Main WEATHERAHOLIC Page
WANT A FEW VIDEOS?
- Here's a short clip of the tornado that we chased on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. We witnessed it from birth until just a couple of miles short of its death --- from north of Solomon, KS to east of Chapman, KS --- which was a total track length of approximately 25 miles during its 90 minutes on the ground.
- How about a little "Brain Lightning"?
- Here's a "BEST OF" collection of photos from my 2015 chase!
- Check out the new videos from El Reno, OK that I uploaded to YouTube! You can find them here.
- There's also video from the Bennington, KS tornado, as well... which can be found here on YouTube and also here on Vimeo.
- I even went back and over-enhanced the contrast on a portion of my El Reno video, to make it even more obvious how enormous that monster really was. You can now see that short clip here on YouTube.
Due to Google's updates to their GOOGLE SITES software and layouts, much of what I had previously in the WEATHERAHOLIC web page is either missing or not fully functional at this time. As time permits during this 2018 chase season, I will attempt to resolve the miscellaneous problems. It is likely, however, that I will not be able to spend a whole lot of time on it until I return to Florida, after the chase has completed. In the meantime, I will try my best to keep you updated here, on the main page. As always, you should be able to keep up with the latest on my Twitter page, which you can find HERE, and also on my Facebook page, which is HERE.
Thanks very much for your understanding.
2018May26 @ 1130 CDT: Yesterday's chase was incredible! We got onto an interesting cell southwest of Shamrock, TX, and it really put on a show for us! No, we didn't get a tornado out of it, but it was gorgeous nonetheless. An amazing dust storm developed out in front of it, which gave things an other-worldly look... along with an awful lot of grit in our eyes, clothes and camera lenses! *lol* Then, later, a beautiful shelf cloud appearance developed. Just beautiful. I am just now starting to work on the hundreds of photos that I took, so I'll be sure to post the link for the "best of" shots later.
As for today, we just left Wichita Falls, TX, and since there's nothing for us to chase today, we're just heading back to Norman, OK. We will meet up with the Tour 3 chasers tonight for a group dinner, sharing tales from our last two weeks here in Tornado Alley. As always, it has been a blast!
2018May25 @ 0920 CDT: Yesterday's chase was a bust, with an early cell located west of Roswell, NM, that looked a bit interesting for a while, but then it faded into oblivion. Having nothing else to chase (other than an abandoned missile silo in the vicinity *smirk*), we headed for Lubbock, TX, to align ourselves for today's chase. For some shots from yesterday, CLICK HERE.
And the chase for today does not appear to have much of an opportunity for tornadoes, but it looks like there will be sufficient reason to chase anyway. Who knows what kind of good stuff we might encounter!
2018May24 @ 1820 CDT: Apologies for the late post today. I actually MEANT to process pictures and get everything done after I got to the hotel last night, but my eyelids simply would not remain open. In any case, here's a wrap-up of yesterday's chase and today, so far...
Our chase led us back to the Roswell, NM, area, and WOW, what a day we had! Along the way, coming from the Van Horn, TX, area where we had spent the previous night, we noticed a few cells popping up to the west of Roswell. Pretty soon, we heard that a funnel had been spotted on it... and then, just a few minutes later, word came through that Roger Hill (Silver Lining Tours) had reported a tornado on the ground about 6-8 miles west of his location. We couldn't get there before it lifted, but kept tracking the cell after we did get into position for it. Long story short, we didn't see a tornado, but we DID get to see some of the nicest structure that I have seen yet in Tornado Alley!
If you would like to see some photos from the day, just click on THIS LINK.
So for today, we decided to stick around Roswell and chase cells around there before heading to Lubbock, TX for the night. Sadly, the lone cell that popped up this afternoon was weak to start, and never got its act together, so we finally gave up on it. Hopefully there will be better luck tomorrow!
2018May23 @ 1230 MDT: Sorry for the delay with my posts here. After the rainfall in my hotel room, I ended up having some laptop difficulties. After a little surgery, I have it up and running once again. (Keep your fingers crossed that the fix holds!)
In any case, our chase yesterday ended up being AMAZING! No, we didn't see a tornado, but we were fortunate enough to see some fantastic structure and lots of awesome lightning near Alpine, TX! If you want to see photos from the day, click on THIS LINK.
For today, we have made our way back into New Mexico and have hopes of seeing some storms later this afternoon. Tornado probability is near zero, but we will chase the storms anyway!
2018May22 @ 1145 MDT: Yesterday's chase extended all the way into the hills west of Roswell, NM... and then it up and died on us. Ugh! Then we found a suitable place (Farley's) to remember Chris Curtis on the fifth anniversary of his death. We miss you, Chris! GO HERE for some shots from the day (and night).
Later, after I got into bed for a nice night's rest, with a thunderstorm going on outside (which just lulls me into a wonderful sleep), I suddenly got the feeling that it was raining in my room... and it was! My ceiling was leaking! Long story short, it was a long night with very little sleep. For a few shots of what was happening in my room overnight, just CLICK HERE.
So now we have left Roswell, NM, and are heading back into Texas in the hopes of something to chase. Negligible chances of a tornado down there, but we'll give it a go, nonetheless!
2018May21 @ 1145 CDT: After a Cracker Barrel breakfast, now we're bound for New Mexico... specifically, the Roswell area, as it looks for the moment. Tornado chances are slim-to-nil, but perhaps we can get into some hail and hopefully see some nice structure.
2018May21 @ 0920 CDT: Yesterday we made the L-O-N-G trek from Miami, OK to Amarillo, TX, home of the BIG TEXAN... where we gorged ourselves on delicious steak and huge pieces of chocolate cake. Hey, when we're not chasing storms, we're chasing FOOD! *lol* As always, it was fantastic! I was finally able to have their porterhouse steak, a 24-oz. slab of meat that melts in your mouth. Mmmmmmmm... So good! If you care to see photos from the day, just click on THIS LINK.
As for today, I am wondering if we will head for far western Texas, and the 2% chance of tornadoes. As I recall, that's a somewhat difficult area to chase, given the limited road options, but perhaps we will try anyway. Time will tell!
2018May20 @ 1200 CDT: Well, yesterday's chase was MADDENING, to say the least. We simply couldn't keep up with the cells in SE Kansas as they blew eastward, and even if we had been able to do so, there really wouldn't have been much to see on them anyway.
SoooOOOooo... no chase today, other than to chase restaurants. Specifically, it's the Big Texan, in Amarillo. And it's my turn to sit up front, so I'm gonna have a wonderful view of... blue skies. *lol*
And even though I didn't get any weather-related photos, I did get a few other shots from our day. To see them, just go to THIS LINK.
2018May19 @ 1400 CDT: Yesterday's chase took us EVER SO CLOSE to catching our first tornado for Tour 2! After chasing several cells of interest, we locked in on one just north of Colby, KS, and it was a beauty! Unfortunately, after watching it for a while, it went HP (high precipitation) before it could produce for us. Apparently there were several other chasers that reported seeing a funnel (that did not touch down) from their vantage point on another quadrant of the cell, but we never saw it. All in all, though we had a good, but long, chase day.
For today, we initially targeted the Bennington, KS, area, but as conditions progressed, we moved our area of interest a bit, looking a bit further to the south. Wish us luck!
Oh, and for photos from yesterday, just go to THIS LINK.
2018May18 @ 0920 MDT: Apologies for not posting here yesterday! I had a few "technical difficulties," and I have some catching up to do! Everything is fine now (I hope!), so let's get right to it...
