Upslope flow mark 3

06 June 2014

Once again, low level upslope flow across the foothills of Colorado and New Mexico together with surface heating and destabilisation of the boundary layer was going to be the main focus for strong to severe storms today. South easterly flow would also be further enhanced and backed due to the existence of a remnant outflow boundary from last night’s MCS.

The once again similar setup made things quite easy for us as we were already more or less in the vicinity for storms but better moisture, higher CAPE and helicity lead us 80 miles south from Eads to Springfield, where we then took a road into the foothills where some storms were already in place and slowly tracking northeast.

It was a difficult decision because the road network is quite sparse around this area and if we headed west, there would be no easy way south if the storms fizzled here and strengthened in the south, where they were also starting to fire off the foothills. But an unexpected tornado warning on the cell west made the decision for us!

The road was more or less directly east, straight to the storm which was moving incredibly slowly. Unfortunately half way through the 80 mile journey a tornado was reported. This was followed by another one. It was looking as though we were going to be a little late to the party. True enough by the time we got there, the cell had weakened and was forward propagating and it was now in fact this bit that was gaining strength, even managing to become organised enough to warrant another tornado warning in the area we had just driven through about 40 miles ago.

This was all a little frustrating, but rather than chase tornado warnings around all day we decided to stay put, make a sandwich and see how things progressed.

By the time we finished our lunch, it seemed as though heading south was going to be the best bet. We didn’t have a target in mind as such, but the whole area further south was becoming littered with discrete looking storms that looked incredible on radar.

Not long into the long route south however, we noticed a cell moving towards us from the mountains which enticed us to stay put a little while longer. It then went on to form some lowerings and before long a nicely formed wall cloud was heading towards us. Try as it might though, it didn’t put any tornadoes down although we captured a few brief funnels.

Weather Photo Wall Cloud

Ifonly

When it finally looked as though it was on its way out, we headed south. By this time though it was a little late, light was fading and any new storms that were starting to fire that looked like we may have a chance of getting on amounted to nothing due to capping in the area.

Although not an overly active day, we were very happy that we’d had a bit of playtime with our own stormy in the beautiful enchanted lands of New Mexico, where the colours and scenery never fail to impress.

Key points:

Storms firing late in the day may be inhibited by capping unless vigorous already

NE New Mexico, especially north of the I40 can be tricky for road choices

Dalhart and Dumas are full of cow farms and smell bad

SPC Day 1 Weather Outlook as at 06:00UTC (01:00 Central Time the night before)

SPC 01:00UTC day 1 forecast for Fri June 2014

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Fri June 2014

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