My Current Weather

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Day Three Of Our Local Chase Adventures.

Small Ragged Wall Cloud 30 Miles West-Northwest Of Artesia.

Zoomed In A Little Closer. Rain Foot To The Right Or North.

Wall Cloud Becoming Blocky Looking & Becoming Rain Wrapped.

T-Storm Outflow Winds Kicking Up Blowing Dust North Of Artesia.

Looking South Along US Hwy 285 North Of Artesia Near The County Line.

Looking South Along US Hwy 285 North Of Artesia Near The County Line.

Looking North Along US Hwy 285 North Of Artesia Near The County Line.

Cumulonimbus Mamatus Clouds East Of Carlsbad - Shot From C-Hill.

Cumulonimbus Mamatus Clouds East Of Carlsbad - Shot From C-Hill.

Cumulonimbus Mamatus Clouds East Of Carlsbad - Shot From C-Hill.

Cumulonimbus Mamatus Clouds East Of Carlsbad - Shot From C-Hill.

Day three of our storm chase adventures was just as much fun as the two previous days, although my wife didn't get to see a tornado. We left Carlsbad and headed north towards Roswell yesterday afternoon. Radar was already painting a nasty supercell thunderstorm south of US 70 near Sunset, in Lincoln County, that was moving off to the northeast. By the time we got to Artesia it had become a right mover, and had started turning to the east and eventually southeast. I decided to pull over on the Chaves/Eddy County Line and wait for this one to come to us since there were no good roads to take to this storm. We watched it until it got within about 15 miles of Artesia and then took a turn more to the east and moved across the Lake Arthur area.

 Lots of mid-level rotation was observed on GRLevel3_2.00 with this storm. I remember seeing 116 knots of LLDV at one time which had a depth of around 24,000'. The largest hail icon I saw on radar was 2". Although we were never in the hail core and didn't see any hail from this storm. What we did see were a couple of small ragged wall clouds that had a hard time remaining persistent. They would come and go and never really maintain themselves for very long. Small scud clouds occasionally would get sucked up into the wall clouds and the rain free base. Only one wall cloud showed any signs of trying to rotate and that was very brief and it then became rain wrapped. A persistent rain foot was observed that lasted well over an hour. 

A thunderstorm wind gust of 64 mph was measured at the 8 Mile Draw Raws at 4:37 PM MDT, which is located 14 miles north of the Bitter Lakes Wildlife Refuge.  

Eventually the storm begin to weaken as its inflow was cutoff by thunderstorms to its south which were southwest-west of Artesia. So we headed back south towards Cottonwood where we encountered the outflow winds and blowing dust from these thunderstorms. At times the visibility dropped down to 1/4 to 1/2 of a mile in the blowing dust.

As we came into Artesia on our way back south to Carlsbad we hit some light to moderate rain, and it picked up to heavy at times until we reached Seven Rivers. It was good to see standing water in some of the pastures and a foot of water in the bar ditches. The rain pretty much ended after we got back home so after a quick bite to eat at Danny's we went up to C-Hill where I shot the photos of the Mamatus clouds

A line of thunderstorms eventually formed from northeast of Artesia to southwest of Carlsbad and marched off to the east. There were several reports of straight line wind gusts of 60 mph, downed power lines in Lea County, as well as a tank battery fire. 

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Two Days Of Storm Chasing With My Wife.

Thursday, May 23, 2013.

Just East Of Loco Hills, NM Looking South.

Looking West At Virga On St. Hwy 529 And A Three Vehicle Wreck.

Looking North, Just East Of Hobbs, NM, At  A Virga Bomb/Blowing Dust.

Halfway Between Hobbs, NM And Seminole, TX Looking East.

9 Miles South Of Brownfield, TX.

Between Brownfield And Lubbock, TX.

Diane and I left Carlsbad around 2:30 PM MDT Thursday afternoon and headed north up US Hwy 285 towards Artesia, New Mexico. A LP Supercell Thunderstorm had already produced golfball size hail at Lakewood by 2:40 PM. When we arrived in Lakewood at 2:43 PM there was still penny size hail left on the ground. We then headed east of Artesia on US Hwy 82 towards Loco Hills. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch was in effect for Eddy and Lea Counties, with a Tornado Watch in effect for much of west Texas.

