Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Day 6 - Chase 2017

Day 6 (5/22/17): Odessa, Texas to Canyon, Texas (537 miles, 2788 total for the trip)

At our morning briefing we decided to head to the southeastern part of New Mexico for today's chase; in particular, we picked a target city of Carlsbad, New Mexico. When we arrived in Carlsbad we had lunch and then headed north of town towards Artesia. We found a nice area on a high ridge and sat and watched clouds continually try to develop but to no prevail. We stayed in that location for a 2-3 hours before heading back into town for a bathroom and snack stop. While making that quick stop a couple of clouds started to look more promising south of Artesia and heading to the southeast towards the east side of Carlsbad. We decided to position ourselves east of Carlsbad to watch the developing storms. We once again found a high ridge and had a good view of three cells. We were able to watch the evolution of these cells as they cycled through their evolution and ended up merging. While watching we were able to see a wall cloud, cloud-to-ground-lightning, and some precipitation cores. Also at the high ridge, scud clouds were visible. This is the area of the cloud where updraft occurs.

As the lightning and one of the precipitation cores (with some hail) got closer we repositioned to a new location to allow the storm to pass. It was worth the wait and getting wet from the rain because on the backside of the storm we were treated to the setting sun illuminating some mammatus clouds and a double rainbow. As we drove to our final destination we were also treated to a very picturesque sky with the dissipating storms being illuminated by the setting sun. Light blue areas within the clouds were also visible. The light blue color often indicates a hail core is present in the clouds.

Enjoy the pictures!!

Watching storms east of Carlsbad, New Mexico. Photo by John Frye

Cloud-to-ground lightning strike. Photo by Luke Beringer
Another cloud-to-ground strike. Photo by Andrew Eagon
Another CG! Photo by Luke Beringer

Mammatus clouds on the back side of the storms we saw. Photo by John Frye

Catching the rainbow as the sun sets. Photo by John Frye

A painted sky while driving to our destination for the evening. Photo by Luke Beringer.

Gotta pass the time some how.... Photo by Nathan Hitchens


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