05/06/05 TALK: KS/NE/CO

OK, there appears to be a workable forecast along an axis from SW NE southeastward to NE KS, such that consideration of a Friday chase is indicated. Surface lifting feature is still a bit nebulous to pin down, but target possibilities, from W to E, include: 1) Lexington, NE, where 850mb temp advection pools, along with SRH bullseye of 250 m2s2, 2) Concordia, KS, where surface moisture convergence is greatest, surface winds are backed and crossover of 500mb/850mb winds is at 90 degrees, or 3) just to the west of KC metro area where LCL's drop below 800 meters, dewpoint may reach 66, and 0-3km ML CAPE values will be 1,500-2,000 j/kg. The gold strike would be target 1, which is showing a Siginificant Tornado Parameter of 3.3, but we have STP values of 1 or greater across the target area.

Again, convective initiation will be the big question mark. Currently, I would be inclined to set up around Concordia and move along the axis from there. Tempting, though, just to sit here in KC, watch and wait, as the last time we chased in this direction it ended up being one big U-turn.
Cloud cover tomorrow is somewhat of a concern, so will be watching satellite images tomorrow a.m. along with updated SPC guidance to make a decision by noon.
I am going to hold off leaving tomorrow until the RUC model takes over for the day. The 0Z NAM doesn't paint a pretty picture, upper level winds are much lower which means some HP's, if possible. Right now, I am looking at sticking around monitoring from the KC area-W and NWard, from what I have seen in the 0Z NAM runs, where the LCL values will be lowest, and dewpoints will be highest. I'll look at the 12Z NAM, RUC model runs, and the SPC Day 1 Convective Outlook before making a decision on a target.
Yes, I just looked at the latest run. The strong flow at 500mb slipped about, oh, 300 or 400 miles from the previous run! Kind of blows the scenario for tomorrow. I just hope the upper level trough out west doesn't completely close itself off and mess up the rest of the weekend. Looks like I'll be choosing my own option #3 - and sit right here on the back deck in KC unless/until something changes.
Guys I'm with you. See my latest comments in the FCST section. Looks like I'll be desk chasing this one from home.
Well despite the lesser given forecast I am still planning on the target of somewhere in N.W. KS or S.W. NE today. I have taken off work to chase so that is what I am going to do. Also the way it looks now I may not be to far from a target for tomorrow and in return saving a little gas.

Td's at 12z are already 55's in this area. The greatest concern at this point (to me) is the upper are support which is slower than earlier NAM runs. Current soundings suggest the system is currently over southern CA an SW AZ. So hopefully it will makes its way the target area before dark.

I do not expect to see tornadoes today but it would be nice to see some great structure.

Good luck for al those chasing today.

Highly conditional setup in northeastern NM today along the modestly advancing dryline. Storm relative anvil level winds and midlevel flow should be more supportive of supercells given convection, and the midlevel flow normal to the boundary could help them stay isolated---though with a strong cap, weak upper level ascent, and marginal convergence at the surface, I don't think widespread coverage is exactly the number one problem. :)

I like several features in this area: a jet intersection aloft, higher terrain, and the showers that have moved through Union County, NM into the OK panhandle this morning. I like them for any boundaries they may leave, any moistening they induce, and the possibility to cool BL temps enough to lower dewpoint depressions.

The "event before the event" is always a crapshoot, and down here along the southern third of the dryline, it's very low percentage today. I'm already in Woodward, so rolling toward the NM border isn't too much of a hike. After a long gray Indiana winter, I could use a little tan. I'll watch the area between Clayton, NM and Trinidad, CO.
I'm sitting in Norman right now waiting for the "bigger" event this weekend. We are thinking about heading to the western Pandhandles this morning. I like the chances for a discrete cell, just something to watch even if it isn't severe.
Amos, note that this morning's SPC outlook briefly touches on chance for more sustained supercell development w/ deeper layer shear at "points further north" along the dryline....interesting that W TX and W OK panhandles and W KS are in 2% tornado probability area, even though outside of slight risk area.

As for the KS/NE play, now looks like anyone actively chasing this today may need to look to the dryline for initiation. I do like the clear slot showing up on satellite this am over E Central KS, but the 500mb flow is just too far removed. EDIT: yet, I like what is now showing on 00z NAM further west: 40-50kt 500mb somewhat diffluent flow over W TX and W OK panhandle!
Ya know, I jokingly sent an email to Amos telling him he oughta chase Eastern Colorado today (in reply to his throw a dart target comment in his blog) and then I awake to see a 2% all along Eastern Colorado... hehehehe... that's just too funny.. I think he was playing further south today, but if something happens up here and he isn't chasing Eastern Colo, I'm gonna give him hell! :lol: :lol: :lol: Good luck to all today... sitting this one out due to tons of work obligations; only a few days left for me before I get to play! However, if I were out, I'd be sitting quietly in Limon this afternoon making adjustments per later updates.
Now I think I'll go to my favorite wifi spot on the east side of Denver and think this one out.

