04.05.10

Chase #2

Posted in Storm Chasing at 12:25 pm by Rebekah

To chase or not to chase…that is the question.

With much hemming and hawing, I have decided to chase.  If nothing else, it’s a chance to test some new equipment before a very good day.

Today’s setup: large trough to the west, surface low in western Kansas, with a warm front extending into Iowa and a dryline from central Kansas into northwest Oklahoma and the east Texas Panhandle.  Dewpoints are in the 60s in much of Oklahoma and central/eastern Kansas, providing ample moisture.  Instability is good, with forecast CAPE values of 2000 J/kg or more.  Wind shear is great, with evening helicity values forecast to be 100 to 200 over much of Oklahoma and Kansas.  The better target today looks like Iowa/Missouri along the warm front, but that is outside of my chase region so I am not looking at that too much.

Everything looks superb today for beautiful supercells with large hail and tornadoes–except for one thing, which is why I had so much trouble deciding whether or not to go out today.  There is a cap over much of Oklahoma and Kansas, which will prevent much rising motion.  IF, and that’s a big if, we can get some sort of shortwave trough or moisture convergence or good lift, then an amazing, isolated supercell or two is very likely.  However, this is a highly conditional forecast, and today could wind up being a big blue sky bust for my target area.  There is a narrow area right in front of the dryline that may be ok, but I am prepared for this day to be a bust.  I would rather be there and bust, though, than not be there and miss an amazing supercell or two.

Hopefully storms will start initiating by 5 to 6pm, and if they produce anything, it may be just before or around sunset.

Target area: Alva, Oklahoma to Medicine Lodge, Kansas

Once I’m on the road, you can now see where I am (provided that I have cell coverage) on Spotter Network.  If I happen to see a storm, if I am streaming live that will be on ChaserTV.  You may also see my new tracking page on my website, showing my position on the road.

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