3/4 FCST: Thursday Southern Plains

Looking at last night's GFS, I really liked Thursday over the lower MS Valley region. Looking at this evening's ETA and GFS, I still hold that opinion. Both show identical winds at all levels with the ETA showing SE sfc winds @ 20...while GFS shows more sourtherly sfc winds. The winds shift around to SW and increase with height. The position of the sfc low appears similar with both models. Both show good temps and dewpoints. As of right now, Arkansas and Mississippi look pretty darn good, with W TN perhaps getting in on the action as well. Especially if the ETA has the correct solution. Both appear in pretty good agreement though.

The one thing I am not confident about is the time the storms will trigger and if convection from Wednesday will linger and be a factor. Otherwise, Thursday actually looks better to me than either tomorrow or Wednesday, but be cautioned I am a relative newbie when it comes to forecasting. Nevertheless, I think Thursday could be a nice day for folks who may be chasing in AR.
Very strong forcing and nearly unidirectional wind profiles over Arkansas and adjacent states points strongly toward a squall line being the primary mode Thursday. There might be enough instability and shear in the near-surface layer to spin up a few isolated tornadoes embedded in the grunge. Storms will be racing north-northeast into colder air at 50 mph in tree-filled and hilly terrain. A very poor chase setup in my opinion.

I think the better chance for something chaseable might be down in the AUS/SAT/CLL area of Texas, where winds will be more veered aloft and forcing will be weaker as the front sags into upper 60s to near 70 dewpoints.
We've abandoned today for tomorrow, regardless of chaseability or terrain. There's a better chance for daytime storms tomorrow, it's somewhat closer to OUN than where we'd need to be today, and I think there's a decent chance of tornadoes, be they embedded in grunge or from a discreet supercell at the end of a line.

Horrible chase country, fast storm speeds, and early March. Nothing we haven't tackled before. I'll wait until tonight to start analysis because I hate looking at models anyway, especially when they've still got the better part of a day to change their minds. I'll add anything I come up with here later.

How's that for a pansy, Dan? :twisted:
Anyone see the new SPC Day 2? Looks interesting..


Cyclic? Wow...

The way this seems to be playing out I am starting to think of targeting Childress to Wichita falls and south to Abilene. Depends on the exact location of the warm front but it should be moving north close to the red river with the dryline punching east. Another Throckmorton day in store (and this time i wont be late). Long lived and cyclic tornadoes?? in March no less. The SDS gods have figured we suffered enough. Ofcourse all of this is subject to change on the next model run :D
Looks like things have shifted significantly west for tomorrow, and with the way the models have been handling this low, it's no surprise, as it's been getting slowed with each successive run. Main fly in the ointment is the obvious linear forcing due to a gradual shift to negative tiltage (sorry MkeH :D ), but the LL shear is decent and those areas of strongly backed flow (especially earlier in the day) look to be the spots where we can get it done tornadically. Best positive is twofold: overall diurnal event plus the westward jog puts it into a bit of a better road network, although Tejas in general is but a few rungs above pathetic in most places.

I'm excited as now the gamble seems all on us: the storms and (probably) some tornadoes will be there, we just have to find them. I get a lot more excited when the chase is ours to blow, not the system's. Will keep posting wishcasts/thoughts as they occur to me. Our earlier money restraint (which I mentioned on the 3/3 thread before) has been remedied, so tomorrow is all out: we go where we have to go, be it OK/AR/TX/LA/beyond the sun......
Very eery indeed...

Any way we can change the name of this thread? I suppose we include TX/OK anyways, but stilll...

I'm looking for the 12z model runs, but seems that NWS HQ had severe data problems earlier and things won't be up and running until ~21z . At any rate, I am very concerned about instability and capping. It seems that capping may be weak to begin with. While I'd like more instability to increase volatility, I am concerned that insolation and warmer sfc temps will further weaken the cap, such that we may end up with an uncapped environment (SPC leans this way). I seem to be reminded of April 23rd last year, when we had no cap and experienced several rounds of convection, which mixed the atmosphere and killed sfc-based instability. However, the NWS WFOs all seem onboard for this one... Looks like I may start west of DFW and see what goes from there. Like to stay near WF but hope for some breaks in clouds...

Sounds good, wish I was an actual chaser, that SPC wording for "cyclic supercells" has got to be promsing for chasers to have a good day. I'll just stay up here at NIU ( at the NW edge of the slight risk area). Maybe I'll see some storms that develop from warm-frontal moisture overrun. (high based convection probably) Not expecting to see storm structure on the count of the overcast. Maybe some lightning and hail? Nothing like the hail storm that developed over my campus on Monday. :(
It's been my experience that great LL shear can make up for lack of significant cap: anyone who chased SW Oklahoma on 5-4-01 can attest to that. The tornadoes were fast-moving, buried in muck, and short-lived - but they were still awesome. I'd almost expect an ongoing type of situation tomorrow to gradually build into nastiness as the upper support adds fuel to the fire.

