Wow, pretty much punted that one into the stands. I thought getting a storm going in Oklahoma was iffy today, but I really thought that we’d get a sustained storm off the dryline out be Pratt. My earlier target was McPherson. I thought that was the safest play to make sure you’d get a good storm, but it was playing farther downstream from where I thought the best storms would come off farther SW, so we got a little more bold and fully committed to the Pratt area. A storm fired there, but it struggled to keep going and once I saw cu start to flatten along the dryline I knew we were screwed. That was like 5 or so I want to say. At that point we headed north to intercept the tail end storm by Salina. We caught it there and it had several tornado warnings but it never was impressive at all. We followed it almost to Manhattan then called it a day.
So if I punted it into the stands today, looks like I’ll be kicking out of the back of endzone on Tuesday (if you want to stick to the football analogies). The stakes will certainly be higher and I am really struggling with the forecast. I haven’t spent a whole lot of time on it yet. That process will start tomorrow morning, but I really don’t like the poor directional shear along the dryline in south central Kansas. There is very little turning from 850 up as mid level winds start to back pretty strongly. Below is a pick of the surface-850-500 crossover for Tuesday. Note the better directional shear up north along the dryline bulge/triple point/warm front area.
There is much better directional shear farther north along the triple point/dryline bulge/warm front where low level winds back strongly. I really want to target up there, but I hate leaving the Wichita area on higher profile days. That and I’m really nervous about convection filling in quickly up north near the triple point. It seems like that is often the case with hard negative tilt troughs that are wrapping up hard at the surface. So you have the better parameters for tornadoes up there IMO, but convective evolution could mitigate some of that. It’s a tough call, but I’m leaning towards setting up east of the triple point Tuesday. I’ll leave it at that until I get a chance to dig into the forecast a bit tomorrow.
Anyway, tough day today. I don’t think I missed much. The storm never looked that impressive before we caught up to it. Never looked very impressive after we caught it either lol. So not a big deal, just a dent to the confidence whiffing on where storms would develop today. No time to wallow in failure though. Time to focus on getting Tuesday’s forecast right. I’ll get into it tomorrow morning and try to get a quick post up around lunch time, so check back then if you’re interested.