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By: UMTornadoCamp13 , 5:32 PM GMT on May 24, 2013
The team went out yesterday to chase in the Texas panhandle. The team was a lot bigger as we had three objectives to fulfill this time around. We had Vortex 2.3 objectives, outflow boundary objectives, and lightning mapping. The chase took us to the east of Lubbock. During the chase, we experienced landspouts, dust devils, the gust front, micro bursts, and a lot of blowing dust.
A landspout is similar to a tornado, it has rotation and goes from the ground to the cloud base. However, these tend to form in the early stages of thunderstorm development. The circulation comes from the ground and gets pulled into the updraft and up into the storm. The storm itself does not have an actual rotation yet. They are mostly translucent and can be powerful. However, they are generally weak and short lived.
The outflow boundary, or also known as gust front, is cold air being blown out of a storm system. This air is from the downdrafts in the storm that hit the ground and then disperse in all directions outwards from the center of impact with the ground. The winds from this outflow can be very strong, and in dry land can pick up a lot of dust and debris and create dust clouds. Some of these outflow boundaries can create more storms especially if they collide with another outflow boundary.
The team was able to experience new weather phenomenon and able to get data for some of the objectives. The area we chased was a much better location to setup and deploy than what we had in Kansas and Oklahoma previously. It was nice to have open flat land and much easier to find areas to deploy.
Enjoy your weekend.
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.
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