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2017-03-29 EVENT: TX/OK/AR/LA

Jesse Risley

Staff member
It's still a bit tucked away at the rear of the forest, so no need to hyperaccentuate what will most likely be changing placement of certain dynamics, but both the GFS and the ECMWF are showing a 500 mb disturbance approaching the region late TUE (03/28) - late WED (03/29), as another upper-level system takes on a more negative tilt as it moves east of the MS valley by the end of the week. It looks like the GFS is indicating much better moisture return, especially south of the Red River valley, though a narrow ribbon of instability on last night's 00z run would be concerning if it were much more proximal to the event.

Low-level shear profiles look decent, at least on the last few runs, and the ECMWF has been a bit more generous with the depth and organization of the surface low, which weakens and then strengthens again by THUR as the system takes on more of a negative tilt. There's a decent perturbation at 500 mb juxtaposed with favorable dryline and surface low placement to keep an eye on (especially) eastern or NE TX, probably near and east of I-35, late WED afternoon IF ample instability materializes. H85 jet enhancement and propagation of key surface features looks to put at least parts of SE OK, SW AR and possibly NW LA into the crosshairs by late evening and into overnight, possible with more of an MCS or linear congealment of initial surface convection. It's definitely worth watching as the system comes into range of the short-term convective models over the next 24-48 hrs (e.g., today's 06z NAM run was just a tad more progressive than the 06z GFS with 84 hr H5 placement of the upper-level energy). The ensemble GEFS run is depicting the more ambient instability shunted further to the south, so it will be interesting to see how this evolves and whether or not it becomes something more noteworthy to watch.


I'm leaving Wichita Falls, TX this morning heading up I-44 with a general target in the Joplin, MO to Springfield, MO area. I like this area along a dry line/triple point later on with a low pressure system developing and pushing up into Southeast Kansas by mid-late afternoon. We are going to be pushing time to get there, however I expect storms to fire in SE Kansas around 3 oclock or so and then mature as they push into Southwest Missouri and perhaps Northwest Arkansas. I will be sticking to the Missouri portion of this setup because of terrain issues. A brief look at HRRR and 3km NAM shows a somewhat favorable setup for tornadoes and low level mesocyclones in this area ahead of the low pressure this afternoon/evening with very generous 0-3km CAPE values in the 90-120 J/KG range. SBCAPE values reach values close to 2000 J/KG ahead of the dry line this afternoon in coercion with bulk shear of 60-70 knots and 0-1km SRH values in the favorable range of ~200m2/s2. Storm mode will be a question. Initially most guidance shows a discrete to semi-discrete storm mode early in the life cycle....however question becomes how fast they transition toward a linear storm mode further east and then of course getting into the Ozarks.

Therefore I think it will be a race against time on how fast these storms can get their act together before they push into the Ozarks. The hope is they can fire in SE KS/NE OK and then mature and produce in the decent terrain right along the MO border. That is where I'm sitting right now on today's setup. Good luck everyone and BE SAFE! Remember no storm or tornado shot is worth your life, there will always be another chase-day.