5/16/04 FCST: NE and surrounding vicinity


Now that I am done with my prelim exam (occurred during and right before the Harper County tornadoes), I am ready to prevent severe weather occurring by driving into the plains. As such, the first day I am considering messing up is this Sunday. I'll be the first to jump in this forum. Currently, the zonal pattern is setting up, which looks to contain a robust disturbance in the runs for Sunday. In response, a somewhat disorganized sfc low sets up somewhere in the tri-state region, allowing moisture return of decent magnitude to advect northward. (It will be interesting to see if this prediction is accurate). Along with the upper level features, a warm front should set up W-E across NE, or somewhere around there. The exact location of these surface features is highly dependent on small-scale features which are hard to resolve in the operational models, making Sunday somewhat unpredictable compared to other events. Concerns might be the weaker midlevel flow and the models' tendency to produce a lot of precip early in the period over the region of interest. Nonetheless, very healthy helicity, given strong 850 mb flow, should exist along the front and to some degree, points to the south. The dry line is somewhat diffuse as the low is still developing by 00Z, but still uncertain even this late in the game. Instability is fair enough, and approaches 2000 J/kg of mixed layer CAPE. Deep layer shear is sufficient for supercells. Will there be too much forcing? Will there be MCS domination? Or will there be a few good supercells? Ones along the front certainly would contain a tornado potential. At this point, I think this is a good forum just from a forecasting challenge.


Norfolk NE 18z Sunday via the mesoeta. God please give us enough moisture!!!!! I'm highly doubtful on the moisture though. Seeing ones breath at noon 48hrs before the chase day isn't exactly reassuring. That is damn sweet though. Getting out to 0z on tonights run should yield an interesting forecast sounding.

12z eta...


WOW. Liking an area around O'Neill and points east as of now. All the Sat party goers need to drag the moisture up with them.
I like the trend at least. I wonder if this setup will move somewhat south and west, depending on where the strongest zonal flow appears. Would be better for us the further south and closer to the good moisture we can get. South Central Nebraska might be touch and go for return; Kansas would be preferable if the front will agree. Of couse I'm biased toward Kansas these days. 8)

Live from I-35 (no, I'm not driving)
Originally posted by Amos Magliocco
Kansas would be preferable if the front will agree. Of couse I'm biased toward Kansas these days. 8)

I think a few of us would agree, there.. I'm actually hoping for a south and westward movement of the target area; something I can head out for as late as 1 and still be in time. I have morning plans Sunday I really can't break, but can definately make a later evening trip out east. I'll take a better look at things tomorrow when I am sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours. I deliver pies tomorrow night, so perhaps I can make chase money! :D In the meantime, rest rest and sleep! Back in Denver just in time to forecast the next trip!

Live from Denver (and soon to be dying from Denver) - Me 8)
We are targeting an area around O'Neill to Yankton for Sunday afternoon based on my looking at the latest models and information. Hopefully moisture will not be a concern (LOL) but the shear environment, cape, and LIs are impressive. Jacki and I will be updating as needed for this event.

Jeff Miller/Jacki Earnest
J Squared
I'll second that! :)

Looking at the latest models, we're still looking at O' Neill with interest. Like Jeff, I do have some concerns with moisture return and how that will impact our chances for organized mesoscale development- but hey, imo I believe tomorrow will be a choice day.... still have plenty of time to get things together! Hope to see y'all out there!
Best dews still in south TX along the gulf shore with north winds still. That needs to change really really soon and it need to be cranking. But at least it's deep on the other side of the front as opposed to having to deal with a wacked gulf like normal.


Pretty stout flow off the sfc is going to attempt to get that stuff north in time. Good thing is this moisture will not have to stop at stop lights and can travel in a straight line.
Wow, tomorrow looks like it could be big, if low level moisture can reach SE NE by late afternoon. If it looks as though this will happen I am going to head that way. Long trip, but it will be worth it if these conditions verify.
I feel kind of like Chris - just got a new camera yesterday, so no doubt there will be nothing to take pictures of for the rest of the season now - I'm already tired of striking out while watching everyone else have fun close to home! -

While there is naturally question if quality moisture can make it that far north in an area that has been scoured for the last few days, the models all seem to agree that it will at least be available on the surface tomorrow. All of the other parameters look to be in order, and the winds are just very nice - with great-looking directional shear. Here's a model comparison for surface dews and Theta-E for any who are interested in the moisture question - - -

ETA dew points: http://www.wxcaster2.com/CENTRAL_ETA_SFC_S...INDSLI_36HR.gif

ETA Theta-E:

GFS dews:

GFS Theta-E:

meso-ETA @ 18z:

Based off of a quick look at parameters only, my preliminary target would likely be around Columbus at this point. Have to wait until tomorrow. Hope I can chase - been a busy wknd - - have fun everyone.

and watch for the ridge the last week of the month, I'm sure it will show up as soon as I take off work.

