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2019-03-27 REPORTS: TX

This was very much a conditional "chase" day. Heading out, I knew there was the potential that storms would not fire at all. The HRRR was rather aggressive and fairly consistent with blowing up an isolated cell near a quasi-triple point over southwestern Kansas. The 12z run suddenly dropped the storm, but it was back in later runs. The main point was that the environment was fairly marginal, meaning there was very little, if any meaningful large-scale forcing. Moisture looked limited and any storms that did manage to form would, relatively quickly, move into a less favorable environment. I kept the chase area open to the northern Texas panhandle and Oklahoma panhandle as well, but was leaning north, based on the CAP being tough to overcome with southward extent.

I drifted into the panhandles through the afternoon and was almost decoyed by some relatively weak convection that was moving into northwestern Oklahoma. That convection was moving into an even less favorable environment, but it did seem to limit vertical mixing just a bit. Dew-points ranged from the low to mid-50s in the wake of this convection across the Texas panhandle, which was at least slightly higher than most guidance suggested. This combined with temperatures soaring well into the 70s and near 80, meant that there was at least the potential for the CAP to break to the south.

Initially, I waited in the Oklahoma panhandle, but at the first signs of some agitated cumulus to the north, Liberal, KS was the next waiting spot. I hung out there for a while, but was not impressed with what I saw. To the south, some convection suddenly got going near Spearman, TX. I dropped south and this convection, too, seemed to struggle. However, unlike the Kansas cumulus, this convection did start producing a bit of lightning.
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Near Perryton, I watched convection bubble to the southwest, but storms struggled to gain much organization. They'd pulse up a bit, but then the updraft would get sheared out. Looking back at mesoanalysis and the 00z AMA sounding, the mid-level winds were relatively weak and although there was favorable deep layer shear, weak convergence/forcing combined with some weaknesses in the wind fields precluded a more bonafide supercell-favorable environment.
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Storms continued to pulse and the final storm showed, perhaps, some transient/marginal supercellular characteristics before I ultimately bailed out around sunset.

The storms were certainly not impressive, but I took the opportunity to find a few picturesque scenes before ending the chase day. As mentioned earlier, in the back of my mind, I knew there was the potential that no storms would fire at all. Since there was some convection, I'd say that expectations were met, although not exceeded by any stretch of the imagination.
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Perhaps it was early day convection, but I also wonder if antecedent rains/soil moisture content also helped keep the quality of low-level moisture better than expected. I drove by several fields in the area that had large puddles and ponds over farmland and that was prior to any rain during the chase. This may be something to consider later this spring, as if there are days with questionable moisture, perhaps such setups this season will be able to perform, unlike other recent seasons where there were drought issues across the High Plains.
 
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