March 23 Forecast

Welp, just started glancing over the 00Z NAM. Tough call on whether or not to head out tomorrow. BTW I’m on my apple laptop and don’t want to get off the couch and on my PC so no map tonight. I use paint usually to do them and the apple equivalent sucks. I’m going to try to keep this short too. I tried to test my stream with KWCH today and had problems with gps gate, spotter network, gr level3 and all the other software I run recognizing my gps. Bit of a problem trying to navigate and locate your position relative to the storm without gps, not to mention I can’t stream properly. Sooo, I tried troubleshooting with backup gps pucks and a few other things before finally getting everything to play nice again late this evening. I’m tired now and ready to ass out on the couch so again I’m going to be quick about this.

The focus for surface based convection tomorrow will be near a surface low that will track from eastern Kansas into central Missouri through the afternoon and evening and along a cold front trailing southwest from there. By late afternoon storms should try to develop roughly along an arcing line from south of KC a ways back towards OKC. How extensive convection will be an how far south it will develop, not real sure yet. I trust the NAM about as far as I can throw it on precip and I haven’t looked at the high def precip models yet so I’ll get back to you on that one tomorrow morning. The area I am particularly interested in for tomorrow is SW Missouri. Joplin may be a good starting point/target. This area I think has the best overlap of smaller dew point depressions (which get larger as you go south), proximity to the to mid level jet streak (mid level jet streak is over the northern portion of the threat area), and decent directional shear (which gets weaker as you go north). All three of those things swing from high to low as you move NE or SW along the focusing boundaries and the SW portion of Missouri seems to have the best compromise of competing parameters. The problems, well if you hug the surface low area it may not really be a cold front crashing style initiating boundary, but strong forcing and storm motions not normal to the boundary with negative tilt setups like this always make me question convective evolution and whether storms will be clustered or go linear. So that’s a concern. My biggest concern and the thing that is making me not want to chase tomorrow is that veering low level winds are usually a damning blow to tornado potential, and unfortunately that seems to be the case all across the target area minus the warm front and far eastern portions of the warm sector where you won’t have good thermodynamics or surface based convection. I pulled forecast soundings and hodographs in an east-west line across the warm sector in SW Missouri. As low level shear increases over the eastern portion of the warm sector and hodographs become good you lose all your low level CAPE. Over the core of the CAPE tounge the soundings look good, but the low level shear isn’t good. There is only a little curvature in the lower portions of the hodograph and decent length, but it’s not the kind of sounding that you’d expect for a decent tornado threat. Kind of a pathetic hodograph over SW Missouri on the CAPE tounge to be honest. I’m a directional shear junkie and I don’t like cold fronts or hard negative tilt troughs. Long story short, there is not a good overlap of favorable thermodynamics and shear profiles with tomorrow’s setup. I think if there is a tornado tomorrow the best chance is going to be near or just south of the surface low in Missouri and that’s where I’d target. I’m going to see what SPC has to say in the morning and go from there, but right now I’m 60/40 not chasing. I wanted to get out since there wasn’t much on the horizon and I need to test equipment, but the latest GFS runs actually show us starting to transition to west coast toughing and more of a wave train pattern in early April (at least going out to 240hr the 18Z hints at as much) and I can test my equipment in Wichita. We’ll see. I’ll make the call in the morning and update when I do.

Sorry for not posting maps and going into more forecast detail btw, but I’m not that pumped about this setup and need to ass out. When we have a decent tornado setup coming you’ll get all the forecast detail you want lol. I’ll try to get something posted on Wednesday’s potential soon. As mentioned above, I don’t chase cold fronts (at least not often), but I will chase dryline/cold front triple points so that is what I’m watching for Wednesday. The models have waffled on the surface pattern for Wednesday. The NAM put a nice triple point by OKC with last nights’ run, but it may have been full of shit and the GFS didn’t show nearly as good of a setup. If we can get a dryline triple point with decent thermodynamics then I’d chase. You usually get decent shear near the triple point where low level winds back more than they do along the cold front. I like the tail end cold front/triple point storms. It seems like a lot of times the tail end storm coming off in that area is the one that manages to pose the greatest tornado threat. Anyway, I’ll take a look at the forecast and get back to you on that. If it looks like a crashing cold front and no good triple point style play then I’ll probably pass. Good triple point style setup though and I’m game. We’ll see.

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