3/31/05 REPORTS: TX/LA

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Dec 25, 2003
Northeast Kansas
March 31, 2005 – East Texas / West Louisiana Supercells
Photo: Supercell and associated monster mesocyclone approach my location near the TX/LA border.

SHV radar image from 8:25pm displaying persistent hook echo as supercell approaches Longstreet, LA.

I observed three supercells across eastern Texas and western Louisiana. The first convection initiated near Tyler, TX around 5:15pm and quickly moved off to the northeast. A near-surface based supercell developed southwest from the previous convection and I intercepted the storm north of Tyler. A nice mesocyclone formed along with a notable RFD and brief funnel within the lowering. I followed the cell up to Big Sandy, TX where the storm finally occluded. With new convection developing further east, I blasted towards Louisiana and intercepted a supercell in extreme western Louisiana along I-49. I elected to shift towards the TX/LA border to observe an impressive supercell approaching from the west near Carthage, TX. This storm was highly electrified with numerous bolts leaping wildly about the convection. I stopped just north of Longstreet, LA and observed an awesome mesocyclone with excellent structural features. With the meso approaching and radar indicating a persistent hook echo, I quickly fled eastward as inflow winds screamed into the storm. Having enough of combating darkness and trees, I ended the day near Shreveport, LA. Big thanks to the excellent nowcast updates provided by Jason Politte and Derek Deroche.

Scott Blair
Now, it seems every year I must take a kamikaze trip to Texas late March/early April-ish. Every season. It has become a sort of stupid tradition of mine now, and some years it works, some years it doesn't. This year, I bombed once again... much like last year. I must feed the early season addiction bugs to get out and just chase.

I left Dodge City shortly before 5:00am hopefully getting down into the DFW metroplex shortly after noon. After taking my time getting down there, I finally arrived at the southeastern suburbs of Dallas by like 2pm or so. Stopped at a Wifi hotspot (a Holliday Inn express in Mesquite) and saw line of Cu going up just west of I-35. 88D loop suggested storms were about to erupt just southwest of Fort Worth with convective plumes really trying hard. This area, however, was just northwest of the best moisture.

Well, to make a long story short, I drove southwest to Cleburne only to find myself observing an atom bomb going off well to my east-southeast (the stuff Scott B intercepted).... from seemingly nothing surface-based Cu field (there was a lot mid level 700mb Cu around... very messy). So, I misinterpreted my analysis and busted this one. Not bad for a one way 500 mile trip to start the season... Ahhh, but focus on the positives. Had I not decided to chase, I would have missed out on these photo opportunities, the best of which was at 5am just south of Dodge City of an elevated storm being faintly illuminated by a gibbous moon with a sky full of stars:

<img src=http://www.underthemeso.com/albums/latest/DSC2227.jpg width=625>
near Minneola, KS

<img src=http://www.underthemeso.com/albums/latest/DSC2255.jpg width=625>
just west of Fort Worth, TX

<img src=http://www.underthemeso.com/albums/latest/DSC2260.jpg height=550>
just west of Fort Worth, TX

Mike U
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