Thursday, May 23, 2013

Summary of Thursday, May 23

Well, we were on the right storm.

A morning outflow boundary was moving westward through the Texas panhandle, and it would prove to be the focus for severe thunderstorm development.

A clump of agitated cumuli got going east of Plainview early in the afternoon, and we knew that was where we had to go.

When we got to the storm, it had just been tornado warned--a couple of landspouts were reported in its updraft phase.  But it was showing nice reflectivity structure, although it wasn't actually showing much rotation on the Doppler.

We followed this storm for a couple of hours as it moved slowly south, kicking up a tremendous amount of dust as it did so.  At one point, the dust was being kicked up and seemingly ingested into the inflow--something that we will have to look at on video, as it had the chance and was in the right position to be a tornado.  (Personally, I don't think so, but we will see.)

Here's where we were in relation to it.  Our location is the white circle.

After a while, that storm started to collapse and become outflow-dominant, but there were new storms going up to their southeast.  We went after those, and one began to be the dominant storm, showing a good inflow notch and some rotation.

Soon after we got there, it was tornado warned.  It looked more likely to produce, visually, but the low-level rotation never really tightened up.  I'm not sure why--whether it was because the upper level winds didn't evacuate the updraft column quickly enough, or because of some other thing I can't think of right now.

Anyhow, it also turned into this big blob that went linear, so we bailed and decided to make for our hotel room.

On the way, we made a couple of stops; at the first one we met up with a bunch of chasers including Reed Timmer, and at the second we met up with Greg Johnson.

As a bonus, I finally got to eat a long-time storm chaser food staple, an Allsups burrito.Not bad, not great.

Tomorrow looks pretty good in western Kansas and/or eastern Colorado.  We will refine the area tomorrow.

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