2018 severe wx/chase season discussion

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

  1. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    2006 had the three big east-of-the-Plains outbreaks early in the season (March 12, April 2 and April 7) that probably account for a large number of the reports for that April at least. I wonder what the data would look like if those events were filtered out.
     
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    #276 Dan Robinson, May 23, 2018
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  2. Brett Roberts

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    This year has been worse than 2006 YTD, but so was 2014 and several others. What puts 2006 near the very bottom for me is that the prime season (May-June) was basically worthless. March-April were actually somewhat active, which accounts for why we're running behind its pace right now. But, as is typical of early season events, the vast majority of that activity in 2006 was moisture starved and junky. I think April 6 and April 24 were the only remotely noteworthy Plains tornado chase ops of the entire spring, and they were probably both less memorable than this year's Tescott event.

    FWIW, the crude scoring system I came up with ranks 2006 as the worst May-June on record, with 2012 close behind: http://skyinmotion.com/weather/chas...egion=scplains&season=lateseason&display=plot

    To be fair, there's no real sign of hope on the model guidance right now, so it's certainly possible that this season ends up worse than 2006 should June unfold similarly to that year. That scenario would likely put 2018 neck and neck with 1988 for worst season ever.
     
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  3. Jesse Risley

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    It did back in January of 2010. They raised the threshold criteria from 0.75" to 1.00" for SVR thunderstorm warnings. It had to do with damage to roofs and other property being more common at 1"+, as well as a plethora of warnings from events that produced nickel sized hail, for example, but for which there was little threat to personal property = public desensitization.
     
  4. Brett Nickeson

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    GFS and Euro are trying to show some signs of life in the neighborhood of late next week to next weekend. Which would make sense since I can't chase next Tuesday through Sunday. While their solutions differ significantly, both bring a shortwave through the central to northern plains with seasonable moisture below it.
     
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  5. Andy Wehrle

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    March and April of '06 were actually pretty decent, as has been noted. One event I haven't seen mentioned is a quite photogenic tornado in southeast Nebraska in mid-April that Shane Adams among others was on:

    http://www.passiontwist.com/41506chase.htm

    It was in May that year that everything shut down. This is by far the deadest severe weather season I've personally observed, with NO legitimate outbreaks anywhere in the central US from March-May and the Culver/Tescott tornado the only redeeming event for those who were able to snag it.
     
  6. Greg Ansel

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    What should also be factored in is the redundant reporting that happens more frequently now when you have several chasers/spotters reporting on the same event. I have mentioned this in the past as I believe (from reading the reports on SPC), that there can be as many as 4 or 5 tornado, wind, or hail reports on the same storm in the same location and time. I think, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, the National Weather Service should filter these reports down to one for each cell, time and location. Then we can have a better discussion of how good or bad the season is based on singular event reports. Also, I've been on storms where they were in unchaseable areas, and thus few to no reports were generated for anything other than visual events (tornado, but no hail size or wind).
     
  7. chrisbray

    chrisbray EF4

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    Guys....we have sub-200 hour indicators that upper level flow is returning to the CONUS! Season's not dead yet!
     
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  8. Alex Elmore

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    They do. That's why Storm Data is published relatively well after the fact, and why the previous year's severe reports aren't made available until usually the following April or May. Looking at SPC's WCM page, it appears 2017 hail and wind reports are in and finalized, but tornado reports are still being worked on.
     
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  9. Greg Ansel

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    So with that being the case, a true comparison of this season and how many Tors, hail, and wind events actually occurred wouldn't happen until next year when all the data is sorted. It still looks pretty bleak so far. Also wondering if, when the season is bad and less chasers go out, if the storm coverage reporting-wise is reduced and many events go unreported thus compounding the bad season statistics.
     
  10. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    I don't think that is much of a problem anymore, and likely hasn't in 10 years or more. The chasers don't go away just because the pattern doesn't support tornadoes. Case in point - there is a tiny Severe Thunderstorm Watch in effect for parts of W K/E CO right now on a day with 25-30 kts at h5, but I still see a few dozen SN dots in W KS right now. And the SN dots are not 100% of the chasers out right now.

    The only place where you might get unreported severe anymore is either at high altitude (say CO or NM west of where chasers would normally call off the chase) or in MT/ND because they're just so desolate and some storms may occur 20 miles from a paved road.
     
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  11. Stan Rose

    Stan Rose EF4

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    Capital Weather Gang noted there have been fewer 'intense' tornadoes than at any other time so far. I think that's why this season is so abysmal for me--the weather is there it's just so 'meh'. And the reasons for that have already been discussed. I haven't seen a good photo of a photogenic (subjective) tornado thus far, which I cant recall happening in my 20+ yrs chasing. And zero success personally--Tescott came close for me but i ended up playing catchup over downed power lines so even that was a waste. The Roswell supercells have been pretty. Im seeing some hope for a return to quasi-normalcy by second week of June but after the last 6 weeks not much room for optimism really...i guess i should be happy since im getting married next week and that's far more dangerous than any tornado
     
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  12. Jeff House

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    Yes the middle of June could offer Upper Midwest (or Northern Plains or Midwest/OV) action. Timing is a little different on the ECWMF weeklies and CFS weeklies, but at least both show a possible week. CFS Dashboard has that Upper Midwest look. Good when they agree.

