End/Del Rio, TX
Lunch at Oasis Cafe in Marathon
Chase expectations again today were fairly low. The weather pattern was mediocre at best for severe weather on the Plains. The good air was confined to the Rio Grande and vicinity of Southwest Texas. It looked like shear and instability might be good enough to permit a strong storm or two along I-90, somewhere from Marathon to Sanderson to Del Rio. This forecast worked out fairly well, as we chased a supercell that was drifting to the east near Sanderson. The storm dropped hail to the size of 2.5 inches near Sanderson. We managed to stay just in front of the big hail, and a funnel cloud came out of the base for a few minutes, too.
Our hailstorm weakened some, and we headed east quickly for new development near Del Rio. These new cells looked good for a little bit as we approached, but once we got close the activity was rather messy and uninteresting.
The weather pattern continued to worsen for chasers after June 1, as good moisture was pushed to the Gulf Coast by fronts and storm outflow. On June 2, the severe risk was down in extreme south TX and along the Gulf Coast, but SPC labeled it as “marginal.” It was not worth the effort and very long drives to chase junk, so we toured the Sonora Caverns. On the 3rd, we continued back to home base in OKC, via the Wichita Mountains in southern OK. After dinner in Meers, OK, there was some pretty low-topped convection to the southeast. By noon on the 4th, we were back in OKC (after a stop for a group photo at the El Reno memorial). The next tour was out of Denver on the 6th. Woody and Justin and I began the drive to Denver on the 4th and finished it off on the 5th. There were no storms to chase these days. The first ten days of June, 2016, were unusually and irritatingly inactive on the Great Plains.
June 2, start/Del Rio, end/San Angelo, 200 miles, lunch Sonora
June 3, start/San Angelo, end/Lawton, 331 miles
June 4, start/Lawton, end/OKC, 98 miles