3/04/06 FCST: KS/OK/TX

my first post (early march chase)

I first would like to say that a lot of times a long range forecast can seem very tempting to the chaser's eye in early March. One thing someone should always consider is lack of moisture in the beginning of the season. This along with some other things, such as lack of synoptic forcing and/or instability leads to say that this weeks chasing chances are low.

Looking at the 00z Eta run the surface low will be very detached from the desired thermodynamic area, i.e. southeastern OK and north TX. While this will be the first push of gulf moisture, dewpoints will only reach the low 60's. Also to be considered are the dry conditions currently present in the forecast area. This with no real organization in winds aloft for synoptic forcing or wind profile enhancement leaves me thinking that this will be the typical first storm chase oppurtunity for the eager chaser. Which will probably resort in seeing some nice storms and possible supercells, however in most cases these storms do not produce much.
After taking a quick look at the 00Z GFS from tonight, I think both Friday and Saturday have some marginal potential in the southern Plains. The problem on Friday seems to be a lack of moisture, with the best moisture being south of the Red River. On Saturday, the surface and 850 mb winds veer in the warm sector, cutting back on the shear, although more moisture is present. This is obviously still pretty far out, but there is still a glimmer of hope from what I'm seeing.
Maybe just maybe

Saturday is beginning to look interesting to me. Some nice things seem to be coming together, however this is still not the setup I like to look for. From the 12z Eta there is a surface low setting up in the Texas panhandle. Along with it is the usual dryline, however the dewpoints only reach at max 60. Yet the Eta is forecasting 1500 J/Kg of CAPE just to the southwest of Childress. Also vertical wind shear seems to be supportive for supercells. The Eta does not however forecast convective precip or any precip over the area of greatest instabillity. So in conclusion I feel as though this is something to keep an eye on in the next few model runs.
So far, this event is looking marginal right now, but it is progressively looking less impressive, so I'm nowhere near sold on it, but its something to watch. I've seen Tornadoes along the dryline in 50-55 TDs and 1500 cape, but I've also seen nothing at all on those kind of days. This ETA run shows impressive shear with some backing winds with the low in TX and I've always favored the high shear days with doable instability (as I seem to always get lucky on those days).

My best guess is that we'll have a decent event and maybe even a suprising storm or two if things hold steady, but every local office seems to be trending down with the risk on Sat so far...
I have talked about this a little in my last post on the main page of my website ( I refuse to call it a blog :wink: ). and you can find it here .

I am not impressed with the upper air support at all. If this scenario continues, it seems to me the main 500mb jet max will be well off to the northeast before any convection has a chance to start. The NAM still forecasts 40kt at 500mb behind the jet max but subsidence concerns me there.

I too, like Chris, have seen surprising results from 55+ Tds but I think we are going to be lacking far more than just moisture with this setup, providing we continue to see these outputs and this scenario proves true. All of the indices mean nothing to me at this point because IMO it is still to far out to rely on them.

I guess if today where Saturday and I had plenty of chase money I would choose Childress as a target, but that's wishcasting and I am getting well head of myself here. :)

Well, my hope for chasing on Friday is gone. Most models are keeping all instability on Saturday. Saturday still has a chance. Models suggests that dewpoints in the low 60s, which is more than enough for severe storms. Cape values still appear to be low, less than 1000. My real concern is that the temperatures will not warm enough for severe storms. If models pay out, it appears that the warm front will stall around the the southeast TX Panhandle. I hate to jump the gun and all, but I do feel that there will be a very small window of opportunity of to get an isolated Supercell, in the far southeast TX Panhandle at the dryline/warm front intersection. My target area would have to be Wellington to Memphis Area. Still too early to say yes or no on chasing Saturday.
With each passing model run the prospects of chasing this weekend are taking a turn for the worst then look hopeful and again look worthless. This morning’s NAM run looks terrible with decreasing instability due to possible warmer temperatures aloft and marginal moisture return. I personally see the vertical shear being just fine for supporting supercells. The problem now is the fact that we may not even have a chance for surface based cells to develop.

