If you lost power yesterday on the Northshore, or just heard the loud thunder on the Southshore, you may have been wondering about the severe thunderstorms. The storms that rolled over SE LA yesterday were a Mesoscale Convective System (MCS). This is a meteorological phenomenon that occurs across the Plains states and Deep South over the summertime. A cluster of thunderstorms merges together, rapidly pushing south or southeast. The cluster picks up speed, and wind gusts along the leading edge of the system can top 60-70mph. The storms usually race through an area, leaving behind wind damage and heavy rainfall. If you want more info on these systems, click Here.
Post by passiontwist on Feb 24, 2009 8:54:42 GMT -6
That description is fairly spot-on. Plains storm chasers loathe this things, because most times we end up driving home through them, and many of those times, the pace of the things keep us in them for much of the ride home. Especially on a bust day, nothing caps a crappy chase off like white-knuckle driving for four hours through an MCS you just can't get away from. In extreme cases chasers will stop to let them get ahead, but I personally don't like adding any more time to the trip back home than I have to.
Some chasers who are into lightning enjoy them for photo opps, but most will frown when these are mentioned.
What you bring up is a very weird phenomenon. It seems to happen in many places. Even here...sometimes there will be a large squall line approaching New Orleans but as it gets closer, it seems to split. We call it the "Ponchartrain Split". What you're talking about is a little different and I have no explanation for it. I do know what you mean though. A couple years ago I was in Corpus, and every day it seemed to rain all around us. I thought for sure we'd get soaked, but no...not a drop.