Wednesday, June 01, 2005

May 30 log

We started the day in Guymon, and determined that the action would be best beginning on the Raton Mesa of far northeast NM and SE Colorado. Upon reaching Clayton, we went north through Des Moines, NM and towards Branson, CO just north of the border. Upon reaching the junction of US highway 160, we ran into Al Moeller and company, and also Alnado. We watched a storm move off to our north and NE- and worried it might tap cold air north of the front, so decided to hang out where we were. It turned out that if we had gone after that storm, we would have seen a nice supercell and maybe a brief tornado, but that was alright, because after not too long two supercells developed- one was a left split LP to the northwest, and another stronger classic right over the mesa. We dropped south to Branson, and the DOWs showed up, so we figured we were on a good storm. Sure enough, the cell took on a very nice appearance as it slowly moved east towards us, with a barrel shaped updraft, and a small but persistent funnel was seen as well. After a while this storm began to take on less of a pretty look, so we decided to move south back towards Des Moines. When we got to that area, I could not really see the structure of a new cell just to the west, and made what turned out to be a bad error- we decided to keep heading southeast towards Clayton. I did see some kind of a storm continuing out the rear view mirror, but because of the terrain, I did not really get a glimpse of the updraft. We happened to be following Alameda at the time- and about 10 miles west of town, he suddenly stopped and turned around. I wondered why, but continued to go towards Clayton. Mistake # 2. As it turned out, the storm we blew off produced a very slender cone tornado- which Alnado saw right after he turned around, despite it being 30 miles away near Des Moines. Oh well, that's chasing.
Before dark set in we went north out of Clayton, towards Kenton, OK in the far NW panhandle. We did see a brief mesocyclone to the NW that had a bowl-shaped lowering and explosive convection above, but the updraft quickly became more linear.

We then called it a day and headed to our motel in Dalhart, TX

Photos here


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