I hate to have such a gloomy look on this system but I am not real sure there is any other way to interpret what has been given at this point. So for now a chase is off for me, but then again that could change also.

Just saw a slight risk for much of the western third of KS southward into the TX panhandle. Could be something to look at if you wanted to knock off the rust on a chase vehicle for next week's stuff. Minimal tornado threat due to the lack of moisture return (SPC says they may get to the 50s on dewpoints in the KS part, which may do something). Overall, this looks like a marginal hail/wind threat with maybe a tornado or two coming out of this. Almost like the setup in late January.
When I saw moisture progs in Western Kansas when the 84hr ETA came out several days ago, I thought some model broke out a crack pipe. Then I am awakened by a fellow excited Colorado chaser to inform me that Western Kansas was tossed into the ring for today with a 2% tornado/15% hail risk today.

Well, seeing as I already backed out of my chasing plans this weekend to work, I won't be able to enjoy a day that I would so take if I had off just cause of the proximity of it to me. However, my analysis at this time doesn't indicate to me that these 50s TDs are going to make it up...

The closest 50 degree dewpoint I see is in Lubbuck. SFC winds are in a favorable direction out of the southeast, but they're transporting the rich 30s out of Oklahoma. There are some 40s in southeast Colorado, and as my chaisng buddy said and I would agree, that's probably where I'd go today seeing as I'm not sure you're going to score much in mid 40s that may make it into Kansas, even in a cold core situation. Unfortunately, those winds are out of the southwest, converging with the SE winds along a Oakley to Garden City to Liberal line. Oddly enough, the moisture seems to be residing on the western side of this line.

Cooling aloft will aid in development, but there's still enough of a cap to have concern over. Visible sat showing clearing over the area which will definately aid in heating to convective temps, but there's a big question as to whether these storms have enough to produce. Shear looks good and CAPE looks modest, so if I had the free day, I'm sure I'd be heading that direction, but seeing as I'm not able to chase it, I don't feel too bad about missing it. One of these setups would literally come down to the opportunity of whether or not I can chase. Today, I cannot, but I won't lose sleep over it.

Best of luck to anyone trying up and down this risk area today, but I'm saving my opening trips for next week. We shall see!
Thick clouds are finally starting to erode away here in the Texas Panhandle. Only real concern I have today will be the lack of low level moisture. Right now, Dews are only in the low 40s or a isolated 50. My target area today will be Dalhart, TX as clouds are eroding there. Temperatures have increased about 5 degrees in the last 30 min at Dalhart and Boise City, OK. Good luck to all that chases........
The clouds have finally cleard east New Mexico so temps are rising, hopefully enough to get through the cap. MOisture isnt great but with Td's in the low 50's it is very workable. We dont always have to have the 60's+ like in Oklahoma. SRH isnt bad at over 200 and CAPE is progged at 1500. I have chased a few days like this around here and there can be some nice storms. Chances of a tornado are low but some severe hail and downbursts are quite possible.

Kanani and I will be heading out west shortly to find some sunshine. this is a good chance to check out the truck/equipment before the big show next week. Plus most people had blown off today so we should have the roads mostly to ourselves.
The following is a copy from Verne Carlson:

I'm currently at the Best Western in Limon, CO checking data on my way into the slight risk area of western KS. Good to see that SPC is still holding out hope for the 2% risk of tornadoes today. If I don't see anything at all (which is highly likely) atleast this is a good trial run of my new chase vehicle and camera equipment. More later from down the road...

Also, I'll be trying out mobile blogging in a real chase situation - see the link below to 'see what I see' today:
Currently sitting at the Chaparral Motor Lodge in Burlington, CO (very good wifi here by the way!) Got some CU south of me trying to build but not having much luck right now. I'm sitting right on a weak dryline so if anything pops up here I should be able to jump on it. SDS is soooo bad I'd be happy to just see one lightning strike! :lol: