2001 May 18
Copyright 2001 Eric Nguyen
 
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Area Chased:  NM / CO BORDER

Discussion:  Scott Blair and I originally planed on heading to CDS.  But we changed our minds on the way down there as more data was available.  We drove west through the Texas Panhandle stopping at Caprock Canyon State Park for a scenery break.  We passed through Dimmit and turned north at Clovis, NM.  Data was readily available to us via cell phone laptop connection.   We continued moving north and stopped a few times to watch the sky.  It appeared NE NM was looking like the best spot, however no convection had fired yet.   We continued north toward NM/CO border and began to see some rock hard connective towers to our west and north.  One tower caught our eye to our north.  It was large and had an overshooting top.  While in pursuit our northbound road went from a nice newly paved highway to a rocky single lane road.  We began to see the base of the supercell though so we continued.  We began seeing inflow bands and a distant wall cloud behind several mountains.  This only excited us even more despite our road getting worse.  By then, the road looked more like an old horse trail.  We eventually cleared the mountains and had a broad view of the supercell.  It generally traveled at 2-5kts ESE.  The Capulin Volcano was in the horizon periodically getting struck by lightning.

What more could we have asked for, a slow moving gorgeous LP supercell.  We parked ourselves along the trail / road and setup tripods for video and began shooting lots of stills.  The only sounds were of occasional rumbling thunder and birds chirping.  The supercell went through some changes, three different wall clouds formed and dissipated.  Toward dark the storm shrunk in diameter yet still rotating as it moved east.  Just before dark it eventually dried up.  We moved north to a main road that would take us back to AMA.  As we anticipated the road was still covered in dime to nickel sized hail.  It was likely larger since the warm road probably melted the hail before we got there.  We stopped in Clayton, NM for some Pizza and made the drive back to AMA.

Pictures:

010518-1b.jpg (11126 bytes)     010518-2b.jpg (11627 bytes)     010518-3b.jpg (15933 bytes)      Nice meso structure looking NW.  Storm continues to rotate as nightfall looms closer.  The lightning was very intense and kept hitting this mountain in front of us.  Last image shows just how bad our roads were out there.  The image shows it looking much better then it did earlier.


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