Tuesday, May 19, 2015

2015 Trip Begins

Day 1: Monday, May 18, 2015
Travel Day
Beginning City: Whitewater, Wisconsin
Ending City: Andover, Kansas
Total Miles Traveled: 738 for the day, 738 for the trip

Day 2: Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Chase Day around the Caprock Canyons area
Beginning City: Andover, Kansas
Ending City: Plainview, Texas
Total Miles Traveled: 678 for the day, 1416 for the trip

Today's Recap by Chloe Rehberg and Grant Francis

For our second day of storm chasing, we traveled to northern Texas. After staying in Andover, KS, the night before, we faced a six hour drive to our destination, Amarillo, TX. During the morning briefing, Dr. Frye showed us some projections that made most of the Texas panhandle look great for storms. The models produced plenty of great hodographs (diagrams we use to assess how the winds change in the vertical direction) for the area where strong CAPE and a dryline would be located. It would be a prime area for severe weather activity.

As the day continued, we kept updating ourselves with current data and adjusted our destination as necessary. On our course along I-40 between Oklahoma City, OK, and Amarillo, TX, we drove through some thunder, lightning, and heavy rain. We got a good video of lightning coming down north of the highway.

We decided to go south at Shamrock, TX, and then travelled west from Childress, TX. At one point, we thought about heading southeast to catch some active storms, but we admitted that we would be chasing for a long time and possibly not see anything. Instead, we went west toward the dryline that we had spotted at the beginning of the day.

On the radar, we observed different storm cells forming in western Texas, and we ended up catching one around Silverton, TX, and following it. We were joined by several groups of chasers as we followed the storm around the Caprock Canyons State Park until we reached Memphis, TX.

We did not end up seeing any tornados, but we did see some good thunderstorms with a lot of hail and a broad area of rotation. It was a fun experience because not only could we see the outflow from the supercell, but we could feel the winds pick up as the storm grew closer. We had excellent cloud coverage and a magnificent view of a large anvil cloud. Overall, even though we did not see a tornado, it was a successful first chase of the trip. We are now resting in Plainview, TX, until tomorrow’s storms.

Radar image from the Lubbock, Texas Radar site. At the time we were working our way around the Caprock Canyons area to catch the storm near the Memphis. We were previously tracking with the storm west of the Caprock Canyon before the road network became limited.

Once we caught the storm near Memphis it quickly lost its' hook and started to merge with other cells.

A view of the supercell which was located north of Caprock Canyon and we were south of the canyon.

No comments:

Post a Comment