2006 June 8
Copyright 2006 Eric Nguyen
 
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Chase Area:  Eastern Montana
Scott Blair, Paul Stofer, and myself saw three great supercells E of Billings, MT.  Our target was east of Billings, Montana, for upslope storms giving the more than sufficient shear and instability for supercells.  The night before we stayed in Cheyenne, Wyoming, so we had quite a drive that morning.
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Crow Agency, Montana, Supercell
Our first supercell intensified over Crow Agency, Montana, which is in the Crow Indian Reservation.  This had great structure but was high based, resulting in a pretty quick demise.  We went north out of Lame Deer, Montana, towards some new convection that fired off the front range.
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Colstrip, Montana, Supercell
Our second supercell intensified to our southwest as we gassed up in Colstrip.  It had some great structure as well as a wallcloud that rapidly developed and was very low to the ground.   Motion on the base was initially quite strong, but it eventually got undercut. We ventured into the core to check hail size and wind. Largest hail we measured was a little over 2.25 inches in diameter. Baseball (2.75'') was reported in the vicinity, however hail was melting too fast for a good quick measurement. The hail was generally soft (cloudy) and each large stone was probably spaced about 8-12 inches apart, so the ground was pretty covered. We went south and east to catch back up to the storm as the road network wasn't great going northeast. Of course, once it got into no-mans-land, the shear on XM went nuts. It eventually began to weaken so we pulled over 20-25 miles south of Miles City, Montana, on Hwy 59.
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Volborg, Montana, Supercell
The third supercell developed southwest of Volborg, Montana, and had a classic LP appearance initially, then morphed into a shelf. This had some great structure and some weak cloud base rotation.  Once the LP weakened we quickly drove north to get back into cell coverage so we could reserve a room in Miles City. We lucked out and got a great hotel with WiFi as well as a restaurant across the street. While waiting for our food at the restaurant, the power kept going on and off.  Finally, the power was off for good and we ate by candle light! This was an awesome end to a great day!
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Copyright 2006 Eric Nguyen
 
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