5/18/05: TALK: Central Plains

I would say that I am pretty much in consensus with your graphic Nick. It's ironic how this event has some similarities to April 21st. The main difference is the surface low further north and no definite stationary boundary across northern MO, but the upper level dynamics aren't all that far off and the cold front/dryline orientation is quite similar. It will be interesting to see how this event plays out. I think there is some potential for a couple torns tomorrow. I plan on heading toward the EMP/ICT area in the morning and will make my final target decision from there. Good luck to those out tomorrow!

Dan
 
Originally posted by DanHinch
It's ironic how this event has some similarities to April 21st. The main difference is the surface low further north and no definite stationary boundary across northern MO, but the upper level dynamics aren't all that far off and the cold front/dryline orientation is quite similar.

Dan

I would say that the main difference is the N/NW 250mb flow!
 
I think I am going to disagree. Shear is not that favorable for many supercells. The only place that it is more than marginally favorable appears to be northern Missouri and southern Iowa. It may even be further east than that. Unfortunately, the helicity will be maximized east of the front. The chance of any sustainable supercells appears low in Kansas and Oklahoma. Although the instability is the greatest, you have to have shear to keep the storms alive. This appears to have a better chance of happening if more instability can occur near the Missouri/Iowa border.
 
Deep layer shear is actually marginally stronger in KS than on the MO/IA border, but when you are dealing with a numerical model on this size grid what’s 5 knts?

http://128.121.193.153/CENTRAL_ETA_250M-6K...VECTOR_24HR.gif

As far as 0-1km helicity is concerned, it is a bit better up towards the MO/IA border as seen here:

http://beta.wxcaster.com/models/eta/centra...KM_SRH_24HR.gif

while 0-1km vectors seem to show the greatest magnitude in East central KS.

http://beta.wxcaster.com/models/eta/centra...VECTOR_24HR.gif

0-3km helicity is about the same across the entire area:

http://beta.wxcaster.com/models/eta/centra...KM_SRH_24HR.gif

Cape seems to be better the further south you go:

http://128.121.193.153/CENTRAL_ETA212_SVR_...R_CINH_24HR.gif

Parameters don’t look bad near the MO/IA border, but I really feel that the best combinations of shear/instability seem to be in Eastern KS. Really the main difference that I can see in these areas is instability. Other than that, I am afraid that further north may be more contaminated by overnight convection, but at the same time be more favorable due to outflow boundaries…looking further at some forecast soundings for both areas I think the numbers look better further south, but the low level flow is a bit stronger to the north…but again 5knts on this scale doesn’t mean a whole lot. It will be interesting to see how tomorrow plays out. I’m not trying to argue with ya scott, just wanted to clarify my reasoning and decision for the more southern target. With how my chase season has gone thus far, I’m sure all this will mean nothing tomorrow and it will be raining torns in Iowa :)

Dan
 
I'm still really liking today and am heading out to ICT within the next hour or so (currently in Hastings, NE). According to RUC/NAM, storms should fire shortly after 2:00 PM CDT across SC/SE KS. Temps will be in the 80-85 range, with dew points >65F and mixed with a very unstable airmass (SBCAPE >2500J/KG) and with the kind of shear (heck, SRH is >300 m2/s2) we have we can expect numerous supercells to develop... And the possibility for a few tornadoes with these storms still exists...
 
Originally posted by nickgrillo
I'm still really liking today and am heading out to ICT within the next hour or so (currently in Hastings, NE). According to RUC/NAM, storms should fire shortly after 2:00 PM CDT across SC/SE KS. Temps will be in the 80-85 range, with dew points >65F and mixed with a very unstable airmass (SBCAPE >2500J/KG) and with the kind of shear (heck, SRH is >300 m2/s2) we have we can expect numerous supercells to develop... And the possibility for a few tornadoes with these storms still exists...

Too bad thats about the time I start heading back to Tulsa after deliveries to Winfield and Ark City... If you pass a white dry ice truck give me a honk
 
LOL, OK... :lol:

I'm actually excited about today... Way better looking then yesterday, and I ended up with a tornadic supercell, yesterday, when I wasn't expecting much at all. ICT appears to be an excellent target choice, and I'm leaving within the hour...

I currently expect initation after 2:00 PM CDT (likely around 3:00 PM CDT)...
 
I like the ICT area also. I have sent my partners that way from Hays. My vacation starts tomorrow but I am begging my boss to let me take a half day today and leave around 1130 or noon here but will have to do some hauling to make it. its at least 4 1/2 hrs to the area. Better to chase today than to sit around for the next 5 playing dominoes with the team.
 
Yeah, I think you can make it from AMA to ICT in time for the initation if you haul it, and if you leave before NOON...

Leaving in a few minuites...
 
Possibility for convective initiation today could very well take chasers into the Flint Hills area of Kansas - generally along the KS turnpike from El Dorado up to Emporia (NE Butler, Greenwood, Chase and Lyon counties.) For those chasers not familiar with this anomaly of the plains, although visibility isn't so much an issue - the area is virtually treeless with wide, sweeping beautiful vistas - it is ranching rather than crop country and grid roads are very sparse. During 50 mile stretch on turnpike from north El Dorado to Emporia, there is only one exit at Cassoday that gets you onto a highway.
 