    This coming week has more questions than answers. Southeast/Tenn. Valley low hinders moisture return, sad going into June. Central Plains wind fields look good early week, but moisture probably mixes out too much. Northern Plains/Upper Midwest shows an actual system late week, but timing is all over the place. Also a risk of single day, vs sequence, due to messy forecast wind fields. On the flip side there is the argument to just go with decent wind fields around/after Memorial Day. idk

    Sadly I'm actually hoping for a tropical storm in the South to bring inland some 850 mb and other wind fields. If a South low is going to mess up the Plains, might as well make it tropical and have a go at Dixie. Did I just write that in late May?
     
  13. Quincy Vagell

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    There is fairly strong support from both the EPS and weeklies in early June for pronounced troughing in southeastern Canada... again... but that would seem to suggest that areas from the eastern Dakotas into the upper Midwest and Great Lakes may have multiple severe weather opportunities starting around the first weekend in June and continuing for at least a while, before the pattern breaks down.
     
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  14. Dean Baron

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    For anyone who thinks the season ends at the end of May or beginning of June has probably rarely, if ever, chased the northern plains. The setups and storms may not be as perfect as they are in the central or southern plains, but there are always a few good setups up here through July and August. Models are starting to hint at a couple of potential setups around here too.
     
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  15. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    Congratulations Stan!

    Next week doesn't look great, but doesn't look bad, either - at least compared to the last 2 weeks.. The TC impact on the moisture fetch is the big concern as well as big central US-sweeping cold fronts the operational GFS has been painting. Jeff is right, the post-landfall TC is often a player if it can get dry slotted. All in all, it looks like at least a time to go back on chase standby mode starting Wednesday, but quality of any given day might not be apparent until morning of.
     
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    #290 Dan Robinson, May 25, 2018
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  16. JamesCaruso

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    I’m worried more about capping and hot surface temps next week than anything else but will take my chances on the northern Plains because I’m already inside of my remaining two week window before a hard stop return on June 7. If I don’t get out there now, that would be pretty much it for the season, and I just can’t give it up completely. The only potential upside of NOT heading out now would be possibly being able to get out there the week of June 11 (which I cannot do if I am out there the next two weeks, because that would be a third consecutive week and I just can’t do that). But that would be a short trip and everything would have to perfectly align. If I go out this week and end up coming back early because of inactivity, then I may be able to squeak out another short June trip. The week of June 18 is pretty much out for me no matter what. Anyway, when I say head out “now”, I am referring to the upcoming week, just trying to decide whether to fly out (likely to Omaha) on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  17. Jeremy Bower

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    My expectations this year are lower than they've ever been. So low I have it in my head that I'll see nothing but blue skies the entire week I'm out. However, I'm fully committed to my chasecation of June 10 to 15 so good, bad, or indifferent, I'll try to get what I can get. I've discussed elsewhere with other chasers and there seems to be slight temperate optimism for the first two full weeks of June but I've been down this road every year for the past six years. At this point in my life, I'm content with not seeing a tornado. The mothership supercell photograph is my goal. I'm starting to think I'm the last chaser on the planet that doesn't have a photograph of one. After the past six years of hardships and shortcomings, I'm hoping to finally achieve that goal. Hope to see some of you out there.
     
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  18. Warren Faidley

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    Somewhat amazing the GFS picked up the tropical system interfering with chase RH several weeks ago.

    Edit: For those who who still want to chase this year, we always have the monsoon in Arizona. Tornadoes rare, but lots of lightning and dust storms over fantastic landscapes and mountains.
     
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  19. Brandon Centeno

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    Not really... This is a known bias in the GFS/GEFS to be way too aggressive on developing tropical systems. The GFS often induces TC genesis in the 240 hr + range, but never actually materializes. The GFS has been advertising a tropical system in the 240-384 hour range for pretty much the last 450-500 hours.. So this is just a case of a broken clock being right....
     
  20. JamesCaruso

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    After all the hemming and hawing about when to start my chase vacation, the die have been cast: I am flying to Denver on Sunday morning. I don’t like flying in on a chase day, it can be stressful with time, especially if flights are delayed, connections missed, etc. But that’s the price of trying to time this thing too closely. I didn’t want to head out today so I could have a good quality day with the family, which is turning out to be the only day I will be with them for the holiday weekend. I have no regrets about not heading out sooner, I didn’t miss much and was able to do a number of quality family things this past week. As long as the flights work out tomorrow, I will be in Denver before noon and should be good to go.

    I have to get back by June 7 so unfortunately I have less than two weeks available. Again I don’t regret any decisions to this point because I haven’t missed anything, but if things finally get crazy after June 7 I am going to be ready to quit this whole crazy avocation
     
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  21. Brandon Centeno

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    In case ya'll were curious..

    What is the min for May? 88 had 132 and 2006 139, according to the SPC's historical severe weather database. Surely we're pushing record territory here?

    We'll probably end up around 120, if I had to guess. Fewer than April and well below average. A year to remember folks.
     
  22. Andy Wehrle

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    Decent supercell out there north of Dodge City. Rather troubling that this didn't get a tornado warning, even though it didn't last much longer, especially since it was relatively close to the radar and the couplet was at less than 1k feet up. I've seen many a much less ominous signature (both reflectivity and velocity) than this get warned.

    Anyone on this?

    . DDC_2103.png DDC_2105.png DDC_2107.png
     
  23. Todd Lemery

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    They heard you...
     
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  24. Andy Wehrle

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    Different cell, lol. Looks like the second (and warned) one produced before the cell to the south just crashed into it.
     
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  25. Alex Elmore

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    Storm Relative Velocity in GR3 is calculated somehow through the program itself. GR2 and AWIPS (what NWS forecasters use) allows for the manual calculation of SRV through storm motion (i.e. direction and speed), which is more accurate than SRV in GR3. Rotation was probably just not great enough and/or long enough for them to justify warning it.
     

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