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Quincy

General severe weather discussion

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This can be a thread for some of the less significant severe weather days...

Took a gamble and went out to West Texas today. Missed the supercell up near Amarillo and nearly busted the whole chase. Did have some redemption at sunset as a QLCS intensified not far from Lubbock.

 

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I guess I could post this here then... Confirmed tornado SE of Austin a while ago and two TOR warned storms continue in that general area. SPC says watch possible and central TX will be upgraded to slight risk.

And nice shots Quincy! Bummer that you missed out on Amarillo but cool structure on your storm nonetheless.

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Looks like some bureaucratic idiot decided this would be a great day to eliminate the summary graphics on the front page of each NWS forecast office.  Don't see any on Austin-SA, Houston, or DFW, despite potential severe weather today and more rounds this week.  Those were quick, simple, easy, and very informative.  Maybe similar is buried in one of their bazillion links, but I couldn't find any in a quick search.  Just ridiculous.

https://www.weather.gov/ewx/

And to be honest, lately several of the offices have been slow to update their forecasts.  Things the local TV weather pages would be predicting that wouldn't show up on NWS local forecast pages until much later.  Go to bed trusting the NWS forecast of no rain tomorrow while the TV mets were calling for it all day, only to wake up and NWS finally added it in.  And always amusing to see things like the NWS page show current temp of 83 at 11am while the forecast continued to show high of 77 (and no front had passed that day.)   NWS is turning into the Post Office. 

 

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2 hours ago, Witness Protection Program said:

Looks like some bureaucratic idiot decided this would be a great day to eliminate the summary graphics on the front page of each NWS forecast office.  Don't see any on Austin-SA, Houston, or DFW, despite potential severe weather today and more rounds this week.  Those were quick, simple, easy, and very informative.  Maybe similar is buried in one of their bazillion links, but I couldn't find any in a quick search.  Just ridiculous.

https://www.weather.gov/ewx/

And to be honest, lately several of the offices have been slow to update their forecasts.  Things the local TV weather pages would be predicting that wouldn't show up on NWS local forecast pages until much later.  Go to bed trusting the NWS forecast of no rain tomorrow while the TV mets were calling for it all day, only to wake up and NWS finally added it in.  And always amusing to see things like the NWS page show current temp of 83 at 11am while the forecast continued to show high of 77 (and no front had passed that day.)   NWS is turning into the Post Office. 

 

The graphical issues are a NWS wide server problem affecting their websites. Maybe you should keep your uninformed opinions to yourself before calling people idiots. 

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Wasn’t sure whether to use the long range thread or this one but I’ll just put it here. 
 

Looks like the next seven days or so will be unusually quiet over the plains as a deep cutoff forms over the eastern US this week, cutting off moisture return to the plains. However, after this low lifts out ensembles seem to be in fairly good agreement with perhaps some more progressive troughing out west which could lead to an uptick during the climatological peak season. We’ve seen models hinting at better patterns in the long range this year which turned out to not be so great in the end, but in the last half of May it really does not take much to get at least a small event. 

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Today features a chance for isolated tornadoes across SW IA. A surface low will be positioned near the IA/NE border by 00z, this low will gradually pull moisture poleward throughout the afternoon. Impressive low-level cape 100-150J/kg will exist to the southeast of the low this along with easterly SFC flow aiding in decent low-level hodograph curvature, marginal MLCAPE, and low LCLs could create a sneaky day for a couple of tornadoes across this area.

Seeing as to how I’m only about two hours away, I think I’ll give it a swing. Not expecting much, but it’s a fairly short drive. Somewhat ironically last night I was thinking Clarinda, IA was a good target, and Jeff Frame on twitter actually posted this as his hypothetical chase target of the day. 

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1 hour ago, jojo762 said:

Today features a chance for isolated tornadoes across SW IA. A surface low will be positioned near the IA/NE border by 00z, this low will gradually pull moisture poleward throughout the afternoon. Impressive low-level cape 100-150J/kg will exist to the southeast of the low this along with easterly SFC flow aiding in decent low-level hodograph curvature, marginal MLCAPE, and low LCLs could create a sneaky day for a couple of tornadoes across this area.

Seeing as to how I’m only about two hours away, I think I’ll give it a swing. Not expecting much, but it’s a fairly short drive. Somewhat ironically last night I was thinking Clarinda, IA was a good target, and Jeff Frame on twitter actually posted this as his hypothetical chase target of the day. 

Good luck! Iowa seems to surprise on occasion.

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1 hour ago, WhiteoutWX said:

Good luck! Iowa seems to surprise on occasion.

It does. I haven’t cracked its code yet...

Today looks interesting, but I do see a few potential caveats. First, low-level instability looks good, but CAPE profiles aloft should be quite skinny. Second, low level winds are backed, but forecast soundings show only modest enlargement of 0-1km hodographs. Moisture looks sufficient and breaks in the clouds are allowing for some destabilization.

Forcing is a little bit nebulous prior to 00z, but storms could initiate in three regimes:

1. In the narrow warm sector as capping is minimal.

2. Near an effective warm front.

3. On the SW flank of ongoing convection.

It looks like the strongest forcing does not arrive until after sunset. I still think a few storms can initiate, but if upper level support was just a bit faster, I think we’d have a higher ceiling. On the flip side, modest forcing might save this from rapidly blowing up into a sloppy mess. 

I’m interested to see how it turns out. 