- Monday, 2018May14: This day's chase took us to southeastern, then eastern, Colorado and western Kansas. It was a long drive getting there, but we were rewarded by a remarkable hail core encounter somewhere in the vicinity of Weskan, KS, where there were absolutely white-out conditions! The hail just kept on coming! I saw many that were golf ball size, but larger stuff was reported on that particular cell. It was unbelievable! Sorry, but I don't have photos or video that can do it justice, but here are the day's photos nonetheless: Monday Photos
- Tuesday, 2018May15: Tuesday's chase took us to the Kiowa, CO area, where we watched a couple of nice cells and enjoyed the scenery in Colorado. Several of our group saw one --- perhaps two --- funnels drop from the northern cell, and there are photos of one funnel, but I missed it (them). It was pretty quick, I guess! *lol* Here are the day's shots: Tuesday Photos
- Wednesday, 2018May16: This was just a tourist-and-travel day for us. We went to Garden of the Gods, near Colorado Springs (which is absolutely beautiful!), and then we meandered our way north, into Nebraska, to try to position ourselves for Thursday's chase. Here are a few photos: Wednesday Photos
- Thursday, 2018May17: This was a real tease of a chase day. We headed for the most likely area of interest, and then the cell would wither and die. And again... and again... until we finally decided to call it a day and go get some dinner. After dinner, we were treated to a nice sunset, crepuscular AND anti-crepuscular rays and some nice lightning! Then we put some miles behind us to get into better position for tomorrow's chase, likely in southern Kansas. Here are a few shots: Thursday Photos
As for today, I'm not sure yet where we will be headed. Charles will let us know pretty soon, though! Looking beyond, though, tomorrow looks VERY promising for central to northeastern Kansas!
2018May16 @1210 MDT: We're going to be tourists today, since there's really nothing to chase. Presently bound for Colorado Springs and "Garden of the Gods"... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_of_the_Gods
2018May16 @ 0915 MDT: Yesterday's chase took us to the Kiowa, CO area, where we watched a couple of nice cells and enjoyed the scenery in Colorado. Several of our group saw one --- perhaps two --- funnels drop from the northern cell, and there are photos of one of them, but I missed it (them). It was pretty quick, I guess! *lol*
In any case, I'm not sure what today will bring, but my guess is that it will be a travel day, to try to set up for tomorrow and beyond... possibly in western Nebraska. We shall see!
2018May15 @ 0915 MDT: Yesterday's chase took us to southeastern, then eastern, Colorado and western Kansas. It was a long drive getting there, but we were rewarded by a remarkable hail core encounter somewhere in the vicinity of Weskan, KS, where there were absolutely white-out conditions! The hail just kept on coming! I saw many that were golf ball size, but larger stuff was reported on that particular cell. It was unbelievable! Sorry, but I don't have photos or video that can do it justice.
As for today... gosh... Given that we are presently in western Kansas, I wonder which area of interest we might choose? Such a tough decision... *lol*
2018May14 @ 1115 CDT: Yesterday was a really nice way to begin our tour! We made our way NW to the Canadian, TX, area, and played around there for a while. Nice hail, up to golf ball size, some surprisingly good storm structure and a great light show as well! (You can see a few photos by going HERE.) Then we made our way back to Alva, OK, to move closer to where the action might be for today.
...however, that ended up not being the case. It now looks like our best odds are to head to Colorado, so we've grabbed a quick bite to eat and are en route to the vicinity of Campo. Wish us luck!
2018May13 @1230 CDT: We're leaving Norman, OK now, heading northwest for some marginal tornado opportunities later today. Most likely a wind-and-hail event, but one never knows what might happen as the day progresses!
2017Jun03 @ 0845 CDT: Tornado risk today in Wisconsin, and we need to get back to Oklahoma City in time to fly out tomorrow. Hmmm... That's a whole bunch of NOPE!
2017Jun02 @ 0830 CDT: Today's post is just a continuation of yesterday's NOTHING... and, most likely, tomorrow's as well. *sigh* Oh well... We've had lots of fun!
2017Jun01 @ 0845 CDT: Ugh! Things are looking increasingly bleak for us... Three more days before Tour 2 finishes, and the setup doesn't look very promising. :-(
2017May31 @ 0830 CDT: A whole bunch of "Nope!" Once again, the 2% area for tornadoes is WAYYYYY out of our territory... but maybe we can salvage a chase down here in Kansas nonetheless...
...Central Plains to Ozarks...
Multiple rounds of isolated to scattered thunderstorms are possible through this evening in the general vicinity of the frontal zone, with outflow/differential-heating boundaries acting as foci south of the front as well. Sporadic strong/damaging gusts and severe hail are expected, with the greatest aggregated concentration of convection and severe potential probable over the 15% hail/wind risk areas. The most favorable low/middle-level wind profiles and shear (with isolated supercell organization possible) should be near the front in the western part of the combined risk area, across the central High Plains, where strong veering with height is expected despite modest midlevel flow. Meanwhile the greatest convective coverage should be from central KS into southwestern MO, where organized multicells and some clusters and small bows are possible. A corridor of relatively maximized low-level moisture should advect into a deepening boundary layer near the frontal zone, with dew points upper 50s to mid 60s F. Still, well-mixed subcloud layers are possible in support of gust/hail potential. The air mass will destabilize through the day as pockets of relatively maximized surface heating develop in the wake of morning clouds/convection, contributing to MLCAPE 1000-2000 J/kg, amidst effective-shear magnitudes 30-40 kt.
2017May30 @ 0900 CDT: Hmmm... I'm gonna go way out on a limb here and say that no, we will NOT be going for this 2% tornado risk area today. *lol* But perhaps we can get into some hail and high winds down here in eastern Kansas... and maybe, just maybe, an isolated supercell might produce a funnel for us? Let's hope!
2017May29 @ 0830 CDT: Yesterday was just a day for us to relocate (back to Shawnee, OK), do some laundry, hit the nearest Wally World, get some good Italian food and just generally recharge our batteries after the last surge of long day/short night chasing. And it looks like there will be no chase today for us, either. We'll probably just start drifting north for future chases in Kansas or points further north...
2017May28 @ 0930 CDT: Damn! Yesterday's chase was a bust, but Mother Nature sometimes throws you curve balls. Today's not looking too good. Multi-cellular crap down in Texas... Will we go for it? My gut tells me NO... but I'll just have to wait and see.
2017May27 @ 0945 CDT: What a great chase day we had yesterday! No tornadoes, but we saw some phenomenal structure! Photos are available HERE. Following a VERY short night (extremely!) and a quality breakfast (not!), we have left Salina and are headed south. Given the setup for today, we're all hoping for a great chase day!
...Lower Missouri Valley, Ozarks to Ohio Valley and Red River...
The ongoing convection over northeastern KS was forecast by most of the synoptic and high-res progs initializing from 00-09Z to weaken and shrink much sooner than evident in current coverage/intensity.
This casts some uncertainty on the northern and western parts of the outlook area, in two ways:
1. Whether this initial convection and related isallobaric perturbation will evolve into or directly influence the eventual/expected major wind-producing MCS as it encounters diurnally destabilizing air over eastern KS and western MO, and/or
2. The influence of the trailing outflow boundary on subsequent thunderstorm potential over south-central/southeastern KS.
Thunderstorms either developing along this boundary, or crossing it from behind, should gain access to surface-based inflow and expand/intensify rapidly.
