Chase Trip Day 12 (June 27) Summary: Northeast New Mexico supercell from near Raton to near Gladstone
* *  Mike Umscheid PHOTOGRAPHY & STORM CHASE BLOG   * *

Mon, 11 Jul 2011 20:30:46 -0500
Chase Trip Day 12 (June 27) Summary: Northeast New Mexico supercell from near Raton to near Gladstone
Summary & Images (part 1)
On the second to last day of my storm chase/photography vacation with
Jay Antle, we decided to target the area around the Raton Mesa for the
potential for supercell storms by late afternoon and early evening as
a cold front pushed south overnight and during the day down the high
plains with post-frontal moist upslope winds developing. From
Ogallala, Nebraska, we made the long drive down I-76 and I-25 down to
Raton, arriving mid-afternoon. Showers and weak storms were
developing over the mountains and we decided to monitor this
development from just south/southwest of Raton. Finally, a strong
storm did emerge southwest of Raton which visually had a
well-developed base. It was moving east-northeast toward us, but the
track of the storm appeared to be such that it would go between Hwy 64
and Hwy 56. We decided to take the northern route once the storm
approached I-25. This took us, unfortunately, out of position for
quite awhile, as the storm turned more to the right and was moving due
east if not south of due east a bit. Once we reached Capulin along
Hwy 64, we took an unpaved road south, which we could only average
about 30 mph on due to the rocky nature of the road. We were well out
in front of the storm, but as we headed south on this road, the storm
was rapidly approaching. As Jay drove, I managed to capture a few
images of the storm approaching to the west with decent supercell
structure and dense precipitation core. Once it was clear we were
south of the track of the storm, we finally were able to stop and take
some photos. The storm was on a downtrend, however, as it was getting
close to sunset. We let the storm continue on to the east as we
reached Hwy 56 finally and photographed the backside of the weakening
storm. This essentially sealed the chase day and we drove back west
on Hwy 56 back toward I-25. Before that, however, we stopped one more
time to watch and photograph the world's smallest rotating updraft.
This was rather bizarre, but it was so small, yet the updraft revealed
some barber-pole twisting structure to it. All in all, it was a
successful day in that we photographed a supercell storm, however, I
believe that we would have had a better perspective of the storm had
we dropped south early in the chase south to Hwy 56. We were
positioning ourselves for later in the chase once the storm got into a
better road network, but it just wasn't to be since the storm died
sooner than we had hoped.







(click on thumbnails for pop-up of larger images)