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Stormchase 2012 - Day 4

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HeadcornWx

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blog-0442573001336987039.jpg[font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][b][size=4]The Roswell Mothership Supercell [/size][/b][/font]

[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][color=#323232]What a day![/color]
[color=#323232]Starting off this morning in Carlsbad New Mexico, we first headed north to Artesia. Here we waited patiently as a cell formed to the west over the foothills of the Rockies. It looked promising at first, but as soon as it left the sanctuary of the mountains it lost energy and collapsed.[/color][/font][/size]

[attachment=134172:P1000329.JPG]

[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][color=#323232]Seeing more cells on the Barons Radar forming to the NW we drove North to Roswell, took in a few alien sights then drove out west to find a good vantage point to await the incoming storm.[/color][/font][/size]

[attachment=134173:P1000349.JPG] [attachment=134174:P1000350.JPG]

[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Two huge mothership supercells aproached us, amazing CG lightning and green skies indicating large hail were clearly visible. [color=#323232]We turned the car around to avoid the largest hail and headed back through Roswell to catch it a second time around on the approach to Artesia.[/color][/font][/size]

[attachment=134175:P1000358.JPG]
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[color=#323232]The storm was increasing in speed and gaining energy from the warmer plains. Amazing structure was now clearly visible and the storm was trying to drop a funnel.[/color][/font][/size]

[attachment=134176:P1000409.JPG]
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[color=#323232]We aproached Artesia and looked back. Skies were black and looking unbelievably threatening. The wind was increasing as we drove past the oil refinery and east out of town.[/color][/font][/size]

[attachment=134181:P1010005_stitch.jpg]
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[color=#323232]I looked to our west and a huge dust and light debris cloud [/color]caused by the storms' icy outflow was fast approaching. Leaping back into the car to close the window we drove further up the road. [color=#323232]By this time, the two supercells had merged and the storm put down a gustnado to our left.[/color]

Funnels were forming and fading in front of our eyes.[/font][/size]

[attachment=134177:P1010036.JPG] [attachment=134178:P1010039.JPG]

[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][color=#323232]We got ahead of the storm for a while, but eventually we knew the rain would catch up and it did.[/color][/font][/size]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcFh6IFyV-k
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[color=#323232]Under a disused gas station canopy we waited. Day turned to night and suddenly we were in the core. Winds howled to 70mph plus as dime sized hail pelted down and lightning was all around. The sheer power of nature is often hard to imagine unless you witness it. We did![/color][/font][/size]

[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Acknowledgements to Dave Vicary for this excellent video of the moment the core passed:[/font][/size]

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-yISUNu430[/media]

Also, watch the following capture from my camera during the core transition:

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF6kuArSfH0[/media]
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[color=#323232]As the core cleared through, we drove into carlsbad onto the aptly named Canal Street! Flash flooding was everywhere. [/color]Our planned evening of lightning viewing ruined by the fact that there were simply too many storms![/font][/size]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgFSB_hJZd4

[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][color=#323232]A welcome steak and rib dinner in Chillis topped off the day with many of the big names in Stormchasing there including Sean Casey, Brandon Ivey and the crew of the Doppler on Wheels (DOW) formally from the Discovery Series.[/color][/font][/size]

[attachment=134180:P1010064.JPG] [attachment=134179:P1010063.JPG]

[size=4][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][color=#323232]All in all an absolutely stunning day. One of those you remember for ever![/color][/font][/size]

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