In either event, the downshear air mass will be very favorable for upscale organization of a forward-propagating, potentially derecho-producing MCS. Significant-severe/hurricane-force thunderstorm gusts and numerous damage reports are possible in the moderate-risk area. An upgrade may be warranted later today. However, uncertainties related to influence of the ongoing activity and timing of greatest storm organization preclude offering any more-focused unconditional probabilities at this time. In addition to wind, line-embedded/tornadic circulations are possible. Embedded supercells may occur, especially in any frontal backbuilding that may occur toward northeastern/central OK late afternoon and evening.
Very steep midlevel lapse rates will overlie a richly moist and strongly heated boundary layer containing upper 60s to mid 70s F surface dew points and 15-18 g/kg mean mixing ratios. This yields MLCAPE locally exceeding 6000 J/kg in forecast soundings southeast of the cold front and outflows, and east of the dryline, from the western Ozarks across eastern OK to the Red River, amidst effective-shear magnitudes of 45-55 kt. Such extreme instability is near record levels, based on historic soundings. The CAPE-shear parameter space appears comparable to a fast-developing, dryline-initiated supercell/tornado event on 26 May 1997 in eastern OK, but with the added risk this time of a derecho on the northeast side. Such extreme instability will support explosive growth of thunderstorms that do break the cap -- whether through forced ascent on a cold pool or front, or in any discrete to semi-discrete cells that can move off the dryline. Dryline-storm risk is conditional and more isolated due to the strong EML and related CINH, but also potentially dangerous with giant hail of 3-5 inches in diameter and significant tornadoes possible. By late evening, a swath of convection should extend from the Ohio Valley into southern OK and perhaps north TX, with the overall severe threat diminishing overnight.
2017May26 @ 0915 MDT: Yesterday's chase was a surprisingly good one! I had expected hail and high winds, but in addition, we got to see some nice structure, decent rotation (*almost* got to see a tornado or two) and some of the most incredible RFD that I have ever witnessed! Pictures are HERE. Today's setup looks to begin in Colorado, with hail and high winds likely... though there's a chance of a tornado or two. Tomorrow looks far better, but in southeastern Oklahoma. Whenever today's chase finishes, we'll probably have a L-O-N-G drive to put ourselves into position for tomorrow. It looks to be worth it, though, because the setup looks pretty darn good!
...Central High Plains...
Only minor adjustments are made to the outlook to reflect most-probable zones for convective development and motion this afternoon and evening, with strong MLCINH imparting lower confidence in initiation southward through the southern High Plains. Widely scattered to locally scattered thunderstorms are expected to develop this afternoon with heating of higher elevations in the western part of the outlook, from eastern WY southward over eastern CO to the Raton Mesa area. The main concerns will be large hail and locally severe gusts, aided by a well-mixed subcloud layer. A tornado cannot be ruled out.
The upslope component will aid low-level lift, storm-relative boundary-layer flow and vertical shear. Sufficient deep shear will exist across this corridor (i.e., effective-shear magnitudes of 45-60 kt and effective SRH potentially exceeding 200 J/kg) to support both discrete supercells and -- where storm mode gets relatively dense and clustered to organize a cold pool -- bow-echo development. Activity should move eastward for several hours into this evening across portions of western KS and southwestern NE, ultimately weakening below severe levels as it encounters progressively deeper, more stable boundary layer. However, widely scattered thunderstorms may persist farther eastward across KS tonight with elevated inflow from a 40-45-kt southerly LLJ.
2017May25 @ 0845 CDT: We ended up playing around at Palo Duro Canyon yesterday (just south of Amarillo) before heading north... spending the night in Liberal, KS, hoping to be in position for the possibility of some storms to chase today in western Kansas. This morning's discussion by the SPC is a bit disappointing in that regard, unfortunately, but maybe we can get an isolated cell or two. The predictions for the next few days look pretty good, though, so hopefully we can have a nice run of chase days. Keep your fingers crossed!
...Central High Plains...
An upper low will continue to move eastward over the northern Plains and nearby Canadian prairies while a trailing shortwave trough digs southward over the northern intermountain region and parts of the Great Basin. This scenario will lead to height falls and a general strengthening of mid-level westerlies from the Rockies into the north-central High Plains. While low-level moisture will be somewhat lacking (surface dewpoints 40s to lower 50s F), lee-side cyclogenesis and a sharpening lee trough will contribute to increase in low-level upslope flow and a gradual moistening through the afternoon and evening into the central High Plains.
It is likely that initial storm development will occur this afternoon across parts of northern CO/southern WY and subsequently increase and spread east-southeastward into the high plains of northeast CO/western NE. Adequate moisture and deep-layer shear in the presence of steep lapse rates will support a few supercells capable of large hail, with some severe-caliber winds a possibility as well, particularly as storms potentially grow upscale as they spread southeastward into far southwest NE and northwest KS (and possibly even north-central KS) through the late afternoon and evening hours.
2017May24 @ 0830 CDT: There is an enhanced risk of tornadoes today, but it's halfway across the country from us! Things start swinging back toward our territory tomorrow, though, and Friday/Saturday looks pretty darn good!
2017May23 @ 0850 CDT: We had a pretty decent chase day yesterday east and southeast of Lubbock, TX, with some nice structure and a some pretty decent hail. The cell that we were following never got its act together with rotation, though, so no funnels for us. :-( Now it looks like we will have a couple of down days until things get cranked back up farther north on Thursday.
2017May22 @ 1000 CDT: The 1300z update is out, and our area of interest now has a 2% chance of tornadoes. We've left Norman, OK and are headed toward Lubbock, TX.
...Southern High Plains...
Beneath a plume of steep mid-level lapse rates noted in 12Z observed soundings, weak low-level upslope trajectories will maintain modest boundary layer moisture across west TX into eastern NM today. This scenario should result in as much as 1000-1500 J/kg of MLCAPE by peak heating especially across east-central/southeast NM into west/southern TX including the TX south Plains and Permian Basin vicinities. Storms are likely to initially develop and intensify through early/mid-afternoon across eastern NM.
In the presence of strengthening west-northwesterly mid/high-level winds, more than adequate buoyancy and vertical shear will exist for supercells capable of large hail. These storms are likely to spread east/southeastward into west/southwest TX by late afternoon, with a continued large hail risk and an increasing potential for severe-caliber wind gusts as storm mergers occur. These storms may reach parts of the Edwards Plateau and Low Rolling Plains by late evening.
2017May22 @ 0730 CDT: Looks like very little chance of seeing any tornadoes today, but perhaps some hail and (maybe?) some photogenic structure in the panhandle?
...Southern high Plains to parts of central and north Texas...
Modest return of boundary-layer moisture into the southern high Plains is expected to continue, which combined with diurnal heating will support some destabilization away from areas of lingering early-day convection/cloud cover. As a result, expect redevelopment of storms over the higher terrain of eastern New Mexico during the afternoon.
With moderate westerly/west-northwesterly mid-level cyclonic flow across this area during the afternoon atop low-level southeasterlies, favorably veering/increasing flow with height suggests potential for a few organized/rotating updrafts to evolve within stronger storms. Large hail and locally damaging winds will be possible with the initially cellular activity.
With time, several CAM runs suggest some upscale evolution of the high-plains convection into east-southeastward-moving bands into the evening hours. Should this occur, risk for locally damaging winds would likely expand across parts of western toward central Texas, possibly persisting through the evening hours.
2017May21 @ 0900 CDT: Hmmm... It sure looks like Day 1 of Tour 2 will *not* involve a storm chase. Perhaps a run to Amarillo and the Big Texan instead?
