Some great photos of the storm are available from thedenverchannel.com. As of this morning, the Storm Prediction lists 9 tornado reports from the area.
The Doppler velocity image below shows the remarkable mesocyclone that accompanied the storm with green indicating flow towards the radar (lighter green indicates stronger flow towards the radar) and red indicating flow away from the radar. A mesocyclone is a storm-scale area of strong rotation. At this time, the counterclockwise circulation associated with the mesocyclone is centered to the immediate west of the radar (radar site in the center of the white dot), with a beautiful hook in the inbounds (green) Doppler velocities.
Significant hail accumulations were also reported in the area. The Denver Police Department took this photo of a 5 inch hail accumulation.
The hail intensity/damage potential in eastern Colorado is amongst the highest in the United States, with $3 billion in damages during the first decade of the 21st century. It's a good place to own a garage.
|Jeeves from http://bbc.co.uk|
McIDAS images of GOES-15 0.63 µm visible channel data (above; click image to play animation) showed the cyclonic transport of smoke across the Gulf of Alaska on 20 May 2014. The source of the smoke was the Funny River Fire that was burning on the Kenai Peninsula of south-central Alaska, near Soldotna. The fire quickly grew to 20,000 acres in about 24 hours.
The curved smoke plume was also quite evident on 3 separate Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.7 µm Day/Night Band images (below). Smoke was reducing the surface visibility as low as 3 miles at Homer (station identifier PAHO).
Even though patchy clouds covered the Kenai Peninsula region around 13 UTC, the fire “hot spots” (black to yellow to red color enhancement) were still detectable on the VIIRS 3.74 µm shortwave IR image (below).
The track, intensity, and speed of the upper-level trough has been subject to uncertainty the past few days. Overnight runs from the North American Ensemble Forecast System (NAEFS) and ECMWF ensemble system center the trough just south of the four corners by 0000 UTC Sunday (6 PM MDT Saturday).
|Source: Environment Canada|
It actually was quite small. To get some perspective, here is a wider view. See it due west of the NW tip of the Olympic Peninsula and southwest of Vancouver Island? It was about 60 km (36 miles) across.
A few hours later it started to dissipate but still had an other-worldly look! (again, giving you both views)
Want to see an animation of this "mini"hurricane? Check out this animated gif (special thanks to Jeff Knecht for bringing it to my attention):
Earlier in the morning the Windsat sScatterometer satellite passed over the region (scatterometers useicrowave radiation to measure capillary wave amplitude and from that wind speed/direction). This image, or roughly 8 AM, suggests some rotation off the northern Washington coast (click on image to make it larger)
Anyway, an interesting phenomenon
Lunchtime Climate Series
Finally, if anyone is interested, the Seattle Chamber of Commerce is continuing its lunchtime climate series in downtown Seattle next week.
More more information, the link is here.
An isolated Supercell Thunderstorm developed near Denver on 20 May and then moved eastward over the High Plains. The storm produced significant hail. GOES-14 was operating in SRSOR mode and viewing Colorado during the storm’s lifecycle, and the animation above (click image for a large animated gif file) is centered on the storm, highlighting the inflow into the storm from the southeast and the strong difluence around the updraft.
The blogosphere is polluted with weather wannabes; those who think the shrill sound and fury of their pontifications merit attention from their readers—the more absurd the proclamations, the greater their supposed relevancy. We are not that blog. First, our “posse” is an academically certified group of individuals from an array of institutions across North America and Europe. We aren’t looking to earn a profit from our posts; we’re here to help frame the discourse on weather and climate in an appropriate, measured vein. So, please pardon us if we come across a bit nerdy at times. We’ll do our best to elaborate on complex processes at play in the atmosphere, while feeding the intellectual hunger of our more experienced readers.
The gradual demise of the snowpack at Alta-Collins can be seen in the 7-day trace of hourly snow depth measurements below.