2017-05-08 REPORTS: CO/NM

Discussion in 'Target Area' started by Quincy Vagell, May 9, 2017.

  1. Quincy Vagell

    Jun 16, 2015
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    I started the day in the Texas panhandle, but opted to not go to Colorado for a variety of reasons. The main issue for me was the lack of favorable wind speeds aloft, i.e. only 15-20 knots at 500mb and poor low level shear. Despite the Denver cyclone setup, it didn't look to me like a Simla or Wray-type setup. While there was definitely enhanced low-level vorticity, 0-3km CAPEs were lackluster and T/Td spreads were not particularly favorable. (I would have liked to see dew-points a few degrees higher)

    So, I gradually made my way into eastern New Mexico and convective temperatures were reached by about 21z as agitated cumulus fields gave way to quickly organizing updrafts. Unless it's a local chase, my chase style is to aim for discrete storms and structure over the outside shot at a brief tornado in an otherwise marginal/messy setup.

    In Fort Sumner, a pair of hail producing thunderstorms passed by, with the latter moving right through the middle of town with dime to nickel-sized hail. Once the storms passed, I moved east to parallel the storms back up with the generally S-N route to Tucumcari. Near House, the hail core expanded east and I found myself temporarily fighting with golf ball hail before NM-252 took a hard right, sparing my vehicle.

    While paralleling the storm, the storm showed better signs of organization, but still had a fairly elevated look. Nonetheless, the storm interacted with an apparent boundary and showed, intermittently, better low-level rotation. Aside from a few brief funnels, that was about all that I can report on that front.
    Near Quay, a more favorable road network allowed me to get fairly close to the storm, but I kept just enough of a distance to capture some pictures and videos of the storm at a wider angle.

    I did not witness a tornado, but this will go down as one of my better New Mexico chases. I didn't have very high expectations at the start of the day, but there was plenty of structure with some relatively long-lived supercells.

    Video of the latter part of the chase, sped up to 16 times the actual speed:
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  2. David Mayhew

    Jul 15, 2008
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    I was there too, choosing to chase the NM target due to more potential of isolated storms than the CO mess. Below a shot of what I'd assume is a tornado but at the distance I could not confirm any rotation or debris/ground contact. Roads were limited.

    Attached Files:

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  3. Marc R. O'Leary

    Sep 7, 2013
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    I basically chased in my backyard. Avoided the group chase down by Limon. Saw a couple long distance funnels from the early storm near Simla. Ended up watching a nice storm near Anton before calling it a night.

    The most exciting part of my day:

    Anton Cell:
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  4. John Farley

    Apr 1, 2004
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    I chased in the Palmer Divide area, but messed up my chance of seeing any good views of the funnel cloud/possible tornado near Agate by going after the wrong storm. Did manage to correct and get on that storm after the TOR warning was issued, but was looking at it from far from the ideal angle, and ended up getting stymied by the mud roads, which became pretty much impassible east of Bijou.

    Full report at:

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