2017May20 @ 1600 CDT: Sorry for the late update today, but after yesterday's Oklahoma/Texas chase (which netted us some nice structure and some hail), we opted to head back to Norman, OK and home base (Days Inn)... since there was going to be nothing to chase today. So that means that Tour 1 is over now, from a chasing perspective, and the Tour 2 folks are arriving for that tour to officially begin tomorrow (when, once again, it would appear that there will be nothing to chase... *sigh*). Regardless, the chasers from both tours will have a chance to meet each other tonight, and that's always fun.
Beyond tomorrow, it looks like there will be something to chase on Monday, so keep your fingers crossed for that!
2017May19 @ 0925 CDT: THREE TORNADOES YESTERDAY!!! Wooohoooo!!! Photos are coming (and possibly one video as well), after I get a chance to sort through and process everything. Needless to say, it was a GREAT chase day for Cloud 9 Tours! For today, though, we still have a chance to see some good stuff before we have to head back to Norman, OK and home base at the Days Inn there. Tour 1 will be coming to an end, and we'll be picking up all of the Tour 2 folks. I hope Mother Nature will put on one great final show for Tour 1 before she calms down and sets up for the next wave of storms!
...Southern Plains to Ozarks...
The extensiveness of Thursday night's storms and related convective overturning across parts of the region, along with additional ongoing early-morning development, complicate the forecast scenario. These factors cast some uncertainty regarding the location of peak severe risk later today ahead of an east/southeastward-moving cold front.
Strong to severe thunderstorms have been common through the overnight within a corridor across the Low Rolling Plains of west-central TX into western parts of north TX. These storms may continue to grow upscale early today and persist east/northeastward across north-central with some severe risk continuing, although the low-level jet and related inflow should diurnally weaken. Multiple storm-scale scenarios are plausible including diurnal eastward persistence within a destabilizing air mass and/or a gradual morning decay with subsequent redevelopment this afternoon across north-central TX and south-central/southeast OK along eastern peripheral outflow. Either scenario seems to suggest that a semi-focused severe corridor is most evident across north-central TX into parts of southern OK.
2017May18 @ 0930 CDT: Soooooo... What will today's chase bring? A modern day Armageddon, as the predictions suggest? ...or a bust? Time will tell... For now, though, you can go back and check out some photos from Tuesday's chase, which may be found by going HERE. And all of my 2017 chase photos can be found by going to THIS LINK.
SPC AC 181243
Day 1 Convective Outlook
NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
0743 AM CDT Thu May 18 2017
Valid 181300Z - 191200Z
...THERE IS A HIGH RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS FROM PARTS OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN KANSAS TO NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA...
...THERE IS A MODERATE RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS SURROUNDING THE HIGH RISK FROM WESTERN OKLAHOMA TO CENTRAL KANSAS...
...THERE IS AN ENHANCED RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS SURROUNDING THE MODERATE RISK FROM PARTS OF NORTHWEST TEXAS TO PARTS OF SOUTHEASTERN COLORADO...NORTHERN KANSAS AND EXTREME WESTERN MISSOURI...
...THERE IS A SLIGHT RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS SURROUNDING THE ENHANCED RISK AND EXTENDING INTO EASTERN COLORADO...WESTERN MISSOURI...EXTREME SOUTHERN NEBRASKA...AND THE TEXAS RIO GRANDE VALLEY NEAR DEL RIO...
...THERE IS A SLIGHT RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS FROM NORTHEASTERN INDIANA TO WESTERN NEW ENGLAND...
...THERE IS A MARGINAL RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS SURROUNDING BOTH SLIGHT RISKS AND BETWEEN THEM OVER THE MID MISSISSIPPI VALLEY...
An outbreak of severe thunderstorms with tornadoes, very large hail and wind damage is expected to develop across parts of the southern and central Plains from this afternoon into this evening and overnight. Some strong, long-lived tornadoes are expected, along with hail to near 4 inches in diameter, over parts of Kansas and Oklahoma. Large hail, tornadoes and wind damage also will be possible outside of these areas across parts of the southern and central Plains. Damaging gusts and sporadic hail also are expected across parts of the lower Great Lakes region to western New England this afternoon and early evening.
--- Technical Discussion ---
In mid/upper levels, broadly cyclonic flow will cover much of the western and central U.S., anchored by a major cyclone now centered over UT. The 500-mb low is expected to dig southeastward across the Four Corners through the period, reaching northwestern NM by the end of the period. As this occurs, the leading lobe of an 85-100-kt 250-mb jet will spread over the southern High Plains and western/central KS through tonight. A leading shortwave trough -- currently apparent on moisture-channel imagery over WI, western Lake Superior and the MN Arrowhead -- will weaken and eject east-northeastward across southern QC to northern ME by 12Z.
At the surface, 11Z analysis showed a cold front from southern QC to a low over the MI/WI border, southwestward across IL, becoming quasistationary over MO and the KS/OK border region, to a weak low over southeastern CO. The low is expected to move erratically eastward along the KS frontal segment (becoming a slowly northward-moving warm front) through the period. Today, the richer low-level moisture now over north TX and southern/central OK will advect northwestward over the outlook area. The dryline will sharpen this afternoon from northern Coahuila northward across west-central TX to southwestern KS. The cold front will move southeastward across the Great Lakes region, reaching parts of NY, New England and the Ohio Valley region overnight.
Scattered thunderstorms, including multiple supercells with significant-tornado, giant-hail and damaging-wind potential, still appear probable this afternoon anywhere over the moderate- and high-risk areas, and possible farther south where coverage should be more widely scattered to isolated. The progged ingredient/parameter space is ideal for a multi-hazard severe-weather outbreak from the warm-frontal zone southward for 250-300 nm ahead of the dryline:
* Moderate to strong moisture and instability: moist advection of a rich Gulf air mass with 60s to near 70 deg F surface dew points, diurnally heated along/ahead of the dryline to remove CINH, beneath roughly 8 deg C/km midlevel lapse rates, yielding 3000-4500 J/kg MLCAPE. CAPE will diminish northward through the warm-frontal zone but the cut-off of surface-based inflow should be gradual, not abrupt.
* Favorable lift along the dryline and in the "bent-back" zone of deep forcing closer to the surface and upper lows,* Favorable low-level and deep-layer shear, especially near the warm front and low, but also southward across the moist sector. Low-level vorticity and hodograph size each will be maximized along and somewhat north of the warm front, with 300-400 J/kg effective SRH and 50-65 kt effective-shear magnitudes common. Any discrete/sustained supercells in this environment will be capable of cyclic, significant-tornado production as well as giant, destructive hail.
A note of caution on this forecast: Some uncertainties still exist, however, precluding any greater probabilities at this time -- mainly involving density and timing of convection. Initiation of too many cells in early/middle afternoon (before warm-sector hodographs and CAPE each are biggest), and/or too close to each other at once, is possible in some parts of the current moderate/high risks. This scenario, which some guidance suggests, would lend a greater wind threat and somewhat suppressed hail/significant-tornado risk with eastward extent, due to messier storm modes amidst strengthening deep-layer flow. Evidence for such a quick transition still is inconsistent in the bulk of numerical guidance, and of course observationally. While not compelling enough to modify the high or moderate risk-driving probabilities yet, this is a possibility to be monitored for potential adjustments to the outlook during the day.
Regardless of timing, storm mergers and ultimate upscale growth of convective clusters appear likely, with embedded supercells, bows, and mesobeta- or smaller-scale damaging-wind swaths. Therefore, wind probabilities have been offset eastward somewhat, relative to the others.
