May 28, 2021


Initial Target
Storm Intercepts
Hobbs, NM
Childress, TX 10:54 AM 5/28/2021
Pecos, TX 9:30 PM 5/28/2021
Kermit, TX; Barstow, TX
0 mph
LP Updraft, Mammatus, Rainbow, Dust Storm


High Plains upslope chase in se NM into sw TX. Intercepted developing supercells between Kermit and Pecos noting photogenic LP structure with rainbow, dust storm, and mammatus at sunset.

Crew and Equipment

Chase partners: Jennifer Brindley Ubl, Anton Seimon, Tracie Seimon. Equipment: Sony AX100, Samsung S9, Photography courtesy Jennifer Brindley Ubl shooting on a Nikon D4s.




Friday, May 28, 2021 was our twelfth straight day out with the team on our photogrammetry research mission. Hank had just departed for home for a few days off, and the rest of us were eyeing far southeastern New Mexico for some High Plains supercells. We caravanned west from Childress through Lubbock to Hobbs, NM, stopping for lunch and then awaited storms north of town at a work site pull off that was littered with beer bottles in typical fashion. By midafternoon, however, it was looking pretty bleak at our target with the cumulus thinning out. We decided to dive south into southwestern Texas where it looked like storms were starting to fire.

Building Storm with Flanking Line
7 miles NNW of Kermit, TX
5:58 PM
Approaching Kermit from the north we had a decent view of a robust storm. A few landspout reports came in on it but we weren’t in position to get a visual on any of them. A rather messy cluster looked like it was starting to form east of Kermit.

Hail Core and Outflow
3 miles NE of Mentone, TX
7:09 PM
Instead we set our sights on new development to the west. An endless parade of industrial truck traffic was filing out of the oil fields as we closed in for the intercept, and we had to wait a couple times for openings in traffic when turning. A massive supercell was taking shape, but it started to dump a huge hail core with icy cold outflow, not a good sign for tornado chances.

Anton Setting up for LP Storm Lapse
3 miles ENE of Barstow, TX
7:40 PM
We chased outflowy storms into Pecos and then over to Barstow. It was there that we started to get our structure show, the cap sculpting the big rainy storm into a photogenic LP. We setup for time lapse shots and watched until the cells dissolved at sunset, our stormscape views interrupted by a freight train, cat calling trunk honks, and some sort of noisy “unspecified monster” insect.

Sculpted Base
2 miles SW of Barstow, TX
7:43 PM

Precip Bands of Dying Storm
3 miles ENE of Barstow, TX
7:55 PM

Dust Storm as Storm Collapses
3 miles ENE of Barstow, TX
8:00 PM
The updraft of a cell to the east collapsed, marking its death. The outflow surge kicked up a dramatic front lit dust storm though.

Rainbow and Dissipating Dust
3 miles ENE of Barstow, TX
8:10 PM

Funnel on Withering Updraft with Mammatus
3 miles ENE of Barstow, TX
8:13 PM
As the updrafts withered away, the rotation tightened into barber pole shapes and small funnels.

Barber Pole Convection
3 miles ENE of Barstow, TX
8:24 PM

Sunset LP
3 miles ENE of Barstow, TX
8:31 PM

Cloud Streaks
3 miles ENE of Barstow, TX
8:44 PM

Sunset Storm
3 miles ENE of Barstow, TX
8:56 PM


No tornadoes for our research mission, but the gorgeous structure show at the end of the day easily made the chase for me.

Lessons Learned

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