Monday, 23 May 2016

May 23rd plans


An earlier analysis showed an outflow boundary across NW TX, with a cold front up in SW KS, and another OFB across south-cent KS too. The higher instability should be across the southern OFB area but the northern target looks interesting too. We'll make a decision fairly soon!

May 22nd report


We decided to target the dry line today in the western Texas Panhandle. Storms formed to our east in the deeper moisture, perhaps along a subtle moisture gradient. We didn't target these and chose to await development closer to hand. Unfortunately for us, this did not occur. In the end we headed east to catch at least some lightning, etc, from those storms around Clarendon, Texas. There was quite a bit of street flooding and there was a brief moment of worry when a car coming the other way down the dual carriageway hit a flood and span out into the median. We thought for a second it was coming over to our side, but thankfully it didn't. We slowed to see if they were OK but the were driving off so we figured they were fine.

We headed back to Amarillo for the night, in the same motel as last night, and next door to last night's room!

It was something of a frustrating day - not for being out on the Plains and seeing thunderstorms - but simply as the target did not verify. But that's chasing and tomorrow's another day!

Swirling tube of cloud from a decaying cumulus, Hereford, TX.

Marginal structure on a cell in cold outflow air, south of Clarendon, TX.

Lightning SE of Amarillo.

Sunset SE of Amarillo.


Sunday, 22 May 2016

Lunch in Hereford

Hello. Just having lunch in Hereford, TX, the self proclaimed beef capital of the world. I had turkey for lunch. A mesoscale discussion has been issued for much of this area and so we're awaiting development.

MD 676 graphic

A dry line bulge is evident on radar to our SW...this may aid initiation as well as helping surface winds to back.

May 22nd thoughts


Starting the day in Amarillo, and there is quite a large risk area today. Anywhere from parts of SW Nebraska down towards west Texas has a risk of severe storms. We'll target the TX risk area, as storms are expected to form along the dry line with diffluent upper flow aloft. In addition, there appears to be a subtle shortwave, on water vapour imagery, moving through Arizona at the moment, which should reach west Texas this afternoon. Various convection-allowing model guidance show thunderstorms developing, although, as you'd expect, in somewhat different places. A rather persistent signal for a slow-moving cell, evolving into a small SE'wards moving cluster, appears to be south of Lubbock. We'll probably drop down towards Lubbock and await developments.

The image below is a subjective analysis of the situation - a dry line is over eastern N Mexico, with a feed of moist south-easterly winds to its east.

May 21st report

Hello there.

Today panned out reasonably as expected. A tornadic supercell developed in Kansas, which looked a reasonable bet, but we didn't target that area, partly due to the long drive, but also partly because we wanted to chase west Texas and enjoy a rather relaxed chase seeing storms which few other chasers did.

We headed NW from Snyder, having lunch in Levelland - you can imagine how flat the area is around there! After lunch we headed towards Morton, and, via several stops for photos and decisions, we headed towards Farwell, on the Texas/New Mexico border. As we turned NE from there, we briefly (for literally 10 seconds) were in New Mexico, our second state of the trip, but then were straight back into Texas again. Storms had developed, and we then spent the remainder of the afternoon and into the evening slowly moving along with them - a couple showed some supercell structure for a time, which looked pretty. At sunset, one storm dissipated in the fashion of an LP supercell. Lightning was rather infrequent, which was a shame as we were in the perfect landscape for some great lightning shots.

We headed to Amarillo for the night and had dinner in Applebee's - a line of storms has formed in eastern New Mexico, and we could see the lightning 75 miles to the west, when we got back to the hotel. Not sure whether they will make it here, or move past NW of us.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Luncheon in Levelland

Hello. Just stopped for some lunch (Subway, of course!) at Levelland, Texas. To the west, we can see the familiar sight of distant towering cumulus clouds as circulations close to a somewhat diffuse dry line start to deepen. After lunch we'll continue westwards.

May 21st plans

Good morning.

A glance out the window here in Snyder, TX, shows low stratus clouds streaming northwards on a southerly breeze, always an encouraging sight for storm chasers, as it demonstrates that a return flow of Gulf moisture is underway.

Today, a bulge in the dry line across western Kansas along with a nearby warm front mean that this area could be most likely to have supercells, and perhaps a tornado or two. For us, that would mean a ~400 mile drive northwards - do-able, of course! However, I think we're more interested in hanging around the dry line in west Texas/E New Mexico. Several models depict convection brewing this afternoon, with enough instability and shear for the risk of supercells - large hail is the prime threat, but a very small tornado risk exists too. Storm motions should be pretty slow, at around 10-15 knots to the east, and perhaps more south-east if a small cluster develops.