...Northeast to mid Mississippi Valley...
Widely scattered to scattered thunderstorms are expected to develop along and ahead of the front this afternoon as diabatic surface heating and low-level convergence zones (including the baroclinic zone) act against already weak MLCINH. Well-mixed subcloud layers beneath 1000-1500 J/kg MLCAPE, and the presence of 30-40 kt effective-shear magnitudes will support enough multicellular organization, and perhaps transient supercell structures, for a hail/wind threat. Nearly unidirectional prefrontal wind profiles are forecast, and some bowing clusters could develop that would enhance the wind-damage potential on smaller scales, especially over parts of NY or western New England, however, it is too soon to be specific enough with mesoscale details for a greater categorical corridor within the existing, somewhat eastward-expanded lines. The severe wind/hail threat will be more isolated, marginal and transient this afternoon and early evening southwestward toward the middle Mississippi Valley where warm-sector surface winds and frontal convergence each should be weaker.
2017May17 @ 0915 CDT: TWO tornadoes! One south of Alanreed, TX, and a second near McLean, TX... and a third one that we couldn't see because it was rain-wrapped, but we KNEW we needed to get the hell out of there just from the looks of the circulation that was near us! Unfortunately, that third tornado (that we never actually SAW) was apparently the one that ended up hitting Elk City, OK, leaving death and destruction in its wake. Just awful... This is the part about chasing that I HATE... :-(
Anyway, I haven't had a chance to work on yesterday's photos and video yet, but I will try to do some of that today... because it looks like this will be a down day anyway. Tomorrow looks like a pretty decent chase day, though, so keep your fingers crossed for that!
2017May16 @ 0820 CDT: There wasn't much chance for a tornado on down here yesterday, but we were hoping that Mother Nature would put on a show for us nonetheless. We hit Shamrock, TX (old Route 66 service station and U Drop Inn) and then Groom, TX (largest cross). Then we hung around a Love's Travel Stop on I-40 while we waited for cells to pop up. Eventually we hit the road to chase a cell of interest... but when Van 1 suddenly threw its serpentine belt, our chase day was immediately over. So now we're in Panhandle, TX, waiting for repairs to be done... and hoping that today's chase can be salvaged... *crossing fingers* ...which is looking pretty darn good!
SPC AC 161252
Day 1 Convective Outlook
NWS Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
0752 AM CDT Tue May 16 2017
Valid 161300Z - 171200Z
...THERE IS AN ENHANCED RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS FROM PARTS OF WEST TEXAS TO PARTS OF IOWA...
...THERE IS A SLIGHT RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS SURROUNDING THE ENHANCED RISK AND EXTENDING TO PARTS OF THE CENTRAL HIGH PLAINS AND UPPER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY...
...THERE IS A MARGINAL RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS SURROUNDING THE SLIGHT RISK...
Episodes of severe thunderstorms are expected today and tonight within a swath from west Texas across the central Plains to the western Corn Belt and mid Missouri Valley. Tornadoes, severe gusts, and large, damaging hail are expected within this corridor.
Progressive synoptic-scale troughing will dominate the upper-air pattern today over the western/central U.S., with two primary/embedded perturbations influencing low-level mass fields and convective potential:
1. A strong, compact, mid/upper-level cyclone -- now apparent in moisture-channel imagery over Vancouver Island, forecast to move southeastward to southern ID by the end of the period. As heights fall across the northwestern U.S. and Great Basin ahead of that feature...
2. A strong shortwave trough, with embedded 500-mb low over southern NV at this time, will pivot eastward then east-northeastward across the Four Corners and northwestern MX. By 12Z, the trough should extend from eastern CO across eastern NM and far west TX.
The 11Z surface analysis showed a surface low over northeastern SD, warm front from there across northeastern IA and southern Lake Michigan, and cold front southwestward across central NE to northeastern Co, and a reinforcing cold front over central SD and south-central WY. A wavy dryline was drawn from near IML southward across the KS/CO border area to the western TX Panhandle, southeastern NM and far west TX. The SD low should move northeastward across MN to northern ON through the period, while a second low deepens by 12Z along the combined frontal zone over southern NE. The dryline will mix eastward across western KS, the TX/OK Panhandles and South Plains today, and off the Caprock by mid/late afternoon. Cold frontogenesis is expected over eastern NM and west TX this evening and overnight as the shortwave trough ejects, with the resulting baroclinic zone overtaking the dryline from the west tonight.
Though the combined "slight" and "enhanced" outlook area appears as one continuous swath on the map, it mostly represents the spatial overlap of three rather distinct severe-storm regimes. We'll emphasize those below, in rough start-time order.
...Early afternoon through evening: northern TX/OK Panhandles, Western/central KS to IA...
Widely scattered to scattered thunderstorms should form during early-mid afternoon near the dryline where the EML and MLCINH weaken soonest. This activity initially will risk large/damaging hail, severe gusts and a few tornadoes. Within the first few hours after initiation, however, a preponderance of guidance from synoptic down to high-res/convection-allowing progs indicate aggregation of convection into a forward-propagating MCS, which may sweep northeastward across KS and the Missouri Valley at least across parts of IA through this evening and tonight, before encountering enough stable air to weaken. This convection-evolution scenario appears plausible given:
1. The geometry of the deep-layer flow,
2. Sufficiently weak afternoon/early-evening CINH to be prone to forced slab ascent by aggregating cold pools,
3. A moist axis already in place to support a corridor of maximized buoyancy later today from central KS to IA, southeast of residual outflow pools from prior overnight convection, and
4. Well-mixed subcloud layers in forecast soundings that support an increasing damaging-wind potential with northeastward extent, given such modal morphology.
Activity will be supported by a southwest-northeast plume of preconvective MUCAPE ranging from 2000-3500 J/kg, weakening late tonight in the northeastern part as CINH increases, along with 35-45 kt effective-shear magnitude. Pockets of favorable low-level SRH may develop to support some tornado potential even in a QLCS mode, whether with embedded supercells or misovortices.
...Midafternoon into evening: Southern Plains dryline...
In mid/late afternoon, several discrete to semi-discrete supercells are expected to develop and move northeastward at 25-35 kt off the dryline. As this activity crosses the eastern Panhandle region, northwest TX, and parts of western OK, it will offer tornadoes, very large/damaging hail and sporadic severe gusts. Some giant (3-inch or more) hail is possible, along with potential for a couple of strong, relatively long-lasting tornadoes, from the mature phases of at least one or two cyclic supercells within convective arc. The all-hazards threat from these storms should last at least an hour or two into early evening, when the low-level jet increases and enlarges hodographs, and before the boundary layer stabilizes too much to permit sustained surface-based inflow. Thereafter, these supercells should spin down over western OK and northwest TX, south of the relatively fresh/cold outflow from the KS complex.
The environment will be characterized by strong surface heating and mixing along the dryline, with forecast soundings suggesting: near-zero MLCINH as early as around 20Z, 60s F surface dew points beneath steep midlevel lapse rates, 2500-3500 J/kg MLCAPE in a narrow plume ahead of the dryline, 60-65 kt effective-shear magnitude, and afternoon effective SRH 150-250 J/kg increasing to near 400 J/kg along the western rim of the 40-55 kt evening LLJ. Winds aloft should be oriented with enough of an orthogonal component to the dryline to support some discrete storms, though a few forecast hodographs show evidence of slight veer-back-veer weaknesses in the 2-4-km AGL layer. CINH will strengthen considerably eastward toward the US-81 corridor ahead of this activity and ahead of the main plume of large-scale forcing arriving later overnight. This should lead to late-evening demise of most of these afternoon/dryline supercells.
