2017-03-31 EVENT: NM/TX/OK/CO/KS

Discussion in 'Target Area' started by Jeremy Perez, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. Jeremy Perez

    Aug 31, 2008
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    Odds of making a fool of myself on this one are fairly high. If I wind up being convinced that next Saturday April 1 is a play in Texas/Oklahoma, I might look at Friday March 31st as a ‘day-before’ option.

    NAM, GFS and ECMWF show a closed upper low moving over the four corners and developing a surface trough from southeast Colorado down eastern New Mexico/western Texas Panhandle. The models forecast this to draw a wedge (heh) of upper 40°/low 50° dewpoints into the Texas Panhandle (GFS prefers further north into the Oklahoma Panhandle). This leads to a northwest to southeast dryline across one or both Panhandles. Mid-level lapse rates on the moist side of this increase to 8-9°C/km along the western edge by 00Z. Low-level lapse rates peak at most to 7.5°C/km just prior to sundown in the same area. NAM shows MLCAPE values only treading around 750 j/kg at 00Z and rising somewhat to 1200j/kg afterward as dew points gradually increase and upper levels cool.

    Shear from the approaching low reaches 50-70 kts across the area of interest. Surface-3km SRH looks like 250-300 m2/s2 and surface-1km SRH from 100-200 m2/s2. Strong anvil level winds and precipitable water around 0.6 inches could mean pretty looking storms if anything manages to form.

    Which leads to the bigger question of whether the cap on the meager setup will break, and if so, in an area with better dynamics.
    • 18Z and 00Z NAM points to complete bust.
    • 18Z 3KM NAM reflectivity allows things to opens up just a bit along the western portion of the dryline after 23Z.
    • 18Z GFS also generates precip along the western portion of the boundary, but further north than 3KM NAM.
    • 12Z ECMWF is opens up some precip on the far western edge of moisture in northeast New Mexico, farther removed from oh-so-slightly better moisture.
    • LSI shows a potentially breakable cap as one approaches 00Z. I’m not well adjusted to this tool though, so hard to say.
    With such marginal moisture, I wouldn’t be looking for anything tornadic. But one or two little LP storms around sunset might be nice. Again, assuming anything forms. I wouldn’t make a trip out just for this. But if Saturday looks like an option, I may leave early enough to try for some photo ops with Friday evening from the northern Texas Panhandles to the CO/NM/KS/OK junction.

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