2004 June 18
Copyright 2004 Eric Nguyen
 
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Chase Area:  Northeast New Mexico
We began the day in Clayton, New Mexico, and targeted upslope in Northeast New Mexico for potential supercells.  Image showing the location of the supercells we observed marked as a red dot.

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Distant Convection
While driving south we began to observe convection off to our southwest along the front range of the Rocky Mountains.  We knew we had to get south and flank this or any other storm that would develop along the region of upslope flow.

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Hmmm... No Good Road Options
Scott Blair and I have taken this road before and we did not like it!   We didn't have much of a choice as this was the only road going south.  It began as a decent pave road, then turned into a gravel dirt road, then into a muddy mess.   Two storms tracked over this road previously which turned the more difficult part of the road into a slippery mess.  When we reached the mud we drove about 15-20mph and didn't stop, else we would be stuck there for a day or so.  We had limited cell coverage, so we made a quick call to someone that would call a tow truck if we didn't call back in 45 minutes.  At one point I had my steering wheel turned in order to keep straight, the front tires were not moving at all.  Luckily we did reach the main highway, just in time for our storm to begin organizing.

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Supercell Thunderstorm
The storm tracked over the messy road we were on while moving slowly east.  It quickly began to exhibit supercell characteristics as it organized into an LP supercell.  This was certainly not a storm where one would want to be underneath it, the main show was clearly the structure!  With time, a lowering developed hinting at some low level organization, however, it didn't last long.

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New Convection to our East
New strong convection developed back to our east near the Texas border.  Our storm however was still organized and as it moved east, encountering deeper moisture, which resulted in further intensification.  More storms began to develop all around us at sunset which made chasing more difficult, especially giving the very poor road network.  At one point, we took a "trail", which was no more then two tire tracks leading off into the prairie.  This was the only road option we had on GPS, so we took it.  It occasionally ended at farm houses, but then would pick back up leading off into the hills.  Scott and I thought we were the only ones foolish enough to be out there until we were passed by Dave Gold and Silver Lining Tours.   Once we reached pavement we called it a day and headed to the nearest hotel.   That evening as the MCS was passing over our hotel, we talked with Dave Gold over the poor prospects of chasing the new few days.  Summer was setting in and we were concerned that shear and instability were not good enough for storms the new few days.

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Copyright 2004 Eric Nguyen
 
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