Wednesday, June 01, 2005

May 31 log

We began the day in Dalhart, and decided the best place to be was somewhere west of Lubbock along an old outflow boundary. When we got to Littlefield, we went into the library, and looked at more data. We still thought we were in a good spot, but did see some storms firing near Amarillo, but since the best mid and upper level winds were more down towards our area, so we hung around the Littlefield area for a while longer. Later, further information showed that the target to the north and northwest looked better, so we blasted north. Upon approaching Hereford, a tornado warning was issued, and we could see a pretty good wall cloud to the north, but it quickly became undercut by cold outflow, and since the road network at that time was not conducive for easily following this storm, we decided to target a new cell near Clovis. When we got to a position east of Muleshoe we could see that the cell was a small but nice classic supercell. We hung out for a while and watched it grow into a pretty respectable storm. We dropped south to keep ahead of the cell, and north of Sudan it began to develop a pretty nice wall cloud, but it had a lot strange motion it, never really good rotation. This portion of the storm began to die as outflow was undercutting it from the north, but we could see a possible new meso off to the east, so we drove down to highway 87. Sure enough a new area of interest was off to the north, but it had that undercut/HP look to it. We then began a long game of tag with the storm, blasting SE down 87, stopping every couple of miles to get out and photograph. Near Amherst, we stopped to look to the north where there was a wall cloud with a very nice tail cloud streaming in from the forward flank. Soon a bowl shaped lowering could be seen about 3 miles or so to the north, with a possible brief white cone back in the notch, and we could see some sort of dust underneath, but it was hard to tell what was really going on back in there. Then cold RFD/outflow hit us, and I commented that if any sort of spin up was occurring, it would not be able to sustain itself. Sure enough, I later heard from Jim Leonard, who was right up in the notch, that he saw a brief weak multi-vortex spin up, but because of the undercutting cold air, it had no real chance of it lasting very long.
We continued our trek southeast ahead of the storm, occasionally stopping for some very nice photos of the HP structure. The chaser caravan along highway 87 was pretty amazing, we saw literally hundreds of chase vehicles.

We decided that this storm was never going to tornado due to the outflow, so instead of going into Lubbock and getting hailed on, we went southwest to near Ropesville, and were treated to a spectacular view of the updraft lit up orange by the setting sun.

After a nice dinner at Hub City Brewing in Lubbock (highly recommended, great beer and good food), we went to Plainview for the night.

Photos here


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