Across State Line
A classic supercell erupted during mid-afternoon on the Laramie Mountains of Wyoming, in the farthest corner of my forecast area from where we originated that morning -- Hays KS. I had needed to sleep in late after being up 36 hours straight the prior day, in turn, coming off a night shift. After all that, Elke and I considered it almost miraculous to have seen this tornado at all, instead of being upset over missing its first few minutes due to distance and intervening terrain. Our view, from the Nebraska side of the Wyoming border, actually afforded a big-picture look at the event unfolding near LaGrange, WY. By this time, the storm almost had cast aside the serpentine tornado as if it were a nuisance accessory, a fly buzzing about the churning motor of an enormous, low-slung, rotating wall cloud. To us, and to our friends following in another vehicle, it all was an amazing spectacle. This was the first tornado of her lifetime for one of our companions, the only one witnessed by the V.O.R.T.EX.-2 field experiment in 2009, and in a scientific sense, the most thoroughly documented tornado in American history by day's end.
4 N Bushnell NE (5 Jun 9), Looking NW