2017 Severe Weather Season

Observations of Severe Storms and Interesting Weather Phenomena

October 4, 2017 New Mexico Chase - I intercept a menacing high-precipitation (HP) supercell near Rio Rancho, NM, then stay ahead of it as far as La Bajada hill as it slowly tracks to the ENE, producing flash flooding, hail, and CG lightning. At times the storm structure on this supercell was spectacular - lots of pictures included in this report.

September 30 Thundersnow - Wolf Creek Pass, CO and Vicinity - I catch three waves of thundersnow in and around Wolf Creek Pass, CO, as a band of thunderstorms associated with a persistent western trough passes through the high country. Includes photos and video.

September 14 Southwest Colorado Chase - I decided to play an SPC slight risk in the Four Corners area as an approaching storm, a digging upper jet, and monsoon moisture combined to create a threat of severe storms over that area. I intercepted two strong storms, one near Durango, CO and another that passed between Hesperus and Mancos, CO. Includes photos of both storms and of a nice rainbow later when I got home.

August 21 Total Solar Eclipse Chase, Tryon, Nebraska - OK, technically this is not severe weather but it certainly was an awesome event in the sky! This report describes the trip Alice and I took to Nebraska to see the eclipse, ending up about 10 miles SE of Tryon, NE where we had a great view of totality with only a few thin cirroform clouds around. Includes pictures of totality as well as a nice rainbow we saw along the way.

August 13 Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico Chase - Upslope flow, directional shear, and good instability get storms going along the Raton Mesa. Although they did not produce a lot of severe weather, they were photogenic.

July 20, 2017 - Pagosa Springs Lightning - Storms associated with the monsoon moisture fire around sunset near Pagosa Springs, CO, producing a rather spectacular evening lightning display. Includes photos.

July 13, 2017 New Mexico Monsoon Chase - As the southwestern monsoon finally gets going on a widespread basis in north-central New Mexico, I get some lightning shots and some decent storm structure. Includes storm photos.

June 25, 2017 Las Vegas and Wagon Mound, NM Chase - Two Photogenic Supercells, Possible Tornadoes - I first intercept a pretty supercell near Las Vegas, NM, which started LP but trended to classic as it dropped golfball hail. Then as that merged into a linear MCS, I shifted my attention to another storm NW of Wagon Mound. This storm got 3 tornado warnings as it moved slowly to the south and dropped big hail. At two locations I saw what may or may not have been tornadoes, but either way, a spectacular storm. Includes lots of pictures of both storms, and video of both of the possible tornadoes.

June 6, 2017 Storm NW of Pagosa Springs, CO - "Fakenado"? - A strong storm forms northwest of Pagosa Springs and produces some interesting features which mimicked a funnel cloud and a landspout - but they probably weren't, more likely being precipitation features. Speaking of precipitation, the storm produced an interesting mix of that, too - heavy rain, some partly-melted snow or graupel mixed in, and a 5-minute burst of small hail. Includes photos and discussion.

May 22, 2017 New Mexico Chase - Lots of Supercells and Lots of Hail - Days like this are why I love storm chasing/photography in New Mexico! All these pictures were taken within about 30 miles of Santa Rosa. Storm after storm, most of them supercells. And I saw two, maybe three other chaser vehicles all day - in the third week of May! This report includes a number of pictures from six different storms, as well as video of hail from an LP supercell near Santa Rosa.

May 18, 2017 Great Bend KS Chase - Two, Maybe Three Tornadoes - An SPC "high risk" day doesn't quite pan out as such, as the tornadoes are weak and brief amid low clouds, low contrast, and multicellular and HP modes. Still, I manage to eke out a couple tornadoes, maybe 3, some funnel clouds, and later, some storms that were more linear but with better contrast and somewhat more photogenic. Includes lots of pictures, as well as video of the two definite tornadoes and one possible one.

May 10, 2017 Wolf Creek Pass, CO Thundersnow Chase - After trying all season, I finally succeed big-time in getting thundersnow video at the top of Colorado's Wolf Creek Pass. Snow, accompanied by frequent rumbles of thunder and occasional visible flashes of lightning, continues for at least a half hour, and I am there with the camera rolling! This report includes photos, videos, a radar image of the approaching storms, and a web image of the location of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes.

May 9, 2017 Colorado Chase - As this day shows, you can see a lot of different kinds of weather when you chase storms in Colorado in May. This day included everything from hailstorms to fresh snow to spectacular lightning. I was able to get a couple of great lightning pics and some pretty intense hail video, all within 30 miles or so of where I had photographed fresh snow a couple hours earlier.

May 8, 2017 Colorado Chase - On my first non-local storm chase of 2017 I head for the Palmer Divide, where I intercept a tornado-warned storm - but due to a poor initial choice of storms, a little late for any decent view of the funnel cloud/possible tornado it produced. But I did get some decent storm-structure pictures, and at least managed to get on the only TOR-warned storm in my target area. This report includes photos, analysis of the setup, and local storm reports from both the Denver/Boulder and Pueblo offices.

Return to main Weather Observation page

This page last updated October 9, 2017.