Monday, May 14, 2012

5/13/2012 Carlsbad, NM > Fort Stockton, TX Bow Echo

CoD trip 2 started the morning after steak the previous night at Cagle’s in Lubbock, TX.  This was after a long two-day drive from Glen Ellyn, IL (stayed in Overland Park, MO the previous night after eating Jess & Jim’s; Yum!).  What was starting to turn into a steak eating tour rather than a storm chasing tour quickly changed Sunday afternoon.  While the setup was certainly less than ideal featuring marginal instability and surface moisture, it was clear that we would need to drive to Carlsbad, NM to have any chance of seeing a storm worth photographing.  After the WORST Pizza Hut stop ever in Hobbs, NM, we drifted southwest to Carlsbad and ended up chatting with Tim Marshall et al. participating in the ROTATE project.  We then drifted south of Carlsbad to throw some rocks and view the beautiful countryside.  Storms were forming to our N, but nothing was severe warned and the visible satellite reeked of grunge leftover from the convection earlier in the morning.  Since we are a “storm-chasing” group (i.e., not specifically tornado chasing), we drifted back N to intercept storms beginning to congeal into an MCS.  After finding a good hill to pull off on, we were treated with a pretty shelf cloud and some good CG lightning.  We stayed ahead of newly formed bow echo now raging SE toward Fort Stockton, TX.  This bow was an amazing experience with a borderline duststorm raging along the cold pool boundary.  We beat the bow to Fort Stockton by about 10 miles before the apex of the bow raged through producing severe wind and nickel size hail.  Overall, it was a fun day considering the parameters in play.  We capped of the night with an all-participatory group party and storm talk session.
 Initial shelf near Carlsbad, NM
 Mammatus pockets near Carlsbad, NM
 Shelf take two...
Night view of the shelf approaching Ft. Stockton, TX
Getting creative with a flashlight! (7/28 is the "big" day)

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