4/03/04: REPORTS: TX / NM

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Dec 18, 2003
4,138
39
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Lubbock, TX
daviddrummond.com
OK I am going to put several pics here since I don't have time to do a proper chase account on my site for a while. Besides, I think I was the only one out there to do a report here anyway. :)

I was on the Gaines County storm family reunion where the first storm, it's brother, their sister and a few cousins I think showed up to have a party in western Gaines County, TX today. For the record, I never saw a single funnel cloud, much less a tornado out of these storms. If they happened, I certainly missed it which is always possible. However, I know for a fact that two of the funnel reports were bogus and at least one tornado report.

These non rotating scud tags were reported as funnel clouds:

[Broken External Image]:http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/2004pics/040304GainesCoTX/040304scud 1.jpg

I did see this wall cloud which DID NOT rotate:

[Broken External Image]:http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/2004pics/040304GainesCoTX/040304wallcloud 1.jpg

Which later looked like this and was reported as a tornado. It was STILL not rotating:

[Broken External Image]:http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/2004pics/040304GainesCoTX/040304wallcloud 3.jpg

But by far the biggest story was the massive hail dump the storm took west of Seminole near the state line. Hail to the size of golf balls fell for almost an hour in one area covering the road up to 1 foot deep shutting down all traffic along US 82/180 for hours afterwards. I could only get as far as the 5-6 inch deep stuff, but you can see what it looked like down the road:

[Broken External Image]:http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/2004pics/040304GainesCoTX/040304hail 1.jpg

[Broken External Image]:http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/2004pics/040304GainesCoTX/040304hail 2.jpg

[Broken External Image]:http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/2004pics/040304GainesCoTX/040304hail 3.jpg

The hail "lava flow" going down the median:

[Broken External Image]:http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/2004pics/040304GainesCoTX/040304hail 4.jpg

[Broken External Image]:http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/2004pics/040304GainesCoTX/040304hail 5.jpg

[Broken External Image]:http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/2004pics/040304GainesCoTX/040304hail 6.jpg

[Broken External Image]:http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/2004pics/040304GainesCoTX/040304hail 7.jpg

[Broken External Image]:http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/2004pics/040304GainesCoTX/040304hail 8.jpg

[Broken External Image]:http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/2004pics/040304GainesCoTX/040304hail 9.jpg

[Broken External Image]:http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/2004pics/040304GainesCoTX/040304hail 10.jpg

[Broken External Image]:http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/2004pics/040304GainesCoTX/040304hail 11.jpg

When I headed back east I saw that the DPS had finally shut down west bound traffic into the area:

[Broken External Image]:http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/2004pics/040304GainesCoTX/040304hail 12.jpg

[Broken External Image]:http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/2004pics/040304GainesCoTX/040304hail 13.jpg


This ranks up there with one of the most awesome hail storms I have ever seen!! :shock:

Doug has already posted the video in real media format in the NOW reports. If you want it in WMV format get it here:

http://www.wx5tvs.com/chasephotos/2004/200...nesCoTXHail.wmv
 
Feb 8, 2004
1,975
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Detroit, MI
Storm spotters can be dumb-asses. How can they report those clouds above as funnel clouds? Yeah, maybe the public... but someone thats been trained? :? WOW.

Anyways... awesome pics! :)
 
Dec 9, 2003
4,839
119
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Oklahoma
Originally posted by doug mitchell
look at the rainfall totals just west of Seminole...

CRAZY!

12-15 inches in some areas

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/radar/latest/DS.80stp/si.kmaf.shtml
I'd take that image with a BIG grain of salt. The storms that traversed that area had LOTS of hail, which means many of the high reflectivities were actuallybecause of hail, as compared to extremely heavy rain (which the radar assumes). Thus the problem with radar-estimated rainfall -- it assumes all reflectivity is due to liquid rain. So, big hail (which reflects MUCH more energy than rain) contaminates the rainfall calculations... Good thing hail isn't really a good Rayleigh scatterer, otherwise returns from large hail would be above 90dbz, which would make rainfall estimates impossible. Granted, with the development and use of dual-polarization radar, and it's ability to differentiate between large hail and rain, these rainfall estimates should be much better...

Jeff

P.S. -- sorry, I'm not doubting that LOTS of rain didn't fall either. I'm just saying that the radar-produced estimates likely are on the high side...
 

Larry J. Kosch

Seen that on the Weather Channel!!!

David,

Your video shots looks awfully familiar to me. In fact I remember seeing some of that footage on the Weather Channel early this morning. Congrats on getting those great shots. This will be a definite vote in for the Storm Chaser 2004 Highlights reel. 8) LJK
 
Dec 18, 2003
4,138
39
11
Lubbock, TX
daviddrummond.com
Re: Seen that on the Weather Channel!!!

Originally posted by Larry J. Kosch
David,

Your video shots looks awfully familiar to me. In fact I remember seeing some of that footage on the Weather Channel early this morning. Congrats on getting those great shots. This will be a definite vote in for the Storm Chaser 2004 Highlights reel. 8) LJK
Yeah I guess they liked it huh. :wink: Will definitely be showing more of that at the convention next year!
 

Matthew Hatton

wicked pics there. I will be there in 27 days time. There will be many in the UK watching our efforts I have to say. Yes I love severe storms and tornadoes but there is a learning curve here too. We just cannot learn about these things in the UK and I hope you guys don't mind us coming over. I do get the impression that UK chasers are not all that welcome?
 
Originally posted by Matthew Hatton
and I hope you guys don't mind us coming over. I do get the impression that UK chasers are not all that welcome?
There have been certain chasers from the UK that have not endeared themselves well to most of the chasers from this side of the pond, but I don't think there is anyone here who has an ill disposition to UK (or any other nationality) chasers as a whole. Best of luck when you're here in the states...hope you get some great shots!


