07/29/2004 FCST: High Plains

Mar 2, 2004
Northern Colorado
Just wanted to drop a heads up for SPC's 3-Day Outlook w/ SLIGHT risk and mention of possible isolated tornadoes for the Eastern High Plains of Colorado and Wyoming on Thursday. I may actually get to chase this one if it pans out.. we'll see..

They also make a point to say that this differs from the last few post-frontal episodes we've had where convection has been limited due to cooler temps and abundent cloud cover. They seem to think temps will warm a bit more and convection will be a bit more isloated as opposed to the massive complexes that have pushed through. Storms also seem to have a bit more storm motion and a bit more sheer, so severe storms as opposed to heavy rainers would be the case with this setup..

We'll see how this pans out over the next 48 hours...
If I had the time to get out there, I think the Nebraska/Wyoming border near Torrington is going to end up being a fairly interesting area to watch by early afternoon. Good surface moisture for that area/elevation (around 50 degrees F) and a nice convergence boundary on the dry line as shortwave energy moves onto the plains, coupled with fairly strong mid and upper level flows could make for an interesting play out by Torrington. I actually am fairly fond of the LP tornado threat in that region. Agree with current SPC day 1 tornado threat (5% in SE Wyoming).
I'm in agreement that the Nebraska Panhandle looks to be the best in terms of severe weather chances today.. although the discussion out of Denver makes mention of nonsupercell tornadoes (landspouts) along a weak Denver Convergence Zone, I'm not all too impressed witht the outlook. As stated here in Denver, today's main issue will be where the pressure falls are going to be; increasing the shear in areas whereas others areas may not see as much. My synopsis stays pretty close to the ETA in saying that most of the severe threat will remain well east of Denver with the exception perhaps of the weak DCVZ that may set up this afternoon. Storms moving off the mountains will encounter this zone and go severe, possible spouting a weak tornado as they interact with this zone. Aside from that, I imagine the threat here in Denver will be heavy rains and small hail. Severe for the eastern parts of town where the zone sets up.

Supercell/Tornado speaking; definitely thinking Nebraska Panhandle. I think SPC's 5% is a bit too far south, but again, it all depends on how the pressure fields set up this afternoon. I don't think the 5% is warrented that far south regardless. We'll see how that stacks up.

I won't be chasing today as my instinct and models say I'd end up into Nebraska before seeing anything. That and I do have work that goes far enough into the afternoon that would make a dash to Nebraska a bit late. If things warrent closer to home, I may venture out, but I'm not going to plan an evening around it.

We'll see.
Just as I thought, SPC made the adjustment to the 5% by completely eliminating it all-together. NWS Denver has talked pretty asertively about the risk of severe weather on the Plains this afternoon. It does still look as if the worst of it will remain well east of Denver, however, I would venture to say that a weak tornado or two will form along the DCVZ; landspout variety, nothing out of the usual with this type of setup.