2002 June 14
Copyright 2002 Eric Nguyen
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Area Chased:  E NM

Discussion: I left class that morning and raced west on I-40 towards New Mexico to get a chase in before the bigger day on the 15th.   I drove to the New Mexico / Texas border and took the only road going north, Hwy 39.  I met up with a supercell near Mosquero, NM which had some decent structure and some scud / wallcloud development early on.  It had a nice rain core and plenty of dime to quarter sized hail which blanketed Hwy 39 towards Roy, NM.  Despite radar indicated rotation in the storm, I left it once the structure went down hill.  I drove north towards another supercell located north of Roy, NM.  I was stopped by an officer who warned me about others having significant problems with deer and other animals being hit toward night fall, which resulted in damage to their vehicles.  I certainly hoped no animals were near this storm near Roy which was already a damaging storm.  I stopped about 2-3 miles south of Roy, NM and took a few stills of this incredible HP storm!  I was approached by a family in two vehicles looking for an escape route from the storm.  I told them this road was pretty much it and if they went south they may elude it, however, the storm was moving due south as well.  They were heading north and wanted to follow me into the core, so I let them.  :-)   I probably went 1 mile and was slammed by 65-70 mph recorded winds with a 78mph wind gust, and heavy quarter sized hail.  I reported the severity of the storm to 911 dispatch, which was relayed to the ABQ NWS.  Despite the report being relayed, severe thunderstorm warnings continued to have only ambiguous criteria for warnings on that storm and throughout the day.  i.e., "large hail and high winds possible."  It was certainly a classic high plains HP with lots of wind and hail.  Luckily the hail sized was small enough that only minor dents probably resulted.  I continued north towards Trinidad, CO to meet up with Jason Poliette for the next days storms.


020614-2b.JPG (11583 bytes)     First supercell of the day near Mosquero, New Mexico.  Scud with probably a developing wallcloud, heavy precip, and hail covering the landscape was observed with this storm.

020614-1b.jpg (12229 bytes)     020614-4b.jpg (10749 bytes)      This supercell was located 2-3 miles south of Roy, NM.  It hit Roy, however, I was just south of town staying ahead of it.  Had a nice rain free base and decent lightning.  After this I wanted to head to Trinidad, CO to stay the night for the next day's storms.  This was the only road going north so I drove through the storm along with a family in two vehicles.  Horizontal quarter sized hail and sustained 65-70mph winds with a gust of 78mph were observed.

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