State of the Chase Season 2021

Dean Baron

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Sep 25, 2006
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Optimism about the end of the week is trending down. Model consistency is definitely not great. It’ll be interesting to evaluate things once it’s in range of the NAM. Hopefully this weekend in Colorado isn’t the peak of the season.
 

Jason N

EF1
Mar 2, 2021
57
51
6
South Carolina
I often wonder why SPC even went out that far in advance when nothing is really even that trustworthy to begin with. even probabilities are subject to the conditional member and chaos over time like anything else, especially after 120-200hrs. I can see the Day 4 thing working out. But as of late, there are alot of times the SPC will put polygons over one particular geographic area on day 3 that start in a general category and then by Day1 that same area ends up in a enhanced. I've seen that several times, So I'm not sure its wise to go further than day 4. just my tiny opinion of course, and they are doing it anyway. but like any model, its also knowing Biases and confidence. it is just something that I think everyone has to do and know that models will never be 100% on 100% of the time. you are doing really good at 75-85%. That said, it still surprises me to see the SPC adjusting alot more than I remember in the past.
 
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Aug 9, 2012
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I'm heading out again for a few days this week, although my optimism has trended down significantly from what it was when I returned from my last trip on Saturday (was gone for a week). This pattern is starting to feel like I fell asleep and woke back up in 2014 and it's on repeat. Let's hope there is a Mid-June payout I guess? Either way I'll be chasing my way back east from WED in Nebraska to probably shelf cloud chasing on Thursday in IL lol.
 

Bobby Little

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Mar 18, 2013
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I'm heading out again for a few days this week, although my optimism has trended down significantly from what it was when I returned from my last trip on Saturday (was gone for a week). This pattern is starting to feel like I fell asleep and woke back up in 2014 and it's on repeat. Let's hope there is a Mid-June payout I guess? Either way I'll be chasing my way back east from WED in Nebraska to probably shelf cloud chasing on Thursday in IL lol.
You can pass the baton to me Ethan. I am heading out east to west. Nebraska wed.. on the way out. Eyeing an few days this coming week. If it is a dud, my wife and i can always find a burger and a beer while targeting.
 

Jason N

EF1
Mar 2, 2021
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South Carolina
I counted over 50 .. but that's only who is reporting , usually there are a lot that don't report who tag along in the group to. , but I've seen more than 100 before to and that is considered a NO GO area for me lol
 

Bobby Little

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Mar 18, 2013
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I counted over 50 .. but that's only who is reporting , usually there are a lot that don't report who tag along in the group to. , but I've seen more than 100 before to and that is considered a NO GO area for me lol
well i figure 3x more than what you see ..so 175... heading out noon tues..not liking a holiday weekend but might get a chase day in each day till sun from what i see
 

Jason N

EF1
Mar 2, 2021
57
51
6
South Carolina
sorry, that was my bad(topic shift). Well I think the Trend Ethan Schisler brought up is materializing in terms of a downtrend on conditions during the time I am looking at travels out west. . thinking a week postponement?... while the GEFS doesn't look too good either right now for 28-04June, it does improve a bit from 04-11June with the emergence of a weak -PNA possibly with the MJO still in the phase 2/3. The GFS EXT 17-24day(4-11June) does show trough development over the Wrn US. and the CFS v2 does indicate higher probs over NW Tx / Wrn OK for that time frame to. I don't know if I should delay a week or not. So I have 48hrs to call it or not.
 

Dean Baron

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Sep 25, 2006
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Minneapolis, MN
This week certainly looks like crap. Tomorrow may have some potential in western NE/KS but after that I think significant tor potential shuts down. I know the SPC has an enhanced risk for Thursday and even mentions some potential for a sig tor but with a big, crashing cold front I’m not overly optimistic about that potential. Throw in a morning MCS and the entire day could turn out to be a non event, at least in terms of tornado potential. After that it looks like the cold front will sweep moisture all the way down to TX for the weekend. The models even hint at a little snow up here in MN 🙄 if I do chase it’ll be a one day trip on Thursday. I may decide a long weekend of fishing sounds more appealing.
 
