Wednesday, 8 November 2006
Pre-Convene Space (Adam's Mark Hotel)
Supercells sometimes initiate over a portion of northern Coahuila, Mexico, within the Serranías del Burro mountain range and over adjacent elevated terrain that slopes down to the Rio Grande valley. Large, long-lived thunderstorms have been noted anecdotally in those highlands since the dawn of the era of weather satellites, to the extent that the area has been dubbed "Magic Mountain" or "Old Faithful" by some forecasters for at least a quarter of a century. Only since the summer 1994 commissioning of the nearby Del Rio (DFX) WSR-88D has the capability existed to systematically evaluate convection over those remote and largely inaccessible scrublands, in order to verify supercell characteristics and interrogate storm morphology. Although the effects of these storms in Mexico is largely undocumented, sometimes a "del Burro" supercell will cross the Rio Grande, producing damaging wind, hail and/or tornadoes in adjacent portions of Texas. The environments of thirteen cases since the beginning of 2004 are analyzed, including two border crossing events that produced severe weather in Texas. Another border crossing supercell, occurring several years before data gathering began and producing tornadoes in Texas, will be illustrated as well. Environmental characteristics of "del Burro" supercells moving into the U.S. will be compared and contrasted to those which remain in Mexico.
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