Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mesoscale Mayhem

Last night, my post was this as a call: "Springfield CO to Gage to Shamrock to AMA polygon."

A big supercell was working its way from Southeast CO to Gage OK. Big storms were between AMA and Shamrock. The only problem was we were on a crappy storm north of AMA and lost due to un-see-able (at least to me) mesoscale features.

The day was frustrating because although the environment was good in this region, we could not find a good initiator of the storms. We spent a lot of time in Stratford debating whether or not to go NW or S. Finally, with a good environment south, we headed south toward Dumas and then Amarillo. As we headed there an old out-flow boundary flew north and we could see cu's firing along that boundary. Then they exploded upon that boundary. We were underneath the storm in downtown AMA when the first severe warning was issued. we headed east with it and it started to look alright for a bit until a left split came flying north. After that, the day became dominated by left splits and storms that that poorly interacted with each other.

My guess is that the right favored storms were contingent upon them being surface based. The OFB made them slightly elevated and so I think the straight line part of the hodograph that the storm actually saw was straight with maybe even a slight anticyclonic favor. In any event, the storm died.

We headed to AMA for dinner and saw most of the Vortex 2 crew feeling the same way as we did. Wondering why we picked a favorable spot that just didn't get lucky.

Science should not depend so much on luck. But I guess it does.

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