Wednesday, 18 May 2016

May 17th - report


We awoke quite early as outflow winds from storms quite a way to our north whistled through the window - it was 5am, so we decided to get some more sleep! We awoke with the alarm at 8am and proceeded to get ready for our first chase day - this involves moving items we need for the chase out of our luggage and into 'grab bags'. Once we'd done this we checked out and headed to Wal*Mart to get supplies. Helen went into the shop and I proceeded to set the stuff up in the car. To cut a long story short I couldn't get one of the GPS devices to work (it's too old and Windows 10 doesn't like it) - in the end I found an easy short-cut - just use the other one to do multiple things - not really sure why I didn't try that first  - oh well.

I took a snap of the car - a Dodge Durango.

We then headed west on I-20 and then south to Brownwood for lunch. Our original target had been San Angelo but storms were already approaching that place so we figured we might get cut off - we wanted to be on the south-eastern side of the storms. We then started towards Junction, Texas, but a new storm popped up to the west of Junction so we dropped more south-westwards from Brady towards Menard, and then to Fort McKavett. We saw a nice storm from there which seem to exhibit supercell structure for a while - it looked like it had latched onto one of several outflow boundaries, which were drifting slowly southwards. It became almost stationary for over an hour before it started to gust out and send rain our way. Meanwhile, the other storms (the ones mentioned above) were congealing into a small MCS and starting to accelerate south-eastwards. We set off southwards towards I-10 and then headed east and then south-east to San Antonio, where we're stopped for the night. We ate at Denny's, and then headed the short distance back to the motel in torrential, warm rain. The only parking spaces were about 100 yards from the entrance, so I had to drop Helen off at the entrance and then park up and leg it back, getting drenched in the process. I suppose that's what's known as 'chivalry'.

We'll assess tomorrow's potential in the morning - we'll try and target storms moving into TX from Mexico, where they are likely to form on the higher terrain. The question surrounds how far south the northern edge of the richer Gulf moisture will be. Further storms are likely on Thursday, although it looks quite messy again. Interest then turns to a major upper trough moving into the Pacific NW, which should approach the central US later in the weekend and into next week - quite an active pattern looks possible, with rich Gulf moisture surging northwards across the Plains.

A couple of pics below from Fort McKavett.

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