2017-04-12 REPORTS: TX

Discussion in 'Target Area' started by Quincy Vagell, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. Quincy Vagell

    Jun 16, 2015
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    This was one of those early season storm chases in which messy/mixed storm modes and lower-end severe weather parameters led to iffy chase prospects. Despite steep mid-level lapse rates, convection was ongoing by 12z and moisture was limited (albeit relatively high for this time of the year in southeast NM/southwest TX). Nonetheless, with it being my only off day to devote solely to chasing this week, I ventured out toward the NM/TX border vicinity.

    As the morning went on, it was fairly clear that convection was overturning the environment across eastern New Mexico fairly quickly. Dew-points north of ongoing convection fell into the 40s and the overlap of favorable instability/shear was becoming increasingly small. I kept going south toward Lubbock and decided to watch cells develop just southwest of the city.

    One supercell (somewhat elevated in nature) passed over Denver City and produced large to very large hail. (The official storm reports show hail as large as 1.75 inches, but radar scans at one point were as intense as 81 dBZ, suggesting some larger hailstones may have fallen over open country in the area). I parked just west of Seagraves to shoot video and watch the storm come in. Structure was neat, but it was clear that this storm was at least somewhat elevated.

    I followed the cell for a short time to investigate hail size, but with time, the storm was producing smaller hail at larger quantities, as opposed to earlier in its life cycle when hail was larger, but more sparse. I shot one video of hail covered roads, but the quality isn't worth sharing. (the camera inside my car was rolling, but the footage is too blurry due to heavy rain/falling hail/wipers)

    I dropped a bit farther southwest, but was cautious in doing so. Despite some intense supercells developing in the western panhandle of Texas, longevity of those cells was in question and I did not want to stray too far away from Oklahoma City, as I had to work in the morning.

    In the vicinity of Barstow, several small, transient supercells formed (perhaps along a remnant boundary) and produced quite a bit of hail. I measured hail as large as ping pong balls (slightly larger than 1.50 inches), but there was little to see visually, as cells were quickly merging.

    All in all, I figure the chase was worth it and it's easily the most hail I've seen in a chase so far this year.
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