State of the Chase Season: 2017 Edition

Discussion in 'Advanced weather & chasing' started by James Gustina, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. Paul Knightley

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Messages:
    875
    Likes Received:
    144
    Don't forget beyond about 144 hours it gets very dodgy believing what is being shown, unless you see consistent trends or output. Ensembles are the best help in this regard. For example, ECMWF's ensemble mean shows a strong Pacific jet beyond 300 hours, and then a mean ridge in the western CONUS. Although nothing solid can be gained from this, the hints are that western US troughing is favoured. Something similar is shown on the GFS ensembles. A few hints are there that w/c 22nd May could see a lower latitude sub-tropical jet causing troughing in the SW'ern US. This might be followed by a ridge before the polar front jet in the N Pacific starts to breakdown into a western US trough. But, the main thing I've learned over the years is not to be too worried about it - once out there, chase day-by-day!
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,784
    Likes Received:
    1,133
    Chase season 2017 feels like June-or-bust to me at this point.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Michael Snyder

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    189
    Oh come on now, next week has potential for diamonds in the rough. The best kind of chasing! Decent moisture, southerly 850s, 500s over the top. Looks like Tuesday maybe thur/fri. Its May, get out and chase, just don't run any stop signs.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  4. Warren Faidley

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,160
    Likes Received:
    381
    Too many negative vibes!

    I don't even look at the long "rage" after about May 15. This time of year I generally depend on NCEP guidance: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/ens/ens.html

    It currently looks above average to me.

    There are a host of possibilities from Mid-to-late May into June, including NW flow events, orographic, Caprock, firenadoes, Denver Cyclone, and other wx oddities if everything else fails. Too many examples to list here, e.g., Campo. If you focus on outbreaks and high risk conditions then you will go mad. You also have to be willing to travel to the long shots, from Roswell, Midland, Grand Island to Limon and western Iowa.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  5. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    1,454
    My concern about next week is what seems to be a tendency for moisture to mix out. The dryline is shown having trouble keeping the 65+ DPs pooled. I'm not sure I understand why else the models are so eager to keep the southern/central Plains so disconnected from what looks like a seasonably robust supply of 70+ dews along the Gulf coast.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Warren Faidley

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,160
    Likes Received:
    381
    One of the lead forecasters at AMA use to call it "Seasonal Moisture Bias." The GFS shows acceptable RH in the eastern TX Panhandle and nearby areas next Tuesday with a "TOR" hazard sounding. I think the risk will only get better as time goes by. I don't buy the crazy swings in surface features too far out but the moisture will be somewhere E / W, but not pushed back in the Gulf.
     
  7. Ethan Schisler

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    398
    I am keeping a close eye on next week as well. I sat last week's underwhelming setups out and managed to nab a couple tornadoes on a supercell within an hour of home, so that was nice! Even though my actual technical "chasecation" doesn't start until May 26th, I may have to make an early run next week looking at the GFS and Euro.

    I can agree with what other posts are saying. So far on an overall level this has been an underwhelming season. Part of me wonders when it is going to give though, because even in the leanest years, we end up with one or two major days that make it or break it for people (2009, 2014 etc). I can only hope for a stretch like June 16-18, 2014 at this point....
     
  8. chrisbray

    chrisbray EF4

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    463
    Likes Received:
    120
    Surprised no talk about next week at all, Monday through the weekend could have potential chasing each and every day!
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,784
    Likes Received:
    1,133
    Start a forecast thread for it! You're plenty capable of it, Chris.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. Ethan Schisler

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    398
    Well that didn't last very long. This week looks to have its fair share of issues, sure there could be tornadoes on both Tuesday and Thursday, but neither are a slam dunk at this point. Next week looks like a down week with mostly northwest flow. And now the GFS has the same thing advertised for the start of my chase trip as well (May 26th). While this can easily change, we are halfway into the month of May and not seeing much hope on the horizon. I can only hope for a 2009 or 14 scenario where June saves the season (for some). It doesn't help either that today we are looking at probably our first 90 degree day of the year here, which usually doesn't happen until June sometimes.
     
  11. Eric Bucsela

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    13
    Today (Tue) is looking like another day where overall pattern recognition and climatology were better predictors than details in the last couple days' model runs - many of which were negative as others here have noted. It's forest vs the trees. Combo of good instability and SW flow in mid/late May is a huge red flag. Not recognizing that has cost me more good chases than the other way around.

    Possibly more of the same Thursday, and maybe even Friday if trends hold. Unfortunately I'm missing today's action but will try to fly out and catch something later this week. Another consideration is that long-range guidance like NCEP ensembles and CPC has been consistently bleak.
     
    #86 Eric Bucsela, May 16, 2017
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
  12. Warren Faidley

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,160
    Likes Received:
    381
    It does not surprise me that we are making an early transition into the NW flow period of the season -- given the lackluster pattern so far. Looking at the models, I don't see the zonal / NW flow pattern changing anytime soon after it sets up next week. This does not mean it's the end of the season -- it means shifting chase operations to eastern Colorado two weeks earlier than planned! I do believe we will get back to a few days of SW flow eventually.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. chrisbray

    chrisbray EF4

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    463
    Likes Received:
    120
    Hope you all enjoyed the past couple days, because get ready for another long week of East Coast Troughing!!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Jesse Risley

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes Received:
    118
    Long-range ensembles are depicting the possibility of a return to somewhat of a favorable pattern by the first weekend in June, so 14-16 days out. In the interim, there is the occasional embedded perturbations that are yet to be resolved by long-range models, as well as the seasonable upslope flow that Warren alluded to. June is usually good for a surprise or two as well.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Stan Rose

    Stan Rose EF4

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    92
    I give up...im gonna take up something new like ice skating or maybe baking cookies...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. James Gustina

