Description of Material included in this video:

Opening Video Montage: Time-lapse segments of the early stages of the first Minneola/Dodge City, KS tornado interspersed with time-lapse segments of a microburst associated with the June 8, 2015 Wagon Mound/Roy, NM supercell and real-time video segments of the September 29, 2014 Chama, NM tornado and the third June 6, 2014 Trinidad, CO tornado – all set to music.

May 11, 2014 – Supercells, a Funnel Cloud, and a Tornado in Kansas – A series of supercells, some of which produced 2-inch hail, from Dodge City eastward through the Kinsley and Rozel, KS areas, then a pair of merging supercells with a funnel cloud south of Garland and video from west of Larned of the tail end of the Frizzel, KS EF-1 tornado as it emerged from the rain.

May 21, 2014 – High-Precipitation (HP) Supercell near Bennett, CO – This segment documents a portion of my chase of an HP supercell east of Denver. In this segment, low clouds associated with the mesocyclone pass just north of Bennett, as the storm produces strong winds and copious amounts of golfball-sized hail north of Bennett.

June 6, 2014 – Three Tornadoes East of Trinidad, CO – This segment shows three tornadoes that occurred east of Trinidad, CO. The first, rated high-end EF-1, formed at quite some distance from my initial location, but was still clearly visible. This tornado is documented in the video with still photographs. Later, a new mesocyclone formed east or SE of the one that produced the first tornado. This mesocyclone produced two more tornadoes, video of which is included in this segment. The second tornado was brief and weak, but the video nicely documents the process leading to its formation. The third tornado was, like the first one, rated high-end EF-1 and, like the first one, was on the ground for a considerable time. This video segment documents nearly the entire lifecycle of this tornado, from just after it formed through ropeout. During this time, the video captures three nice flashes of CG (cloud-to-ground) lighting with the tornado visible as well.

September 29, 2014 – High-Altitude Tornado West of Chama, NM – This segment captures a high-end EF-1 tornado about 11 miles west of Chama, NM, from about 1.3 miles north of the tornado. This was my first NM tornado, first September tornado, first tornado west of the Continental divide, and certainly my highest-elevation tornado, with parts of the damage path above 8,000 feet, per the NWS Albuquerque damage survey! Some decent hail video is included, too. This tornado was the second tornado on record, ever, in Rio Arriba County, NM. Strangely, the only other one also occurred on September 29, but many years earlier.

Thundersnow! Five Winter Thunderstorms in 2014-15 with Snow or Graupel (Snow Pellets) Accompanied by Thunder and Lightning – The first of these storms occurred just west of Pagosa Springs, CO on December 13, 2014. This storm produced a lot of lightning as it approached and as it dropped graupel (snow pellets) just west and north of my neighborhood. The next storm hit Ski Santa Fe, NM on March 19, 2015 and dropped 3 inches of graupel and snow in an hour and a half. 8 more inches fell overnight and another inch the following day, leading to a total of a foot, though most or all of the lightning was in the first hour and a half of the storm. The storm began with a CG strike near the ski area quickly followed by a loud crash of thunder. As you can see in the video, this definitely put the fear of the Lord in some skiers. Apologies for the lesser quality of this segment; I was skiing and did not have my good video camera – but I included it here anyway because it was a pretty dramatic weather event. The remainder of this segment consists of three different instances of thundersnow on the west side of Colorado’s Wolf Creek Pass in a week in May, 2015 (May 12, May 15, May 18). On May 12 and May 18, one or more of the flashes was very close, more distant on May 15. Again, apologies on the video quality for May 18; I was coming into town from a non-chasing trip and did not have my good video camera. I noticed storms forming over the west side of the pass and decided to head up anyway, and was glad I did!

June 8, 2015 - 5x Timelapse Video of a Microburst in a New Mexico Supercell – This storm produced several inches of quarter-sized hail north of Wagon Mound, NM, then the microburst shown in this timelapse video as it moved southeast from there. This timelapse video, set to music, was taken from south of Roy, NM, looking southwest. At a number of times in the life of this storm, there was condensation that appeared to extend to or very near to the ground, including some features that could be mistaken for tornadoes. But what was happening was condensation forming as the cold air from the storm hit the warm moist air ahead of it, and then was drawn back up into the storm’s updraft. There are pictures of the hail from this storm, including a snowplow clearing it, in the photo montage at the end of this highlights video.

July 1, 2015 – Hailstorm NW of Pagosa Springs, CO – Video of a hailstorm in the high terrain on Piedra Road northwest of Pagosa Springs. Most of the hail was pea-sized, with a few stones up to a half-inch mixed in. This storm also produced some photogenic lightning strikes and a nice rainbow, both of which are included in the photo montage at the end of this highlights video.

