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Everything posted by Quincy

  1. Saw a brief cone tornado around 4:05ish to the east of Happy, just before passing through the canyon. Interestingly, the cell embedded in the north side of that cell is the long-tracker that keeps going.
  2. May have spoken too soon. 20z AMA RAOB shows VBV in the mid-levels, but can’t argue with how it’s evolving now. Oof.
  3. I was chasing the storms around Nazereth, but it was very messy. Lots of blowing dust and haze. Cool inflow as well. Not gospel, but car thermo was showing 63-65F. Saw plenty of scud/appendages, but it looks like it’s forming a line. The road network doesn’t give much breathing room, so heading toward the Caprock. Low level lapse rates are still marginal across the SE panhandle region, but better moisture and modest heating appears to be advecting that way. Messy so far, but not that far off from CAM solutions.
  4. Will throw this surface map in here for reference. 71/62 at CDS now.
  5. Definitely a different setup, although the time of year and placement of the greatest tornado risk are similar. That event had a broader risk area up and down the high plains. The one similarity would be some bulging of the dryline in the Texas panhandle. A key difference is 3/18/12 had a surface low in Wyoming and here we’re looking at a surface low in the Texas panhandle with a focused threat area near and immediately east of the dryline bulge/triple point vicinity. Despite some residual cloudiness, CDS has shot up to 68/62 as of 17z. Vernon, TX is up to 75F already. Lubbock is 63F, but you can interpolate that 70s are not far away. Moisture quality is often a concern this early in the season, but not so much today. Mesoanalysis shows a broad area of >8 C/km 700-500mb lapse rates across NW Texas. Wind fields are very favorable. Even though mid/upper level winds are SW, the initiating boundary should be draped NNW-SSE. Surface winds are backed to southeasterly. Seems to be a fairly solid setup with the only caveat being some storm mode concerns. Even there, you could see a long lived supercell or two, even if cells get a bit clustered. Let’s see what 2021 has to offer.
  6. I think we went all of May without a single moderate risk? This image is both staggering and telling about the past few months. The lack of tornado watches across the Plains, north and northwest of the I-44 corridor is remarkable. Just ridiculous having gotten through most of the peak tornado season...
  7. With the cold front/pseudo dryline surging so fast, storm motions were more N/NNW than I expected. Any storms that tried to turn right seemed to get undercut. I witnessed a brief funnel cloud near Axtell, KS, otherwise everything else was fairly junky. Maybe the relatively small 0-1km SRH away from the immediate surface low was another issue.
  8. Not only is one low 990s surface low strange this time of the year, but we have two... I remember looking at the 00z NSSL showing mid-70s dew points in NE Kansas and I thought it was out to lunch. Seeing 72-74 Tds pretty common over there right now. LCLs are relatively low considering surface temps surpassing 90F, but that moist advection has really helped. It’s an odd setup and I couldn’t find a close analog for this time of the year. Very intrigued to see how it plays out.
  9. Tornado watch forthcoming for the central/eastern part of the KS/NE border area. Looking at obs, satellite and short-term guidance, there aren’t many negatives betting against the tornado threat. Yes, there is some backing of upper level winds and storms may cluster a bit... With that said, there’s already 2000-3000 J/kg MLCAPE wrapping around a seasonably impressive (near record low) surface low. Dew points are in the upper 60s to lower 70s, there is considerable backing of low-level winds and large low-level instability is evident. Storms should initiate soon near and just east of the surface low. Though narrow, the warm sector looks to be oriented favorably for storms to take advantage of the conducive environment for several hours. The main limiting factor may be mixed/merging storm modes, but a long-lived supercell or two appears possible. Storms farther north may have a tendency to run into cooler air, where winds are more out of the northeast, as opposed to southeast farther south.
  10. I chased central Nebraska today. I was on the supercell that apparently produced a brief tornado near Arnold. Terrain was an obstacle both visually and WRT navigation. Prominent structure with the storm, either way.
  11. Red flags up all over the place today. To mix it up, I’m focusing on the disadvantages of each storm chase target. I still wouldn’t rule out a diamond in the rough somewhere, but today looks like another convective mess.
  12. I played the southern target, not really expecting much. At least I had a severe storm this time. However, I bailed on the one right-moving storm that by some accounts produced a brief tornado in NE South Dakota. Go figure. I drove less than 300 miles in total, which is low for a chase day. Much better than hauling up to ND, even though that fluky storm near Ashley produced. Lots of failure modes today, including:
  13. The NW MN/far NE ND area looks maximized for tornado potential. Dew points already in the mid to upper 60s with a warm front gradually lifting north. Some of that risk probably spills into Canada, but I think the front in NW MN is where the best shot at prolonged discrete/semi-discrete supercells is. There could be a secondary area farther south in South Dakota, particularly the tail end of where convection unzips along a front. Between the two areas, it’s probably quick to upscale growth. One positive factor is the cold front looks slow-moving at best, maybe acting more like a stationary front. That may allow for a few storms to thread the semi-discrete needle, but we’ll see.
