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May 26, 2001: LP storm east of Lubbock, TX

(Dave Lewison, Chris Kridler, Bill Hark & many, many other chasers)

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Well, we started the day in "bug central", a.k.a. Abilene, TX. The previous night we had a fun time with Scott Blair, Eric Nguyen and a few other chasers. We ate dinner, watched some of Scott's hail video (how prophetic that would be!), and then we had fun kicking the beetles around in the parking lot. There were EVERYWHERE!

We headed north towards Aspermont, where we met up with the same chasers we had seen the night before. Cloud9 soon joined us as well. Some small towers were spotted on satellite to our west, so we meandered that way to see what developed.

526LP1sm.jpg (9126 bytes) 526LP2sm.jpg (8326 bytes) Near Spur, TX, we came across a nice little LP supercell poking along to our north. The base wasn't very low, but we were hopeful that it would get itself into the deeper moisture to the east.
526mesm.jpg (10352 bytes) 526cloud9sm.jpg (14151 bytes) We pulled off Rte. 70, just north of 82 to wait and watch. That's me in the left picture.

Before long, Cloud9 rolled up again...Were these guys following us? :) We chatted a while and caught up with friends who were on the tours again. All three of us had started our chasing careers with Cloud9, so we recognized a few faces of the return customers.

526jimsm.jpg (15966 bytes) 526LP3sm.jpg (8012 bytes) Jim Leonard was there too, and was confident that the base would lower once it tapped the better moisture as well. This was good to hear, as we kept hearing reports of a nasty cell west of Lubbock.

The cell managed to develop a decent rain core, but the base still refused to lower much. We followed the storm to the south for a while, hoping it would get better established.

526armada1sm.jpg (10175 bytes) 526armada2sm.jpg (6490 bytes) Along the way, we encountered a large number of other chasers, all on the same road. The UMass DOW was out, and we ran across some other tour groups as well.

When we pulled off, we could see a long string of headlights behind us coming up the Texas prairie. Pretty unusual traffic for those parts, I'd imagine!

526lightning1sm.jpg (8862 bytes) 526lightning3sm.jpg (8438 bytes) We took up a spot behind the UMass DOW as the whole armada proceeded into the tranlucent rain/hail core.

The storm put on a pretty impressive CG show for us. These shots are all from digital video stills.

526lightning4sm.jpg (8457 bytes) 526lightning5sm.jpg (10203 bytes) More DV stills of the CG strikes.
526rainbowsm.jpg (8180 bytes) 526mammatussm.jpg (11039 bytes) After punching through copious amounts of marble hail, we came out the backside of the storm and were treated to a nice rainbow.

We followed the storm a little further to the southeast for some under-lit mammatus shots, before turning tail and heading to Amarillo for the night. Ugh!

All in all, the storms had trouble getting going today. We did get a good lightning show though....and it sure beat the blue-sky-bust we'd had the previous day near Sonora, TX!

Email me at: dave@facethewind.com

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