Chase target for today, May 18

Chase target:
Wichita, KS

Timing:
Storm initiation 4 PM CDT.

Storm type:
Supercells early in storm evolution, later evolving into multicell storms towards evening. Large hail will be the primary threat, along with a small chance for tornadoes.

Discussion:
15Z analysis showed low-pressure centered near GAG with a CF extending NE of this feature along a PTT/GBD/CNK line in KS. Ahead of the front, moisture was pooling, as was evidenced by dewpoints in the mid- to upper-60’s in WRN OK; while temperatures there were in the mid-70’s. At the upper levels, winds were generally light in the target area. A 125kt, 300mb streak was entering the PAC NW, while downstream from this feature in the target area was a weak S/WV trough entering WRN OK/KS. At 700mb, a 25kt streak was rounding the base of the trough at AMA. KLMN sounding showed a moist layer over 100mb deep along with a large loop in the hodograph below 700mb along with (0-3km) SRH around 250m^2/s^2.

SPC Mesoanalysis showed a significant amount of CIN yet to be removed, while RUC and NAM suggest storm initiation around 21Z and visible satellite already showed an evolving CU/ST field along and just N of the OK/KS border. Also of note was a thin CI canopy along and SW of a DDC/SWO line – most likely initiation will occur just N of this area under the zone of enhanced upper winds. MLCAPE’s AOA 2000J/kg, and decent shear parameters (SRH’s around 300m^2/s^2 once the surface winds back in advance of the surface low, and deep-layer shear of around 30kts) should support a wide range of severe WX even though mid-level winds will be fairly weak.

- bill
 
Another small chance for tornadoes exists today in Southeastern Kansas... we're sitting in Salina right now about to head south and east towards today's target. We're hoping for a repeat of yesterday where we can score on slim chances. We're in agreement the setup looks decent and hope for some supercells before things start to congeal. We'll see how it goes!

CURRENT MILEAGE SINCE MAY 10: 3,457
 
I'm sitting on my laptop in our camper at a campground in Wichita. I too am targeting SC-SE Kansas today. Waiting for MCD to go up. I hope this field of low level clouds goes away pretty soon. :? This will be my first chase of the year so I'm hoping it will be a good one with at least some great structure.
 
Based on where it looks like surface moisture convergence is setting up, and time to initiation, I would set up south of the Wichita metro area - perhaps somewhere around Udall or Mulvane. Historically, the classic storm track through this area seems to be eastern Harper -->northern Sumner & Cowley --> southeast Sedgwick -->Butler.
 
Since I'm not trusting of of the Northerly 200s, I'll take my chances on the IA/MO border despite the trees and hills. Based on the the Moisture convergence, looks like a sup will go up between 4 and 7. Otherwise, this looks like the last hurrah for this trip.
 
Cloud cover remains stubbornly in place over much of S Central KS target area, while surface winds are beginning to veer. Looks like windshift/low pressure trough currently along Medicine Lodge to Hutchinson line. Still 2-3 hour window of opportunity around Wichita area, but conditions looking less favorable than the morning outlook suggested.
 
New 18Z run of RUC model ups the ante a little on instability throughout the entire area of eastern Kansas. Model also forecasts 65+ degree Td's for SE Kansas. Looks like Burlington/Yates Center might be a place of interest, but I probably won't be out today. Cloud cover is killing almost any chance for anything in KS today.

SPC issued MCD for all of eastern KS. Looks like a blue box to go up sometime soon!
 
Well, if i can't get ahold of any of the chasing crew within the hour. Gonna head out myself, Flying down I 35 to wichita, see if i can't catch something. I like wichita to parsons, nw up to emporia for storm initiation. MCS covers the area, but showing signs of clearing soon. Good luck to all.
 
SAFETY ALERT! Head's up to anyone chasing in the Flint Hills and the CF/AN Counties: Last week's heavy rainfall (up to 6" in many places) still have a lot of roads in really bad shape, either they're still too muddy or are so rutted by rednecks muddin' they're impassible. There are a few washouts around that haven't been graded yet so take it easy even on gravel roads you know. A lot of roads are dried out the first inch or so and puppycrap mud underneath. I know: I had to have a wrecker pull my work truck out of a hole in Lyon county yesterday.

I'm currently in Topeka at work, will be leaving here @ 4 for Osage City and I'll watch what happens from there. If anything develops and moves East I'll chase but if it things develop and run up the turnpike I'll hang close to home and spot for the local ARES group.

The Summer Asphalt repair crews are out in force as well in the area.


Jon Holder
 
We're on the road now. We're going to stay around the wichita area until the first storm goes up, the go after it. Good luck everyone.
 
Flooding will be a big concern near emporia. The river there, almost always floods on I 35, with even a brief downpour, 3 people died, a few years back, while a man watched his family trapped inside his car(he got out) float off into a field. Very disturbing to think about. Be careful around that area.
 
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