...Overnight: Southern Plains front/dryline...
A mixture of initially discrete supercells and a band of thunderstorms should develop along the dryline and the overtaking front this evening and tonight. Any supercells will pose the risk of large, damaging hail, given the available moisture, large lapse rates/buoyancy, and favorable deep shear. Frontogenetic forcing and large-scale DCVA/cooling aloft will impinge on the moist sector and lead to a mostly quasi-linear belt of convection overnight, with damaging wind becoming the dominant threat before the activity encounters increasing CINH and weakening LLJ-related storm-relative flow late overnight. A tornado or two cannot be ruled out throughout either phase as well.
2017May15 @ 0820 CDT: Hmmm... This morning's forecast from the SPC was *not* what I had been hoping for, to say the least! Tomorrow still looks like it could be decent, from north-central Kansas down into the eastern Texas panhandle, but today looks... well... underwhelming. Perhaps Mother Nature might have a few tricks up her sleeve for us today anyway. Hey, one can always hope, right?
...Texas Panhandle north into western Kansas...
Strong diurnal heating and surface dew points in the mid 50s will combine with steep mid-level lapse rates to result in weak-moderate MLCAPE by late afternoon east of the dryline. Weakening inhibition with time combined with dryline circulations should contribute to isolated to widely scattered thunderstorms developing by afternoon from the Texas Panhandle/South Plains northward into western Kansas. Deep-layer shear averaging 35-40 kts should support organized storms including supercells with a risk for damaging gusts and large hail during the late afternoon and evening. Storms should diminish in intensity as nocturnal cooling/gradually increasing CINH commences.
2017May14 @ 0930 CDT: On this Mother's Day, we will probably just relocate to prepare for better chase opportunities in the next few days. *crossing fingers*
As always, you can take a look at the daily photos from this year's chase HERE... and for the most up-to-date info, just go to my Twitter page, which may be found HERE. Have a great Mother's Day, all you muthas! *lol*
2017May13 @ 0900 CDT: Given that we have nothing to chase at the moment, Cloud 9 Tours has switched into Tourist Mode. Yesterday was Tulsa (Tall Shell Guy, Center of the Universe, Oklahoma Aquarium)... and today, Oklahoma City (probably the Twistex Memorial, then the memorial to the Oklahoma City Bombing)...
2017May12 @ 0930 CDT: Hmmm. Somehow I just don't see us driving to LA/MS/AL for that 2% tornado risk... especially since Van 1 needs a new windshield first. *lol*
2017May11 @ 0930 CDT: Ugh. Today's setup looks marginal, but probably best to give it a go nonetheless... since tomorrow looks even worse.
A somewhat messy/complex convective evolution is expected today in a few different corridors from OK/TX to the MS Valley. Some cloud breaks later this morning will allow surface heating/destabilization in the presence of mid 60s boundary-layer dewpoints, with MLCAPE expected to reach 2500 J/kg with steep midlevel lapse rates and relatively cool temperatures aloft. Though low-level flow/shear will generally weaken with time, deep-layer shear will remain sufficient for supercells. Expect storms to form by early afternoon near the weak low/triple point and then spread eastward (generally north of I-40), reaching northwest AR and southwest MO from mid afternoon through this evening. The initial more discrete supercells could produce isolated very large hail, with an isolated large hail and damaging wind threat expected to persist into tonight. Any tornado risk this afternoon/evening will likely depend on localized storm interactions and/or enhancements to low-level shear.
2017May10 @ 0930 CDT: Looks like we may have another interesting chase day today... eastern Texas panhandle and western Oklahoma, so not a very long drive! Yay!!!
...Northwest TX/southwest OK through late evening...
A closed midlevel low over southeast AZ is beginning to move northeastward as embedded speed maxima rotate around its southern and eastern periphery. A weak associated surface cyclone will form along the outflow boundary across the South Plains this morning, and then move northeastward toward western OK by this evening. A continued influx of mid 60s boundary-layer dewpoints, beneath steep midlevel lapse rates and augmented by daytime heating, will result in MLCAPE of 2000-2500 J/kg and weakening convective inhibition this afternoon.
In the wake of the morning convection, additional severe storm development is expected by early-mid afternoon near the dryline-outflow triple point in the southeast TX Panhandle, and possibly southward along the dryline into northwest TX. Strong buoyancy and effective bulk shear near 50 kt will favor discrete supercells capable of producing very large hail and isolated damaging winds. Low-level shear will be relatively weak around mid afternoon, and counter-clockwise turning with height of the shear vectors in the 2-3 km AGL layer will not be ideal for right-moving supercells with intense low-level rotation. Still, some increase in low-level flow and clockwise hodograph curvature/SRH will occur this evening, when a few tornadoes will be possible into southwest OK. The supercells may linger through late evening into central OK before weakening after about 03z.
Tuesday, May 09, 2017 @ 0740 MDT: Yesterday's chase was a surprise success as far as I was concerned. I had hoped to see some photogenic cells, at most, and we ended up seeing a funnel cloud to the west of Limon, CO!
Monday, May 08, 2017 @ 0950 CDT: We got a quick breakfast and hit the road early today (Well, relatively early, for us...) and started our move towards Colorado. The SPC still shows only a 2% chance of tornadoes, and in a relatively small area in east central Colorado. We will likely target an area somewhere south of their predictions, though.
Monday, May 08, 2017 @ 0700 CDT: Apologies for the delays in updates here! I am SOOOOOOO behind, and on top of that, I have been having some problems with the online website updates! Arrrrrghhhh!!!
Anyway, here's the Readers Digest version of what has happened so far:
My journey from Key Largo, FL to Norman, OK went without a hitch... but without any sleep... as usual. A few of us got together for dinner at BJ's on Saturday night, and then we all met for orientation on Sunday morning. With Mother Nature not cooperating for Day 1, and nothing to chase, we made our pilgrimage to Amarillo, TX and a visit to the Big Texan. Mmmmmm... delicious bovine!
So now, on this early Monday morning, it would appear that we have something to chase... in Colorado. There's a slight risk, but it's gonna be a haul, so we're getting an early start and will likely head into Colorado later today.
I will try to update you later with changes, daily travel maps and photo links. Keep your fingers crossed that subsequent updates will be more cooperative!
...but for now, GOTTA GO! Later, everybody!
Wednesday, June 29, 2016 @ 0930 EDT: For those of you who have been waiting for more content from the 2016 storm chase, you will probably have to wait a bit longer. Sadly, the laptop that I traveled with died a couple of weeks back. (I'm pretty sure the hard drive is toast, but I'm still working on that.) Of course I have backups of all of the raw materials (i.e., photos, videos, etc.), but I had not done a backup of the work-in-progress stuff since I returned from Tornado Alley. *curses* That just means that I will need to start from scratch... *sigh* ...and you will need to be patient with me for a while.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016 @ 1100 EDT: The complete travel maps for Tours 1 and 2 are now available! You can find them all at https://kingkey.smugmug.com/TornadoChase/Chase-2016/Travel-Maps/ . One note: The May 19th map includes the side trip that John made to Trinidad, CO, from the Capitan Volcano in order to pick up the part required to repair the radiator hose problem with Van #2.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016 @ 2200 EDT: After a few days of sleep (Ahhhh... and what glorious sleep it has been!), I can finally declare my final numbers for Tour 2. We traveled 4600 miles, in five states, and I saw roughly 18 tornadoes. I say "roughly" simply because on May 24th, we saw probably 20-25 tornado touchdowns during the course of the day. It became impossible for me to say how many of those were repeat touchdowns by the same tornadoes and which were new tornadoes, so I am simply going with the number that Charles said there were... which was nine. He knows a whole lot more about this than I ever will!
