05/17/05: TALK: Central Plains

Feb 8, 2004
Detroit, MI
Don't have time to right a forecast, besides, we need to make a TALK thread for tomorrow anyways...

Currently thinking of heading NW of Hastings, NE tomorrow... It's looking pretty good for supercells/tornadoes as of the latest NAM, especially across Western/Central NE...
I haven't looked in detail - but thoughts are that you should more seriously consider much further south Nick. I'd be looking more towards the Dodge City area - or perhaps even further south. Across Nebraska - the flow is from the south all the way through 500 mb and above - at least further south the winds are more westerly aloft. Cells further north will struggle to get off the dryline - whereas further south with the more westerly flow aloft the cells will have a better chance to get a bit east into somewhat better moisture. Still would expect high based storms with marginal shear, but you never know when you might get a favorable cell interaction or boundary that makes things happen.

I agree with Glen's comments. I am planning on going to Salina tomorrow morning to get data and do my forecasting before moving to SW westcentral Kansas. I would probably just head straight to Dodge City, but I will be heading out from Topeka instead of Wichita. I am thinking getting on the southern most storm that comes off the dryline at a reasonable time will be key tomorrow if you are hoping for tornadoes.
Well I am liking DDC as a target as of the latest NAM run. With the good road networks in that area it will be easy to blast north or east if conditions warrant doing so.
Two things are standing in my way as of now. First being money and the second being work the next day.

I have a score to settle with S.W. Kansas for burning me on the May 11th so there is a good possibility I will be there.

One thing that makes me think twice (not really) is the fact that the NAM is not forecasting 1km Hel to be adequate until well after dusk. This is the same thing that happened on the 11th. Storms didn’t get started producing tornadoes until it was real close to being dark.

However 3km is no prob at 0Z

Always worth the drive up there though because if it happens it will really happen! If it doesn’t I can always have fun hitting poor animals on the road while driving back home. Sheeeees…

Jon Van de Grift and myself will likely be staying overnight along I-70 tonight in preparation for tomorrow's action. I am definately liking SW Kansas and will probably head down to Dodge City early in the day to make adjustments as needed. Nebraska looks alright, but I think the better storm isolation and tornado chances are in SW Kansas tomorrow.
I can't convince myself it is worth driving to sw KS for this one day'r, though I'm trying. The extended crap is helping me decide to go but at the same time I have a feeling I will need gas money in June and July. For whatever reason I started thinking of some of those high based monsters you can get out in that area or up into sw/w/c NE with lower tds. I'm dying to see one of those real out of this world shelfs from hell that form out there driving a wall of dirt east which reaches to their bases. Perhaps they need more low level moisture than this, I don't know(or a backed 850). I'd honestly take one of those over a tornado and think it could happen tomorrow in NE. I don't like to be south of a dl bulge either(espeically with a strong cap in place) unless you are well south, which might end up in the TX panhandle for all I know. I could certainly see there being one or two isolated sups south of the dl bulge though. Hmmmmmm. The southern most storm could also be at the apex of the bulge too, or just north of it. Either case, if there is one at the apex of the bulge and then some well down south of it the north one should have some space south of it to work with. Course that could be at the end of a long long line too. Way too much thinking going on here, I must sign out.
I am looking at the Kansas/Nebraska border region again. It seems like the best place as of now IMO. I will likely be leaving Topeka around 8-9 and will stop in Salina to see SPCs thinking on this and will fine tune the forecast from there. I hardly looked at anything right now and as much as things seem to be switching around right now I think I will hold off until after 12Z runs and morning soundings to pick my target. I should be to my target early and am hoping to meet some fellow stormtrack members out there. Good luck to everyone tomorrow.
I won't be chasing tomorrow very likely. (van is in for service.. eh..) however if I was chasing, I agree with others that DDC to maybe Hays looks like the best bet (for a isolated storm). High LCL's are the main limiting factor for tornadoes.. shear and SRH both are quite favorable. I would set up west of Russel on I-70 and go after the first storm to fire up near 70.. also keeping an eye on south of 70 for an isolated storm to pop. If forcing is strong enough, an isolated photogenic supercell or two south of 70 may be possible. A few supercells north of 70 appear likely as well, however I would really look to south of 70 IF something can go.

If your looking for structure shots.. tomorrow may be your day. Tornadoes? I would still chase tomorrow.. especially after 6pm when LCL's may lower some.

I'll hopefully have time to post a more in-depth FCST tomorrow morning.

Bottom line, I would be out there if I could.
Just a heads up: if you're truely considering western Nebraska (i.e., north of Lake Mc Conaughy), you'd be hard pressed to find worse road options. North/South roads with East/West gravel turnouts every 40 miles or so. Cell phones get real spotty once you get far enough north. And don't expect anyone to notice you broke down those roads for a very, very long time, either. :) If you're chasing Nebraska, hope that it'll be more central and less west. If you're going to go north of Mc Conaughy, bring some spare water and food just in case.
Will probably stick close to the KS NE borders today. im waiting for the 12z runs to come out, but currently sitting in Hastings NE with Nick and Pete McConnel. It doesnt look all to im pressive but my thoughts are its going to be hard for the SW KS area everyone is talking to produce convection. But im chosing the KS NE border just north of 36th To be able to keep my eye on anything that may go up in Western KS. The Goodland office states the best potential for Tornadoes would be north of HWY 36. In a sense i agree with large Capping farther south. The dewpoints are minimal even now but i just hope they can climb farly fast. as i see upper 40's right now at 8 am. Looking at the water Vapor it looks like our vorticity looks to be headed a bit further north than what anticipated, And is currently over the western Rockies. Basically i want to try and play the norther extent of the dry line. I dont like playing cold fronts for tornadoes. They seem to get undercut fairly fast.
I'm not really all that confident about today... But I still believe it has some potential, even for a tornado or two in SW NE. Numerous NWS offices agree with me, including Goodland and North Platte, which BOTH mention the threat of tornadoes in their HWO...
Well although some of the ingredients are there others are not. Moisture is going to be a BIG problem as others have already mentioned. The cap is probably there to stay for the day in most of S.W. KS, N.W. OK and TX Pdl. RUC however does have some very high 0-3km SRH values.???. I have called it off for this one for many reason not all being weather related. Next time...

Losing optimism on today. NAM once again is overly enthusiastic on moisture return. Going to drift west on I-70 till probably Hays or so then get more data.