Friday, May 11, 2012

5/11 - 11am CDT - A Crazy Chase in South Texas Yesterday

Our timing yesterday was just about perfect. As we surged southward from Carlsbad, New Mexico to the Del Rio, Texas area we began tracking storms that were forming in the mountains of Mexico near the Texas border. One fairly supercell formed along a boundary of converging wind just north of Laredo, TX in Mexico and we knew that this was the storm we needed to chase. It merged with another supercell that was moving north quickly to create a big storm with some intense rotation. We were able to get to the south side (where a tornado would be) just in time so that the hail and intense rain wouldn't cut us off from our road down to that area. Once we were there we saw some definite rotation and a couple wall clouds, but the storm was moving fast so we had to keep moving toward Laredo. We pulled over in a parking area just north of the city and continued to watch a wall cloud form that had a tiny hint of a funnel cloud in it. It was so small that it was barely visible, but it was certainly in rotation and was on the correct part of the storm. That was about all the storm had to offer tornado-wise.

By the time we made it east from Laredo the storm had merged with others to form a line of storms called an MCS (mesoscale convective system). This pretty much killed the tornado risk for this storm so we watched a very impressive lightning show from it as the sun set. Given the excitement that we had while chasing the storm while north of Laredo yesterday, it was a pretty good day! You can find more storm chasing photos from yesterday and earlier this week on my Flickr and Facebook albums.

Today we're traveling back to Oklahoma City so that our guests on Tour 1 can depart on their flights tomorrow. Tour 2 starts tomorrow night with our orientation and then we set out on Sunday for another week of storm chasing!

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