Friday, March 16, 2012 (West TX, 640 mi.)

Synopsis

This warm-up for the main event two days later doesn't have any pleasant surprises in store for us.

Meteorological Background

SPC Convective Outlooks

SPC Watches

SPC Mesoscale Discussions

RUC Analysis at 00 UTC

Storm Reports

Full Account

A very weak shortwave in the STJ was forecast to traverse W TX this afternoon and evening, sparking convection in an environment of moderate moisture and instability but lacking deep-layer shear. Since a substantial early-season chase opportunity was coming into focus for Sunday, two days later, we decided to dust off the chase equipment and hopefully work out any kinks with what we presumed to be high-based storms on the Caprock.

Brandon Lawson, Dan Betten and I left around lunchtime, opting for the typical route through CDS toward the South Plains. Convection initiated around and just E of LBB just in time for our arrival, and we observed transient supercell structure on at least one storm in Crosby Co. While my expectations were not high at all, I was admittedly disappointed not to encounter any respectable hail or photogenic scenes. Thankfully, the legendary BBQ in CDS awaited on the way home to salvage the day for the second time this year.