2003 June 4
Copyright 2003 Eric Nguyen
 
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Area Chased:  NE NM

Significant Observations:

     19:29 UTC  -  Tornado observed (est) 15 SW of Capulin, NM which lasted 2 minutes.  Observed looking east on road 193.  Duration 19:29 UTC to 19:31 UTC
     22:55 UTC  -  2.25+ inch hail was observed and measured 5 NW of Sanchez, NM along with 40mph sustained winds with a gust of 49mph (measured)
                         Hail began at 22:55 UTC and lasted an estimated 10 minutes.

Discussion: Jeff Lawson, Scott Blair, and I watched storms develop just SE of Raton, NM.  We took what we consider the worst road (FM 193) we've ever taken back on May 18, 2001 to go south to continue to observe this storm as it went due south.  We again, hated this road with a passion, however, it was the best choice with the lack of roads in central New Mexico.  At around 19:27 UTC we observed a huge funnel to our east which quickly developed into a thin cone tornado approximately 15 miles southwest of Capulin, NM.  I shot wide angle using a 20mm lens I already had on my camera.  By the time I got my normal lens on the tornado was wrapping in rain.  I did manage to get some great video of it, which shows it to be a nice smooth thin cone.

Once this tornado dissipated, we continued down 193 to and went west on 56 towards Abbott, NM.  To our west was a rapidly developing wallcloud which eventually got undercut.  We went south out of Abbott and watched as our storm's base got more round with time and inflow increased significantly.  By evening our storm began to look more HP, so we drove into the hail core to observe the hail size and take a small road south towards the interstate.  2.25 inch hail began to fall along Hwy 120 out of Roy, NM, which we promptly called into the NWS ABQ.  We continued to chase it along I-40, however, storms were trending down as they developed into a fast moving MCS.  The storm to our south developed late and was extremely strong for a little while.

Pictures:

030604-1b.jpg (28557 bytes)     030604-2b.jpg (23928 bytes)     Our first supercell developing near Raton, NM, where we observed a 2-minute tornado way off in the distance.

030604-3b.jpg (29745 bytes)     030604-4b.jpg (24323 bytes)     030604-5b.jpg (25091 bytes)      A wallcloud with strong rotation developed and eventually got undercut.  The storm organized again with a nice round base and inflow tail.   Eventually scud appeared as cold air went up the side of the canyon and condensed.

030604-6b.jpg (33149 bytes)     030604-7b.jpg (34965 bytes)     030604-8b.jpg (30990 bytes)     030604-9b.jpg (50195 bytes)     We dove west to observe the hail, which were measured at 2.25 inches, however, this was well after the stones fell so significant melting occurred.

030604-10b.jpg (37983 bytes)      Once the storm passed and congealed into an MCS we went back to Tucumcari, NM and observed some minor street flooding.


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