Waiting On Storms To Develop.
My wife (Diane) and I left Carlsbad around 11 AM Saturday and headed north to Artesia where we stopped for gas and lunch. Then we headed west on US Hwy 82 to west of Hope at the junction of US Hwy 82 and State Rd 13 where we turned back to the north. We spent several hours out there waiting on storms to fire up along the east slopes of the Sacramento mountains. They did but were pulse type high based multi-cellular mostly virga bomb type storms that dissipated almost as fast as they formed. At 2:35 PM MDT Diane took a walk and shot the two photos above. She loves the scenery as much as I love the storms.
Dry Microburst In Artesia.
We eventually gave up on the storms over the east slopes of the Sac's and headed back east to Artesia where we encountered a dry microburst at 4:26 PM MDT from a high based multi-cellular mostly dry thunderstorm. We had a few claps of thunder along with a brief light rain shower and a minute or so of pea size hail 2 miles west of the Artesia Airport on US Hwy 82. The Artesia Airport AWOS clocked a peak gust of 47 mph at 4:35 PM MDT during the thunderstorm.
Looking East At A Developing Severe Thunderstorm.
At 5:07 PM MDT we pulled over on US Hwy 82 13 miles east of Artesia and I shot the photo above of a developing severe thunderstorm near Tatum in northern Lea County.
Spinning Clouds Overhead.
Diane took this photo straight overhead at 5:07 PM MDT.
Tatum Storm Grows Stronger.
5:32 PM MDT we are 28 miles east of Artesia on US Hwy 82 looking northeast at the Tatum storm when Diane snapped this one. All knuckled up.
West Of Lovington.
5:58 PM MDT we are 50 miles east of Artesia or just west of Lovington looking to the east at a now severe thunderstorm. Notice the hail streak in the middle right hand side of Diane's photo. This severe thunderstorm dropped a lot of quarter to golf ball size hail.
Small Wall Cloud Develops.
A small non rotating wall cloud developed 17 miles northeast of us will we were 5 miles west of Lovington at 6:22 PM MDT. It formed and dissipated several times. Radar showed rotation from time to time with this storm and at the time of this photo 80 knots of gate to gate shear was noted.
New Storm To Our Southeat.
While watching the severe storms to our northeast and east a new non severe thunderstorm blew up just to our south and moved through the Lovington area. Diane shot this photo at 6:35 PM MDT.
Lovington Storm Grows Stronger.
At 7:22 PM MDT the storm now east-southeast of Lovington grew a little stronger while sliding off to the east-southeast.
Looking Northeast At A Supercell.
Diane captures this supercell 80 miles northeast of us near Muleshoe, Texas at 7:27 PM MDT. It produced two tornadoes near Muleshoe (one southwest and one south-southeast of town) along with tennis ball size hail south of town.
Diane captures a cloud to ground lightning strike at 7:28 PM MDT from this storm. We were 11 miles east of Lovington on US Hwy 83.
Setting Sun Adds To The Beauty Of The Storms.
7:30 PM MDT.
7:36 PM MDT she took this photo.
7:37 PM MDT looking southeast from east of Lovington.
Windmill & A Storm East Of Hobbs.
We were treated to this beautiful setting just after sunset at 7:51 PM MDT as we headed south down St Hwy 483 northwest of Hobbs. All in all we had a great day even though we didn't see any tornadoes. I wasn't about to core punch these storms with our new truck so we stayed well outside of them. Not bad for our first chase of the season. And the best part of the chase was the fact that I got to share these beautiful scenes with my best friend...my wife!
The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction - And Sometimes It Hurts!