Monday, May 17, 2010

5/16 - 10:45pm MDT - Not Much Happening in New Mexico

It seems that a layer of warm, moist air at the mid levels of the atmosphere kept things pretty tame here in New Mexico today. Storms tried to get going, but developing updrafts would hit that warm layer and simply come to a halt, spreading outward instead of upward. A few thunderstorms eventually formed near sunset, but they were very weak and didn't have a snowball's chance on Mercury of producing a tornado. Basically, we had most of the elements (shear, warm surface layer, etc), but the air in the mid levels just would not allow things to go.

We'll be touring Carlsbad Caverns tomorrow morning before we set out for tomorrow's chase in the afternoon. It looks like we'll be chasing south of Lubbock, TX again as an area of low pressure in Mexico moves northward and brings southeasterly winds to West Texas. A cold front associated with a low in the Ohio Valley will also translate southward through most of Texas tomorrow, which may provide some lift. Even though instability looks good, shear and EHI values aren't looking great on the 0z NAM computer model. The SPC has issued a Slight risk for severe weather tomorrow south of Amarillo, but I'll hold off on making judgment on tomorrow's chase until the morning. A lot can happen overnight as computer models and surface conditions change. Let's just hope the storms actually form tomorrow! 

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