THE BIG ONE
Starting the day at Wichita Falls (TX), we initially drove to Amarillo (TX) to grab a bite to eat, and to assess the situation. We started to feel a little nervous that we were located a little too far west, so we drifted southwestwards towards Clovis (NM), just over the border into New Mexico.
Once we'd had a proper look at the latest data, and we had restarted the car using some jump leads provided by a very kind local, we headed towards a developing thunderstorm west of House (NM). Initially only the anvil top was visible, but as we neared it the full structure became apparent.
|Right-mover supercell approaching from the northwest near House (NM)
|Strong inflow sucking dust into the supercell over De Baca county (NM)
|Flanking line extending to the west, and providing new towers for sustaining the updraft
|Striations that suggest the supercell has a clear mesocyclone, and is therefore rotating helping to separate it's updraft and downdraft and allowing it to intensify
|Cloud base was quite high initially, but began to lower into the evening as surface temperatures fell and the surface layers began to moisten
|Mammatus rapidly formed on the upper portions of the supercell
|A new updraft started to spawn a funnel cloud for a short duration
|CG from the new updraft
|New horizontal funnel cloud forming to the left of the photo
We waited a few miles west of Dora while the core of the storm passed over the small town, with the sound of distant tornado sirens being carried on the wind.Once they had ceased we drove into Dora, and the western side of the town was covered in golf ball sized hail, with some minor damage done to trees and streetlights visible. Also worth bearing in mind that the hail would've had 10-15mins worth of melting before we arrived, so they were quite likely initially larger than when we came across them. There was also some flooding in central parts of the town, and reports of a rain-wrapped tornado.
|Golf ball (or larger) sized hail at Dora (NM)
|Doppler radar showing potential tornado location, with Severe Thunderstorm (Red) and Tornado (Pink/purple) Warnings