Do I play the 5% risk area in SE CO or in NE CO - the song "Torn between two lovers" comes to mind!
Looking at the latest vis sat and radar, appears that convection will build up at least as far south as Clovis NM along the front range. As expected, moisture has ascended and now is starting to decline with deeper mixing. So, where will moisture hold up and join with storms rolling off the higher terrain? First, weak mesolow near Las Animas CO has persisted and provides a narrow corridor of backed surface flow and mid 50 dews near Granada. Since there is a wind profiler there, checking shows slowly improving mid-upper wind profiles. Further south, weak ridge discussed earlier persists from SW OK to nc NM, with backed flow to the south, providing enhanced focusing immediately south. This feature has slowly lifted north across NM, but has lost definition with time. RUC 850 mesoanalysis shows deeper moisture in a channel approaching the OK panhandle. Since I earlier picked Burlington, would now choose to drift south closer to Lamar, in anticipation of convection sliding in from the southwest this afternoon.

Sitting at the Holiday Inn where we had the NSSC this Feb! Heading out to Limon now and will look for a wifi spot there. CU is starting to build to my east and south.
Wow - SPC dropped the Northern target back to 2% in the 2000 update ... leaving the 5% probablistic in the southern Colorado/northern New Mexico target ... looks like Amos might get to play ... hopefully you guys up north will still get something too - - -
In Limon, CO at the Best Western - dropping south on 71 to intercept the cells coming off the front range. Winds are pretty stiff out of the south here now. :D
Bases probably too high in NE Colorado to keep the 5% going up here... low levels too dry (mid 30s to mid 40s)... extreme SE Colorado reporting 50s TDs, so much wetter down there... still think rotating storms with hail possible; downdrafts also possible with evaporating as the precip falls into drier air.
Storm east of Pueblo is looking very nice, but moving into drier air as it moves north/northeast... Verne oughta be able to easily intercept this storm...

The storm near Trinidad is in better moisture at the moment, but it, too, is moving into drier air... think that stands the better chance at the moment... Amos is probably sitting beneath that one right now...
Dry air very apparent over KDEN right now with high based storms moving off foothills over the Metro area with a lot of virga and gusty winds at the surface...
How about the cell northest of Sheridan Lake? Sitting on the western edge of the better moisture (upper 50's just to the south at Grenada). I'd be very interested in that cell for having some tornadic potential - at least the cloud base is more reasonable. Should cross the state line in the next hour. Just not real confident cells to the west will do much more than hail. Cell ne of Trinidad has maintained itself for some time, but will do well to tap mid 50 dews over the next few hours given the slow motion.

Blue box over the northern areas of this discussion, including Eastern Colorado/Northwestern Kansas/Southwestern Nebraska. A severe warned cell in NW Kansas is a tiny lil' booger, but obviously a sign that things are starting to go. Some cells in far Eastern Colo have also began to form near Wray. Further west, convection in the mountains is beginning to become more numerous, although not very strong at all. DIA's dewpoint was in the mid 30s which will all but kill off surface based storms anywhere NEAR the front range.

Meanwhile down south, that storm east of Pueblo continues to pluck along; still no warning as of this writing. The Trinidad storm looks alright, but appears to be weakening (hard to say at the radar distance).

I'm not thrilled with tornado prospects anywhere along the line from TX northward into NE... I imagine up north will see multi-cell clusters form quickly... down south, no tornadoes, but I imagine some BEAUTIFUL LPs will pass over the Southeastern Colorado Plains...
I'm liking my spot at the Days Inn in Guymon, OK right now. We weren't planning on seeing much today, but I like the chances of cells going up soon over NM and moving this way.
Storm between Boulder and Greeley looking might mean... wouldn't be surprised to see that warned if it holds together.. outflow from Metro area storms seems to be interacting with this cell as it moves to the north...
Yes, that cell looking ok, and has a svr issued for it, but the nearly north movement keeps the updraft sucking over the storm's own exhaust, which can't be helping too much until the cell gets a more easterly motion to it. That said, I see a mesocyclone algorithm just tripped - so maybe I'm being too harsh on it. it To the southwest of it another cell near Eads split a while back, and the right mover doesn't look like much on radar, but shows weak broad rotation.

Of course, it seems the "real" action is elsewhere today, lol.... http://kamala.cod.edu/offs/KMKX/0505062131.wfus53.html

Wow, maybe SW Kansas will have a shot at some storms tonight (west of DDC), with some of them being able to remain severe. Maybe we'll go out a little later for some shots... But we won't stray far from the hotel. Storms shouldn't arrive in SW Kansas til near dark, thou...

By the way, these outflow boundaries are gonna be great for tomorrow's convection... :)