07/11/2005 FCST: High Plains

Interesting setup shaping up for today in the High Plains regions. A weak upslope flow setting up beneath a weak NW flow will set the stage for supercell potential this afternoon and evening. Moisture riding along the low level flow will begin to filter in from the east and move up against the Front Range today. TD values in the 50s with temps expected to warm nicely will give way to CAPE values in excess of 1500J/kg. Also, the potential exists for a Denver Cyclone to set up which could enhance low level shear and lead to the possibility of weak, short-lived landspout tornadoes. The RUC seems to show this at 21z (3:00pm) where there is a flattened boomerang-shaped area in place along the I-25 corridor where the helicity values run about 150. CAPE is very low at this time in the area as well as most of the better CAPE values are north and east of this feature. The cap in place should be overcome this afternoon, so concerns for a lid containing convection aren't a big concern today. Southwest Nebraska into the Panhandle also looks like a good place to be today as well. Storms should also develop up there and move south, maybe even southwest into Northeast Colorado late this afternoon into early this evening, much like the prolific supercell on June 27 which produced over half a dozen tornadoes in Nebraska before dropping south into Colorado.

My first play today would be along the convergence zone set up by a Denver Cyclone. The 17z Colorado SFC plot show a disorganized wind pattern in the immediate area near DIA. Looking at the wind directions, it would appear a cyclone is already setting up in a tight area near DIA. No boundries are yet evident on the VIS SAT or KDEN's radar, but the VIS does show some CU over the mountains, so things are beginning to do out west.

As the day progresses, I may shift attention northeast along I-76 between Fort Morgan and Julesburg if the Denver Cyclone is not doing much. From my position east of town to Fort Morgan would be less than one hour, so as long as I'm on top of things, I should be ready for either target today.