Tornado Forecast for Wednesday 4/17/19

Feelings are pretty much the same as last night on this setup. I tweeked my previous forecast map just a bit and it’s posted above. I still think there’s three distinct areas that are all a little different with this setup that I boxed in red. I added a fourth with the yellow triangle in SW Oklahoma along the dryline. The models haven’t been wanting to initiate storms there, but I’m not really sure why. It has no consequence on me or my plans for this one so I didn’t care much to look into either lol. I also positioned the numbers in each red box about where I’d target if I were chasing there. I kind of winged it and really haven’t invested much time for forecasting so I wouldn’t pay it much attention, but there’s no reason this can’t be fun and I want to see how my virtual targets pan out.

Alright, we’ll start with target 3 along the dryline in Texas. Models have consistently put some storms off the dryline in this general area. We finally get good moisture for the first time in the plains this year and shear is the problem. Just our luck lol. Low level shear is going to be weak ahead of the dryline before 7pm with the low level jet axis displaced to the eastern half of the warm sector. After 7pm low level shear will improve a bit as the low jet ramps up. At the same time though the veer back veer shear profile starts to ramp up as well. Still with high dew points and moderate instability I think there may be a window during the evening where there’s a low end tornado threat. I still think this area probably has the best chance to produce tomorrow. SW Oklahoma may be close to on par with the dryline target in Texas as far as the environment supporting a weak tornado goes, but the likelihood of a storm seems higher (strictly going off model data here) in Texas and 850’s don’t seem to veer quite as bad farther south in Texas so that’s why I’d target there. If you do get a storm in the area I highlighted in yellow on the map then you may eek out a low end tornado there as well.

As far as target 2 goes, the good ole triple point. Traditionally a favorite target of mine, it’s unfortunately not looking so hot this time. Again low level shear is pathetic. I kind of flew through forecast point soundings so I may be wrong here, but I believe 4-6km SR winds were pathetic out ahead of the triple point. I also feel like with the triple point target that storms are likely to go earlier and be more clustered in by evening when low level shear improves, so basically convective evolution is working against you by the time low level shear may get good enough for a low end threat. To top it off you still have the VBV tendency, but I didn’t think it seemed as bad as in previous runs. I’d say the tornado chances are fairly low. I’d maybe go 2% if I were SPC, but maybe nudge it up to 5% in west central Oklahoma to account for the chance of a lead/more dominant storm tracking through there. If I were chasing that area I’d target right along the OK/TX border and wait to see how storms came off. Then I’d take a lead dominant storm as it moved into Oklahoma. I placed the 2 box on the map right about where I think I’d setup as things stand now.

And finally target 1. I am probably chasing up there. It doesn’t look good, but south doesn’t look good enough to make me skip work and make the drive. I’m hoping maybe we can eek out a low end tornado either in NW Oklahoma or far south central Kansas. Where to target along the front exactly seems a bit tricky at the moment. You have better dewpoints/CAPE farther east by 135, but surface winds back more farther west over NW Oklahoma with the front having a warm front style surface winds. I think the best bet is kind of splitting the difference and targeting towards that overlap region, which is just off the southern edge of where I put the 1 box on the map. That is roughly where I’m thinking about targeting. I may adjust that in the morning though. Considering the timing of how I think storms will fill in across that area I boxed in red is important too. For any storm to have a chance to eek out a weak tornado in that area it will need to be one that has undisturbed inflow, so I’m looking for a storm with nothing to it’s east later in the day as low level shear improves a bit. I doubt we can eek out a tornado up here, but it’s certainly possible. I’d probably go 2% CYA on the tornado prob if I were SPC.

Alright, enough for tonight. I try to get short updates posted tomorrow if anything changes or looks better in the morning. Otherwise I plan to head out sometime in the early afternoon tomorrow so I’ll likely post then. Good luck if you’re chasing.

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