Saturday, June 7, 2014
Current time: 6:45z (1:45pm CDT) (Sunday)
14z (9am CDT) - Forecast Discussion: Cape is about 2500 and shear is about 50kts in eastern NM. Conditions are pretty good!
16:40z (11:40am CDT) We leave our Marriott in Amarillo for lunch at Tyler's BBQ.
16:50z (11:50am CDT) We arrive at Tyler’s BBQ for lunch
17:41z (12:41am CDT) We leave Tyler's BBQ for some gas (we'll gas up now and avoid the rush hour traffic in Amarillo) before heading to Tucumcari, Nm
18z (1:00pm CDT) We leave the gas station and head west on I-40.
18:14z (1:14pm CDT) We are already seeing some larger cumulous clouds associated with a cell starting to form south of Tucumcari, NM
19z (2pm CDT) Enter New Mexico, enter mountain date time.
19:16z (1:26pm MDT) observation of 81/61
19:37z (1:37pm MDT) We enter Tucumcari, NM.
19:48z (1:48pm MDT) The song “celebration” goes on the radio and I have officially lost it since I just logged this.
19:49z (1:49pm MDT) We leave the gas station after briefly stopping for a gas up and head back on I-40 east to get ready to position ourselves south east of the cell south of Tucumcari (the cell remains stationary) if it continues to develop. Tt is showing signs of intensifying but we aren’t getting our hopes up yet!
20:03z (2:03pm MDT) quarter inch hail reported with the cell we are watching.
20:04z (2:04pm MDT) Reed Timmer tweets about the storms we are chasing near Tucumcari, NM, perhaps over exaggerating a bit.
Tucumari cell is moving at 7kts
Approx 20:05z (2:05pm MDT) We turn south on 469.
20:15z (2:15pm MDT) The storm still looks great, shear at all latitudes and cape are all perfect for 500 miles in any direction for development. I feel like this could be the perfect storm!
20:27z (2:27pm MDT) we stop on the top of a large hill to observe the weather. It is very sunny here but storm is seen clearly in the distance
20:43z (2:43pm MDT) the Tucumcari cell looks like it is fizzling out, but there is a cell 25 miles southwest of Santa Rosa that is intensifying so it's something we have to watch
21z (3:00pm MDT) Tucumcari cell is dissipating on radar and visually. Base barely exists and it is quickly fizzing out. One to the west is still looking good.
SPC issues 80% chance of Severe Thunderstorm Watch for our area
21:05z (3:05pm MDT) We leave our spot and head southwest in hopes of finding data and a better location for storms
21:12z (3:12pm MDT) Observation 79/61
21:20z (3:20pm MDT) we head west on 209.
21:38z (3:38pm MDT) The road network in Fort Sumner is terrible so we will have to intercept the storm farther east. We will reassess.
22:02z (4:02pm MDT) 10% chance for tornadoes according to SPC for our area up to tx panhandle
22:04z (4:04pm MDT) We head southeast to Melrose which puts us in a position near the outflow boundary should any storms pop up there
22:07z (4:07pm MDT) A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued for the cell 23 miles west of fort Sumner
22:15z (4:15pm MDT) We head south on 268.
22:19z (4:19pm MDT) We can see Mammatus from Fort Sumner cell
Tornado watch for our area until midnight MDT for eastern New Mexico
22:28z (4:28pm MDT) We pass KFDX
Areas with a lot of lift (rising air) and subsistence (sinking air) near each other is good but if they are directly over each other it leads to nothing
22:32z (4:32pm MDT) The storm west of the storm in Fort Sumner is now tornado warned
22:43z (4:43pm MDT) We get into Melrose, NM and head back north
22:44z (4:44pm MDT) We pass a Wedding
22:50z (4:50pm MDT) We stop at a gas
22:52z (4:52pm MDT) storm near Fort Sumner lost it's warning and is weakening.
22:55z (4:55pm MDT) storms near Tucumcari starting to look good. VIL 53 on that cell with a little bit of rotation.
23:10z (5:10pm MDT) We leave the gas station and head north a bit, but still enough to stay south of the improving cells near Tucumcari.
23:15z (5:15pm MDT) a report of 2 inch hail in new Kirk, NM was reported with our target cell
23:20z (5:20pm MDT) our
23:33z (5:33pm MDT) it is looking very dark up ahead. There is a base with scud to the left and it could be where a tornado would be.
23:37z (5:37pm MDT) we are about 15 miles from the storms couplet
23:44z (5:44pm MDT) we can see in flow clouds over us and feel the wind.
23:45z (5:45pm MDT) on reading of in flow is 76/61. Makes for a low LCL.
0:29z (6:29pm MDT) we leave out spot (where we see several other spotters) while the storm cycles. There are impressive cumulous near the storm as well
0:33z (6:33pm MDT) we get to a new spot a little south
0:39z (6:39pm MDT) we leave our new spot since we feel rain and hear thunder and have to leave to avoid lightening danger.
0:45z (6:45pm MDT) we get to our new spot. Report of 3 inch hail. 2 cells, might be combining into one. Main, northern cell is loosing couplet. Cell farther out west has a tornado warning
0:54z (6:54pm MDT) we leave out spot and head west to investigate the tornado warned cell to the west in Guadalupe county. Last chance at a storm before sunset
0:58z (6:58pm MDT) storm we are chasing has 75 Vil. Also outflow boundary from original cell may interact with our new target tornado warned cell in the next half hour. We have about an hour of daylight remaining
1:01z (7:01pm MDT) we pass the small town of McAllister.
1:07z (7:07pm MDT) a tornado was reported on our tornado warned cell in Quervo at 6;51 MDT
1:08z (7:08pm MDT) we stop to watch our cell. It is far away but this is the only place where we have an escape route
1:30z (7:30pm MDT) We feel an instant outflow. Wind goes from calm to very cold. We are heading south to get out of the outflow
1:32z (7:32pm MDT) we leave our spot and head south and west. We are heading to house, NM. All the storms are now becoming outflow dominant
1:54z (7:54pm MDT) car thermometer drops significantly as we drive into colder air
1:59z (7:59pm MDT) we observe dust being lifted by the outflow
2:05z (8:05pm MDT) tornado warning on our cell to our east. Shows cyclonic and anti cyclonic rotation on the out flow. No precipitation between us and the anti-cyclonic rotation so we can try and get a look at that!
2:18z (8:18pm MDT) closely watching a tornado warned cell. We see what looks to be a funnel!
2:20z (8:20pm MDT) observation of 66/57 gust of 19mph
2:25z (8:25pm MDT) a spotter has witnessed a tornado in Clovis 6 minutes ago. We begin to head to Clovis for dinner
2:33z (8:33pm MDT) storm is transitioning to MCS mesoscale convective system. Because of this and the fact that it is getting dark out now. We decide to head to dinner for the night and then back to the hotel.
5:40z (12:40am CDT) We arrive at the Marriot in Amarillo for the night.
Chasing today was definitely an experience since at one point during the chase there were dozens of other chasers around us looking at the same storm! It was really weird to see so many people crowded up in the middle of a field miles away from civilization. While we did not get to see another tornado, the storms were visually really impressive as always and I think that at this point we all had a really good idea of what we were doing which was cool to see. When it began to drizzle we immediately knew it was time to go farther from the storm. I definitely have a much better idea of what is going on now than I did during my first chase day in Northern Nebraska! I thought the highlight of the day was the thunderstorms after dinner. There was so much lightening and it was so loud. It reminded me of the intense thunderstorms I saw in Florida as a kid... which was what began my interest in weather in the first place!