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June 8 & 9, 2001: Storms in Nebraska & South Dakota

(Dave Lewison, Jim Leonard & Cloud9 Tours)

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June 8, 2001

June 9, 2001

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June 8: Started the day in Lamar, CO. This was supposed to be a travel day to set up for the following day in South Dakota. However, near Wray, we noticed the distant anvil of a storm way off to our north in Nebraska. Since it was on our way, we decided to give it a shot.

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June 9: After spending a "lovely" night in the Valentine Motel, we decided to head towards souther SD, where a mesolow was supposed to back the winds and pull up moisture. Upper flow wasn't great, but it was worth trying.

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Here's our view looking northeast from central Nebraska, near the town of Whitman.

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Seeing no evidence of initiation, we decided to hang out at the Okaton "Ghost Town", overlooking the rolling plains of South Dakota. here are some tour members chatting and hacing a nice lunch.

Here's Jim sitting on an old abandoned car talking on the phone. This whole area was so picturesque!

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We tried to get north towards the storm, but were thwarted by impassible dirt roads. It wasn't a bad looking updraft, but the base was high, and by the time we got to it, it had only very small hail.

We were treated to a rainbow as we departed the storm, and headed north towards Valentine, NE.

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I continued to indulge my creative eye, and took some interesting pictures of the scenery, which included more bombed-out cars, and even a complete diesel engine sitting in the grass.

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We even had the priveledge of having the Weather Channel's Storm Tracker truck nearby. I still like the juxtaposition of the cutting-edge satellite technology truck against the old ghost town backdrop.


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When convection finally did start to fire way off to our west, we decided to intercept, even though we knew the winds that way were veered out. There was still hope that the storms would do better once they got into the better air. Unfortunately, the storms all lined out and turned into a big squall line. As we headed up towards Philip, we were rocked by 70-80 mps straight line winds and blinding rain.

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In the town of Philip, where we saw damage caused by the straight line winds. We were treated to a great lightning show on the way back east to Sioux Falls.

Email me at: dave@facethewind.com

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