04/19/05 TALK: Central Plains/Southern Plains

Tuesday now looks like the best bet to me out of Mon, Tues, Weds this week. SPC has a 25% bullet around the CO, WY, NE area where the best backed surface winds will be. Upper winds will be weak but marginally sufficient for a brief tornado or two. Seeing how this is so close to home for us Colorado chasers, I will be ready to leave DEN around 11:00am and head up to target: Ogallala, NE
I tend to agree that Tuesday looks pretty good, especially for the central high plains. 12Z ETA run suggests extreme northeast CO/northwest KS/western NE. It hints at a dry line bulge, with CAPE around 3000 j/kg and helicity of 300-500 m**2/sec**2. The only missing ingredient in this prog is upper level energy. Upper low is a bit off to the west, with weak difluence in winds aloft for some upward motion. I'd like to see 50 kt flags somewhere in the upper levels, but they're just a bit upstream for prime time in the aforementioned area. Anxiously waiting what the 12Z GFS says about this.
Might have to shift my target for Tuesday a little farther east, from the Kearney, NE HWO:

I see tonights convection has pushed an outflow boundary ahead of it, it'll be interesting to see if this comes into play tommorow at all. Still waiting to see if I'm going tommorow, will be a late start due to prior commitments.
Jon Merage and I (possibly Tom Dulong also) will be heading up I-76 at 11am, check data in Ft. Morgan and then probably head to either my original target of Ogallala or possibly stay farther south near McCook, NE. Looking for initiation in "Chase" County, NE!
I'm gonna try for the DCVZ between jobs.. I'm gonna sneak out an hour early from campus and head to Parker and see if I can get parts of an early show before heading back off to work. :lol: I am out of my mind!
Change of plans for today. SPC has the tornado risk area further west now into NE CO and the Den HWO is mentioning tornadoes along the Palmer Ridge. Meeting Tony near Parker to play the front that has pushed south of Denver. Dews are in the mid 40's to the north and in the teens to the south of the front. Should be lighting up in the next couple hours!
Holding the fort down here at the Shell in Ogallala. First day of wifi working on a chase. This is damn cool.
seeing some atmospheric effort to get some convection going out around the Ainsworth and Oshkosh regions. Not much on radar- but increasingly better appearance on sat suggesting 'real' convection might eventually give it a go. Still time for a root beer float I guess. Cell near Oshkosh is probably the best bet right now.

Southern Plains update:

The dryline has mixed into the eastern Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles. Ahead of the dryline were dewpoints around 60-63oF, and southeasterly surface winds. The wind profiles today more than likely assure that any storm that does develop will be supercellular.

Within the last few satellite scans, convective cumulus clouds have developed along the Caprock and in the eastern Oklahoma Panhandle. Perhaps there may be some orographic magic at work behind the scenes here, today......

CAP will be the biggest concern - with the RUC breaking out no precip except a few light echoes around the Wichita Falls area. I would like to see more clearing ahead of the dryline in OK.....

Is interesting to watch SPC's Mesoanalysis page this afternoon.....which currently shows that central and southwestern Oklahoma are the privileged areas who are under a 0.5 Sig. Tor. parameter (!!) :wink: . Supercell composite shows an optimistic 4 centered around Wichita Falls, and around 2 or less for areas of Nebraska and Colorado.

Cell sw of Hyannis appears that it will be crossing a boundary - indicated as a radar fine line, here shortly. Cell is already showing some weak rotation - while trotting off slowly to the northwest. Apparently a north cell motion could be considered deviant today. As I recall, road options are few and far between out there - but at least these aren't moving very fast at all. Could be some good sized hail based on the algorithms.

Just saw a tornado warning from out of Minnesota - wasn't expecting to see that.

cells starting to look more and more like a cluster - upscale growth may happen rather fast at rate things are changing now. convection starting to fire eastward along the previously mentioned boundary. Torn warning and observed near Sterling. Good lucking radar prentation.

