Forecast Update

Unfortunately I don’t think there is much to be excited about with the tornado potential for this weekend so I’m going to keep this short. The trough coming in is this weekend is a high amplitude wave and will have a strong meridional component to the mid and upper level flow. The first day of interest is Friday along a developing dryline in the western plains (I’m on my apple computer and am too lazy to do a map in powerpoint so no map tonight, look at SPC for the threat area). This day has the best directional shear (as is typical with day before the day type setups) with the trough still off to the west. Unfortunately there will not be good moisture to work with and dewpoints will only make it into the low 50’s in the central plains. I pulled a couple forecast soundings from along the dryline and they all have inverted V soundings and high LCL heights which leads to strong downdrafts and is not conductive to tornadic storms. Unless I lived close by, I don’t think much is going to be worth chasing Friday (at least not if you’re after tornadoes, which I am). I’ll keep watching, but it’s unlikely I’ll chase. Moisture quality will be only slightly better on Saturday with maybe mid 50 dewpoints making it into the central plains. The dryline will mix a little further east, shifting the threat area a little farther east as well compared to Friday. With the trough moving into the plains and upper level winds backing strongly we’ll have poor directional shear and S shaped hodographs. That combined with weak thermodynamics will keep any tornado threat to a minimum.  I didn’t look that closely at model data, but the only place that looked like it might have a reasonable chance at a lower end tornado threat might the farther south in SW Texas where moisture quality will be a little better. Still looked like a pretty weak setup even down there though.

Anyway, I’ll take another look tomorrow and try to update with a map. I am so ready for a good tornado setup. This has been a slow start to tornado season and to make it worse there hasn’t been anything consistent with the longer term model data to indicate a change. The GFS was hinting at some decent shortwaves coming through next weekend with good quality moisture in the plains, but recent runs have moved away from that so there isn’t much reason for optimism right now. At the same time the GFS has been very inconsistent in that range run to run so we can’t put much stock into any solution at this point. I’m anxiously awaiting those first few model runs when you see what looks like a textbook outbreak coming. That excitement and anticipation is what keeps me focused on making storm chasing a priority through the year. It’s mid April now so it could happen anytime. Just have to wait a little longer I guess.

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