  14. Ongoing derecho across the High Plains. It’s not too common to see such expansive convective systems so far west in the states. The lack of discrete activity ahead of the line may have helped maximize potential instability downstream as well. Moderate risk is in effect for widespread damaging winds.
  15. Barring some evening miracle, today’s prospects for any surface-based supercells appear to be cooked.
  16. Chased a lone supercell in a general thunderstorm area today. CAMs were inconsistent, but the environment easily favored a supercell. Started near Lusk, WY and ended up near Chadron, NE.
  17. The ridge across the Central Plains should begin to break down this weekend. At the same time, a belt of seasonably strong upper level winds (60-80kts at 500mb) should pivot around the base of a Great Basin/Rockies trough. The trough will gradually move east, impinging on favorable low level moisture and thermodynamic profiles for severe storms Saturday through Monday. The action starts Saturday with a large area of convective activity likely from the Rockies into the High Plains and eastward across the Dakotas. At this point, convective modes look to be mixed with one or more sizable MCSs developing. The setup resets for Sunday and there is the potential for a break in the action as capping prevails during much of the day. The focus appears to be over the Dakotas/Minnesota vicinity. Convective modes could be more discrete than Saturday, but there is still a lot of time for the forecast to evolve. Yet another active severe weather day is possible on Monday, but models begin to diverge to some degree and Cristobal may influence the upper level pattern as well. Regardless, more severe storms may be possible from the eastern Dakotas/mid-Missouri Valley into the Upper Midwest. Throughout the period, deep layer shear will be more than sufficient for organized severe storms, along with dew-points rising through the 60s and sizable instability profiles. Saturday could even get a bit interesting over the Rockies, where seasonably impressive wind profiles may overlay just enough instability (generally less than 1,000 J/kg) for high terrain severe storms as well.
  18. Edwards from SPC sampled 3.2” hail from that storm:
  19. Chased the initial, easternmost supercell in South Dakota today. Managed to avoid the hail and didn’t have issues with the reservations, as the storm curved right and stayed over open road networks.
  20. Doole, TX, it’s northwest of Brady, about midway between Brownwood and San Angelo.
  21. Attempted to chase today. With no radar or other data for four hours, when storms initiated, I decided I’d play as far south as possible. That seemed to be a good idea. The tail end of a cluster of convection broke off into supercells that paralleled I-10 down to San Antonio. I ended up in two tornado warnings, but neither storm had noteworthy low-level rotation. I had to dodge supercells on both sides of San Antonio before calling it a night. It was probably the worst Verizon black hole I’ve encountered anywhere in the Plains. Only parts of eastern Colorado could possibly rival it.
  22. I've taken a closer look at tomorrow's threat across Texas... Area averaged sounding from the 00z hrrr at 20z/3 p.m. CDT for approximately a four county area just west of Waco shows that convective initiation (CI) is imminent. Convective temperatures are in the mid-80s and that is the same from other high resolution CAMs as well. Note that low-level shear is weak and even the 850mb jet is much weaker than you'll see under most ENH risk areas. With that said, deep layer shear is more than sufficient for supercells and moderate CAPE profiles thanks to cool temperatures aloft should result in several large to potentially very large hail producing storms. While not particularly large, 0-3km hodographs are enlarged, thanks to NW winds at 500mb backing to S/SE at 850mb. In addition to weak low-level shear, seasonably lackluster dew-points seem to imply that the tornado threat is very limited during the first few hours of storm development. (dew only around 60F in the initiation zone at this latitude in late May is unimpressive) Most CAMs show an initially supercellular storm mode, but the NSSL and multiple WRF members show clustering/upscale growth within a couple of hours. The HRRR, HRRRv4 and 3km NAM hold onto a semi-discrete mode until at least 22-23z, before things get messier toward 00z. It's hard to predict MCS evolution since the CAMs are not in the best agreement, but I would think that the highest risk for a damaging MCS would be near/east of I-35 after 22z. An MCS seems very likely by 00-01z, moving toward the Texas coast during the night. Basically, on the lower end of expectations, I'd think there are a couple of initially supercellular storms that produce large to possibly very large hail before storms grow upscale. If storm modes remain more discrete, as storms encounter an air-mass with richer low-level moisture to the southeast and the low-level jet, then the tornado threat may increase. If we dissect the tornado threat, I'd say it's very low, but non-zero through 6 p.m. and then increases toward sunset, assuming storms are still at least semi-discrete by that point.