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Jeff House

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Jun 1, 2008
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Wednesday and Thursday are chase days hands down, if one is already out there or lives out there. Travel is a different topic.

Wednesday should be isolated sups on the DL. Warm mid-level is an issue. If one can go and overcome it, tap into the entire CAPE profile, it’s game on!

Thursday is somewhat cold front, somewhat outflow. That’s risky in April and early May. Late May with enough cross-frontal flow aloft, that can work. May 22, 2019 comes to mind.

In conclusion I would say this is a good two day sequence for chasing.
 

Jesse Risley

Staff member
Apr 12, 2006
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Jeff what are you seeing in the large scale outlook from 4 -11 June. I am calling into question my trip timing.
Both this morning's Euro and the GEFS look relatively milquetoast.

There is some very modest zonal flow over the N Plains towards the end of that period. I don't see any life-altering troughs, but it's also important to remember that we are nearing June. There have been many, many days that are not synoptically evident, like yesterday, on long-range model predictions yet enough CAPE, a boundary, and maybe 25-40kt of mid-level flow end up yielding a nice surprise event or two, especially on the Cheyenne Ridge and the DCVZ, but anywhere that the right parameters overlap. Every year generally offers a handful of photogenic tornadic supercells and incredible structure on days just not screaming with red flags 7-10 days out.
 

Jason N

EF1
Mar 2, 2021
57
51
6
South Carolina
Jesse, yeah -- good points, I think I am trying to look at it from the preponderance of factors , do I stick with landing on the 28th and maybe get that day, the 29th and maybe the 30th before things shut off almost entirely? or do I wait a week and hope the ridge isn't so dramatic. and even if the probs are lowered , gives me maybe more potential days to select from once the meso-scale features come into view. I hate feeling like I'm going to waste a 9 day trip! .. lol
 

Matt Hunt

EF3
Aug 2, 2009
249
101
11
Twin Falls, ID
Jesse, yeah -- good points, I think I am trying to look at it from the preponderance of factors , do I stick with landing on the 28th and maybe get that day, the 29th and maybe the 30th before things shut off almost entirely? or do I wait a week and hope the ridge isn't so dramatic. and even if the probs are lowered , gives me maybe more potential days to select from once the meso-scale features come into view. I hate feeling like I'm going to waste a 9 day trip! .. lol
That's tough when you're flying in. Last year I had a week off for chasing, and aside from one marginal day on the first Saturday, there was really nothing else. So I skipped the long drive for just one marginal day, and went mountain biking in Moab instead!

Back to this season, I'm pretty optimistic about the next two days. Currently in Garden City, KS, and may not have to move much for tomorrow. Thursday I'm questioning if the TX panhandle dryline may be a better bet than the cold front zone, though as Jeff House mentioned, it could still work. It definitely has the potential to get messy, though, perhaps some sort of quasi-linear with embedded HP supercells. Environment is quite juicy, though, with 70+ dewpoints. I don't think we've seen that yet this year, have we?

The weekend looks iffy. Maybe some potential back in Colorado/panhandle region. After that, well, I'm just going to wait until it's closer to decide if I want to stay in the plains another week, or head back to Idaho. I have until June 7th, but realistically the 5th would probably be my last chase day, unless we're talking eastern WY. Looking at the 18z GFS now, and it's putting NW flow over the plains, and that's kinda been the trend.
 

Jason N

EF1
Mar 2, 2021
57
51
6
South Carolina
Matt, yeah, I don't think there is going to be a week even after this one that is just skirt raising awesome, they are going to be small areas with minimal to somewhat decent conditions in small areas, so I am just going to have to suck it up and go and do the work to find the best stuff I can.. heck even if that takes me to places just for structure sunset shots, I'll make the most of it, and like was said before, the closer in models will fill in some of the features that GFS/CFS/GDPS etc. just don't really have a handle on. I do see some small potential here and there. As it stands right now.. Sat-Sun 29-30 have some slight maybes( will keep watching)... mon-wed.. ugh( park visits)... thurs and fri get a tiny bit better maybe...
 
