Thursday, May 26, 2005

May 25 log

A surprisingly good day in eastern NM.

We began in Lamar- got a late start but made it to Clayton, NM by about 2 PM. Stopped briefly in the library, and all of the data showed that the cold frontal push would probably preclude a chase in TX, with the only shot being well back in the higher terrain in the Springer to Roy to Las Vegas area. We then went south from Clayton, and the radar showed cells to the west near Springer, and Las Vegas. We decided to head west to Mosquero- and when we finally reached that area up in a mesa- we could see visually that the Springer storm was small, and being undercut, but the storm to our SW looked very healthy, with multiple inflow bands and a flat updraft base. We wended our way southwest from there- and when we got closer we could see a small bell shaped updraft to our south. This small supercell shrank quickly, but we could see a hard anvil edge to its southwest- and as we continued to approach it, it became evident that this was a honkin' supercell, with an explosive updraft, circular base and very good overturning convection in the anvil. This was close to Trementina- and as we stopped to photograph, we noticed a very distinct mid level funnel up in the area of the anvil knuckles. Next we dropped south and stopped again, to witness a dump of precip and a small wall cloud form. This wall cloud did exhibit weak to moderate rotation, and at one point a small wisp of condensation came rising up off the ground beneath it- but we saw no concrete evidence that this was a tornado- we were too far away to really tell. The structure was very nice still, but it was becoming increasingly evident that this storm was transitioning from dry classic to HP.
The road network then forced us to go east and lose the storm for a while, but picked it up on the interstate. By this time it was beginning to weaken, probably partly due to a new storm to its immediate SE. We considered trying to chase this cell, but the road options were bad. So at that point we basically ended the chase.
Photos here


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