Date: Thu May 24, 2001 10:59 pm
Subject: Junction, Texas Area Chase 5/24
|Jeff Lawson and I chased a beautiful low-topped
supercell near Junction this
afternoon, watching a well-defined rain free base lower over the course of
twenty minutes and produce several lowerings, scud tags, and needle
attachments. Mid-level banding was beautifully evident in this and other cells
we saw later. An area of precip broke out ahead of our Junction cell and
interfered with inflow to the updraft, though the storm maintained integrity
remarkably well, showing a hook echo on radar for several scans. I don't know
how tight the rotation was, and I don't believe there was ever a tornado
warning for this cell.
This area morphed into a cluster of storms and updrafts, with the southwestern
cell gaining dominance for a time. This presented a strong inflow band and a
great, stacked plate appearance to the updraft, which continued for quite a
while. After this cell occluded, we noticed that we were surrounded by amazing
features: an LP-ish, broken updraft to the NE, red and pink sunlight blazing
off the column, a wispy, swirling rain curtain to the NW near a dying updraft,
and an HP beast developing to the west.
We drove toward the large HP, which still displayed mid-level rotation around
7:30 PM, and set up near the intersection of 41 West and 335, using wide-angle
lenses to capture the entire storm as it dropped large hail on some friends of
ours near town. We went south on 335 to get the sun behind the storm again as
it moved SSE, and found the road a winding roller-coaster trail along the sides
of mesas, and overlooking shallow canyons and dried riverbeds. Spectacular.
But, it took a while and we couldn't cut in front of the storm, so we pulled up
and took some lightning photos.
A great chase day--far better imagery, structure, and storm bases (considering
the dewpoint depressions) than I ever expected. We're spending the night in
Junction, anxious to see what sort of hand the giant Midwest cyclone will deal