Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday's Severe Storms Near Dallas

We had a pretty successful chase Tuesday evening as we left Tyler around 5:00PM and entered the Arlington area around 7:30PM. As we approached the Dallas Forth Worth Metroplex we noticed a rapidly developing thunderstorm to our west. I grabbed the laptop and started up the radar and saw this storm was very severe, showing signs of up to 3” diameter hail. (2” diameter hail was confirmed later) This storm was still over 100 miles to our west and we were going to have to enter Dallas during rush hour traffic. Not wanting to miss the opportunity to witness this large storm we drove through Dallas and ended up in Arlington a few miles in front of the storm. The large display of mammatus clouds were taken just east of Downtown Dallas and the rotating high based wall cloud was over Arlington. With the large temperature dewpoint spread, this thunderstorm had a very high cloud base (0Z RUC analysis showed LCL, lifted condensation level, at 2200 meters) so the tornado threat was very small. Another aspect going against the tornado production of this storm was the outflow was well east of the rotation under cutting the updraft to the storm. So in my mind this was a win win situation with a very photogenic storm that was not able to produce a tornado in a densely populated area. I hope you enjoy the photos.

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