Today’s Tornado Forecast

031516 Day 1 Forecast Map

Just a real quick forecast post on today. I threw that map together in the last 10 minutes so take it for what it’s worth. I almost bailed to chase at 8am this morning, but I had a 10am meeting I needed to be at and there are a couple troughs coming up so I decided to bide my time. I think the models have been overdoing moisture a bit. Morning soundings showed that the only quality moisture with sufficient depth was along the gulf coast still. Dewpoints in the low 60’s are working there way up the Mississippi River and into northeast Arkansas now, but I question the depth of that moisture and dewpoints may mix down a bit through the day. My guess is 60 degree dewpoints over the threat area for late in the day. You may see some low 60’s reach the south end of the threat area by 00Z. I’d be hesitant to believe the mid 60 dewpoints the models are showing. We’ll see. Regardless, I think that shear profiles will offset the somewhat weak moisture and tornadic storms are pretty likely this afternoon. Initiation will likely be around 3pm or so in northeast Missouri with storms tracking into west central Illinois through the afternoon. I think convective evolution could be similar to Sunday’s setup in Arkansas where storms may get packed in along an arcing line. That in addition to low level shear ramping up late in the day and the late arriving moisture coming in from the north makes me think the south end of the target is probably the best bet for high quality tornadoes. Any tail end or more discrete storms along the south end of the threat area are more likely to have undisturbed inflow as better moisture works in and shear ramps up later today. I do think a few tornadic storms are likely along the track of the surface low, I’d just play that tail end for the chance at a strong photogenic tornado later in the day. Anyway, that’s my two cents. I really didn’t spend much time forecasting so take it for what’s it’s worth. I’m wishing I was out there about now. I’d probably setup just on the east side of the Mississippi river so I didn’t have to deal with crossing that as storms ramp up. Good luck if you’re out.

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