Tomorrow isn't going to be easy, by any stretch of the imagination: you're going to have to play chess all day long, staying 2-3 moves ahead of where you'd normally play. As of now, with storm speeds likely to be in the 50+mph catagory, I'm making my initation forecast then calibrating my target from there, in an attempt to be well ahead of the things as they get it going. A day like tomorrow (if current data comes to pass) isn't for the impatient, spoiled, or finicky; only the SDS-raged and tornado freaks like myself will want to swing at this one. A good road at the right time, you could play tag with a cyclic cell for an hour or more, a bad road and the game is over before it starts.

As I said before, when the pressure's on me to screw things up, I can live with that. Had much experience :wink:
Yep, tomorrow is starting to look pretty dangerous and the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex seems to be sitting smack dab in the middle of the highest risk area. Let's hope the media there does a good job of alerting residents this evening, tonight and in the morning, to have them prepared for the events that may unfold as the day progresses.

I am still unsure what tomorrow will actually hold in store. If things continue as the models currently show, it could be a big day. But let's not forget some of yesterday evening's models had everyone ready to jump off the nearest bridge. LOL. And earlier in the day it appeared it would be farther east of where it appears it will be now. So the models have been changing from run to run, going from good to bad to good again. From a chasing standpoint, let's hope the later runs hold. But don't get your hopes too high just yet. And from a safety standpoint, let's hope that any of these strong, long-tracked tornadoes (if they occur) mentioned by the SPC stay out of populated areas.


I never realized or heard about the outbreak of April 2, 1982 but I found some stats.

61 tornadoes
30 deaths
433 injuries
4 F4's
29 F2+'s

so wow.....
April 2, 1982

There was actually an F-5 on April 2, 1982...Broken Bow, Oklahoma. Twin supercells....debris from southern supercell lofted and deposited in damage patch of northern supercell. Amazing day.
Good info on April 2, 1982 here. And yeah, the apparent similarities are a little unnerving.

I have tomorrow off, so I'll be on top of things. My plan right now is to probably hang here at home in the DFW area as long as possible, waiting for a particular storm to catch my attention. With the fast storm motion, intervening muck, and the potential for tornadic supercells all over the place, I don't think being out in the field right at initiation will do much good. Better to stay out ahead, keep an eye on data, and then go after the closest, best-looking storm I can get.

It'll probably make for a short chase, as I'm not going to follow anything into East Texas.
Come on guys, lets not forget that it was APRIL 2, not MARCH 4. We are one month early in the season.

I predict the first MAJOR BUST of the year! Let's not get too crazy here, remember how many tornadoes we have had in North America this week? ONE? TWO? 30 or 40 tornadoes do happen right out of the blue.

Of course, we may have to move off the continent if it does happen this early. Maybe we will see 200 tornadoes a day in May! We should ask some native elders if this ever happened before this early. This is very difficult to comprehend today when it has reached -28 C this morning in Saskatoon! I will certainly be watching Thursday afternoon from my Igloo in the Great Northern Prairies!

bored with snow in saskatoon

Yeah, but the time of year does not matter if the synoptic setup is there. Granted, climatology does say that large outbreaks are very uncommon this early in the season, but then again, climatogology usually does not bring systems in of this caliber/type/etc until later in the season... How often do we get upper 60Tds in northerrn TX in March? Exactly...

Sounds like we have a jealous Canadian on our hands if you ask me :wink:

I'm going out and I'm still searching for my target. Dunno if there will be a target either. I'm probably going to find the nearest storm moving my way that looks decent and pick it up, because finding a storm tommorow will be pretty tough (similar setup to April 23 last year except for the fact storms will be racing this time)
Come on guys, lets not forget that it was APRIL 2, not MARCH 4. We are one month early in the season.

Tornado outbreaks have occurred in this part of the country in January and February. The atmosphere doesn't keep a calendar. With a late Spring airmass in place (73/63 right now at DFW) and a big negative tilt trough crashing in, something's going to happen regardless of what month it is.

Of course, we ARE still a bit cool, so instability will be an issue - especially with clouds and precip getting in the way. But with the sort of shear and dynamics will be dealing with, any discrete storm that goes up is going to rotate. With any localized backing of the surface winds, the tornado threat is going to increase significantly. And if an area gets dryslotted during the morning and early afternoon (and it looks like just that may happen across Central TX), we may see better instabilites than anticipated.

Granted, the whole thing could go squall line right off the bat, but with such a blockbuster system crashing into such a juicy airmass with such good shear, a big event seems all the more likely.

I'm a big pessimist when it comes to these early Spring setups, but even I'm watching this one very closely.
Just a cautionary note that was brought to my attention... ;) ... This system is already behaving differently than the 12z ETA had forecast. It seems that there is a very large data void where the upper storm currently is located, and any analysis, much less any forecasts, seem difficult. Go read the DDC (Dodge City) Area Forecast Discussion for more info...

Yes be safe that's the main thing. I will be doing an armchair chase this time tomorrow although it looks like things might kick off earlier. I also notice on Weathertap that there is a decent southerly flow bringing all that juicy air up from the GOM at the moment. Is this setting the scene perhaps?
Very eery indeed...

Like to stay near WF but hope for some breaks in clouds...


Good for you . . we aim to please :wink:

My day will begin around 2am :cry: That's why I dont get as excited about severe wx as those of you who actually get to "enjoy" it.