We started out this morning in Lubbock TX and wound up back here tonight. It’s late so this is just a quick update on today’s chase. We did chase the dryline setup – something I’ve dreamed of doing – and had a good time doing it. The above photo shows scud underneath our selected storm’s disorganized mesocyclone; we may have witnessed one high-based funnel but aren’t sure enough to call it that.
The main features on this storm were severe hail (which we successfully avoided) and strong outflow winds (which we couldn’t avoid). This is one of a number of photos I snapped of the incredible dust front kicked up by the winds that were measured at over 60 mph. At one point while we were trying to stay ahead of the gusts the entire western horizon behind us went brown and black. Since we knew we couldn’t avoid it we eventually parked and let it wash over us.
This was the result on the road on which we chose to speed eastward to keep up with the complex. This pole was snapped off by the outflow and pulled down several poles downstream, making for some interesting shoulder driving by the few vehicles (mostly other chasers!) that passed this way. The other effect was cutting off power to areas to our east, which we found out when we tried to stop for gas.
As “our” storm faded off into the east while we sped southward in search of gasoline we stopped and snapped photos of the incredible coloring we witnessed. This is one of the views.
Tomorrow’s forecast has changed a bit, so our target may not be where I thought it would. I’m now thinking the Lawton OK area, but I’ll refine that tomorrow morning based on what I see in the models and forecasts. Right now it’s time to get ready for bed!