September 8, 2015 – Funnel Cloud SW of Chromo, CO – A supercell moves on a track to the right of that of most of the other thunderstorms that day, and produces a funnel southwest of Chromo, CO, just on the Colorado side of the CO-NM state line. And I was there to get video!

March 8, 2016 – Thundersnow with CG Lighting, San Jose, NM – A thunderstorm produces a mix of snow, graupel, and hail along I-25 between Santa Fe and Las Vegas, NM. After driving on I-25 through the storm’s core, where about an inch of snow, graupel (snow pellets) and hail quickly accumulated, I set up along the east edge of the storm in light snow and graupel and caught the CG (cloud-to-ground) lightning strikes in this video segment.

April 29, 2016 – Winter Thunderstorm with Hail, Graupel, and Snow, near Pagosa Springs, CO – Another thunderstorm with a mix of hail, graupel (snow pellets), and snow! This one was right in my neighborhood. I drove to a spot about a half mile from home and watched the storm produce a quick inch of hail, graupel, and snow, with lots of close CG lightning. The precipitation began as Ό-inch hail, then turned to graupel, then ordinary snow. I messed up my video of the hail portion of the storm, but did later get video shown here of some loud thunder following a close flash of lightning as graupel fell heavily. When I got home, there was about a half-inch of hail, graupel, and snow in the yard.

April 30, 2016 – Hail at Home near Pagosa Springs, CO – The next day, I went skiing at Wolf Creek, where a couple more inches of snow had fallen overnight bringing the storm total to 13 inches there. After I got home in the mid-afternoon, I cut the grass, and as I finished, noticed dark updraft base forming overhead. Soon, this turned into a hailstorm. I got video through the window of up to dime-sized hail coming down. Yes, that is our cat you hear meowing near the end of this segment. Interestingly, there was no thunder and lightning with this hail. And in the mountains, even more snow fell.

May 16, 2016 – EF-1 Tornado South of Texline, TX – This day I chased storms all the way from the northeast corner of New Mexico down into the Amarillo, TX area. I left the storm I was initially on north of Clayton, NM just before it produced a tornado in the far western Oklahoma Panhandle, but did get one with the next storm I was on. This storm had formed several hours earlier west of Clayton, NM, and eventually crossed into TX as it moved southeast. South of Texline, it produced the tornado shown in this video. The tornado was rated EF-1 based on damage it did, largely to a pivot irrigation system. As I was getting this video, I knew I had a funnel and possible tornado, but was not entirely sure if it was down. But the presence of a dust swirl under the funnel in my video, the NWS damage survey, and visual observations by closer chasers all confirmed that it was. Later in this chase I observed a funnel cloud near Dalhart, TX and an at first LP (low-precipitation) supercell near Channing, TX that dropped golfball hail. Eventually this torm morphed into more of a classic supercell and the hail size increased to 3 inches as I and many other chasers moved southeast ahead of it to avoid the hail. Pictures of the funnel cloud and of this storm are in cluded in the photo montage at the end of this highlights video.

May 24, 2016 – Minneola and Dodge City, KS Tornadofest – Per NWS damage survey, this storm produced a total of eleven tornadoes, of which I was able to see and document six. This video segment, more than a half-hour in length, documents three of the four long-track tornadoes that occurred this day, with photos of three other tornadoes. The first parts of the segment shows the formation and early stages of the first EF-3 tornado, which was on the ground for 15 miles. This is followed by a segment showing nearly the entire life of the longest-track tornado (nearly 17 miles), a mile-wide (at its widest) EF-2 tornado that formed SSW of Dodge City and moved north through the western fringes of the Dodge City area, then curved to the northwest before gradually roping out. Near the end of this tornado’s lifecycle, another EF-3 tornado formed north of Dodge city. The next part of the video shows this tornado (and briefly, this one together with the previous one, as both were down at the same time for a while), as I become increasingly worried about escaping a new hail core that is bearing down on me from the SW. My worry was legitimate, as there was 3 inch hail reported in there, but I avoided anything bigger than quarters and eventually managed to take shelter under a gas station roof. The final part of this segment shows my view from there of sideways rain as the sirens blared once again in Dodge City – then pics of the nice rainbow and spectacular sunlit mammatus that followed the storm. One of my best chase days ever!

Stormy Skies Mid-Decade Photo Montage – This video ends with a photo montage, set to music, of more than 100 dramatic weather photos from 2014, 2015, and 2016. These include everything from tornadoes (including one more from the TX Panhandle for which I do not have video) and supercells to winter scenes and spectacular lightning – captured in five different states (CO, NM, KS, TX, and IL) – again, all set to music.

Return to Stormy Skies Mid-Decade Information and Ordering page