2016-05-24 EVENT: TX/OK/KS/NE/CO

Discussion in 'Target Area' started by Ben Holcomb, May 19, 2016.

  1. Ben Holcomb

    Ben Holcomb Digital Janitor
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    This seems like quite the potent day, and the day I've been eyeing for a few now on the GFS. A very strong >100kt upper level jet screams over the warm sector in Central Oklahoma with extreme instability >5000 J/KG of CAPE. If anything close to what is being depicted verifies, there would be quite the significant severe weather day on Tuesday the 24th.

    Trying not to get super excited yet, but Tuesday is a day to watch.
     
  2. Brandon Centeno

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    Agrees 100%, you don't often get upper level flow like that in the late season.

    Low level mass response and associated wind fields will be worth monitoring. Could be a big day over a pretty decent area. Lots to watch out for this week!
     
  3. Brett Nickeson

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    Some pretty significant height rises in the upper levels are forecast right now. Not quite as bad in the mid levels. We'll see how that evolves over the next few days.
     
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  4. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    That plus somewhat anemic flow in the mid levels, plus the GFS hasn't done very well with moisture so far this season, and I'm not entirely sure we're going to see mid-70s dews so completely widespread and deep.

    I predict moisture will verify slightly less than forecast. Combine that with weak large-scale forcing for ascent and minor capping, and you'll have to question whether storms will actually form. Definitely worth watching, though.
     
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  5. Royce Sheibal

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    Hey mods, could we please get Nebraska added to the headline? The triple point / warm front is looking like a solid play. Plenty of cape, decent shear, high Td's, good lapse rate, and chance of initiation is pretty darn good. Storm mode will be an HP nightmare, but I'm used to it.
     
  6. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    Last night's MPAS coming in with 2-m dewpoints several degrees lower than the GFS is suggesting.
     
  7. Trey Thee

    Trey Thee EF2

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    With changes to today's forecast of limited airmass recovery that could result in far less convection today and perhaps a bit more instability tomorrow.

    I'm still not sold on the system this week, SRH is pretty anemic on most days.

    SRH is still pretty poor over most of the warm sector tomorrow in OK. In KS its a bit better and in the far eastern TX panhandle there's a bit better helicity values showing up. Outflow boundaries will be critical...

    I would like to add that the NAM paints a better SRH picture for tomorrow over much of OK but some of it is well east of the primary forcing. The 4k NAM is pretty blah in this regard. Outflow boundary interaction will almost be a requirement over a good portion of the warm sector tomorrow, otherwise we'll be staring at huge hail and more minimal tornadoes.

    By 10pm SRH picks up so perhaps between 7 and 10pm there will be a bit more substantial tor threat. The 4KM paints nice supercells just S of I40 in western OK. There's also some enhanced SRH in the OKC metro late evening 9-11pm so any storms in the area would pose a concern if that pans out.

    There will be tors tomorrow but it'll come down to trying to find a boundary, hoping the storms go up and can interact with the boundary. Otherwise it'll be very hit or miss on finding a cell that produces, unless something significant changes with wind velocities...CAPE will be significant so hail will probably be large...very large.
     
  8. Jeff House

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    Outflow boundary OFB and dry line intersection will be our target today. As of this post the OFB is on the Kansas Oklahoma border. It should slowly lift north this afternoon. However it could still wobble south first. We will carefully track it on surface and visible satellite all day. Hi-res models may shift around at times. Today we will just stay with the OFB.

    Denver Cyclone also looks good but of course way out of range waking up in Enid. Be safe and good luck to all.
     
