MAY 29, 1996

Mertzon, Texas Chase

Gene Rhoden and Tim Marshall

Time Odom Town/Heading Remarks

Cold front has passed the Dallas area and winds have shifted to the east. There is residual moisture behind the front. With the east winds at the surface and west winds aloft, we have excellent veering with height. Almost clear skies. I-20 W.

12:11 535 Departing Lewisville.

12:52 581 I-20 W. Clear skies. Light NE winds.

1:45 647 Ranger Hill - Few flat cu west. Winds calm.

1:55 655 Stopped at LOVES for refueling.

2:30 686 PUTNAM - East winds at 10 mph. Some towers south. Flat Cu N.

2:47 711 ABILENE - Few cu. More convection SW and S than N. Winds E.

3:03 732 MERKLE - We'll stop for some data. Dewpoints are pretty high at San Angelo with an easterly wind. Moisture convergence max, however, is in eastern New Mexico. SELS says slight risk.

3:40 732 Heading W.

4:04 764 I-20SW at Rt. 84 junction. Few Cu alqds. More convection SW.

(Severe Thunderstorm for Pecos Co. moving NE at 15)

4:25 784 COLORADO CITY - Flat cu. Still heading SW on I-20.

(Severe Thunderstorm at 3 S Fort Stockton, quarter size hail)

4:34 796 1 pict. W of building cumulus with road in the lower left.

4:36 799 Cb S with backsheared anvil. Other towers extend west. Anvils SW.

4:44 1 pict of Cbs to the SW

4:44 808 FM 821 S. - Cb S. 1 pict. S.

4:49 2 picts of large dome on Cb to the SW, anvil points SE. (Four storms near Fort Stockton)

1 pict of Cb to the south with two cumulus in the upper part of slide.

Large dome with backbuilding flank to the south.

4:55 820 FM 2183E

5:07 833 Jct. 163- Cb south now has some mushiness on anvil. Little backshear. Flank tapers off to the southwest. (Severe Thunderstorm Warning for northern Irion Co., 21 NW of Arden.)

5:25 854 Rt. 87 SE - Cb anvil mushed out. Stopped at rest area and watched TWC. We are under a tornado watch. There is also a tornado warning. There's a flying eagle echo on the south side of this core. Heading SE on Rt. 87. This is the best looking storm. At 5:24pm radar indicated a possible tornado 17 NW of Arden. At 5:28pm golfball size hail was reported in Mertzon. Dangerous storm NW of Mertzon.

5:46 2 picts of wall cloud on left splitting cell. At 5:38pm, a possible tornado was still indicated by radar 10 W of Sherwood (near Mertzon)moving east at 10 mph.

5:54 874 Crossed into Tom Green County.

6:01 1 pict wide angle SW.

6:01 CARLSBAD - San Angelo reports 92/65 E 14kts, 29.80F

6:06 890 FM 2288 S. Rain free base is in view to the SW. Convective line extends into the base from the southeast.

6:11 1 pict east of anvil. (TORNADO WARNING EASTERN IRION CO.

At 6:18pm, San Angelo Doppler radar indicates a possible tornado 4 miles west of Mertzon moving east.)

6:19 901 Rt. 67 SW - Nice wall cloud to our southwest.

6:30 1 pict. of wall cloud SW. Wall cloud has precip on the west side of it.

Lots of bolts. The wall cloud is now going to wrap with precip now moving around the south side.

6:32 2 picts. One SW and one W.

6:35 Tornado reported on the ground at Mertzon. It must be wrapped up behind all this precip -an occluded updraft.

6:36 911 FM 2335/67. Stout wall cloud W. The tornado could be wrapped back in there.

Stopped at Dove Creek Church. Set up cameras.

6:41 1 pict. W. Lots of Cg's

6:42 Wrap of precip continues around wall cloud.

1 pict. W. We are in the notch and have a great view of wall cloud.

6:45 RFD continues to occlude wall cloud, clearing it out. Weak inflow.

6:50 Windshift to the west.

1 pict NW of dual bands going into the storm.

6:53 2 picts. SW of updraft. Weak rotation.

6:55 Leaving film site. New base has formed to the southeast.

7:12 927 Jct. 277S New wall cloud has developed west of us.

7:20 930 CHRISTOVAL- Rt. 2084 SE. Wall cloud west of us is rotating. Rain south of the wall cloud is moving rapidly around the east side.

7:26 931 Tail cloud coming into wall cloud. We are in the notch of this HP.

Mertzon got hit big time -with lots of damage reported on radio.

Wall cloud occludes in heavy rain.

7:33 1 pict. NE of inflow tails. Stopped for two minutes.

7:36 938 Another wall cloud appears. It begins to rotate.

7:50 942 Proceeding southeast bound. Wall cloud wrapped again.

8:00 953 Light east winds. (Tornado Warning for Irion Co again)

8:07 957 Heading north on Rt. 2084 to punch the core of this thing.

8:25 967 Punched through the core, got some hail. Stopped to observe a backlit updraft and anvil with numerous Cg's. Another storm is to our NW and has a wall cloud.

9:21 973 CHRISTOVAL- Finished the lightning show. Heading N on 277.

Storms kept moving east-southeast and kept going.

10:00 002 SAN ANGELO- Rt. 67 NE

10:32 036 BALLINGER- Pit stop. Heading Rt. 83 N to Abilene.

11:46 092 ABILENE- I-20 E.

2:20 267 LEWISVILLE-

Trip Summary: 13.9 hours 732 miles

Trip Summary: Supercells developed along the boundary that was oriented along an arc from west Texas to San Angelo. About six supercells formed and moved southeast. Nice storms on satellite in Gaines Co. and Andrews.