I’m going to keep this brief because I’m sick and really there isn’t much to say. We are still in hurry up and wait mode for storm chasing. The upper air pattern is kind of a mess over the next 10 days. Above is the GFS 500mb 240 hours out. I think I pulled that from the 18Z run because the 00Z still hasn’t updated. Previous runs of the GFS were hinting at a transition to a west coast trough pattern around the end of March, but the latest runs aren’t quite as clear or aggressive with the pattern change. I went and took a look at GFS spaghetti charts to try and get a better feel for the large scale pattern over the next couple weeks, but it was a mess beyond 7 days out, so not much help there. You can’t read much into model data that far out anyhow. I try to just look at synoptic scale patterns and trend with model runs. On that note the ECMWF and GFS do tend to bring the polar front jet farther south over the western US towards into the last week of March even if it’s not a deep west coast trough. The GFS also has the gulf getting clobbered early next week as an east coast trough deepens. Between those things and the spaghetti charts not showing a good deep west coast trough to draw moisture back into the plains before the end of March, by best guess at this point is that we will be waiting at least until April 1 for any meaningful severe weather or tornado event in the plains.
We do have weak El Nino conditions currently and the latest CPC discussion gives it a 50%-60% chance of it continuing through summer. There does tend to be bigger storm seasons and more tornadoes in El Nino conditions so that is always a positive sign. And although I am itching to chase right now I honestly don’t mind a slow start to storm season. It seems like the law of averages prevails more times than not with mother nature and a lot of times when tornado season starts slow you have an active middle or back half of the season. Still real early so a bit premature to be writing off the early part of tornado season, but it does seem highly likely that our March tornado season is going to be nonexistent in 2015.
I am pretty much checking the models daily now so I’ll update pretty regularly. The only reason I haven’t been posting more already is because there just isn’t anything to talk about. Hopefully that will change soon though so check back for updates.