Wednesday 3/30 Forecast

No forecast map tonight. Lately COD made some changes and you can’t just grab images of their model output pages. I was trying to make a quick forecast map, but since that isn’t working and I’m too lazy to grab an image of a different map to work with I’ll skip it tonight. I’m going to keep this brief anyway because I need to get up early for work tomorrow.

I’ve been watching Wednesday’s setup with the models for several days now. A fairly strong shortwave trough will start to nose into the central plains on Tuesday afternoon. The cap will be too strong for any surface based storms though. By Wednesday the trough will be well out into the plains and better moisture will have had time to work into the plains with dewpoints into the low 60’s forecast ahead of the dryline in Kansas. I’m not 100% sure I’m buying that yet. I need to take a closer look tomorrow. The NAM has tended towards juicing dewpoints so far this year so I’m skeptical. We should get moderate instability ahead of the dryline with 1500-2000 SBCAPE and in combination with around 60kts of deep layer shear should be favorable for supercells. Storm motions should be normal enough to the boundary to be discrete over at least portions of the threat area. My best guess at this point is they may be packed in pretty tight as you go farther north towards the surface low and should trend towards a little better storm to storm spacing as you get farther south along the dryline. I’ll take a closer look at that and how it may influence targeting over the next couple days.

The tornado threat is there at least to some degree. With good spatial coverage of storms will at least somewhat favorable parameters for supercells with a lower end tornado threat, I do expect some tornado reports. Which areas have more focused tornado potential is a little tougher to discern this far out. I think all things look pretty much equal across the Kansas and Oklahoma portion of the dryline for a lower end tornado threat. There is decent curvature in the lower portion of the hodograph by 00Z as low level shear begins to ramp up over the warm sector. The directional shear isn’t the greatest with 850’s veering a bit and 500mb backed a bit, but I think it’s good enough for a lower end tornado threat. 1km SRH is forecast >150 ahead of the dryline in Kansas and Oklahoma and LCL heights are fairly low. I think convective evolution may┬áplay a role with where the best tornado potential sets up with the more discrete storms later in the evening as shear ramps up posing the greatest tornado threat. Since this isn’t a real good tornado setup I’ll likely keep it somewhat close to home and target some portion of Kansas. Storms should develop pretty near the 135 corridor, so it should be a short jog for me to get to my starting target. I imagine I’ll chase into eastern Kansas some place and pull off an hour or two after dark once the tornado potential drops off. Anyway, it’s not a great setup, but I think it will probably be worth chasing since it’s close to home so long as the models keep showing at least decent 850-500 crossover. I’ll get another update posted tomorrow once I’ve had a little more time to forecast. I was going to do more tonight, but I’ve been working on an operations costing project for a conference call we have at work tomorrow. I’m still not done with it so I have to drag my butt out of bed early tomorrow to finish it up. That being said, it’s time for Mikey to go to bed. Check back tomorrow night for the next update.

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