2018 severe wx/chase season discussion

Discussion in 'Advanced weather & chasing' started by Warren Faidley, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. Warren Faidley

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,160
    Likes Received:
    381
    I doubt I'm the only one who has noticed a very slow start (or no start) to the 2018 severe weather season. Although the SPC reports only 16 tornadoes in January (which is not too uncommon), the overall thunderstorm potential has been very low. When you look at the long range models, there is no real indication of any robust activity in the near future as long as the Gulf is shut down.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    1,452
    This season reminds me a lot of 2010 - persistent ridging out west and multiple reinforcing arctic air intrusions. At least this winter, I've seen lightning (a couple of weeks ago). My 2009-2010 winter was completely thunder-less.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Andy Wehrle

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes Received:
    88
    A few reports in the South yesterday and today. Not too atypical for early February.

    If we're still looking at a similar pattern by late March and especially into April, then I'll start getting worried.
     
  4. Bob Schafer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Messages:
    1,243
    Likes Received:
    167
    I spent last night in a motel room in Shreveport. It thundered well into the wee hours. Loved it.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  5. Jonathan Beeson

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    36
    There's not much to be worried about. Honestly.. if you look at larger scale patterns over the years, a hyperactive DJF can often mean a very quiet and uneventful AMJ. Of course this isn't perfect, and there are some cases like 2008 that had sustained activity the entire first half of the year, but it's generally a good baseline.

    However, we are seeing signs of the western ridge-eastern trough pattern beginning to break down, and this is including perhaps some chances of rain for the southwest and great plains.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,782
    Likes Received:
    1,130
    Is this opinion based on any quantitative information? Looking at climo, the median number of tornadoes in January from 1950-2010 was only 15. Even if you take the typical 85% of the initial reported tornadoes to estimate the final true count (which we won't know for sure until January's Storm Data is released, but that won't be for about six months), that still means there were about 13 or 14 tornadoes, which is right smack dab in the middle of the distribution.

    It's January...the dead of winter, and the middle of the cold season. It is typically not considered to be a very active month for deep moist convection. So I don't think there's much data to make any major conclusions on, but also not much numerical data to assert that January 2018 was meaningfully anomalously quiet. We're also in a La Nina winter - a pattern not particularly favorable for storms.

    Wait until Feb and March get underway before making judgments about whether 2018 is going to be a good or bad year.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    #6 Jeff Duda, Feb 8, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  7. Randy Jennings

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    279
    Likes Received:
    194
    SPC WCM page says we are at the top of the bottom quartile so far (chart from http://www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/adj.html):

    torgraph.png
    It is interesting to note that it really isn't until late March or even April before you start to see much of a difference between a bad year and a good year as far a quantity is concerned. Of course one can find years that started out slow and ended up great. I'm not writing it off yet. I've already had once chase this year (Jan. 21 in NE TX) and saw one probable tornado (after dark). That event was warned for over 200 miles and confirmed 3 tornados (one an EF2 - details at http://www.weather.gov/shv/event_2018-1-21_severe ). Here's to hoping if we don't get quantity that we at least get quality.
     
  8. Warren Faidley

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,160
    Likes Received:
    381
    Just to be clear, I was not implying below average thunderstorm activity relates to a bad chase year. Thanks for posting the Percentile Ranks.
     
  9. Andy Wehrle

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes Received:
    88
    I'd take another Bowdle and June 17th!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. DanWerts

    DanWerts Lurker

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    3
    I might be wrong here, but it's my understanding that the influence of La Nina is keeping the jet stream further north. Which in turns affects low pressure system tracks and overall high pressure locations in the U.S. As such, there is no High pressure ridge in place at the time pushing warm moist air northward.
    Keep in mind I'm only a Hobbyist when it comes to Meteorology. My main focus really is in RF engineering and Geology. So I could very well be wrong about this.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. B. Dean Berry

    B. Dean Berry Moderator

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    50
    As an aside - Man, there is really nothing more relaxing than hotel thunder. One of my favorite situations.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. JamesCaruso

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    234


    Or another Campo!




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. James Wilson

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    297
    2010 was my worse year by far ... this year is similar thus far.
     
  14. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,782
    Likes Received:
    1,130
    • Informative Informative x 2
  15. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    1,452
    I looked at some past drought monitor maps, and it appears there is little correlation between Plains precip through mid-February and the quality of the following chase season. You could say that no-drought conditions might increase the odds of a good season (IE 2010 and 2016), but 2013 and 2011 don't fit that mold. Source: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Maps/MapArchive.aspx

    drought-feb.png

    drought-feb2.png
     
    • Like Like x 4
    #15 Dan Robinson, Feb 14, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  16. JamesCaruso

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    234


    The good news is the article also mentions how active the previous year's winter was, and we all know the 2017 chase season sucked, so when looking at this winter hopefully there is an inverse relationship to chase season, or (at worst) no relationship at all.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. Jonathan Beeson

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    36
  18. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,782
    Likes Received:
    1,130
    You would be best to assume there is little to no correlation between general t-storm/svr activity during the winter and during the subsequent spring. You're not going to be able to make any skillful predictions based on this. Too much noise in the signal, and too many other factors that impact severe weather activity in both seasons that themselves are not strongly correlated (between seasons).
     
  19. Drew T

    Drew T EF4

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Messages:
    314
    Likes Received:
    112

    This is great info Dan! Thanks for posting this as I'd always thought there was more of a correlation between the two. Clearly my thinking was wrong.
     
  20. Andy Wehrle

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes Received:
    88
    Well between tomorrow and later next week, looks like things should at least be picking up to where they should be for the end of Feb./early March with modest to moderate severe potential from the lower MS Valley east to the mid-South/Dixie Alley
     
  21. Taylor Wright

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    175
    So far through Feb. 25th, preliminary counts show us riding somewhere around 30th percentile. Looks like a slow start but GFS shows that could change soon with more southeast junk in the coming weeks.
    [​IMG]
     
  22. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,782
    Likes Received:
    1,130
    Noise vs. signal. Tough to tell with so small a sample size and so early in the year. It only really takes one event to launch the seasonal count from the 25th to the 75th percentile at this time of year.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  23. Robert Pickard

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2018
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've only had one thunderstorm here, and one tornado warning(at night) for the northern part of the county, (which I avoided because at night you can't see anything). Only 5 lightning strikes all year lol...
    It'll pick up, I hope..
     
  24. Jeff House

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    157
    If Birmingham does a survey we can tack on 1-2 more tornadoes in northwest Alabama Feb. 28th. Low levels did not looked backed enough but the two cells were turning hard right. Somebody over there documented and tweeted TOG. It was oddly close to my Aug. 31, 2017 intercept mile marker 30 Alabama I-22.
     
  25. Todd Lemery

    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    294

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice