Tough calls to be made my friends. I’ve been watching Wednesday’s setup for quite some time now and I’m still not any closer to being comfortable with making the call on whether or not to chase. I feel like I should as slow as its been in the plains so far, but I’m not sold on the idea that there won’t be better setups in late May and June in the high plains or up north that I’d rather chase more. IDK. I’m going to see what SPC and 12Z model runs have to say about it and make the call then. I’m iffy on Wednesday, but I’m in on Thursday. Wednesday is a SE Wyoming target day. That’s pretty much set in stone. Thursday is slightly more up in the air. Could be a SE Colorado into SW Kansas target or possibly farther south in Texas along the dryline. I’m dragging ass and got a bad haircut on top of it, so not going to elaborate much tonight. I’m watching Free Solo for chase motivation right now. I need to focus on that and wind down before I go to bed. Huge fan of the film and if you’ve never seen it you should check it out. One of my favorite parts is where he says that nothing great ever happens when you’re cozy and comfortable. There’s a lot of truth in that. The feeling you accomplished something usually comes after you spend some time on the other end of the emotional spectrum with hard work and discomfort. I try to keep that in the front of my mind this time of year. Enough rambling. Quick run down…
Wednesday the target area is SE Wyoming. Plan as of now would be to head to Cheyenne and fine tune the forecast from there. Probably start a bit north of there a ways on I25. Storms should develop west of I25 during the afternoon and track northeast. The latest run of the NAM keeps the stronger mid level flow west of there and up into Montana. Montana is a nonstarter target for me since I want to chase the central/southern plains Thursday and I also like sleep so I didn’t look at it for this forecast. It may be an option though. With the stronger mid level flow to the west, deep layer shear really isn’t that good. Although good directional shear will help a little, CAPE shear combos in eastern Wyoming really aren’t that good. Some chasers are pretty amped on this setup, but I’m just not seeing it. I’d chase it if it was close by, but I am having a really hard time justifying the drive if mid level winds don’t look better with the morning runs. Other concerns I have are a fairly narrow instability axis running through eastern Wyoming/western Nebraska, but with meridional mid/upper flow and a strong northerly component to storm motions that may not be a huge issue. There’s also a tendency for backing of the winds in the upper levels with most forecast hodographs I’ve seen in the last several days, although it was high enough up in the atmosphere that maybe it won’t be much of an issue. I honestly didn’t look all that close at forecast soundings since I’ve only been moderately interested in the setup. You may get a couple discrete supercells during the afternoon with decent structure, but I’m not sold on this being a good tornado setup. I’ll take a closer look in the morning though when it’s time to make decisions.
Thursday I think looks more interesting despite SPC’s relative silence on it. I’m guessing they introduce a threat area for it with tomorrow’s outlook though. Maybe it’s my plains bias, but I like the more traditional juiced up parameters of the central plains than the wispier high plains setups. There’s been some variance model to model and run to run with the exact location of the weak disturbance that ejects into the plains and the surface pattern, but basically we are looking at a dryline from SE Colorado down into Texas. Deep layer shear and CAPE should be plenty good enough for supercells. Low level shear isn’t particularly strong, but it’s good enough to get the job done. The latest run of the NAM shows hodographs improving quite a bit with CINH staying low enough for a decent tornado threat right after dark. Again I haven’t taken a real close look yet, but I will tomorrow. I think it looks like a tornado day. It may be SE Colorado or it could be down closer to the southern Texas panhandle. Not a real good setup, but I think it’s a 5%-10% tornado probability type setup and you chase that in May. I’m a sucker for directional shear and it looks like we’ll have decent directional shear with this setup.
Sorry for the lack of a detailed forecast. I’ve been pretty lazy with the blog this year, but I chalk that up to a slow plains season. I’ll be taking a close look at the forecast in the morning so I may try to update then if I get a chance at work. Otherwise I’ll get something up tomorrow night so check back if you’re interested.