Forecast Update

Really not a whole lot to change. I’m tight on time so I’m not going to post a new map, but if you look back a couple posts to my previous forecast map, I still think the greatest tornado threat is over the same area, just maybe a hair farther south. I think we may get a dryline storm or two in Kansas that could also pose a tornado threat. That being said, I still think the greatest threat is near the triple point up along the I70 area. The triple point continues to bounce around a little bit with each model run and the latest NAM run has a little less clean surface pattern, but otherwise no major changes. Conditions still look pretty solid for a tornadic supercell or two coming off the triple point area. Latest runs of the NAM hint at a cluster of storms coming off the triple point area. That would be detrimental to the tornado potential, but probably not a deal breaker for tornadoes. We’ll get a better feel for convective evolution tomorrow morning with better CAM guidance.

The moisture tongue is working up through the southern plains right now. There aren’t any concerns with moisture quality, but I decided to take a quick look just to be thorough. I think we are sitting at 60 degree dewpoints in OKC right now and closer to 63 in Dallas. Tonight’s soundings show the moisture is plenty deep at both locations. With a very strong low level jet already pumping moisture north, we should be working with the moisture currently over the southern half of Texas by tomorrow afternoon, with dewpoints expected to be in the low to mid 60’s. Tomorrow should be one of those mornings where it just feel like a tornado day. Low level winds will be screaming out of the south pumping in moisture with low level cumulus clouds racing north. I absolutely live for those kinds of mornings. I always get pumped when I go outside in the morning on days like that. There may be some cloud cover over the warm sector through the first part of the day tomorrow, but we should see clearing ahead of the dryline by early afternoon at the latest and good surface heating (at least immediately ahead of the dryline). Moderate to strong instability for this time of year will develop by tomorrow afternoon. Deep layer shear should be up around the 50kt range, will be more than adequate for supercells.

Latest runs of the NAM have backed off a bit on low level shear, but it does still look good enough for a strong tornado threat. Forecast soundings/hodographs near the front east of the triple point still show good curvature in the low levels and good length along with favorable The NAM has a little cluster of cells that come off the triple point in the afternoon. I pulled a forecast sounding from just off the south edge of that convection which is below.

That is pretty nasty. Very strong low level shear, low LFC heights (I believe most significant tornadoes are associated with LFC heights below 1300m), steep lapse rates in the low levels, strong SR low level winds, etc. It’s all there. I’m not seeing much of a weakness. Convective evolution coming off the triple point is probably my main concern as far as the extent of the tornado potential goes. As I mentioned above, I think that’s more of a mitigating factor than a deal breaker though. If we have a discrete storm in the 00Z window, it could be a big tornado producer. If it’s more of a cluster of storms, I think we’ll get some tubes still, but probably not as big of a show. The dryline also looks like a half way decent play a little farther south in Kansas. I don’t think the conditions are quite as good, but I would not be at all surprised to see a tornadic supercell initiate along the dryline over southern Kansas. When we get better CAM guidance in the morning I’ll get into finer details like that. Anyway, still looks like game on for tomorrow. I plan on leaving Wichita at 11am and will be heading for the triple point. I’ll figure out exactly where it will be on the road tomorrow and update with my exact target then. I’m going to head up to Salina and cut west on I70 out towards Hays and we’ll figure out the exact target before we get there. I have Ryan Shirk driving for me tomorrow, so I should be able to update regularly from the road so check back for updates. It will be a god damn zoo out there tomorrow, so don’t drive like an asshole and be careful if you’re chasing. BTW I know my blog is lowing slow as shit. It’s loading though so I don’t want to mess with it right now. I think I need to move it over to a new host, but once the weather slows down later this week I’ll deal with that problem. For now I need to focus on chasing. Still not sure what my plans on for Wednesday. SW Oklahoma continues to look like one of the more appealing targets, but I think Kansas could be a close second and I probably should stay up here to help KWCH out with coverage, so odds are I’ll be chasing Kansas Wednesday. I’ll get into that tomorrow or Wednesday morning though. Alright, check back tomorrow for regular updates and good luck if you’re heading out.

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