By the time we got to Loco Hills the storms had pretty much fallen apart with lots of debris clouds and virga everywhere. We encountered virga bombs with pockets of blowing dust from Loco Hills to Hobbs to Seminole, Texas. A combination the cold frontal passage, and outflow boundaries left over from dissipating thunderstorms produced wind gusts of up to 50-60 mph between Seminole and Brownfield. The visibility was terrible, down to 1/4 of a mile in the blowing dust and blowing sand at times. I wish I could of gotten a picture of the cloud to ground lightning strikes in the blowing dust with 1/2 mile visibility south of Brownfield. Erie looking stuff for sure while a few half dollar rain drops plastered the windshield.   

Carlsbad VFW Building Damaged Thursday Evening.

Carlsbad VFW Post #8703.

About 120 people were inside of the Carlsbad VFW Post #8703 in south Carlsbad Thursday evening to play bingo when high winds peeled the roof back. I was on my way to Lubbock at the time so I can't say with 100% certainty, but from what my wife and I observed while storm chasing that evening, it looks like to me that a dry microburst may have hit the building. Or possibly high winds from a virga bomb that produced the dust swirl. Looking at radar at the time I didn't see anything that indicated rotation associated with a supercell thunderstorm on radar. What I did see on radar was a high based dry thunderstorm approaching the city from the west at the time. Dry microburst wind gusts can reach speeds of 100 mph or more. 

Friday, May 24, 2013.

South 26th St. South Of Artesia, NM Looking West.

14 Miles West Of Artesia, NM Looking West-Northwest.
LP Supercell T-Storm That Was Severe Warned Earlier North Of Mayhill.

14 Miles West Of Artesia, NM Looking West-Northwest.
LP Supercell T-Storm That Was Severe Warned Earlier North Of Mayhill.

14 Miles West Of Artesia, NM Looking West-Northwest.
Dissipating Storm But Still Kicking Out A Few Cloud To Ground Strikes.

Fire In The Sky Just West Of Artesia, NM.

Just West Of Artesia, NM.
Hole In The Clouds With Sierra Blanca Peak In The Background.

The Best Part Of The Chase Was Having My Wife (Diane) With Me.

While The Sun Was Setting To Our West -The Moon Was Rising In The East.

While coming back home from Lubbock Friday afternoon we noticed a nice storm blooming along the east face of the Sacramento mountains, north of Mayhill, via GRLevel3.200 radar on my laptop. This thunderstorm was Severe Warned by the El Paso National Weather Service Office, so we made a pit stop in Carlsbad, then headed north to Artesia, and then west towards Hope.

 By the time we got into position between Artesia and Hope to watch this beautiful LP Supercell Thunderstorm approach from the west-northwest, which was moving to the southeast, the warnings had been cancelled. But it made for some good pictures and at one point had some nice structure in it. We observed some nice mid-level banding, a brief lowering a couple of times with some unattached scud clouds being pulled upward into it, but no well defined wall cloud.

As remnants of this thunderstorm moved over the Roswell, New Mexico airport a virga bomb produced a wind gust to 70 mph at 6:56 PM MDT.

We stopped in Artesia and had dinner then headed home. We pulled over on White Pine Road and watched the lightning show for about an hour. The Midland National Weather Service Office issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for a small line of thunderstorms moving southeast. Unfortunately the storms missed my home here in Carlsbad so dry we stay. I had fun storm chasing with my wife...she took a lot of photos and was pretty excited about the storm but disappointed again that she didn't get to see a tornado.

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction! 

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Moore, Oklahoma Tornado - May 20, 2013.

Blog updated @ 7:00 AM MDT, Thursday, May 23, 2013.

Moore, Oklahoma Hospital Parking Lot.

Moore, Oklahoma.

Briarwood Elementary School Courtesy Of Tim Marshall. 

Moore, Oklahoma Courtesy Of KOCO.

This Large Steel Tank Was Picked Up And Carried 1/2 Of A Mile
And Drooped Into A Residential Area Of The WestMoore
Subdivision Of Moore, Oklahoma. Courtesy Of Tim Marshall.

Update 10:00 PM MDT, Tuesday, May 21, 2013- A lot has changed concerning the details of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado since I updated this blog at 5:30 AM MDT this morning. First, I talked with my dad who lives in Tucson, Arizona this morning, and he informed me that my uncle was there visiting with him and was fine. One of my cousins, and my half-sister, who both live in north Moore, are fine and escaped the tornadoes wrath. I am relieved and grateful for this. My heart goes out to all of the victims, theirs families and friends who have been affected by this horrible continue in my prayers.

