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Chase May 16 2002

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Route:Amarillo (TX) - Borger (TX) - Cactus (TX) - Stinnett(TX) - Spearman (TX)
Chasepartner(s):Harald Edens
Weatherdata:SPC Day 1 Outlook -- Radarloop US -- IR satellite image loop


CHASE LOG:
We chased an active cell this day in the northern TX Panhandle. It broke the cap during late afternoon and rapidly became severe. South of Stratford we found the updraft of the storm. It had a lowering, but rotation was weak. CG lightning caused a grassfire of which the smoke went into the updraft.
We followed the updraft east and suddenly, out of nowhere, large hailstones dropped on the road right in front of us. We put the car in reverse but two stones hit our chase vehicle. One stone hit our carroof and this one caused a big dent in the roof. We drove further in reverse to avoid being stoned again. The hail was very large; some stones measured 2.5 inch. The sound of hail falling on a car is awesome, but also a bit frightening. This storm produced large hail for a long time.
The storm moved very slow and it looked like it was playing with us. We tried to avoid the hail, but that was almost impossible. The low sun caused a nice rainbow. The storm had transformed into a HP supercell and produced a tornado near Borger, which we did not see but heard reports of, later.
Lightning was CC, IC and CG. The storm moved off to east transforming into a MCS. We targeted another storm to our northwest and approached it, but this storm produced almost exclusively IC lightning. We gave up and returned home near midnight.


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© 2002 Bernard Hulshof