After enjoying a delicious continental breakfast, we rolled out of the Aurora, CO hotel at 9:30. Our target area was centered between Tucumcari, NM and Amarillo, TX. This area had Theta-E nosing in from the east providing moisture (fuel) for any storms contributing to CAPE values approaching 2000 J/kg. Diffluence in the upper-level winds coupled with a shortwave trough served as the lifting mechanism to trigger the storms. Unfortunately, a lack of wind shear severely limited supercell development. After crossing into New Mexico Mammatus clouds provided some pretty scenery along the way.
Nonetheless we still caught an impressive multi-cell storm south of Dalhart, TX. This storm provided a superb opportunity for the helicopter drone.
We moved on from this storm to another multi-cell cluster in Dumas, TX. We sat in a church parking lot for over an hour observing the storm and also observing the strong winds via a useful complex instrument: a Frisbee.
At the end of the day we ended up in Amarillo, TX as a pit stop before we move farther south tomorrow. But we didn’t go to the hotel before stopping at a Storm Chase tradition, The Big Texan for some steaks!