MD issued for N Texas SW of Wichita falls. The cumulus field has gotten steadily more robust here in the last few hours, and indeed the last few visible satellite images show a tiny anvil, indicating that at least one TCU has managed to break the cap.

Deep layer shear in this area is margina, with low-level shear only slightly better, but there is decent turning. So, if a sustained updraft can form, I think supercells are possible. As Karen pointed out, the supercell composite parameter has been steadily rising, based on the SPC mesoanalysis, as well as the sig tor parameter. Should be fun to watch what happens.


Lol, no sooner do I post than SPC issues a severe box for the same area.

Supercell in northern Elbert CO Colorado is showing a good hook...storm
is moving northeast about 30 knots and should pass just southeast of
Deer Trail.
Two supercells in Elbert Co Colorado...

The one just southwest of Deer Trail should pass right over the town
in 30-40 minutes...storm still has vault.

New storm just southeast of Kiowa showing hook and 80-100 kts gate-to-gate shear. It looks to follow same path as Deer Trail storm.
Though not as exciting (despite being more dangerous), there is a very impressive set of storms over Garden county with continuous redevelopment right on the front in central Nebraska now that is dumping copious amounts of rain in the same area... Throw the LNX radar into loop, and it's pretty cool. Radar is estimating >7inches in this area, though the presence of large hail probably makes this a little optimistic. Nonetheless, I'm quite surprised that there isn't a flash flood warning out for the area...
I pity the poor soul trying to chase that lovely looking Cherry County storm. The road networks north of Lake Mcconaughy are mind bogglingly sparse. N/W roads with E/W turnouts every... oh... 50 miles or so. :? Add to that "tennis ball sized hail" and you have the makings of a scary chase!
Just got home after chasing with Tony out to Elizabeth, CO where we ran into a nice mini-meso barber pole that dropped quarter size hail breifly. Tony had to go to work at 5, so he went back to Denver and I meandered around to the north and then back to a cell over Agate, CO that seemed to be a lone right mover. Got under to find that it was rotating but had a very high base and no chance of dropping anything. Got some quarter size hail again and then headed back home. Not a bad little chase of just 300 miles in my own backyard. :)
Got to the Sterling CO cell right as it died. Went back north to where I had come from(around Oskosh NE) and saw a very nice supercell north of Lewellen. The roads it took to get to it were rather interesting to say the least. I knew they'd suck, but c'mon. They were ok at first then they got REAL small where my mustang barely fit on the 'road'. What you do when another car comes i have no idea. AND at the crests of these hills there were tumbleweed DRIFTS. As in taller than my car drifts of tumbleweeds leaving even less room to get through. I had to drive over and between them as they brushed up against both doors. No one uses these roads. I finally found a bit better one as the storm also got better. Pretty soon this outflow'ish storm turned into a very nice supercell as the sun came through and lit up the gold fields. Back behind the rfd cut there was this wall of interest on the ground with rapid motions in it. What it was I don't know, but it was in the right spot to be a tornado and the storm was at its peak visually. FF'ing video and it was likely just rapidly rotating rain curtains with a sharp right/east side and precip blocking the left/west(looking north at it). I was depressed after around 500 miles of driving to see the Sterling storm shirvel as I arrived. Kept at it and took some crazy roads and it paid off I think. On the way back west letting it pass me and back tracking was treated to an amazing display of mammatus. My decent gravel looked to get hairy on the gps again right where I'd have to punch into it and east again and opted to not try that in precip with what I had just seen earlier. Saw way too many chasers out for a weekday in mid-april in bfe NE. WIFI really rocks....hence why I am typing this(in super 8 in Ogallala).

Paid $2.40 for gas and chased in CO today...both firsts. Will post pics to the reports thread whenever the chases end. I'd post there now and add later if it wasn't for the silly one post rule where no one will know the second time you post. Oh, yesterday in sc NE chased that tail end charlie inflow beast. Lovely winds over 40mph screaming into the hailer. It was a nice storm to observer. It later broke my windsheild as I punched it to head home.

Good luck to all on Wed. It is looking pretty good to me right now(jinx).