Sioux Falls


Omaha....both at 21z Sunday.

Ummmmm. That is some down right scary shear! Sooner or later one of these huge looping hodos will "verify" in a big fat wedge up here. I've seen this a few times already this year, all did not have enough moisture to work with. None quite that dramatic though. Surely a Mod at 6z?

Just too bad the good stuff(deep moisture) won't make it far enough north in time...hope I'm wrong....

Mike...still targetting O'Neill Library...
Well after the picnic we halled it up to Lincoln, SE Nebraska so quite happy with that. Saw the DOW's and that Tornado Car thingy on the way..... we were all thinking Norfolk, somewhere like that but I prefer somewhere with an interstate connection, N of Omaha maybe. But as you guys say, its the moisture that might be the right old fly in the oinment this time... :?
Stormy Time in Nebraska

In spite of some folks' being pessmistic about today's prospects for severe storms in NE today, I would have to say the prospects looks good. It will be mostly heavy rain, wind and hail. An isolated tornado or two is possible.

I checked out the links to the maps so thoughtfully provided for by Mike Peregrine. It appears that a straight line area between Grand Island and South Sioux City would be the prime area. Of course that would depend on how soon the current cloudiness and leftover rain showers will clear up. More likely the action may start further south of Grand Island as there is some clearing skies in SW Kansas this morning.

I have some company today (sister in law from CA) so I have to spend some time away from my computer. Was busy yesterday with high school graduation (daughter's) and a open house reception. I will keep track of the storm situation here in NE and let you chasers have all the fun. 8)
This (Sunday) afternoon ??

Well, thanks to a great Wednesday of last week, and the fact that gas prices are just sooooo cheap these days, looks like it's a "local or nothing" thing for me here in the TX panhandle.

I'm with some of the rest of you more southern wishers.... hoping some of that activity will get rooted down this way a bit. The instability looks great here !! My points are in the low 60's, clear skies, should get cape well into or ~ 2500 today, and surface winds aren't that bad either, backed a little to the SSE and sustained about 15-20 mph. Yeah, could be a lot ( A LOT ) better, but I won't complain (for now). :wink:

Although further north is very seductive to the chase nut, I must turn her down and opt for some kind of Panhandle Magic. May the panhandle magic Gods smile on us today... pleeeeeze ??

Honestly, I really do think some interesting cells should fire in all this moisture and instability. Questions are, will it all explode at once? Will lack of strong helicity make these big hail producers? Will the "Billy Factor" prove to scare all storms away once again? Stay tuned for another exciting episode of "it sure would be nice to have a chase partner" !! :D

Everyone have fun today. Anyone roaming the panhandle areas, look out for a very unusual looking red Ford Explorer. If you see me, and aren't scared by my driving, stop by and say "howdy".

Later all,
Billy G.
It's just after 11AM and I'm still sitting here at my place in Omaha. Concerned about the cloud cover. I hope it starts burning off in the next few hours.

I also like the Ainsworth area for combination of shear and the precip area (based on 15Z RUC); however I am concerned about the winds becoming more veered. I would suggest more toward Bassett or O'Neill. Check out the surface RUC for 15Z.


I am concerned about cloud cover and also being between the jet maxes on the 500mb level.

Interesting: Is that a mesolow forming in SE South Dakota per the RUC 00Z.

Bill Hark
Storms firing up in NE

We should be ready to start chasing!! I see no less than five storms firing up between Ainsworth and O'Neill in Northeast NE, moving to the NE. The NWS has not yet issued a watch box yet and we should be expecting a NOW thread to be started in following these storms. While the radar is showing a general line of showers streching from O'Neill SW into SW part of NE, these storms have fired up behind that line.

This is a good day for chasing!! 8)