in comaprison to us.
Another storm chaser
posted a couple of photos of the tornado and we noticed that our convoy was in the photo - looks real close!!!
(Photo used with permission)
This tornado was officially classified as EF2.