Much has changed also concerning the facts about this tornado. According to the Norman, Oklahoma National Weather Service Office the tornado was on the ground for 50 minutes, and cut a path of destruction for 17 miles that was up to 1.3 miles wide. It has also been upgraded to an EF-5 strength-wise.

FOX News is reporting tonight that only 24 people lost their lives in this violent tornado, not the 51 that was reported last night, and the 91 that was reported this morning. There were over 200 people injured by this tornado but that count hasn't been finalized.

There isn't a doubt in my mind tonight that many many lives were saved in Moore due to the early warnings provided by the Norman, Oklahoma National Weather Service Office. Credit must also be given to the local Oklahoma City News Media outlets, the storm chasers who were chasing this deadly monster, and the local National Weather Service Skywarn Spotter, and Amateur Radio Groups. Hero's come in many forms sometimes, and in this case they were local Law Enforcement personal, 911 Emergency Dispatches, Firemen, local Doctors and Nurses, and the many volunteers who all are working together to save and repair as many lives as possible.

Moore you are not alone...America mourns with you and prays for you!

Update 5:30 AM MDT, Tuesday, May 21, 2013- Officials are confirming that 91 people have been killed by the Moore tornado yesterday, and 233 have been injured. This number is expected to rise today. I'm waiting to hear if my uncle and his family survived this monster, they live in Moore. The May 3rd 1999 tornado damaged his home but nobody was hurt...hoping they were lucky again.

Apparently the tornado left a path of destruction that was 20 miles long and up to two miles wide in places. It was on the ground for 40 minutes. Officials are estimating that a 30 square mile area has been devastated  Moore residents had 16 minutes of warning time before the tornado struck according to the Norman, Oklahoma National Weather Service Office.

It makes me sick to my stomach to see this type of destruction...many storm chasers who chased this tornado have been shaken by what they saw yesterday. This is our worst fears come true. Sadly I've heard via news media reports, more than one person state that this could never happen to them, "we have tornadoes, but they always hit somebody else." Who would have dreamed that Moore would suffer a fate worse than May 3rd, 1999?

 Yet here in southeastern New Mexico I still run into a lot of people who believe that we don't have tornadoes, and even if we do, we will never have anything like this happen. I've argued with our local residents all of my life over this issue. I hope and pray that it never does! We are not prepared for something like this...not even close. I'm not saying that we could have a one to two mile wide EF4/5 tornado, but over the past 40 years I have chased more than one large tornado here locally, that was 1/4 - 1/2 mile wide.


Tragedy once again strikes Moore, Oklahoma in the form of a mile wide wedge tornado. Early reports tonight indicate that at least 51 people have perished in this Oklahoma City suburb, many of these children, with over 120 injured. Sadly these numbers are expected to rise as search and rescue efforts continue. 

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Oklahoma & Kansas Tornado Outbreak May 19, 2013.

Blog updated @ 5:50 AM MDT, Monday, May 20, 1013.

Courtesy Of Brent Wright & Tornado Titans. 
Destructive Tornado Outside Of Shawnee, Oklahoma. Note The Tree At The Top Of The Tornado.

Carney, Oklahoma.

Carney, Oklahoma.

Update- At least one person has been killed and 21 injured during yesterdays tornadoes in Oklahoma.

Violent tornadoes ripped across Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois today. I missed this outbreak since I was working, and this is just a taste of the results. Piles of rubble are everywhere in more than one community tonight as search and rescue efforts are underway. Preliminary storms reports from the Storm Prediction Center indicate at least two dozen tornadoes today. Monday looks to potentially just as bad if not worse than today. More today's outbreak later.

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Resignation As Skywarn Coordinator.

Good morning everyone,

I have made a decision to resign my position as the Eddy County Skywarn Coordinator, and as the Regional Skywarn Coordinator, for the Midland National Weather Service Office County Warning Area of responsibility. I feel like that I have done all that I can do with the National Weather Service Skywarn Program here in Eddy County, and as well across west Texas.

I have enjoyed working as the Eddy County Skywarn Coordinator for the past
81/2 years, and as the Regional Skywarn Coordinator for the past 21/2 years.
I have been lucky enough to make many new friends via the Skywarn Program and I am very grateful for this.

My thanks and gratitude go out to Pat Vesper, and all of the staff at the Midland National Weather Service Office, for their time and help with the Skywarn Program over the past 81/2 years. It has been a pleasure working with all of the forecasters and staff at the Midland National Weather Service Office. When I first met Pat over 10 years ago he was taking on the position as the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Midland Office.