Ben
 

Niki Darnaby

nice pictures

Amazing hail pictures...I wonder if anyone captured to Pecos tornado on video? I bet there are many tornadoes that get unreported in the Pecos Valley given the lack of roads or data.

I noticed you said you saw a non-rotating wall cloud. Isn't that an oxymoron?

I sure wish I was down there but work seems to consume my life.
 
Dec 18, 2003
4,138
39
11
Lubbock, TX
daviddrummond.com
Originally posted by Matthew Hatton
wicked pics there. I will be there in 27 days time. There will be many in the UK watching our efforts I have to say. Yes I love severe storms and tornadoes but there is a learning curve here too. We just cannot learn about these things in the UK and I hope you guys don't mind us coming over. I do get the impression that UK chasers are not all that welcome?
Well shame on whomever gave you that impression!
 
Dec 9, 2003
4,839
119
11
Oklahoma
Re: nice pictures

Originally posted by Niki Darnaby

I noticed you said you saw a non-rotating wall cloud. Isn't that an oxymoron?
No... wall clouds do not have to rotate by definition... They're just a sign of the more moist (relatively) downdraft air being re-ingested into the updraft. Since it's moist and cooler (read: higher relative-humidity), the condensation level will be lower... Thus the lowered cloud base... Nothing about having to rotate, however.

Jeff
 
Well, Jeff is right on this one. I also thought that the term "wall cloud" was only reserved for those lowerings that have rotation, but I was wrong.

Definition from the Weather Service:
Wall Cloud - A localized, persistent, often abrupt lowering from a rain-free base. Wall clouds can range from a fraction of a mile up to nearly five miles in diameter, and normally are found on the south or southwest (inflow) side of the thunderstorm. When seen from within several miles, many wall clouds exhibit rapid upward motion and cyclonic rotation. However, not all wall clouds rotate. Rotating wall clouds usually develop before strong or violent tornadoes, by anywhere from a few minutes up to nearly an hour. Wall clouds should be monitored visually for signs of persistent, sustained rotation and/or rapid vertical motion.
Gabe
 
Dec 18, 2003
4,138
39
11
Lubbock, TX
daviddrummond.com
Just a funny note to add here and show how much a small world this is.... I had a person that saw their vehicle in the hail from my video that was on TWC. She hunted me down and was asking for a pic of it! Too cool! 8)
 

Iain Sloan

Originally posted by nickgrillo
Storm spotters can be dumb-asses. How can they report those clouds above as funnel clouds? Yeah, maybe the public... but someone thats been trained? :? WOW.

Anyways... awesome pics! :)
Nick, FYI.. I've spoken to the Emergency Management guys in Gaines County, the NWS and the people running the Skywarn net in the Area during these events. And the unconfirmed reports of funnel clouds were not reported by "trained spotters" but by the public. Chasers can regularly be dumb asses too. And yes I know more than one Dumb Ass Spotter but as with Chasers... the vast majority are good and knowledgeable

Iain - KD5YOW...
 
Dec 18, 2003
4,138
39
11
Lubbock, TX
daviddrummond.com
Originally posted by Iain Sloan+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Iain Sloan)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-nickgrillo
Storm spotters can be dumb-asses. How can they report those clouds above as funnel clouds? Yeah, maybe the public... but someone thats been trained? :? WOW.

Anyways... awesome pics! :)
Nick, FYI.. I've spoken to the Emergency Management guys in Gaines County, the NWS and the people running the Skywarn net in the Area during these events. And the unconfirmed reports of funnel clouds were not reported by "trained spotters" but by the public. Chasers can regularly be dumb asses too. And yes I know more than one Dumb Ass Spotter but as with Chasers... the vast majority are good and knowledgeable

Iain - KD5YOW...[/b]
I don't want to stir up any trouble with they spotters in the MAF area, heck I like those guys! But I can say for a complete fact that at least on ham operator spotter reporting on the net did indeed report the pictures I posted above as funnel clouds and a tornado. I won't mention names or call signs here, but it was the same person. I wish the spotter from Lee County that got caught in that aweful hail pileup could have made it over there because he was giving VERY good reports.

I don't know that I would agree with your "vast majority are good and knowledgable" just based on my experience in recent years. There always seems to be a core group of dedicated spotters in each area that really know their stuff. You can just tell by their reports. Then there is the group that attended the meeting (maybe) and get out there to make a report just to hear their call sign on the net. Then of course there are the bottom feeders that can't listen to net control when they are saying "we are under CONDITION RED, we only want TORNADO reports only" as they always seem to follow right after that with a puddle report.

BTW I am not bashing on spotters per say, heck I used to be (still am really) one of them to some extent! It's just a condition that has always, and will always be I am afraid.
 

Iain Sloan

David,

I'm not even going to argue with you.. There is a core group who go out every time and those who do, the majority know exactly what they are looking for. Yes there are some who have no idea but have been to one session so they think they are the "Tim Samaras" of the MAF area ( no offence meant Tim... but it's the best way I can describe this ). There are one or two ( ok maybe more ) who'll be heard saying "Yup we're gettin some purdy good lightnin out here" I kid you not.. And yes there are the other who ignore the direction of Net Control.. I just love those people... And it's one of the reasons why the region is splitting into two groups... Long story... and this isn't the place... David, if you want to find out about that email me off list ( iain.sloan@mhmr.state.tx.us ).

Oh and I'd really love to find out who the Radio Operator was that reported it. I'd been told it was a member of the public... not a trained spotter. And I'm using the term Trained very carefully.... This I want to know more about. It isn't the first time I've had a Tornado Warning Cancelled seeing what was really there.

Thanks for your input David... Yours is one I'm likely to listen to.

Iain