Jul 5, 2009
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I’m looking forward to the next few days. Thursday in SW KS, Friday in the TX PH, Friday looks iffy but both Saturday and Sunday there is moisture in E CO and magic can happen there with just marginal 500mb flow. Agree next week is t looking too good right now, I probably wont stick around for NW flow, will save the vacation time and head home early.
 
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Jason N

EF1
Mar 2, 2021
57
51
6
South Carolina
yeah, if I were out there today I would probably be sitting in Garden/Scott city... on that note I think I am going to cancel for this upcoming week. its just not looking good.. gonna swap to 4 - 12 June.
 

Matt Hunt

EF3
Aug 2, 2009
249
101
11
Twin Falls, ID
yeah, if I were out there today I would probably be sitting in Garden/Scott city... on that note I think I am going to cancel for this upcoming week. its just not looking good.. gonna swap to 4 - 12 June.
I just so happen to already be in Garden City! Jackpot! Was thinking the exact same thing, may scoot north just a bit, but we'll see how conditions play out. That really escalated quickly from 5% yesterday up to 15% hatched!

Yeah, as for the long-term outlook, I'm thinking I may be heading home after this weekend, or possibly even after tomorrow, since it looks like there will be some down days, then maybe some northern plains action heading into the following weekend. I could come back out for that, as I'm just about 9 hours from Cheyenne.
 
Jul 5, 2009
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Newtown, Pennsylvania
Well it’s amazing how a two week chase vacation starts with promise and then all hope is lost in the blink of an eye. A couple of good days to start this past Sun and Mon, a day off on Tue, a massive forecast fail targeting SW KS on Wed, but hey there are still 10 days left!!! Oh, wait, today sucks, maybe some NM table scraps over Memorial Day Weekend, and then you can basically put Chase Vacation Week Two in the crapper with a west coast ridge and northwest flow across the Plains. Amazing how it all vaporizes so fast, after all the hope and anticipation. Anybody else ever ask themselves if it’s worth investing so much time, money and emotion in a hobby where we have almost no control over our experiences??? I guess if I lived out here and took the good days when they were available it would be OK, but these chase vacations are starting to feel ridiculous. I suspect I will be heading home just after Memorial Day and saving the money and the vacation time.
 

Dean Baron

Supporter
Sep 25, 2006
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Minneapolis, MN
Anybody else ever ask themselves if it’s worth investing so much time, money and emotion in a hobby where we have almost no control over our experiences???
A bit off topic but I think it’s important to vent. Might be more appropriate to start a different thread but I’ll leave that to the mods to decide.

I asked myself this a lot last year. The entire 12 hour drive home from NW KS back home over Memorial Day weekend after a bust, all I could think about was why I wasted basically my entire long weekend for pretty much nothing. I took PTO today and tomorrow in anticipation of chasing, only to end up deciding to sit out today’s setup which means I took time off work to just sit at home 🙄 I can only imagine the frustration of chasers who take long chasecations. Might be time to look for other hobbies to fill the void. I personally took up fishing more the last couple years...
 
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Jason N

EF1
Mar 2, 2021
57
51
6
South Carolina
Well the SW KS was the spot. I think the late afternoon Cirrus shield that developed killed a lot of potential CI. that said, the first parent cell that tracked over towards Hays appeared to be the one that folks figured, "its Bait!!" - lets wait it out.. the Meso-analysis and the HRRR won't let us down! ... but from posted videos the cell up in Benkelman NE was also a really nice one, but terrain was probably an issue for most because I saw very few chasers up there.

.. ok Topic shift ... I don't wanna get in trouble lol.

it appears now that the Trough/Ridge trend for the week of 5-12 June is looking somewhat improved with trough development over the Wrn US as per current trends of the CFS/GFS/GDPS ... So I think I am making a good call in delaying. but it appears the locations will be possibly shifted north to the dakotas possibly.. still way too far to tell for sure.