Brief Summary of Sub-VORTEX Missions (May-June 1997)
970506 - Shakedown mission. No storms intercepted.
970507 - Collected mobile mesonet (MM) and Doppler-on-Wheels (DOW) data on a small, short-lived supercell near Lockney, Texas. Demonstrated that coordinated MM and DOW platforms can intercept and collect quality data. (Also demonstrated that dirt roads are a bad idea.)
970523 - Collected MM and DOW data on a line of weak showers in far western Oklahoma. This intercept was used as a second "shake-down" mission.
970525 - Multiple supercells and intercepts in south central Kansas. Intercepts included the [possibly tornadic] Burton supercell early in the day, and the South Haven tornadic supercell prior to its crossing I-35. High quality MM data from Probes 1 and 3, plus Doppler data from the ARM site in northern Oklahoma collected on the South Haven storm. MM data, DOW data, dual CAM sites for the Burton storm. Communications problems (i.e., no repeater and short range) and road closures resulted in multiple difficulties in the intercept. Platforms were released from the "armada" and allowed to collect data in "chase" mode.
970526 - Multiple supercells and tornadoes in northeast Oklahoma, including the Keifer tornado. First ever dual-DOW data collected from a tornado. MM data was collected in that region moments earlier as armada moved through the Keifer/Supulpa area. Additional MM data and stereographic film/video collected on mesoscyclone as it moved east. Some MM data collected on the so-called "white tornado" on highway OK-16.
970528 - Multiple intercepts of two non-tornadic supercells in the western Texas panhandle. These are good candidates for the null case. The supercells were well developed with wall clouds, RFDs, clear slots, flanking lines, strong wind shifts and baroclinic zones, but no tornadoes.
970529 - Depart from Plainview for LBB for repairs. Head west to eastern New Mexico, then back into Texas panhandle. See the clouds. See the clouds weaken. See the clouds dissipate before our eyes. See VORTEX go home.
970612 - Intercept of non-tornadic supercell in Wheeler Cty, TX. This supercell produced numerous funnels, and a strong RFD and associated clear slot. A small gust front vortex was sampled by one of the mobile mesonets. Overall, a poor road network in the area limited sampling and intercept options.
970613 - Intercept of HP supercell and mesoscyclone in northeastern Texas near Sulfur Springs. Numerous supercells, wall clouds, mesocyclones, and radar-indicated tornado warnings, but no tornadoes noted or reported. Another interesting null case.
970614 - Intercept and collection of MM and DOW data of a short-lived CL-HP supercell in Texas panhandle. Owing to overly abundant midlevel moisture and a warm upper troposphere (remnants of a tropical cyclone moving northeastward), the supercell characteristics were not maintained as convection became widespread and quickly merged into a mesoscale convective system.
970615 - Intercept of weak storms in southern Kansas that formed on a shear zone. MM and DOW data were collected late in the day from a very strong outflow boundary from the southwestern-most storm. This is the first MM/DOW coordinated data collection effort for a gust front. Real-time analysis of data indicates that it might make an interesting case study.