TARGET: SCOTTSBLUFF, NE

SPC had a marginal risk across the majority of the High Plains region we were targetting. Wind shear wasn't forecast to be very strong so the risk of another MCS system late afternnon into evening would be high. We made it to Scottsbluff with a few high based cells already underway. Nothing was looking severe so we decided to have a closer look. All the cells looked they were already starting to congeal into an MCS so we made the decision to try and stay in front of the line. We stopped a couple of times to observe and we were mesmerised by the structure. It was a laminar gust front stretching for miles, and it had some unusual lenticular type updrafts. We continued to stay in front of it whilst another cell had formed on the outflow boundary and was moving NW on a track to collide with the line. We moved to a position to watch the interraction which put on a nice show briefly. It eventually weakened so we turned out attention back to the MCS approaching. Overhead a mammatus field was developing and would eventually go on to become the most astonishing and incredible displays of mammatus I've ever seen. The feature was just ahead of the line so the scene couldn't have been scripted better. The spectacle lasted less than 10mins so we made the decision to find our accommodarion for the evening. We settled on Sidney, NE which meant we had to core punch the line. We started heading towards the line and it was a dramatic scene. We headed into the abyss and there was sporadic hail up to 3cm and torrential rain. There were numerous flangs which we could clearly hear over the roar of hail and rain on the car. We passed through and got to our destination. We had some dinner at a local sports bar then as we we were heading back to the car we noticed the line going off like a strobe light. We couldn't resist so we got the cameras out, however the line was retreating and soon it was getting too far away. The marginal day had provided a nice surprise with the mammatus/shelf cloud display but ultimately the weak shear was the winner for this setup.

 

Oshkosh NE Panorama copy