Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Last Three Days

Sorry not to have blogged for the last few days. I can give excuses and reasons but I am not going to.

So there.

Really, they were not anything spectacular. Friday had looked good originally. But the lack of a wave and good shear gave us pretty disappointing storms. We ended up down in NW TX and were about 45 miles north of a storm that actually tornadoed. The problem was the shear was bad. The tornado was pretty wimpy and only around for a few minutes. Despite explosive CAPES in the area, we actually needed something to make the storms better. The day before, low-level winds were southeast at around 15 knots underneath 25-30 kts at mid-levels. Friday, it was 5-10 kts at the surface, not very well backed, and not that strong at mid-levels (around 25kts.) It amazes me that such subtle differences result in big differences in storm structure and evolution.

Now we did catch up to that storm and it pulsed up and down. Sometimes looking good and others not so good. The anvil became crisp when the storm was good and very wispy and diffuse when weak. One time it occluded and then rain wrapped into it. Someone reported a possible tornado. We were south of it but it would have been shrouded in rain. In any event, it was pretty lame. We followed it for a while and saw one time when it had good low-level rotation. It never occluded and never looked like it would tornado. Of course, some chasers who saw a wisp of dust underneath it claim it was a tornado. It is why I cannot stand some chasers. All they want is the glory of a tornado. They do not care about science or forecasting or learning. They are not worth much and I wish it were out-lawed. How about chasing is only legal when three or more are in a car. It would lessen the traffic out there.

Oh well...back to the chase. We did get into some hail (quarters maybe) before we got south of the storm. It started blowing cold and we knew it was history. We cruised north to another pretty meaty storm, but by time we got there, it shriveled into nothingness.

Saturday was a better set-up except for the cloud cover that would not go away. Soon after lunch storms broke out all over. We followed many of them to the northeast where a bow echo was underway. It looked like there were some QLCS tornadoes and a few times it looked good on radar. The warnings said the storm was moving northeast at 35 but we were traveling northeast at 65 and could not catch them. In fact, we stayed in the core of heavy rain for more than a half an hour. Lots of good CGs but other than that, not much to report. We stayed the night in Little Rock in the middle of lake Arkansas. The whole state is flooded. We are on the way home now.

I hate typing in the van so I will say goodbye till trip 2, May 15!



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