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    612
    Likes Received:
    220
    There might be a slight sliver of hope with some more low-key setups towards the end of next week but the details are still extremely muddled. GFS has been hinting at the possibility for a NW flow dryline day tossed in with a somewhat more pronounced westerly component to the jet by the next Monday. Obviously this doesn't really help out the chasecation crowd but: 98a867908db551a92d30cdc9d783f076.jpg
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. James Gustina

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    612
    Likes Received:
    220
    Just building off my previous post, GFS and Euro are coming more in line with a possible event next Friday/Saturday with a late May massive instability/modest shear day along a pretty sharp dryline. In the more immediate future, Monday also has the possibility to maybe put out some weak upper level flow supercells along the edge of the Edwards Plateau/Llano Estacado should things not all congeal at once (a big if when your shear is <30 knots).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. JamesCaruso

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    234
    ^ Yeah, my trip is supposed to start next weekend, I was thinking about delaying a couple days, didn't want to miss Memorial Day Weekend with family if nothing was going to happen out there anyway, but Friday looks like it has potential. One problem is that GFS paints the highest instability in the trees of OK east of I-35. But maybe a triple point play in southwest KS, the instability and 500mb flow are both weaker there but probably better forcing, backed surface winds, and far better chase terrain, some of my favorite actually. Need to figure out today where I am going to fly into.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  19. Ethan Schisler

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    398
    My original trip was supposed to start May 26th, but we pushed it back to June 5-12th at the last minute. I'm seeing the GFS showing some interesting stuff this weekend, so it might be enough to bait me out. Considering I've been out chasing for the past several days, I gladly welcome some down-time, especially when you're a solo driver lol. I have my best tornado luck in June anyway, so bring it on!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Jeff House

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    157
    Agree Thu-Sat this week has potential for chasers, though no big outbreaks. Modest WSW flow over DL, instability and perhaps other boundaries. Though national wx chart is a mess, in late May only the regional Plains chart matters. Then centered around weekend of June 3 could be another chance. Heights are up on ensemble averages, but some ensemble members hint of another West trough. MJO is friendly to first week of June as well. While synoptic days may be winding down, chase season still looks good for a few weeks.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  21. Ethan Schisler

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    398
    I don't really like what I see the next week over the plains. Each day certainly has some potential with high instability values, but I question whether or not the moisture will return by Thursday/Friday to get the full potential out of this. Saturday looks like things may shift eastward now toward the Mississippi River valley and Sunday is gone. I know its late May and anything can happen, but the overall synoptic pattern coupled with the fact that on each of these days the low level jet appears incredibly veered, doesn't leave me too exited. And then for the fact that it looks to take a break for a few days at least next week. All I know is I'm glad I pushed my chase-vacation back. I may be sitting close to home as that is an historically active period for IL/IA for tornadoes (June 5-12). We will see I suppose.
     
  22. Jeff House

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    157
    Early June looks good, esp if one considers the northern Plains. MJO assisted forcing should be friendly to the model forecasts of jet extension(s) into the Plains. Yeah this week is on the down trend. Might be some warm front action in Illinois. Plains is hampered by cap and LLJ issues; but, the latter might solve the former. Still a high CAPE environment with boundaries. Really both periods are doable for trips.
     
  23. JamesCaruso

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    234
    I am hopeful there may be some CO upslope on Friday. There is sufficient moisture, and the LLJ is southeasterly in that area. Negative is the 500mb flow is not as strong as in TX/OK. Also as Jeff H. noted, magic can happen in high CAPE environments.

    For me personally, it is very tempting to delay my trip so I can spend Memorial Day Weekend at home with my family and then next week take care of some recent work emergencies. But I feel like the longer I delay getting out there, the more additional things can go wrong to keep me from leaving the following weekend. I have a hard stop on June 10 so might as well optimize the time available to me.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    • Like Like x 1
  24. Jeff House

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    157
    I agree with some Palmer Divide magic in Colorado Thursday and maybe Friday. If the boundary sinks south one could work the Raton Mesa magic Friday. Both days storms may move into Kansas in the easterly flow, but esp Thursday may get messy in KS. Colorado would be the target.

    Tough call going out for the event. Friday and Saturday will have high CAPE under enough WSW flow in the central/southern Plains. Cap near DL could be breached with enough convergence. My main concern is squirrelly LLJ progs. Trying to remember some good days where the LLJ did not resolve until morning. Day before and day after DDC last year, including Chapman? Maybe even Bennington a few years back? Anybody remember? It is a big question if facing an 8-12 hour drive, lol.

    Pattern recognition still says, heck yeah. However this year seems to be real fickle, perfect set-up or goes to slop. Perhaps late May magic will take over. Otherwise hope beginning of June works out.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    #99 Jeff House, May 23, 2017
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  25. JamesCaruso

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    234
    While I am still optimistic about Friday in Colorado, the GFS looks absolutely pitiful for most of my chase vacation after that (I come home the weekend of June 10). Northwest flow in CO and the northern Plains, weakening as time goes on. No sign of the trough that was supposedly going to be centered around the weekend of June 3, at least not on the GFS although the Euro still seems to hint at that, with a weak trough over AZ under the main flow up north at 240 hours. Meanwhile the ERTAF forecasted average tornado activity next week and above average the week after that. The CFS dashboard had been looking good for the period as well. Obviously we are far enough out that the GFS can flip back, and admittedly it's just one model, with the Euro looking a little better. So there is still hope. But next week does not look too exciting, we just have to hope for smaller perturbations not yet resolved and/or northwest flow events. I almost feel guilty going out there, leaving work responsibilities and family for pretty much no reason (although I can at least handle some of the work stuff from the road).


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     

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