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  9. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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  10. Ethan Schisler

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    While I wasn't personally chasing this event, I did review the radar and of course, the abundance of time-lapse footage that exists from the people that were there. NWS Dodge City survey shows a total of 4 distinct separate tornadoes (SW DDC 1, SW DDC 2, SW DDC 3, NW DDC). Looking at radar data, it seems to support that theory with a total of 4 different mesocyclone hand-offs from SW of Dodge City to N of Dodge City. I could see the case for another satellite on the N Dodge City EF3 (NW DDC) that didn't seem to get counted toward the end of the life cycle (via video I've seen)... However in many cases, it seems as though people were confused with the long hand-offs that were occurring. For example, when the second large tornado (SW DDC 2) was occurring, the new mesocyclone hand-off for the DDC EF2 tornado (SW DDC 3) was already underway in typical cyclic tornadogenesis manner. That particular mesocyclone appeared multiple-vortex in nature ("bouncing up and down several times), giving the look of "3 at once", if you will, when in reality it was just 2 separate tornadoes the entire duration. This mesocyclone continues long after the original SW DDC 2 is dissipated and eventually condensates again passing just west of DDC (Still SW DDC 3). I believe the survey showed this as a path length of 17.4 miles (fairly long track tornado). So I think this one might have gotten counted a few times as more than one tornado, when in reality it was one tornado.

    This is all just my opinion from what I saw after the event... I didn't chase this event, regretfully. Still a significant event to be proud of having chased if you did, regardless of whether the count is 4 tornadoes or 10, I don't think it matters too much from a success standpoint honestly.

    If I was any good at creating graphics I would try to put this all into a better picture than my words, which are probably confusing lol. Either way a fascinating event to look at.
     
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  11. Jeff House

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    Yes we count cycles. Agree it was 4 good cycles. We did observe a late tornado north of town, after the dark pizza slice and light tube twins. Believe it was part of the same 4th meso. We approached from the east, Ford KS on US-400 after starting in Bucklin KS, so avoided much of the 283 crowd. We then circumnavigated DDC to the east and departed on US-50. Up there we saw this last tornado, again likely the tail end of cycle 4. With multiple other sups closing in we literally, got the heck out of Dodge, lol!

    Davies writes a good blog. We actually were not chasing with them but apparently all started in Bucklin. I infer they went west on US-54 from Bucklin but I may be wrong. Anyway we took US-400 through Ford. Agree with Davies that counting mesocyclones makes the most sense.

    Now it is fun to count tornadoes too, more for laughs than bragging rights. We joke that when you lose track, like when drinking, it is a sign of a good time! We actually left with a brief tornado in progress. We had our fill before the storm was done, but safety also played a role with other sups coming (to US-50). Regret not getting a shot of a brief tornado with wind turbines, but I got it in my mind. Shootout at Dodge City Made Storm Chasing Great Again!
     
  12. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    I retrieved KDDC Level 2 data from NCDC and exported PNGs and GIF animations of base reflectivity, velocity and correlation coefficient from this event. I zipped everything up and put it up on my Dropbox - feel free to download:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/djf1s58vycw2w0a/level2radar.zip?dl=0

    This file also includes the data from KTWX (Topeka) of the 5/25 event.
     
  13. John Farley

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    May is now available in the Storm Events Database, and per the NWS there were a total of 11 tornadoes with the Dodge City storm. (Yes, even they acknowledge there is room for argument on exactly how many). Some of the tracks on the major tornadoes are changed quite a bit from earlier reports. A couple interesting notes on the long-track tornado that passed just west of Dodge City are that they are now saying that it was a mile wide (1800 yards) and that a DOW measured 90 meter-per-second (200 mph) wind in the early stages of that tornado. Also that the first tornado in the sequence was about twice as wide as earlier reported. To get the info, follow the link below, enter Kansas, and select the appropriate time period.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/

    Personally, this bumps my tornado count for the day from five to six, as one of the funnels I saw on the other meso northeast of the early stages of the first tornado has also been confirmed as a tornado.
     
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  14. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    Thanks for the bump, John. I'm curious what's going on in the Storm Events database, as I'm seeing a lot of this phrasing in many of the tornado narratives:

    While I get how a rough estimate (i.e., weak vs. strong or violent) of tornado strength can be made visually, this is a rather specific description. Seems a bit strong(ly worded) to me, but maybe it's just me. What do others think?
     
