Chase #14

Posted in Severe Weather Forecast, Storm Chasing at 10:24 am by Rebekah

I’m off to the Texas Panhandle this afternoon, as severe weather opportunities have returned to the Southern Plains for a few days.

A deep (though rather weak) trough has dug in to the Four Corners’ region, though the strongest upper-level winds are on the east side of the trough, meaning it is about to start lifting out north as it reaches the Plains.  A surface low has formed along the southern New Mexico / Texas border, with an associated stationary front (later becoming warm front) lifting up through central Kansas into Iowa.

A dryline will begin to tighten this afternoon in the central Texas Panhandle, with dewpoints in the upper 60s to lower 70s and surface winds from the south/southeast in the warm sector.

CAPE of between 1500 and 2000 J/kg will be possible over the central to east Texas Panhandle (over 3000 in southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma).  0 to 1 km storm-relative helicity values should reach 100 to 200 or greater in the north central Texas Panhandle (0 to 3 km values forecast to reach 300).  Surface to 500mb bulk shear vector forecast to be between 40 and 50 knots over the north Texas Panhandle, but barely reaching 30 knots over the south and east Texas Panhandle.

Although the bulk of storms is likely to form over the Kansas/Oklahoma border along the front, the greater chance for strong to severe storms is along the dryline, near the triple point. A line of storms is likely to form from the central Texas Panhandle up into Kansas by the evening, but I expect some of the storms along the southern end of the line will be supercells that will have the potential for large hail and possibly a tornado or two.

Initial Target: Shamrock/Pampa/Clarendon, Texas

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