May 112010

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Quick Chase Summary for Wednesday, 12 May

After spending quite some time looking at data in Sayre, OK, my wife and I repositioned a bit further northeast in Elk City, OK.  In doing so we bumped into Simon, Juston and the producers for Storm Riders, along with the entire Vortex 2 crew, who happened to be two exits down the road.  I’ll post a picture later.

We ended up on a supercell in southwest Oklahoma, south of I-40 for about 2 hours in the early evening.  It produced numerous wall clouds that exhibited very little rotation.  Apparently, there were tornadoes reported on this storm.  I suppose it’s possible there was one brief tornado when I was repositioning.  But the storm itself never appeared to have strong low level rotation, and I never saw anything that looked imminent.  For what it’s worth, Vortex 2 was all over this supercells.  I’m really curious to see their data some day to explain why this storm wasn’t more tornadic!

It’s late, that’s all for now.  I’ll post pictures when I have more energy….

- Jim


Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Yesterday was a frustrating chase across western Oklahoma.  We saw three separate LP supercells, all which struggled with the CAP.  In short, we captured some nice structure shots, but no tornadoes since the storms were constantly fighting the CAP.  This really makes me appreciate what we saw on Monday.

Today looks more promising along the dryline across western Oklahoma.  The CAPE/shear combination should yield tornadic supercells by the late afternoon.  The CAP shouldn’t be an issue today given the upper air support.  But, we shall see.   I’m still ironing out my exact target.


Tuesday, 11 May 2010

After spending another night at a friend’s house in Wichita, we are targeting parts of western Oklahoma again today (Tuesday).  Models indicate the front will lift north and stall over parts of northwestern and western Oklahoma.  Extreme instability is expected to develop along and south of front, with CAPE in the 3000-5000 j/kg+ range.  Low level shear and hodographs support tornadoes, especially on any supercell that fires along the boundary.

However, there is considerable uncertainty on whether or not storms will actually form.  Mid level temperatures are expected to be quite warm, and in the absense of any significant upper disturbance, the CAP my not break.  So today is a conditional setup.  Should a storm actually form, it could be a tornado producing machine.  Only this time, the storm will be moving east at 30 mph, instead of northeast at 60 mph.  Needless to say, this will make for any easier chase if storms do indeed form.

Wednesday looks like another good setup over OK/KS, with a higher potential for storms to form.  The tornado potential looks pretty good too.  More on that after today’s chase…

- Jim

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