Looks like a slow week ahead for severe weather in the plains, but things should start to pick up again next week.
Over the next several days the cutoff low that brought large hail and tornadoes to Texas this weekend will meander southeast before tying back in with an open wave over the northeastern US and moving offshore. Northerly surface winds in the wake of this trough will shove any quality moisture out of the plains and back into the southern Gulf of Mexico. This will keep any chance for severe weather out of the plains for the next 4-5 days.
Moisture return is forecast to start back up slowly this weekend as a surface high pressure drifts across the southeastern US. By Sunday the GFS has the surface high near Florida and we start to get a good fetch off the gulf again. This is a low end risk for storms around Sunday as a weak disturbance comes through the plains. The models have been consistent showing this, but it doesn’t look like anything really worth paying attention to. That changes by the middle of the week though as a more significant southern stream trough ejects into the plains. The GFS has the trough starting to barely nose into the plains on Tuesday, but the GFS also tends to be fast so I’m not yet sold on Tuesday. It has the trough fully into the plains on Wednesday though, and that is my best guess at when our next chase day may be. Beyond Wednesday’s setup, the GFS has waffled too much for me to comment.
As a note of caution, the GFS has not been very consistent with the southern stream trough the middle of next week. Yesterday it was showing two southern stream troughs next work week, the first of which feel apart before a more significant wave came through around Friday. Will that lack of consistency out of the GFS it’s tough to put much stock in what it’s showing almost 10 days out, but the ECMWF is also showing a significant southern stream trough moving on shore by day 7. Additionally there isn’t a whole lot of spread among the GEFS ensemble members with a southern stream trough around Wednesday May 6. Sooo, I’ll stick my neck out and put that as my best guess for our next chase day. And finally, just to tease us the 12Z GFS has a significant jet streak working through the backside of the trough the middle of next week and shows several days of severe weather in the plains. It borders on foolish to believe any of that, but it’s better than a sharp stick in the eye.
I’m kind of okay with a little break from the weather this week. I have to finish setting up some new chase equipment and get some things wrapped up at work before May, so the timing is good. Once May hits it’s game on for chasing. I’ve long been a firm believer in the saying “if it’s May, chase”. Outside of peak season it seems like some little details mitigate the tornado threat on most decent setups. In May things seem to start working the other way where even mediocre setups come together just right and produce. I’m excited. This is definitely my favorite time of the year.
I’m sure I’ll be looking at the models every day, so I’ll try to update regularly. Check back if you’re interested.