Weather Photos

May 30, 2001

NOTE:Numbers after certain sentences indicate the photo being referred to.

Scott Blair and I decided to play the upslope in New Mexico, and we met up with chasers Chris Kridler and Dave Lewison again in Amarillo while eating lunch. Since they had also targeted the same area, we all decided to chase together. By 1:30 p.m., a supercell developed in northeast New Mexico and was soon placed under a tornado warning.1. We eventually caught up with the cell near Mosquero and observed the updraft base with beautiful inflow tails feeding into it.2.; 3. The storm was clearly rotating and got better organized as the inflow tails grew larger.4. The HP nature of the cell made it difficult to stay in an area of good contrast though. While tracking the storm southeast, it began to appear outflow dominant,5. but after considering breaking off the storm and going south, our cell reorganized into a barber pole updraft.6. We stayed with the storm and watched the RFD occlude one meso after another as the storm began rapidly cycling.7. As we reached I-40 to blast east and get ahead of the storm, it appeared we would have plenty of time to get ahead of it before the meso and RFD crossed the freeway.8. However, with the storm quickly cycling through meso's, the cell began rapidly moving southeast. Shortly after crossing the Texas/New Mexico border, it became apparent that either we would narrowly avoid the hail core that was rapidly wrapping around the meso or get slammed.9. Unfortunately, the latter occurred at mile marker six. We encountered baseball hail but kept going until the hail became too much to drive through, and as we were pulling over, my car was nailed by one of the larger hail stones, leaving a crater in the left rear of my car and fooling the car into thinking it had been in an accident, which tripped the fuel pump shutoff switch. Without fuel, the engine shut down and wouldn't restart. I could do nothing but sit on the side of the road and watch Scott's tail lights and my windshield wipers get obliterated by the hail stones, now being blown horizontally by intense RFD winds.10. Hail continued to fall for about 10 more minutes. Chris' SUV suffered far worse damage with a cracked windshield, busted tail lights, and several craters in the left rear. All of our cars suffered severe hail damage to the left side, leaving the body appearing like "rippling water" as Chris so aptly described it. After the main barrage of hail was over, a hail fog followed and created an eerie sight with the incredible amount of hail that had piled up around our cars and on the ground.11.; 12. Upon inspecting our cars, we were amazed to see the amount of damage our cars had sustained (the vid caps don't do the dents justice).13.; 14.

Also, check out this amazing radar loop of the supercell. We were getting nailed during the last three images in the loop. Thanks to Philip Flory for saving and providing the loop and for the awesome nowcasting.

Anvil of northeast New Mexico supercell (Video Capture)Scott Blair (Left), Chris Kridler (Center), and Dave Lewison (Right)

Updraft base with inflow tails near Mosquero

More organized inflow tails near Mosquero (Video Capture)

Chris Kridler shooting when storm appeared outflow dominant (Video Capture)

Reorganized storm takes on barber pole appearanceRFD and hail shaft wrapping around updraft base (Video Capture)

Updraft tower and base (Video Capture)Updraft base and hail shaft moving rapidly toward us (Video Capture)

Scott's tail lights and my windshield wipers being destroyed by large hail & intense RFD winds (Video Capture)

Hail fog and hail drifts (Video Capture)Broken passenger side mirror and hail covered ground (Video Capture)

The crater! (Video Capture)More dents (Video Capture)

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