5/22/05 TALK: Most of Central US

I originally had this in the FCST thread, but it's not really a FCST, so I put it here (FCST threads are for forecasts, duh)...

I'm not too excited about MI... But then again, the sun is out in full, and the VIS image shows things kind of breaking up to the west. I already have plans to go to the Selfridge Airshow, and I really hope things, if anything, can hold off until after 4PM.
Since "Most of the US" is covered, I'll throw a bone out for those of us heading west today for tomorrow. While I haven't jumped into models or forecasts, I will say that a weak chance for an isolated severe storm exists along the Front Range this evening; perhaps one that deserves a chase to those of us playing tomorrow out west. While I'm not calling today an official chase day, thing could happen to change that along the way. It is the Front Range after all, and stranger things have happened.
One good thing about a crappy year like 2005, the days you do get to chase aren't difficult to figure out: N Oklahoma is the bullseye for instability, which is what you need most on days where the windfields are pathetic. I'll take 4500 CAPE with a weakly sheared environment (featuring good turning) anyday. It's Sunday, it's May, and for once this year - it's close to home.

Why not?
Im planning on heading down to the area around Perry/Blackwell, leaving ICT around 2. Agree with Shane... it's worth a shot isn't it?
I was thinking the same thing as you guys on the border region. After what we went through yesterday, a short drive for a high CAPE day isn't looking too bad. I'll just be glad to see a storm again.
I might venture out today, somewhere in SE KS closer to home. See what is going on. Of course, i'll probably get laughed at and bashed for doing so. LOL Instability is there.
W/ pretty sharp dewpoint gradient shaping up (eg. 44td in St. Joseph, MO to 64td in Ottawa, KS and on up to 70td in Iola, KS at 11:00am), today's outlook is somewhat encouraging. Last version of SPC outlook talks of front stalling E/W vicinity of southern MO/KS, northern OK today. Would actually like to see the front stall relatively soon/north this afternoon, as current analysis shows 1,000 m LCL's over E Central and SE KS across W Central MO. Portions of this area also show effective bulk shear of 35 to 45 kts. and stronger anvil level winds than areas further south into OK and southern tier of MO. If front stalls sooner rather than later, may allow for heating this afternoon to break the still substantial cap in decent proximity to upper level support. May be a bit of a long shot, but convective initiation mid to late afternoon, say from Chanute, KS to Nevada, MO could lead to decent chance of severe.
I'm with Tony in saying that there is some potential along the front range of CO this afternoon. According to the RUC, at 0Z capes are as high as 1400 with 40kt 500mb westerlies over 20kt easterlies. Dewpoints in pueblo are already mid 50s and the southeast winds are verifying this morning. The cap is pretty strong at 700/13C but the RUC does have precip breaking out in the urban corridor at 21Z. I might venture out to the east side of Denver later today and see if anything can pop. :)
Scott and I are stopped in Blackwell OK getting some data. I can see some CU forming just to my North on the KS OK border. We'll probably hang around here until we can make up our mind.
Brad is there a wifi there in Blackwell? I am coming south on I35 getting slow cellphone connection.
Seems to be strong moisture conv/cape bullseye over Sumner and Cowley counties in S KS. This may drift slightly into N OK next couple hours.. leaving ICT within 30 minutes.
I'm awaiting the 18z Lamont sounding (they seem to do 18z sounding much more often than not), as that location should nicely represent the area along and just north of the front. Cu field is develop along and north of the KS/OK border currently. Moisture is better to the east of I35.. Odd to see 90/70 with northeast winds up in Blackwell currently. OUN AFD mentions likely initiation near/after dark, though the development of the cu field an hour or two before peak heating may hint at development during the mid-late afternoon. Directional shear pretty good, though weak flow at all levels will limit tornaod threat, as well high LCLs.
I'm going to head north in a few minutes from OKC toward NC OK. While I can't see any reason the cap will break, it is May and I'm desperate enough to do a short chase. However, I don't expect daytime storms, but since it's May and close to home...I will chase. :)


-Insanely strong cap.
-weak (or no) convergence along the boundary across southern OK
-wind fields horrible at every level above the ground


-large area of better (theta-e) air in backed surface winds over SC and SE Oklahoma. (behind the wind shift)
Yeah, notice where they put "Strong Cap" area. LOL. Someone was reading yesterday's threads. Gonna head out around 500 or 6, with Marcus Opitz. Gonna touch base with others to see if they wanna go. Gonna call this one a sure bust, but who cares, I have the day off. Gonna target right along the SE KS NE OK border as of right now. Capola bustola! LOL
I do like the low 70s dewpoints at Chanute, ks and points south. Visible imagery shows frontal boundry nicely. This is in my neighborhood so I guess it wont be too much of a sting if nothing gets going.
I'm quickly losing faith in the RUC / SPC mesoanalysis... This has happened numerous times this year -- the RUC analysis is out to lunch when compared to soundings. I mean, at 18z, the mesoanalysis was showing ~4000 sbCAPE near Lamont, while the actual 18z sounding was showing only 1200, with 300 CINH. Ouch. This happened yesterday, as well as 5-11 -- the mesoanalysis signficantly overanalyzing CAPE and underanalyzing CINH.

May still head out, giving slowly increasing shear and what-the-heck-knows instability. The VAD / VWP from ICT and VNX radars show a pretty deep layer of easterly flow, which isn't entirely doing good for the low-level shear.

I'm not really sure what to think. Low 70 Tds in far southern/southeastern KS and norther OK east of I35, with easterly and northeasterly winds. Nice cu field in the southern two tier counties in KS, with some expansion into far northern OK.

Honestly, I have no idea what to do. I may meander northwards to the border to see what happens.
Surface obs in Iola Ks from our weather station here at the fire station

Temp84.0,Baro 29.80 falling, dewpoint 66.

Current time 1457 cdt or 1957z

Winds between 8-10 mph from the east to the northeast
The Lamont 18Z sounding has a surface dewpoint of ~62 with a mixing ratio of 12 g/kg. Modifying the moisture profile to conditions a little farther northeast (Ponca City/Winfield, 69ish dewpoints and 14 g/kg MR) and the cap is a little more breakable. It will still require temperatures near 100 or some local convergence max along the boundary.

Given the sounding I'm going to wait it out a bit longer in Norman.
If I didn't have to work today, I would be parked under a tree with a big glass of lemonade in Bartlesville, OK watching the cu, waiting for a big hailer...
Sitting off I-35 West of Arkansas City/East of South Haven. Have been here for about half hour. CU field is prevelant overhead... first real TCU developed a few min ago to my west, appears to be on the downward trend however. Nothing to do but sit here and wait.. feel im in a good area for now.
Like everyone else out there, playing the waiting game. Sitting here at McDonald's in Miami, Oklahoma using their wifi. I'm south of the cu field and front, and boy is it pretty warm here. Good luck to all, and hopefully something will develop.
BLEP equation indicating some potential for gusts to between 70-80 MPH with stronger storms and maybe a few F0/F1 tornadoes if storms ever develop. High LCLs will tend to enhance wind dmg potential but could be detrimental to any serious tornado threat. Also looking at potential for some rather large hail...possibly softball sized if storms can ever develop and tap surface-based instability.

However, relatively strong cap appears to be a negating factor AGAIN. 21Z Mesoanalysis showed an uncapped environment, but nothing yet occurring. Probably will turn out to be a repeat of yesterday.

Edit to include a couple lines from the Norman AFD...


and from Witchita AFD...


Looks like both offices are throwing best PoPs into the other CWA. Will be interesting to see if storms even fire. I agree with Norman that it could be a nighttime thing.

...Alex Lamers...