Anyway, here is the travel map for the entirety of Tour 2, along with the daily breakdown for the tour.
Monday, May 30, 2016 @ 1430 EDT: Home again, and a nice long night of sleep... followed by several long naps... which will likely be followed by several more! Man, these last four weeks have really worn me down, but it was TOTALLY worth it!
So just to catch you all up, my flight out of OKC left late yesterday, which shortened my layover in Houston and made it impossible for me to get my final meal at Pappadeaux. *sigh* Oh well. It would have been nice, but I improvised and found a nice quick alternative delicacy along the way. During our approach to the Houston airport, though, I was taken by the flooding there that we could see from the air! I had no idea of the extent of that flooding!
Then I boarded the flight to Fort Lauderdale and, as always, had my window seat for a good view of everything. I was a bit cramped, as usual, with long legs and typically much-too-little leg room on the flights, but additionally due to a really fat old lady in the center seat. She "overflowed" her space quite a bit, and her fat arm on the armrest was constantly changing the channel and volume on my TV. Towards the end of the flight, she was just turning my TV on and off repeatedly! I just tried to ignore it and used my time to grab some shots out of the window... which worked out well when we were approaching Fort Lauderdale and we had to divert around a localized storm cell. Not too bad as a finale to my month of storm chasing!
So now I'm home and counting down the days until the next storm chase! And what is the count? That would be 342 days, to be exact!
You can see a few iPod Touch shots from the journey home HERE: https://kingkey.smugmug.com/TornadoChase/Chase-2016/2016May29/
Sunday, May 29, 2016 @ 0700 CDT: Yesterday was a day for a bit of rest, some exploration of the Oklahoma City area and, most of all, reminiscing about our experiences. And wow, what we have seen has been truly incredible! I count twenty tornadoes --- Yes, TWENTY of 'em! --- while chasing in six states and almost 8800 miles during the four weeks in Tornado Alley with Cloud 9 Tours. And that doesn't even begin to touch on all of the great structure... the hail... the flooding... the ferocious winds... the jokes and good times... the food... the friends... What a great time it has been!
As is always the case when the tours are over for me, I'm pretty damn depressed about the idea of leaving Tornado Alley and my friends here. I will admit, though, that this tired old body of mine will be grateful to get home and sleep for about a week. Tour 2 has really taken its toll on all of us. No complaints, though, because I would definitely do it all over again if I had the opportunity!
Many many thanks to everyone during the last month: To Charles, for doing it all (and working himself way too hard in the process, while never losing his sense of humor); to John, Rocky and Brian for their endless hours of driving --- and doing it incredibly well --- and for their endless tolerance of our idiocy *lol*; to my Tour 1 compatriots for enjoying our "Restaurant Tour" and the "Large & Bizarre" tour ALMOST as much as the storms; and to all of the Tour 2 crazies for sharing in the experience of a lifetime! It was a tour for the ages, and I hope everyone understands how special it really was! You guys were an absolute blast, and it was an honor chasing with you!
I hope to see you all next year. We'll try to do it all over again!
So anyway, you can see a few shots from my Saturday experiences HERE: https://kingkey.smugmug.com/TornadoChase/Chase-2016/2016May28/
This morning, I will be heading to the OKC airport and then begin my trip back to the Keys. If all goes according to plan, I will have sufficient time for another crawfish etouffee meal at Pappadeaux in the Houston airport, and then it's on to Fort Lauderdale and Key Largo. My bed will feel REALLY nice, that I know for sure!
Saturday, May 28, 2016 @ 1000 CDT: We really didn't expect that there would be much to chase when we left Wichita yesterday, but we tentatively targeted Chickasha, OK... by way of Wakita, OK, for obvious reasons. Well, while we were inside the Twister Museum, a cell of interest popped up nearby, and we just couldn't resist chasing it. We got into some gusty winds, saw some nice mammatus and a little hail along the way before we bailed on it and headed back to home base in Norman, OK.
You can see a few shots from our day HERE: https://kingkey.smugmug.com/TornadoChase/Chase-2016/2016May27/
Since there's nothing within range for us to chase today, we FINALLY got a decent night's sleep and will do some stuff around Oklahoma City today. Then we will meet up with the Tour 3 chasers who are flying into OKC. We will have many MANY stories to tell them before they leave on their two-week chase... and we depart... *pout*
Keep up with my latest updates on Twitter, which you can see by going to https://twitter.com/StickerThad.
Friday, May 27, 2016 @ 0900 CDT: After the last few days, I guess Mother Nature just didn't have the energy left for our chase yesterday. Everything that we chased ended up either fizzling out or turning into a line of high precipitation crap. Oh well... We really don't have any room to complain, do we?
You can see a few shots from our day HERE: https://kingkey.smugmug.com/TornadoChase/Chase-2016/2016May26/
...and I have finished Wednesday's shots as well! You can find them HERE: https://kingkey.smugmug.com/TornadoChase/Chase-2016/2016May25/
As for today, the chances look pretty slim that we will see tornadoes, but with the way our luck has gone recently, I wouldn't be surprised if we do!
Keep up with my latest updates on Twitter, which you can see by going to https://twitter.com/StickerThad.
Thursday, May 26, 2016 @ 0930 CDT: For a day that was initially going to be a travel day, the conditions yesterday certainly changed rapidly! We were surprised with a cell south of Minneapolis, KS, where we saw a tornado from birth to quick death. Then we witnessed the birth of what would be an absolute MONSTER tornado, chasing it from near Solomon, KS until around Chapman, KS (almost 90 minutes later) when there was not enough light to safely chase it. This thing was one of the most intense and long-lasting tornadoes that I have ever seen, and it was a huge threat to the people of Chapman, KS! As far as I am aware now, no one was killed or injured by it, so I am very very thankful for that!
Even though I have not yet processed photos from yesterday's surprisingly great chase, I **did** finish the photos from Tuesday's awesome chase day! You can see them HERE: https://kingkey.smugmug.com/TornadoChase/Chase-2016/2016May24/ I will try to get yesterday's shots processed ASAP and share them with you.
As for today, it looks to be yet ANOTHER great chase day. I have included the SPC's description below.
Keep up with my latest updates on Twitter, which you can see by going to https://twitter.com/StickerThad.
SPC AC 261300
DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0800 AM CDT THU MAY 26 2016
VALID 261300Z - 271200Z
...THERE IS AN ENH RISK OF SVR TSTMS THIS AFTERNOON/EVENING FOR PARTS OF CENTRAL/NRN KS AND SRN NEB...
...THERE IS AN ENH RISK OF SVR TSTMS THIS AFTERNOON/EVENING FOR PARTS OF W CENTRAL AND SW TX...
...THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS ACROSS THE CENTRAL/SRN PLAINS THROUGH TONIGHT...
...THERE IS A MRGL RISK OF SVR TSTMS SURROUNDING THE SLGT RISK AND EXTENDING INTO THE MS VALLEY...
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF TORNADOES AND VERY LARGE HAIL ARE EXPECTED THURSDAY ACROSS MUCH OF THE SOUTHERN NEBRASKA AND KANSAS VICINITY. VERY LARGE HAIL WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE ACROSS PARTS OF WEST TEXAS. ISOLATED LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS WILL OTHERWISE BE POSSIBLE OVER A BROAD AREA OF THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN PLAINS.
