April 22 Forecast

042215 Day 2 Forecast

Looks like there could be decent tornado potential both tomorrow and Thursday over parts of southern Oklahoma and northern Texas. I’m going to focus on tomorrow’s setup for the most part, but Thursday is looking a  lot more interesting with the NAM.

For Wednesday I went primarily off the NAM. Storms are forecast to track through the northern half of Oklahoma tomorrow through the morning.  With a surface low over eastern New Mexico a dryline will sharpen across central Texas and a warm front will setup over southern Oklahoma. Cloud cover is forecast to breaking up in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas by 18Z or so, which should allow for decent surface heating.

The models have been very consistent in developing storms during the afternoon along the warm front in southern Oklahoma. It seems like the most consistent precip signature along the warm front and area I’m focused in on is in the Duncan to Lawton area (moving N-S to where the front is). This area is also just upstream from where the nose of the LLJ, CAPE/moisture axis is. All those things make it seem like the logical target to me for tomorrow. I may change my mind once I see data in the morning, but for now that’s my target area.

Calling the tornado threat for tomorrow is a little tricky.  Deep layer shear around 40kts is more than adequate for supercells and a tornado threat, but it’s not that great. That in addition to modest low level shear and probability for unfavorable convective evolution make tomorrow kind of a low to middle end moderate risk type setup IMO. With strong instability and low LCL heights I think there could be a chance for a strong tornado or two.  If things unfold properly it wouldn’t surprise me at all so see that happen with a warm front storm or two. Below is a hodograph from the target area in south central Oklahoma for tomorrow.

SC Oklahoma hodo

The hodograph has good shape, but it’s not that long thanks to mediocre wind speeds at all levels of the atmosphere. With strong instability and low LCL heights I think that hodograph is good enough for tornadic supercells though (so long as convective evolution is somewhat favorable for it).

I glanced at Thursday and it is interesting, but I haven’t spent much time on it yet so I’ll hold off on getting into the details til tomorrow. I kind of need to chose either Wednesday or Thursday to chase because I have lot gong on at work, but that can wait until morning. Both days are somewhat funky setups, which always makes me a bit more skeptical. Neither setup is terribly appealing from a chaser perspective either. The road networks along the Red River are a shit show (Wednesday target area) and the chase country west of Dallas is no picnic either. Both days are likely to have fairly concentrated target areas for the best tornado potential so it will be a god damn circus on these storms. Tomorrow will have warm front storms, which can be nasty to chase. I am no fan of rain wrapped tornadoes and the bears cage makes me nervous. Large hail is a good bet each day and with shitty roads on Wednesday and fast storm motions Thursday, my money says more than one chaser is going to get their windows blown out (just hope it’s not me lol). So all that put together makes this a less than ideal two day chase event IMO. The tornado potential is okay, but it’s not that great. Anyway, I’d chase both days if I could, but I want to make sure I have plenty of vacation left for May and June chasing so I think I’ll pick one day or the other for this one. I’ll make the call in the morning  and try to get something posted by 9am or so. Sorry for the rambling forecast post btw. Not my best work, but I’m tired and only half into it lol.

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