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Saturday, July 8, 2017

July 2 Nebraska supercell

Arthur, NE
East of North Platte, NE
Eustis, NE
Today, we met a new batch of guests for Tour 9 out of Denver.  This was my first tour with just 5 guests, so I was looking forward to it.  My father-in-law, Phil, was also part of our group.  After a brief orientation, we hit the road and had our weather briefing in the van.  Our target was North Platte, NE, which was a good 4 hours away.  There were a couple areas of interest we were monitoring along the way.  We stopped in Ft. Morgan, CO for fuel and food, and then we continued east on I-80 to Ogallala, NE.  After a quick pit stop, we headed north on NE 61, which took us by Lake McConaughy.  When we came to Arthur, NE, we headed east on NE 92, which took us into Tryon, NE.  At this point, there was a beefy supercell slowly drifting south, so we took NE 97 north out of Tryon to get a bit closer to the action.  After finding a spot to pull off, we decided to go further east to investigate some cells that were in a better environment.  We got back on NE 92 and headed east into Stapleton, NE.  The vans were topped off, and our guests were given another quick pit stop.  Due to the slow motion of the storms, we were able to make this happen.  We headed south on US 83 and stopped a few times to monitor the storm.  As we got closer to North Platte, we noticed a huge storm base over us, and Bill decided this would be our best bet.  Storms were getting affected by outflow all day, but this one developed on the outflow boundary.  When we arrived in North Platte, Bill had me take E Hall School Road to N Airport Road so we could avoid the nasty stoplights in town.  This was a very effective strategy, as the storm was bearing down on us.  We followed US 30 east to Maxwell, NE, where we turned north onto S Maxwell Road to get a better view of this storm.  At this point, we were getting hammered by strong outflow winds.  When we turned around, we had to stop so we could get a tree branch moved out of our way.  I was quite happy to get off that road!!  We continued east on US 30 into Brady, NE, and we jumped onto I-80 to get to Gothenburg, NE.  Our van got smacked by torrential rain and 2" hail, but we escaped unharmed.  When we made it to Gothenburg, we dropped south on NE 47 and headed east on NE 23. We made a stop before Eustis, NE to observe the amazing storm.  It had great structure, so it certainly did not disappoint.  When we got a few miles east of Eustis, we found a spot to pull over to watch the storm and its lightning.  We ended in Cozad, NE for the night after driving 450 miles.

2 comments:

  1. That afternoon was a total blast for the guests. We loved it and appreciated your safe driving through hazardous conditions

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  2. Thank you for the kind words! I had lots of fun on this trip :)

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