...CENTRAL/SRN PLAINS THROUGH TONIGHT...
A MIDLEVEL SHORTWAVE TROUGH OVER AZ THIS MORNING WILL PROGRESS EWD OVER NM TODAY AND REACH THE SRN HIGH PLAINS TONIGHT. A RELATED LEE CYCLONE WILL DEEPEN TODAY NEAR THE SW CORNER OF KS... AS A OUTFLOW-REINFORCED SURFACE FRONT DEVELOPS NWD AS A WARM FRONT FROM CENTRAL KS TOWARD THE NEB BORDER BY EARLY AFTERNOON. A VERY MOIST AIR MASS WITH BOUNDARY LAYER DEWPOINTS IN THE LOW 70S IS PRESENT S OF THE BOUNDARY AND E OF A DRYLINE THAT ARCS SWWD FROM THE ERN TX PANHANDLE TO THE W TX/SE NM BORDER. THIS RICH MOISTURE LIES BENEATH A PLUME OF NEARLY DRY ADIABATIC MIDLEVEL LAPSE RATES... THE COMBINATION OF WHICH WILL RESULT IN MLCAPE AOA 4000 J/KG AS SURFACE HEATING COMMENCES IN THE WARM SECTOR.
THE INITIAL THERMODYNAMIC ENVIRONMENT AND LARGE-SCALE PATTERN APPEAR QUITE FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS TODAY ACROSS THE PLAINS... BUT THERE ARE SOME COMPLICATING FACTORS THAT ARE ALREADY BECOMING APPARENT THIS MORNING. CLUSTERS OF THUNDERSTORMS HAVE FORMED AND CONTINUE TO EXPAND ACROSS CENTRAL TX... WITH MORE ISOLATED CONVECTION EXTENDING INTO NW TX. SOME OF THE OVERNIGHT CONVECTION... ESPECIALLY NEAR SJT... HAS RESULTED IN DOWNWARD TRANSPORT OF DRY AIR FROM ABOVE THE RELATIVELY SHALLOW MOIST LAYER. THE THERMODYNAMIC PROFILE WILL REMAIN FAVORABLE FOR DOWNDRAFT PRODUCTION WITH MULTICELL CLUSTERS IN AN ENVIRONMENT WITH RELATIVELY WEAK FLOW/VERTICAL SHEAR IN THE MIDLEVELS... ESPECIALLY FROM N TX ACROSS OK.
DURING THE AFTERNOON... IT APPEARS THE WARM FRONT IN KS WILL PROVIDE THE PRIMARY FOCUS FOR THE MORE SIGNIFICANT SEVERE STORM THREAT. THE WARM FRONT SHOULD REMAIN LARGELY REMOVED FROM THE STABILIZING AFFECTS OF THE EARLY TX/OK CONVECTION... THOUGH THERE IS SOME UNCERTAINTY REGARDING THE TIMING AND MODE OF STORM DEVELOPMENT EVEN IN KS. DEEP-LAYER AND LOW-LEVEL SHEAR WILL BE MOST FAVORABLE FOR SUPERCELLS/TORNADOES NEAR THE WARM BY EARLY AFTERNOON... AND CURRENT EXPECTATIONS ARE FOR A FEW STORMS TO FORM ALONG THE BOUNDARY BY THIS TIME. ADDITIONAL STORM DEVELOPMENT IS EXPECTED ALONG THE DRYLINE CLOSER TO THE KS/OK BORDER BY MID AFTERNOON...AND THESE STORMS WILL SPREAD NEWD. AGAIN... THE TORNADO RISK SHOULD BE GREATER WITH STORMS INTERACTING WITH THE BOUNDARY... AND DECREASE WITH SWD EXTENT GIVEN WEAKER VERTICAL SHEAR.
BY LATE AFTERNOON/EVENING... THE SCENARIO WILL CONTINUE TO GET MORE COMPLEX WITH INCREASINGLY NUMEROUS STORMS AND LIKELY OUTFLOW/STABILIZING INFLUENCES. AS SUCH... THE LARGE HAIL AND TORNADO RISK SHOULD PEAK DURING THE AFTERNOON ALONG THE WARM FRONT IN KS OR EXTREME SRN NEB... PRIOR TO MORE WIDESPREAD CONVECTIVE OVERTURNING. FARTHER S... VERTICAL SHEAR WILL INCREASE BY THIS EVENING INVOF THE DRYLINE FROM WRN OK TO W TX. THE LIKELIHOOD OF RELATIVELY EARLY CONVECTIVE CONTAMINATION... AND WIND PROFILES WITH PRONOUNCED MIDLEVEL BACKING BOTH CAST DOUBT ON THE MAGNITUDE OF THE SEVERE RISK FROM NW AND N CENTRAL TX INTO OK. THE MORE INTENSE STORMS SHOULD FORM LATER THIS AFTERNOON INTO EARLY TONIGHT ACROSS PARTS OF W CENTRAL/SW TX... TO THE W-SW OF THE EARLY CENTRAL TX CONVECTION. LARGE HAIL... DAMAGING WINDS... AND A FEW TORNADOES WILL BE POSSIBLE.
...ERN CO THIS AFTERNOON/EVENING...
AN UPSLOPE FLOW REGIME N OF THE LEE CYCLONE/SURFACE FRONT WILL DRAW LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE WWD INTO SE AND E CENTRAL CO TODAY BENEATH LINGERING STEEP MIDLEVEL LAPSE RATES. SURFACE HEATING AND LIFT ALONG THE FRONT /IN ADVANCE OF THE APPROACHING MIDLEVEL TROUGH OVER NM/ WILL SUPPORT THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT AND THE POTENTIAL FOR SUPERCELLS THIS AFTERNOON.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016 @ 0900 CDT: Awesome awesome AWESOME chase day!!! We saw AT LEAST NINE TORNADOES, including several that were multi-vortex, and some situations where we had two or even three tornadoes on the ground at the same time! UNBELIEVABLE!!!
That being said, it was yet another late late night, and after a few hours of sleep, I still have not even started to work on the literally hundreds and hundreds of photos that I took... or the little bit of video that I grabbed... so you're going to have to bear with me! My priority right now is to get ready for another chase day. I will try my best to at least post a few representative shots from yesterday so you can see what we saw! I promise! In the meantime, go back and take a look at the two quick shots that I sent via Twitter during the chase yesterday.
For now, though, here's today's SPC graphic for the tornado outlook.
You might want to try...
Signs that you or someone you know may have a weather addiction problem include:
* chasing storms as a way to forget problems or to relax
* withdrawal or keeping secrets from family and friends
* loss of interest in activities that used to be important
* problems with schoolwork, such as slipping grades or absences
* changes in friendships, such as hanging out only with friends who chase storms
* spending a lot of time figuring out how to get to the good storms
* stealing or selling belongings to be able to afford to chase
* failed attempts to stop chasing
* anxiety, anger, or depression
* a severe craving for Krispy Kreme doughnuts
* changes in sleeping habits
* feeling shaky or sick when trying to stop chasing
* needing to chase more frequently to get the same effect
* changes in eating habits, including weight loss or gain
Supercell Deprivation Syndrome (SDS)
This is a particularly debilitating disease for Weatheraholics. For more information on it, GO HERE.
If you think you're addicted to the weather, recognizing that you have a problem is the first step in getting help.
A lot of people think they can kick the problem on their own, but that doesn't work for most people.
It requires the help of professionals. Seek them out, and heed their advice. Here is one of those professionals...