Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mesoscale Mayhem - May 26

* We left the comfort of Childress TX and made a nice drive along the Red River to Gainesville. After dropping off our bags and analyzing things, we headed south on I-35 to the western edge of Fort Worth to chase a couple of storms.

* Today's chasing was highly dependent on finding and focusing on mesoscale features such as outflow boundaries and a prefrontal trough. High Instability and Low Shear was the scenario today as less than adequate upper level support left us finding areas where surface convergence was maximized in the unstable environment to create storms. The first storm we found produced a ton of outflow and we intercepted, finding small hail, heavy rain, and gusty winds. That storm split and we decided to chase the left-moving anticyclonic storm as it tracked due north towards higher moisture and lower dewpoint depressions (you don't hear that often!). We moved through the core of that to find some 1.25" diameter hail and fairly strong winds before getting north of that and viewed a shelf cloud at sunset before calling it a night in Gainesville. Not bad for a synoptically poor pattern.

* The remainder of the trip will be classroom and geology based. We'll be spending the next two nights in Roswell, NM and Athena's early forecast is partly stalactite with a chance of stalagmites.

* Here are pictures from today...

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