2006 May 5
Copyright 2006 Eric Nguyen
 
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Chase Area:  West Texas
Scott Eubanks, Amos Magliocco, and I targeted the Midland, Texas area for supercells in the vicinity of a dryline / warm front intersection.  We began to drift north as the warm front lifted northward.  A cluster of storms fired over Hobbs, New Mexico, slowly moving east.  We went north to Seminole, Texas, and west to catch up with the storm.  We got in view of the updraft and observed a funnel / tornado with condensation 5/8 to the ground.  No confirmation on what that was but it lasted several minutes.
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Baseball Sized Hail
A strong storm fired east of Hobbs, New Mexico, moving eastward into the deeper moisture.  It was in the vicinity of a warm front that was lifting north throughout the day.  We encountered the storm west of Seminole, Texas, and it wasn't long before tornado warnings came out on this storm.   We could see an old occluded meso with a funnel 5/8 to the ground on the backside of the storm.  We went north of Seminole and encountered golf ball sized hail that was getting larger with time, and eventually exceeded baseball sized which smashed the front window.  Two other chasers with us lost front and back windows as well as a sunroof.  Once the hail shaft went to our east we collected hail stones and measured them, calling it into the National Weather Service in Midland, Texas.   Largest hail stone found was measured at a little over 3 inches in diameter.  Tony Laubach found a spiked hail stone out in the field which was the only stone we found like that.
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Supercell Develops a Low Level Mesocyclone
It took us a while to get back in position since the hail was a problem.  We ended up on the back side and observed a large wallcloud with a circulation that developed underneath lofting dirt into the air west of Lamesa, Texas.  This lasted less then 2 minutes and we continued east.  Chasers in a better spot reported this as a tornado but we couldn't totally confirm due to the sun making it hard to see through the hail / rain.
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Tornado Near Patricia, Texas
North of Patricia, TX, we observed a tornado for several minutes, which at last sight was a stove pipe before roping out and lifting.  This tornado occurred 3 miles southwest of Patricia, Texas (start-end time 0102 UTC - 0106 UTC).   Contrast was very difficult so the images are dark.
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Second Tornado Near Patricia, Texas
We drove east out of Patricia, TX, and observed a new tornado east-southeast of town.  This was a larger tornado that also lasted a few minutes and had a graceful rope out.  Once that last tornado roped out the cell began to weaken significantly.  We called it a day and headed back to Fort Worth.  This tornado occurred 6 miles east-southeast of Patricia, Texas (start-end time 0111 UTC - 0116 UTC).
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Copyright 2006 Eric Nguyen
 
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