There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that under Pat's leadership in this position as the Warning Coordination Meteorologist, that all of us in the 26 counties that the Midland Office has watch and warning responsibility for, have been well served and protected by his diligence to that position. Pat was recently promoted to the Meteorologist In Charge of his office, and I am confident that he will continue to serve us all with equal dedication and hard work as the new leader of that office. I will miss working with Pat and all of you in the Midland NWS Office. 

I would also like to thank Joel Arwine, the Eddy County Emergency Manager, for all of his help and support as well with our Eddy County Skywarn Program. When I first met Joel he asked me to help him form a partnership between his office, the Midland National Weather Service Office, our local Skywarn Spotter Group, local media sources, and the public. I have worked very hard at accomplishing this goal, and I feel that I have contributed as much as I am able to, in order to help him meet his goals for Eddy County.

Joel was responsible for getting a reliable and workable Amateur Radio Program established here in Eddy County, which became a critical part of our local Skywarn Program.  I wish Joel all of the best with his efforts to continue to make Eddy County a safe place to live. After talking with Joel this morning, he wants to retain the position as the Skywarn Coordinator for Eddy County, and this is a decision that I support. I never could have had the success in Eddy County that I had without Joel's support and help.

Finally, to all of our National Weather Service Skywarn Spotters in west Texas, and in Lea and Eddy Counties, I want to encourage you to continue to serve your communities via your spotters reports, and participation in the Midland National Weather Service Skywarn Porgram. I take great pride in knowing that you are the ones who have made the Midland National Weather Service Skywarn Program such a success. Your ground truth reports have been, and will continue to be, a critical part of the Warning process during severe weather outbreaks across west Texas and southeastern New Mexico. My greatest hope and desire is to see all of you continue to remain active in the Midland National Weather Service Skywarn Spotter Program.

My plans are to remain active in the Skywarn Program as a storm spotter, and when I have the time, a storm chaser. There will be some changes on my web page but I plan on keeping it active as well.

Thanks everyone and stay safe out there,

Wendell Malone

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

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Granbury & Cleburne, Texas Tornadoes.

Blog Updated @ 2:55 PM MDT Friday, May 17, 2013.

Photo Is Courtesy Of Kevin Rose.
Large Wedge Tornado Near Rio Vista, TX Yesterday Evening.

Shared By Reed Timmer.
Massive 1-Mile Wide Tornado Rolling Into Cleburne, Texas Yesterday Evening.

Cleburne, Texas Tornado Courtesy Of CBS11 Dallas/Fort Worth.

Courtesy Of Paige Buress & Texas Storm Chasers.
1-Mile Wide Wedge Tornado North Of Rio Vista, Texas Yesterday Evening.

Grapefruit Size Hail (4" In Diameter) Reported In Mineral Wells, TX Yesterday.

Large Destructive Tornado Located 7 Miles Southwest Of Cleburne, TX @ 8:57 PM CDT.

Large Destructive Tornado Located 6 Miles NW Of Rio Vista, TX @ 9:08 PM CDT.

MaxDV I Noticed Was 176 Knots!

This right moving supercell thunderstorm which had already caused fatalities and injuries along with lots of damage in Granbury, TX, located in Hood County, was headed southeast. The tornado associated with this storm was also headed southeast. Then suddenly the tornado made a hard left hand turn and started moving northward and into Cleburne. In all of the years that I have been watching radar, and storm chasing, I've never seen a storm do this before. This just proves that you never know what a tornado will do. 

Check out this animated radar loop courtesy of Storm Chaser Nick pay close attention to the Storm Relative Velocity Loop (SRV) in the lower left hand corner. Notice the sudden jolt northward of the apparent large tornado. 

Courtesy Of Sean Schofer.
Grapefruit Size Hail Near Gainesville, TX Yesterday.

At least 6 people are reported to have been killed by tornadoes in north Texas last night. 14 people may be missing in Granbury, Texas. Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds is reporting that at least 28 people were treated for their injuries from the tornado at a local hospital, and another 100 people were injured. 

As many as 10 tornadoes may have touched down yesterday evening leaving 250 people homeless. 

Hundreds of homes were damaged in Cleburne, Texas and at least two dozen were destroyed by the mile wide tornado as it tolled into town from the south last night. 

These numbers will likely change today as rescuers search through the debris and ruble. 

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction! 

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