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Thursday, July 5, 2018

June 6 Powder River Pass/Buffalo, WY storms

Today's chase began in Belle Fourche, SD.  Our plan was to get further west near the Big Horn Mountains with hopes of latching onto a nice supercell.  We headed west on SD 34/WY 24 through Aladdin, WY and Hulett, WY.  Along the way, we stopped at Devil's Tower (cue music from "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"), and I apparently need to watch the movie to understand the significance of this monument.  It has been added to my list 😋  In either case, we continued southwest into Moorcroft, WY via US 14.  We enjoyed lunch at Donna's Diner, and the food was excellent.  From Moorcroft, we headed west on I-90 into Buffalo, WY, where we had a pit stop.  After lingering in Buffalo for a while, we headed west on US 16 into the Bighorn National Forest to investigate a cell that looked healthy.  It was a very curvy and hilly road, but the scenery was beautiful.  We made it up to the Powder River Pass, which was 9,666 feet above sea level.  There was even snow on the ground, which fascinated some of the guests, who have never touched snow before.  We turned around at a scenic lookout, because our data was non-existent.  In addition, there were some healthier cells forming back to our east, so we wanted to get closer to those.  Once we got back into Buffalo, we took WY 196 south and used this as our primary chase road for the cells we were targeting.  There were a couple of nice wall clouds, but the storms never got organized enough to produce a tornado.  One of the storms could not make it past the mountains, but it still gave us some nice views.  Low moisture, inadequate wind shear, and high storm bases were the culprits for no tornadoes.  We were in Gillette, WY for the night after driving 384 miles.


  1. Great pics, as always--and dining suggestion... if we're ever in the area.
    Close Encounter is an excellent movie. With that, also suggest ET. Both great Spielberg movies (actually anything he does is fantastic entertainment)!

  2. Sadly, I have never seen ET. Many of the guests told me I need to watch it haha. In either case, it was neat seeing Devil's Tower!