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A few tornado warnings in effect in parts of NE Texas and SE Oklahoma with the area of low-topped supercells there in the slight risk area

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The Arklatex setup has some tropical characteristics to it. Definitely not something you’d usually see in May. 

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There are 4 tornado warnings right now in the same area. In the past 3 days, there have been 3 tornado reports on the SPC storm reports.

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18 minutes ago, Quincy said:

The Arklatex setup has some tropical characteristics to it. Definitely not something you’d usually see in May. 

Yeah pretty interesting for the time of year.

6 minutes ago, Chinook said:

There are 4 tornado warnings right now in the same area. In the past 3 days, there have been 3 tornado reports on the SPC storm reports.

I rarely chase and don't have much experience, sort of an armchair kinda person, but I've been looking to go chasing more often (mostly local) and darn I didn't anticipate this; it's only a couple hours away from me. The tornado-warned storms are pretty much lined up from NW to SE, one could just hop down each cell as they see fit (but of course the decision on when to change storms would require more effort and thought). On the other hand, the terrain isn't too ideal in that area and lots of rain happening so I guess that takes away from the likelihood of having a nice view.

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1 hour ago, Quincy said:

The Arklatex setup has some tropical characteristics to it. Definitely not something you’d usually see in May. 

Tbh I had kind of overlooked today’s setup as it’s not really chaseable terrain but it very much resembles a land falling tropical system. On radar at least. Interesting!

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If I didn't know where this was I would have thought tornado warnings from a tropical system as well since the storms are moving to the nw from the se.  Highly unusual for this date and location.  Low topped cells but latest SPC meso indicates a few tornadoes have been reported and areas farther east could be in play as the LLJ ramps up this evening.

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53 minutes ago, TexMexWx said:

Now got a tornado warning south of Omaha, NE

I followed that storm into Iowa. It looked really interesting for a while, but low level rotation was not very focused. Did see a lot of very low hanging appendages though. It died upon crossing into Iowa. 

 

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Was on the same storm as Quincy. Took me a while to leave my original target to go after it... but still made it just in time to at least get some structure w/ a wall cloud. As he stated, wasn’t very much rotation, but altogether not awful given my minimal expectations for the day. 

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Nice little couplet in southern LA approaching Church Point, had a weak TDS associated with it as well. 

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Dragged myself up to Montana for a couple of days... Never chased this far NW before. Today might see a high based supercell. Tomorrow looks more favorable. Either way, deep layer shear is impressive and it doesn’t take much moisture at these elevations...

Wednesday looks like a mess up and down the high plains with unidirectional mid/upper level winds. There should be some backing of low-level flow, but I’m not overly excited at this point. 

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4 hours ago, Quincy said:

Dragged myself up to Montana for a couple of days... Never chased this far NW before. Today might see a high based supercell. Tomorrow looks more favorable. Either way, deep layer shear is impressive and it doesn’t take much moisture at these elevations...

Wednesday looks like a mess up and down the high plains with unidirectional mid/upper level winds. There should be some backing of low-level flow, but I’m not overly excited at this point. 

Good luck! Potential for “better” more interesting chases later on in the week possibly. Don’t get too burnt out on driving by then Quincy!

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Deadly EF3 tornado confirmed from Louisiana yesterday... The atmosphere can really surprise us. Does anyone know what the environment in that area was like at the time of the tornado(es) there? I basically paid no attention to it considering it had been a general t-storm risk area

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1 hour ago, TexMexWx said:

Deadly EF3 tornado confirmed from Louisiana yesterday... The atmosphere can really surprise us. Does anyone know what the environment in that area was like at the time of the tornado(es) there? I basically paid no attention to it considering it had been a general t-storm risk area

I’ll take a look into this...

Had a few transient supercells in Montana today, but the instability axis was too narrow and meager to support anything more. Tomorrow’s setup is in the same general area, except moisture return should be better.

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Quick glance for the deadly Louisiana tornado...

About 35 knots of bulk shear with 500mb winds out of the NW, backing to SW at the surface. Marginal MLCAPE ~500 J/kg, however there was sizable 0-3km MLCAPE around 100 J/kg. A localized area of 200-300 m2/s2 0-1km SRH was also noted. 

LCH didn’t launch a RAOB, but the 00z 5/18 SHV sounding gives a rough idea of the mid to upper profile. There was more backing of low level winds where the tornado occurred, resulting in larger 0-1km hodographs. 
https://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/soundings/20051800_OBS/

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9 hours ago, Quincy said:

Quick glance for the deadly Louisiana tornado...

About 35 knots of bulk shear with 500mb winds out of the NW, backing to SW at the surface. Marginal MLCAPE ~500 J/kg, however there was sizable 0-3km MLCAPE around 100 J/kg. A localized area of 200-300 m2/s2 0-1km SRH was also noted. 

LCH didn’t launch a RAOB, but the 00z 5/18 SHV sounding gives a rough idea of the mid to upper profile. There was more backing of low level winds where the tornado occurred, resulting in larger 0-1km hodographs. 
https://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/soundings/20051800_OBS/

Ah, thank you. I see, and again we're shown how much subtle details matter. Looks like the localized backing of winds and enlargement of the hodographs (among some other ingredients you mentioned of course) really helped turn that storm into a powerful tornadic supercell. And honestly 35 knots of bulk shear sounds like more shear than there's been in most of the setups so far this month, I could be wrong though.

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We've had a couple of tornado warnings east of Pueblo CO that have been for confirmed tornadoes tonight.

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