2024-05-23 EVENT: OK/KS/TX/NE/AR

John Farley

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I am considering a play on the dryline, likely in western OK if I go. Nebraska is too far, and I am not interested in mingling with the hordes on any storms near OKC or between there and DFW, with the latter area being too far also. If any storms get going right on the dryline, they could be impressive isolated supercells. However, the chance of getting any storms in that area is looking pretty low per most of the models. But it is May, so who knows? All the local NWS forecast discussions this morning in the region mentioned the possibility of dryline storms, but a high level of uncertainty on whether any will form. The DDC discussion even mentioned that one of the analogues that came up for tomorrow was May 24, 2016, but I think that is probably a stretch. Undecided on whether to preposition in Tucumcari, NM for a chase tomorrow, but leaning against it right now. If I do not, it will be my first May in years with zero chases other than local thundersnow chases around Pagosa Springs, CO, as I cannot chase from Saturday to the end of the month due to conflicting commitments.
 
I am eyeing southwest KS, where the dryline appears to sharpen, convergence and backed winds appear better than further south, and presumably the cap has more of a chance of being breached than further south. I noticed the mention of the 5/24/26 analog too, which is intriguing. SW KS is some of my favorite chase country and I’d rather stay out of OK due to chaser hordes and terrain (OK is overrated as classic chase country). Problem is today we are down in TX south of Abilene so it will be a huge trip back north that we will need to start tonight, i.e. bail on storms early. If I was more confident about tomorrow, I would have bailed on today.
 
I am a longtime, undereducated, chaser who just recently found this forum. I am here to learn and respect those of you that have invested so much time into something that has been interesting to me for years but was never something I focused enough time and energy to learn at the degree you guys have. I have been lucky enough to film a few dozen tornados from a safe distance over the past 20 years but I only chase within 200 miles of my home in Central Nebraska due to work constraints.

Posting in this thread to ask thoughts on the Nebraska forecast for tomorrow. If requests like this are unwelcome, please accept my apologies. Thanks guys.
 
I am a longtime, undereducated, chaser who just recently found this forum. I am here to learn and respect those of you that have invested so much time into something that has been interesting to me for years but was never something I focused enough time and energy to learn at the degree you guys have. I have been lucky enough to film a few dozen tornados from a safe distance over the past 20 years but I only chase within 200 miles of my home in Central Nebraska due to work constraints.

Posting in this thread to ask thoughts on the Nebraska forecast for tomorrow. If requests like this are unwelcome, please accept my apologies. Thanks guys.
Welcome, Dave! Requests as far as I'm concerned are fine.

There is a chance of catching a tornado in SW of S Cent Nebraska tomorrow afternoon or evening with an isolated cell or cell at the south end of a line (a/k/a, "tail end Charlie").

It is likely the bigger event in Nebraska will be the NW to SE moving line of thunderstorms tomorrow evening and night. Those, generally, don't cause much of a tornado threat in the Great Plains.
 
I was more optimistic at the 00z runs than the 06z runs, which now have the upper support waning much earlier in Kansas and Oklahoma. That coupled with 700mb temps increasing through the evening without much in the way of forcing seems to point to a cap bust south of the Kansas/Nebraska border. CAMs are also backing off of that nice southern Kansas supercell idea. Nebraska seems unlikely to get the 60f dewpoints in time, but it's more certain to get storms in an area that still has some workable upper flow. If that Kansas storm does go, it will probably be worth risking the blue sky bust - but I think that might increasingly be a pipe dream. Then again, my pessimistic days have produced some of the best results this year.
 
I'm also not very optimistic about seeing any dryline storms today. 3km NAM seems to be the most bullish about firing off some convection, though even with that, it doesn't appear very robust, and dies off quickly as capping sets back in near sunset. HRRR and 3km NAM show a pool of dry air (is that an oxymoron?) moving north right across the dryline. I'm assuming this is from current morning convection in TX. This seems to eliminate the possibility of anything over western OK. There's a chance SW KS could stay ahead of this. I think I may head up to DDC, which won't be a bad place to be to start Saturday anyway.
 
Coming up on 15z, morning convection over the Hill Country appears more extensive than most 12z CAM forecasts. Over the past couple days, the CAM solutions that have been more aggressive with this morning junk have tended to advect "bad air" up to the dryline in W OK by late afternoon, and in some cases even up to SW KS. If the current storms continue intensifying and tend toward producing a composite cold pool, I think pessimism will be warranted for the southern mode today. Plus, this setup is nowhere near close enough to Iowa.
 
Outflow from the Texas storms is pushing northward fairly quickly and bringing a lot of cloud cover with it which could put a damper on storm development this afternoon. CAM's initiate a few cells but with each run keeps pushing them later until close to sunset, so I'm guessing there may be a chance for some recovery time but I'm on the pessimism train with everyone else today and would be kind of surprised to see anything of substance in Western Oklahoma like I want.
 
Multiple boundaries, some sort of upper level gravity waves coming off the storms in TX, a deepening low in E CO/W KS and a weird pressure trough thing across KS. I think I am going to start near Woodward and adjust. I don't have the highest hopes for convection today, but could yet again overproduce.
 
Special soundings were just done by OUN and the Iowa State chase team at Medicine Lodge. Here's the plot of both of those overlaid:


That's a pretty stout cap at Medicine Lodge, and per models, that's only going to get worse. No surprise storms have already fired down in Oklahoma where a nearly-broken cap was sampled. The cap is that area is progged to strengthen also, so the storms down there may be short-lived per CAM guidance. I'm in Medicine Lodge and am not feeling much of an urge to blast 3 the hours south. There's a 50/50 chance storms will be gone by the time I'd arrive, and I'm likely going to need to go back home for tomorrow's setup.
 
Kansas target is done, dryline retreating and Cu field gone. Pretty legendary tornado in SW Oklahoma and a cyclic tornado producer in SW Nebraska. Would have made it if not for my home target bias. At least I'm on the road east early. Midwest will be garbage tomorrow. The lesson is, don't be like me and give up something in the Plains for something in the Midwest. Never has worked out for me, but I keep doing it!
 
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Today could be the nail in the coffin for me. The day that finally makes me quit chasing. 25 years of mediocrity and failures, and today hurts more than I can remember. Started the day in Childress, not far from all the action. Went to Arnett, hung out there for 90 minutes, then doubled-down on a northern target and continued into SW KS. Had an attitude where I just refused to backtrack and deal with the inconvenience of intercepting ongoing storms from the north. Even when I saw the tornado watch did not extend to the north (despite an earlier MSD up into SW KS) I held out hope of some nice structure on a lone storm instead of what I feared would be yet another HP mess. Senseless anchoring bias, wanted to stick to the plan I formulated this morning to chase in SW KS and stay put there for a down day tomorrow so I could catch up on work and be positioned for Saturday, which I thought might be good in KS but now I’m not so sure that is even a good plan anymore. Feel terrible that I can’t seem to get a good tornado for my son. Feeling like a complete failure and absolutely miserable right now.
 
I ended up not chasing today. Given the distance, I would have had to pre-position at least as far East as Tucumcari last night, and given the good chance of a blue-sky bust, it just did not seem worth it. Probably turned out to be the wrong choice, but given upcoming commitments and distance bias, I suspect. that if I had chased, I might have stuck closer to I-40 and ended up on the Sayre storm rather than El Dorado.
 
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