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Chase May 23 2003

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Route:Ardmore (OK) - Amarillo (TX) - Dalhart (TX) - Texline (TX) - Channing (TX) - Vega (TX) - Amarillo (TX)
Chasepartner(s):Saskia Mulder


CHASE LOG:
We stayed in a motel in Ardmore Oklahoma for a week, but this period was really slow in severe weather. This friday we headed west, back to the Texas Panhandle for a weekly stay in Motel 6 East Amarillo. There was a chance of storms later today, so maybe we could perform a chase when we arrive. And that's what happened! We checked in and after a few minutes the chase was on. On tv we saw a storm in NE New Mexico and we headed for interception to the NW TX Panhandle. Near Dalhart we saw a huge anvil filled with beautiful mammatus clouds. We couldn't see a storm though. The only storm alive looked to be far further north...strange.
So north we went, thru Texline and furher north to the Oklahoma border. There we found the storm, or better the leftovers of a storm. It sure was dead, altough some rotation was visible in a weird cloudmass.
We listened to the weather radio and learned that a more active storm was further south, near Logan NM. We went south, but in Texline I missed a roadsign indicating a speed limit of 35 mph. I drove 46 as a police officer made clear to me. Fortunately he didn't gave me a ticket. We drove further and got passed by two vans of a storm chasing tour company. They sure speeded! We saw our storm to the south and it had a strong looking updraft. NWS issued a severe thunderstorm warning for this cell. It was already to the west of Amarillo! So we headed south on US 385 and had the idea to take a farm road east near Boys Ranch. We missed the sign and ended up in Vega where we took I40 east. The storm was slow moving, but it took too much time to get close. Just east of Amarillo we stopped and their we saw "the birth" of some fabulous looking mammatus clouds. As the sun set, the clouds gained more colour. A nice end of the day, but it sure was a frustrating and exhausting chase for me.


PICTURES:


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© 2003 Bernard Hulshof