June 10, 2005 Dalhart TX

June 10, 2005 by
Filed under: Summary 

Elke and I left HYS in tandem with the Fogel/Brown crew, initially targeting the outflow boundary region in SW KS and the OK Panhandle. We got to LBL just in time to intercept a supercell that was interacting with said boundary. This was the same storm that Chuck observed, and also was intercepted by Brian M and Bill R (whom we heard on radio), Dr_David_Gold and others. The low, smooth wall cloud later briefly developed a broad but brief conical lowering while we were measuring 82 deg F sfc temps in its immediate inflow region. Then the wall cloud got ragged, higher based and less well organized as it moved into a region characterized by 72 deg F sfc temps to its SE.

We abandoned that storm and dropped SW, noting darkening skies to the S from the massive overturning episode that was underway across the panhandle. By the time we got to DHT, having driven through mile after mile of horrendously cold ouflow from the SE, we called it a day and checked in to one of several motels here with Internet access.

Than a fascinating little event happened: A small, elevated, LP updraft with hard, overturning ribs and curving “backbones” appeared to the S, on the W edge of the MCS, and rolled NNEward right up the back of the ghastly cold convective complex. We found a vantage on the SE side of town for viewing and photos.

It had a flared, laminar base with a tail cloud, and obvious rotation in the cumuliform plume above. The convection shot right into the ambient anvil shield and mammatus field of the bigger MCS, sending a series of deep, undular waves rippling through the mammatus and anvil bottom.

A pronounced midlevel funnel developed and stayed alive for about 3-4 minutes, appearing long and skinny and black against the light gray, textured convection. The funnel rotated cyclonically and very slowly. We also had found corn and wheat fields on the SE side of DHT from which to shoot sills and video of those tremendously fascinating processes.

A line of towers formed to our NW, on the intersection of the outflow boundaries from the NM convective line and the Panhandle MCS. That quickly grew into a narrow squall line with a pretty shelf cloud which moved over DHT. Then it was time to eat.
It was great to see OF Moller and Dr_David_Gold, the former having joined us for dinner at Bar-H Steakhouse and the latter with Bill Gargan and the tours. We had some good laughs before going out for evening photography opportunities. I recommend this eatery whenever in DHT; their selection and prices each are reasonable. Where else between AMA-DEN can one get well-prepared, spicy shrimp skewers?

After dinner Elke and I went to a remote crossroads about 10 SW DHT for some admiration and photography of sunset coloration, amidst clumps of elevated convection and the wondrously refreshing scent of newly soaked, semiarid countryside.

The combinations of hues and tones of a rainy Great Plains sunset, earth and sky together, just cannot be duplicated in any other setting. This is why the observing and appreciation doesn’t stop for us when the active storm intercept is over, and a great part of why we come back year after year for more.

Our sunset immersion turned into a 2 hour nocturnal light show as storm after storm formed to our S-E in a zone of elevated warm advection, atop the MCS outflow pool.

Lightning 1
Lightning 2
Lightning 3

I burned 2-3 rolls of film on the lightning, which was mostly filamentous discharges aloft and a few CGs. [I do now have power in my still camera and can at least force the bulb setting to work, though it still is acting strangely otherwise.]

It was good to hear from Alnado and bScUM yesterday as well.



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