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Back from vacation and storms on the plains!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 5:11am MDT

The storm approaches!Your intrepid Weather Examiner is back from vacation, relaxed, tanned and ready for summer!  What makes a good vacation for a weather geek?  Severe storms of course and I saw a doosy while in northeastern Colorado last week. 

Weatherwise my vacation started out pretty boring with mild days, cool nights and I suppose what most people would consider beautiful weather.  Last Friday started out much the same as the week with a calm, beautiful day on the eastern plains of Colorado but it is after all severe weather season and the chances of something brewing over a week are pretty good. 

By the mid-afternoon, more clouds started to roll in and by late afternoon, I was watching a storm cell with great potential develop to the northwest of me.  Soon the weather radio was beeping warning of a Severe Thunderstorm Watch being issued for my location and that was upgraded to a Warning before too long. 

Now we\'re talking!  Getting dark at 5:00 in the afternoon!Soon those clouds started to darken and spots of green were showing – sure signs of something major brewing.  A band of rain was clearly visible and moving our way.  A quick check of the weather radar software on my laptop showed great potential with the cloud tops exploding over 30,000 feet above.  Before long the rain started mixed with a touch of pea sized hail.  That rain got pretty heavy and the wind was getting pretty vicious.

Even a junior weather forecaster can tell there is trouble on the radar!Being in an RV in severe weather is not always the wisest place but I was pretty confident we were okay although we did have a plan to escape to more secure shelter about 75 yards away. After dumping a good inch of rain in less than 20 minutes the storm passes. However, that same storm cell did spawn a tornado 10 miles to the southeast after it passed me. Even more notably, the cell was so powerful, it continued churning out severe weather for an additional 90+ miles before disappating!  
After the storm - a beauful sunset on the plains.In the end, having the one day of severe weather while on vacation made it pretty danged fun!  The desire to chase the storm cell was strong but my better half would probably not have approved me leaving the family behind at that point.  🙂

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