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andyhb

Predict/Guess the number of tornadoes and the first High Risk of 2013.

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Figured I'd combine the two threads this time, but it is near the start of the new year.

Given the relatively neutral/weak positive ENSO currently and increased likelihood of development of a possible La Nada/transition phase ENSO during the Spring, this could be a fairly active season, accented by the increased snow pack this year over the Northern States and Canada compared to last, which should lead to enhancement of the baroclinic zone (at least earlier on through March and April) should it be largely maintained through the later winter months.

My initial guess for number of tornadoes would probably fall roughly in the 1300-1350 range.

For first high risk, I'll go with April 9th.

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Does the drought monster scare anybody? Could it favor a reduction in activity or shift the favored zones?

I could see an enhancement of the EML east of the Plains given the drought conditions over the High Plains. Texas is no longer in as extensive of a drought situation as it was coming into 2012.

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Does the drought monster scare anybody? Could it favor a reduction in activity or shift the favored zones?

Not really, I think it shifts the zones this time, compared to last winter. Unless the snow cover is removed like last winter at some point this winter, I don't see it being an issue.

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Does the drought monster scare anybody? Could it favor a reduction in activity or shift the favored zones?

For now...a bit.

The drought monitor is obviously not looking good. We'll have to see how things progress between now and March. If there is little to no widespread help across the Plains and issues continue/increase along the Gulf Coast, we'll have problems...

drmon_small.gif

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For now...a bit.

The drought monitor is obviously not looking good. We'll have to see how things progress between now and March. If there is little to no widespread help across the Plains and issues continue/increase along the Gulf Coast, we'll have problems...

drmon_small.gif

I expect the Gulf Coast areas to have a reduction with the recent rains down there and the expectation of more rains through the next few weeks. I could also see a lessening in Texas in that time. Plus the only area in the Gulf Coast that is in a drought is Georgia. Most of the moisture supply for severe weather for this region and into the Lakes originates West of there. So I am unsure what you mean by the Gulf Coast drought increasing, maybe elaborate more on this point.

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Yeah I guess it's too early to get overly concerned about what effects the drought may have. It would be interesting to go back and look at bad droughts heading into spring and see if it had any noticeable effect.

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Yeah I guess it's too early to get overly concerned about what effects the drought may have. It would be interesting to go back and look at bad droughts heading into spring and see if it had any noticeable effect.

I would agree with this, if by chance the valve shuts off down South after the next couple weeks, then I would have some concern. However I don't see that happening.

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I expect the Gulf Coast areas to have a reduction with the recent rains down there and the expectation of more rains through the next few weeks. I could also see a lessening in Texas in that time. Plus the only area in the Gulf Coast that is in a drought is Georgia. Most of the moisture supply for severe weather for this region and into the Lakes originates West of there. So I am unsure what you mean by the Gulf Coast drought increasing, maybe elaborate more on this point.

The BRO-IAH-PTN corridor has to be watched.

While things may change in the times ahead, conditions in TX have actually become a bit worse over the past few weeks.

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The BRO-IAH-PTN corridor has to be watched.

While things may change in the times ahead, conditions in TX have actually become a bit worse over the past few weeks.

If we are talking the Plains states I would agree, if we are talking MS Valley and the Lakes I am going to disagree.

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April 5

1250

For the southern/central Plains, devastating drought raises red flags for moisture problems with most of our early-season setups (prior to late April or so). I imagine it will take an intense low-level cyclone with howling southerlies, like April 14 this year, to manage something noteworthy before May. Once into May and June, it all comes down to the death ridge. As long as it doesn't plague us for the majority of that period, anything is possible any given year, since moisture is typically in greater supply and less likely to mix out because of dry ground. I'll be very surprised if those two months are as bad for the heart of the Plains as 2012, even if they're below-average again.

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Also, given the ongoing drought over the High Plains, a possible eastward shift in the mixing of the dryline may be in order, which could place cities like Tulsa, Omaha, Kansas City, Joplin and Springfield at greater risk.

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Also, given the ongoing drought over the High Plains, a possible eastward shift in the mixing of the dryline may be in order, which could place cities like Tulsa, Omaha, Kansas City, Joplin and Springfield at greater risk.

Yeah that was the problem in 2011 :-\

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Points to consider:

1) We have a healthy snowpack pretty far south.

2) Persistent Plains drought doesn't really show signs of letting up as of yet.

3) We are perhaps seeing the development of a stronger subtropical jet, more indicative of an El Nino pattern, but we also seem to have traces of a La Nina pattern, with recent highly amplified polar jet shortwave troughs recently, such as the Christmas storm.

I felt pretty decent about some of my 2012 predictions given where we were at this point last year. Granted, skills for long-range tornado forecasting is near zero, but there were some apparent signs to what was going to transpire in 2012. In 2013, the signs conflict. Will the subtropical jet become more dominant, or will we still be affected by high-amplitude polar jet shortwave disturbances in Spring 2013? For my prediction, I'll assume the former, since we are in positive ENSO right now, though weakly. Second, will the Plains drought lessen or become even more severe? Given the answer to #1, I'm going to assume it'll lessen some.

Combine those two factors and the snowpack situation, I'm guessing that JFMA tornado activity remains confined pretty far south and relatively limited (though I wouldn't rule out a decent FL event). I expect May and June to be pretty active on the Plains and into the Midwest and even Southeast, especially the central and northern Plains in late May and June.

So my predictions are:

First High Risk: May 4th

Number of 2013 tornadoes: 1400

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Good stuff Tony. I'll add on that any Polar jet disturbances that do make their presence known could be enhanced by phasing with a more active STJ, which could lead to some events. With those two storms in December on the 19th to the 20th and the Christmas storm, those would both likely be blockbuster events (the Christmas one was impressive for December) should something similar occur during the Spring.

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Just a quick note in that I agree the threat will shift East this year. The question that remains is how much more snowpack will transpire after our January thaw? I saw a tweet from Allan mentioning that IND was close to having their snowiest Dec on record. Let's see what the future holds come February/March for snowfall.

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Just based on which wind direction seems to lead to a cap of forged steel over Houston, and where I would naturally *think* (don't know) where (based on elevation) capping tends to come from, I suspect the US drought maps wouldn't be as good as the drought conditions in/around WxMx's territory in Nuevo Leon.

 

Cold air instrusions into the Gulf would affect dewpoints everywhere, and it seems a cold Northwest Gulf (shelf waters) can lead to low overcast that can prevent insolation and the cap breaking for some distance inland, maybe past Dallas as I can recall even in the Metroplex for potential severe situations.

 

1351, April 1st.

 

 

ETA  Would like to see a red tagger or hardcore severe weenie discuss cap strength and whether there is a  quality versus quantity relationship between weaker caps and stronger but not unbreakable caps. 

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