2011 Storm Chase 13 - July 6th - Lightning Finally Strikes In The North DesertPosted on the 27 February 2012 by Danncianca
Monsoon moisture began to work its way into the area in mid-June and I spent quite a few nights trying to get a bolt in frame; a task which seemed easy at times in the Front Range. I was finding it quite difficult on the Western Slope, however. But that didn't deter me. I obediently drove into the desert at any threat of late convection hoping for a chance.
On this particular Wednesday evening, the tail end of a shortwave riding atop the ridge was drifting through northwest Colorado. It had been quite hot during the daytime and relatively moist for the desert. As night began to fall, the dewpoint increased into the 50s.
In the early evening, storms began to fire over the Tavaputs Plateaus in eastern Utah and then drifted across the border. I left my house after 8PM or so and drove west on I-70. I left the highway at Loma and then drove north on Colorado 139 out of the irrigated valley and into the rolling hills of the desert.
I recall the surface winds being pretty strong as I pulled to the side of the road to shoot. As the storms road the Book Cliffs to the north, they began to fizzle to some extent. Still, there was a bit of lightning and out of persistence, I was able to capture my first Western Slope spark in frame. It's nothing exceptional, but at the time, I was relieved and excited.
Intra-cloud lightning over Book Cliffs.
I stayed at that spot for about a half hour before the storms really died down. Though the first lightning shot was the best, I was able to take a couple of images that were keepers of some sort; at least showing the scene in a way that I wanted to keep.
Looking north-northwest on Colorado 139 toward the Book Cliffs.
Lightning illuminates the crest of the Book Cliffs
Satisfied, I headed home. My first non-bust lightning chase of 2011 on the Western Slope! Luckily, it wouldn't be my last.
2011YTD Mileage: 1646
SPC Risk: Categorical
Max Hail: None
Other Phenomena: None
Applicable Mesoscale Discussions: None
Applicable Weather Watches: None
Storm Reports for July 6th
These articles might interest you :
Convection fired over the Western Slope during my weather shift on this particular Sunday evening, May 22nd. There wasn't much going on in the upper levels,... Read moreThe 31 October 2011 by Danncianca
Catching up on a few 2011 entries since I'm still backlogged on 2012 imagery...This entry details a storm chase from July 7th, 2011. Read moreThe 31 March 2012 by Danncianca
There was a certain amount of relief in my head when I woke up on Wednesday, May 18th. Before the previous day, there was a real possibility that 2011 would be ... Read moreThe 23 October 2011 by Danncianca
I've debated for some time as to whether to make this into a storm chase log or not. Technically, we really didn't chase the storm; just inspected its remnants. Read moreThe 20 May 2012 by Danncianca
Chances to chase on the Western Slope are few and far between before the Monsoon begins. Even more rare are those that land on one's day off. Read moreThe 05 September 2011 by Danncianca
I hadn't planned on chasing storms on this particular Tuesday, February the 28th, but somehow it just worked out that way. I was indeed hoping that something... Read moreThe 13 March 2012 by Danncianca
Being a severe weather enthusiast, to put it mildly, I spend a lot of time fantasizing about severe weather. Unfortunately, living in the high desert of... Read moreThe 11 October 2011 by Danncianca
Valentine's Day True Blood Halloween Harry Potter Turkey Egypt Mardi Gras Rick Perry Winter Sports Apple John Galliano X-Factor Russia Apps Economy China North Korea The Box Office Academy Awards Michelle Rodriguez Samsung Christmas Mitt Romney Lance Armstrong Lady Gaga DSK Nuclear Energy Climate Change European Union Barack Obama