Carlsbad's Hail Storm & Rainfall Totals This Week.

8:03 PM MDT Tuesday, May 22, 2018.
Looking West From Our Home In Carlsbad At Sunset.

Carlsbad's Hail Storm Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018.
Taken On Rock Daisy Road West Of Lakewood.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018.
Taken On Rockin R Red Road West Of Lakewood.

My wife and I headed out on our first chase of the season this past Tuesday. We left Carlsbad at 4 PM and headed north to Artesia, then west to Hope. We ended up going north on St Hwy 13 but turned around at the Eagle Draw bridge. Our intent was to intercept a couple of severe thunderstorms near the Hondo area to our northwest. At times they were trying to become right movers...meaning they would change course from moving to the northeast to the east and southeast. This didn't last long as they maintained a northeasterly track. 

Time to head back south as radar was showing a storm going up northeast of Queen and a severe thunderstorm getting energetic and moving to the north from south of the New Mexico and Texas State Line south of Carlsbad. Entering Hope we took a right turn down Armstrong Rd and headed south to Rockin R Red Rd (Eddy County 21). Patiently we stayed ahead of the Thunderstorm that had formed near Sitting Bull Falls as it moved to the northeast. But in the end it fizzled and all we got were the picture of the crepuscular rays and the triplet Black Angus Calves. Even though we didn't see any severe weather we did see a couple of road runners, lots of cottontails and jackrabbits, cows, and a few buzzards. I watch the storms and Diane watches at the wildlife when the storms are producing. 

Supercell Thunderstorm Hammers Southeast Carlsbad & Otis.

6:02 PM MDT Tuesday, May 22, 2018.
Looking Back To The South At AN Overshooting To From Just West Of Lakewood. This Severe Thunderstorm Was Near The New Mexico/Texas State Line South Of Carlsbad At The Time.

7:35 PM MDT Tuesday, May 22, 2018.
Looking South From C-Hill In Carlsbad.

As the Severe Thunderstorm approached from the south we watched it from on top of C-Hill in Carlsbad. I had strict instructions from my wife that we were not going to core punch this storm in our new truck we just bought. I totally agreed since this one was showing some big hail on radar. Several people claimed that they saw a funnel cloud from this storm but we never did. Scud clouds formed under the bottom of the rain free base from time to time and even attached themselves but we never even saw a wall cloud. As the storm rolled north it kicked up a lot of blowing dust and as it moved through southeast Carlsbad (the Otis area) it threw out lots of golf ball size hail. Several people on Facebook and in private conservation's with my wife and myself remarked that they had broken windshields in their vehicles with lots of dents in the vehicles, and broken windows in their homes. 

Courtesy Of Cherly Hardesty Hunt. 
Their Home In Otis Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

Courtesy Of Shelia Jordan.
Their Home In Otis Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

Courtesy Of Jenny Duncan Rennie.
Dulce Road South Of Carlsbad Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

Courtesy Of Jennie Rennie.
Sheriff's Posse Arena East Of Carlsbad Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

Forwarded To Me On Facebook Via Arley Childress Burnside.
Black River Village South Of Carlsbad 7:25 PM MDT Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

(Tuesday, May 22, 2018).

(Using NWS Midland Radar - Tuesday, May 22, 2018).

 Base Reflectivity At 7:39 PM MDT.

Maximum Estimated Hail Size (MEHS) At 7:39 PM MDT.

These two radar snapshots tell a story. First the red boxed areas indicate the Severe Thunderstorm Warning Poloygram issued by the Midland National Weather Service Office. At 7:39 PM this severe thunderstorm was pounding the Otis area from just northwest of Loving back to the northwest to just southeast of the "Y" intersection in Carlsbad. This is indicated by the red shaded and purple shaded areas on the top graphic. The bottom graphic shows us the hail core in the storm with the oranges and browns indicating the largest hail. At this time radar was estimating the hail to be just a tad under 2 inches in diameter (1.92"). Radar at this time was estimating that the hail core was about 6 miles wide. Initially the storm had been moving to the northwest as it crossed the state line to the south of Carlsbad then it turned to the north and to the northeast as it entered the Carlsbad area.

 Base Reflectivity At 7:42 PM MDT.
 Estimated Hail Size (MEHS) At 7:42 PM MDT.

 Base Reflectivity At 7:46 PM MDT. 

 Estimated Hail Size (MEHS) At 7:46 PM MDT.

3-D View Of The Storm Using Volume Scan Mode At 7:46 PM MDT.

Cross Section View At 7:46 PM MDT.

Keep in mind that what radar is estimating the hail size to be and what is actually falling on the ground is more often than not two different sizes. The closer the storm is to a radar site the better it performs since the radar samples the atmosphere closer to the ground. The further away from the radar the storm is the radar beam samples higher up in the storm. Due to the curvature of the earth and the fact that a radar beam does not curve or bend with distance, the lowest that the radar was able to see in the storm was about 12,000' above the ground over Carlsbad. Radar was estimating the largest hail stones to be about 2 inches in diameter or the size of limes or hen eggs. So far I haven't heard of any reports bigger than golf balls with lots of people saying that the hail ranged in size from quarters to golf balls. So the radar estimates this past Tuesday were just about spot on compared to what was being reported on the ground.

What is a Volume Scan? This is a 3-D look at inside of the thunderstorm using the base reflectivity decibel intensities. This is often refereed to as the storms dbz intensity. Radar uses a scale from 0 to 80 dbz's with 80 being the highest value. The red shades show intensities of around 50 dbz's, the purple and dark purple shades indicating 60 to 70 dbz's, and the grey and white shades (not shown here) indicating dbz's 70 to 80. Very generally speaking when you see the gray's and whites in a storms core you may be looking at baseball or bigger sized hail. White imposed upon purple shades usually means a very bad severe thunderstorm with giant hail.

This severe thunderstorm had tops estimated to be around 52,000'. Impressive but some supercell thunderstorms top out over 70,000'. The Cross Section view of the storm is another way of looking inside of it to determine how strong the hail cores are. It also can be used to note rotation within the storm. Note the anvil of this storm showing up as the blue shaded thin line in the Cross Section view of the storm extending back to the southwest and northeast of the thunderstorm. Again this storm had an overshooting top extending up through the cirrostratus anvil and topping out around 52,000'. Overshooting tops often indicate a severe thunderstorm.

Thunderstorms brought blessings of beneficial rainfall to many this past week across the local area. I've heard of a couple of people getting 2 inches or more including one report of 3 inches on Haldeman Road southeast of Artesia. Several Small Stream Flood Advisories and Flash Flood Warnings were issued by the Midland, Albuquerque, and El Paso/Santa Teresa National Weather Service Offices this week. Overall the computer models performed fairly decent with their forecasts of localized heavy rainfall. Here at our home in Carlsbad we managed to only squeeze out .05" the past five days. Some folks got dumped on while not far away others were left high and dry. Typical for thunderstorms this time of the year in Southeastern New Mexico. 

Last nights 00Z or 6 PM MDT run of the European Forecast Model (ECMWF) turns up the furnace for the local area beginning today and lasting the next ten days. Our afternoon high temps are forecast to top out over 100-degrees for the next ten days! Will we reach 110ºF...that's not out of the question.

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!


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