21 May 2012 – NW Texas Panhandle Chase

21 May 2012 – NW Texas Panhandle Chase

John and I got our first chase in today – for me it was good to get my sea legs again, as this is my first Great Plains chase since 2009!

John I agreed on an extreme north east New Mexico / Northwest Texas Panhandle target, and headed up to Dalhart arriving at mid afternoon. I one point we thought we might reposition down near Vega, TX, as we had seen the early connection firing their and thought it would make a good play, but decided to stick with our initial target.

Eventually we headed up to Texine, TX, and then back down again to Dalhart, and then SW of Dalhart to attempt to intercept the strengthening convection coming in from the west. Cells were popping in eastern New Mexico and taking turns as contenders to be the best cell at any given moment (eventually the one down neat Vega won!).

We headed about 20 miles southwest of Dalhart,Texas, watching cells to our west on radar, and were disappointed with the overall poor visibility. We stopped to assess the situation and immediately noticed a very beautiful, albeit small, LP cell just our to north. Example here:

Cell put out some decent cg’s/outside-of-cloud bolts, one of which John captured with the only shot he took – congrats John!!

Not a bad way to start the chase portion of the trip.