5/7/97 TX chase by Kevin Scharfenburg

Gilbert L. Sebenste wrote:
>Get this...I went for broke and told Paul to head for the Dumas monster,
>thinking once it intersected the I-40 moisture boundary, it would take
>off. But the Gray County supercell exploded in a matter of two volume
>scans...going from nothing to a meso w/2" estimated hail in 12 minutes!
>It developed so fast that as the CB went up, Paul called and said "we're
>going to ignore this"...15 minutes later he called back and I said "Stop!"
>he said.."no need to tell me...we nearly drove under the meso!" It
>developed that fast. The storm pulsed up and down, not really becoming
>surface based, until....

We decided to wait it out in Panhandle, TX, right where this cell
developed! We were banking on thunderstorms developing along old
outflow boundaries. In Panhandle, before the storm began developing,
winds were actually calm!

The storm began very multicellular, with 4-5 very narrow updrafts.
As the boundaries finally converged southwest of the storm, the
southwestern-most updraft widened rapidly, and became one huge,
monstrous updraft just N of Panhandle. This storm was actually
shooting up through a mammatus-filled anvil being produced by the
Dumas storm.

By the time we got in position to the south of the storm along
Highway 293, we saw a wall cloud develop very rapidly. We
were impressed by the scud developing below the wall cloud
halfway to the ground and being pulled rapidly up. Within
minutes, the wall was spinning rapidly, with dust being
pulled up underneath. The bad news was our winds, due south
of the wall cloud about 1-2 miles, were only around 10 mph.
About this time, we started noticing other chasers reaching
the storm as it became briefly tornadic.

All in all, an awesome storm!

KEVIN SCHARFENBERG      http://rossby.ou.edu/~kscharf/
Amateur Radio: KC5NPX   E-mail kscharf@rossby.ou.edu

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