Chief Scientist: Watson/Ziegler Flight Director: Damiano Doppler Radar: Shepherd Pilots: Omara/Kennedy/ Tenneson Cloud Physics: --- Data Technician: McMillan Radiometer: --- Systems Engineer: Barr Observers: Butcher (REU) Navigator: Strong Observers: Machalek (REU) Observers: Robbins, Hondl, Edwards Takeoff Time: 2000 UTC Landing Time: 0304 UTC Official Mission Duration: 7.3 hrs Mission Breakdown VORTEX: 7.3 hrs ARM: 0.0 hrs Number of Data Tapes Used: Radar: 1 Cloud Physics: 1 Video: 3
Data Systems LogRadar Data System Log Time On(UTC) Time Off(UTC) Comments Tape #1 2013 Begin TA & LF 0252 Stop recording Cloud Physics Log Time On(UTC) Time Off(UTC) Comments 2015 0250 ETL Radiometer Log Time On (UTC) Time Off (UTC) Comments 1945 0310
High moisture, good shear, and strong CAPE were predicted to
supercells between Amarillo and Lubbock this afternoon. The ground teams
departed shortly after 1500 UTC for an overnight trip to west Texas. The
departed OKC at 2000 UTC and the Electra followed 15 minutes later.
Convection had developed early along a windshift boundary between Dalhart and Childress, Texas. The FC correctly insisted that severe convection would develop farther west behind the ridge axis. The P-3 arrived in the vicinity of Clovis, NM and set up radar patterns on a nascent CB at 2130 UTC. Since cells formed in a N-S pattern, it was impossible to fly in the inflow region on the south or east sides. We were left to operate on the western flank of each cell. The ground teams gradually chased northeastward into Texas and we found ourselves too far from the main action of the storms.
First tornado was reported near Friona, TX at 2342 UTC. The LF was spectacular during this period as an eye appeared in the mesocyclone. Soon the highest reflectivities wrapped completely around the eye (echo weak hole) into the NE quadrant. At 0000 UTC, a new cell formed south of the main core which quickly developed a mesocyclone northwest of Dimmitt, TX. A short-lived multiple vortex tornado was reported by the ground teams at 0025 UTC.
This cycle continued with another cell (0030 UTC) forming SW of Dimmitt which rapidly developed a hook and a large tornado touching down at 0058 UTC, possibly doing F4 damage near Dimmitt. We were very close to the mesocyclone in this case but due to dust we had no viibility to see under the cloud bases. A large BWER and 19-km tops were observed on the tail radar.
Again, a new mesocyclone was observed SW of Nazareth, TX at 0126 UTC. This cell showed three bands spiraling into its center. However, we had to depart this storm at 0150 UTC. As we exited the area to the east, we visually observed a wall cloud nearly on the ground approximately 10 miles west of Plainview, TX. We landed at OKC at 0304 UTC, consuming 7.3 hours. Only 16.2 flight hours remain.
Here are some examples of P-3 radar images for this mission.