    #14 Jeff Duda, Aug 19, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
  15. Michael Snyder

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    I think they are right about the Bloom Tornado on the ground for 17 miles, I would be willing to bet it was "Violent" for at least several minutes and capable of EF4 damage. Also, with the bloom tornado: I know that I was told that house that it hit was a manufactured home, HOWEVER- there were large steel girders that were fastened to the ground , Im not sure what they were for, but they were twisted pretty significantly, AND they were bent upwards. It was something that left an impression in my mind. I have pictures of the girders at home. These girders had been pulled up and twisted, and they were the truly heavy duty girders. I said to myself when I saw them: "EF4". (Not that I am NWS tornado survey guy or anything)

    The tornado they rated EF2 and said it could have briefly done EF5 damage was multi-vortices, and did look pretty strong when it turned into a stout stovepipe, but Ef5?? I don't really think so, but anything is possible.

    Nothing else that day for really that close to how powerful the Bloom +FC was, in my opinion. I couldn't even find the 3rd vehicle the people said they had. Plus the house foundation was really scrubbed pretty clean.
     
  16. Michael Snyder

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    I don't think its a stretch at all that the Dodge City (Bloom) EF3 would have created EF4 damage when compared to the Wynnewood Tornado. It was bigger and had horizontal vorticies. The Wynnewood, OK Tornado was definitely more of an eratic mover of the two, and had a lot more it could damage.
     
  17. John Farley

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    I do think it is a little risky to talk about potential EF ratings of tornadoes based on their appearance. That said, I think some of that wording may be based on the similarity in appearance of the first two strong tornadoes to the Rozel tornado (which was noted by a number of chasers at the time). The Rozel tornado was rated EF-4 and occurred in the same CWA.
     
  18. Ethan Schisler

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    While I didn't chase this event, I don't think its a stretch that the first significant tornado of this sequence ("bloom" tornado per NCDC) was "violent" for at least a short duration of its life cycle based upon motion on video etc. Visual intensity is always a tricky area to judge as seemingly "weak" tornadoes can produce significant damage if they impact an area with higher end damage indicators at an "up" period during the tornado's life cycle. As for the W Dodge City tornado (rated EF-2), where NCDC mentions a short period of EF-5 intensity winds via mobile radar; based upon video, the motion for a large portion of this tornado's life cycle appeared fairly modest and somewhat lazy, struggling to keep balance at times with its condensation. I know this doesn't really say anything about the overall strength of the tornado, but in my opinion its not necessarily a halmark of most violent long lived tornadoes. Again, doesn't mean anything, as even it impacting a well built structure during that short time period could produce high end damage.

    As for the overall tornado count, you could still argue either way in my opinion as for how you count. The main focusing point of this storm obviously being the 4 significant (EF2+) tornadoes that it produced (EF3, EF2, EF2, EF3), all by different cycles during its life-time. With the others being mainly satellite tornadoes surrounding these at different times during its life.

    Again, just my opinions, I didn't chase this event, so I don't have any personal observations to add, other than what I've seen reviewing radar and other people's footage. Very interesting storm though I will say, considering its evolution and tornado tracks (mainly deviant to the NW)....a theme which overall saved Dodge City from a nightmare scenario.
     
  19. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    There were several other notable tornadoes on the Dodge City day that I have not seen any photos or videos of, apparently from separate storms from the Scott City or Dodge City cells - namely to the east in the Kinsley area and up near Jetmore:

    http://www.tornadohistoryproject.com/tornado/2016/5/24/map

    These were all before sunset and supposedly would have been visible, yet I can't find any images or videos of these. The Scott City storm and of course the Dodge City one were well documented, but apparently no one was on these other storms - any imagery would have come from local residents.
     
  20. Jeff House

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    Unfortunately we drove into that Kinsley mess on the way back to ICT. We'd left DDC on US-50 before dropping south from Kinsley (on 183) to Greensburg on US-54. We did not see any tornadoes near Kinsley, and were looking mainly for safety reasons, but encountered very heavy rain and lots of street flooding in Kinsley.

    Apparently we should have stayed in DDC for dinner with just about everyone else who chased the day. Still a great day. We saw the marvelous sunset and the main tornado show earlier.
     
  21. James Wilson

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    @Dan Robinson ... here is one of the brief ones just South of Jetmore. I do not know if that is what you wanted but this is off 283.

    Jet.jpg
     
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