5/24/04 FCST: Nebraska and MO Valley

Opening a thread for Monday's potential activity in the Missouri Valley...

Was taking a glance at the models going into tomorrow and am very optomistic about the potential for a big day. SPC has a MOD RISK out basically blanketing the entire state of Iowa; touching down into Northern Missouri. Hopefully, unlike last Wednesday, something will push through to break the cap and get those storms firing. As most of us remember (and maybe this is Blake Iowa curse), nothing in Iowa Wednesday helped to get storms going. Tomorrow, a strong shortwave kicks through and will hopefully lead to explosive development. CAPE values are forecasted to be above 3000 and moisture looks to be very good with values in the 60s.

My initial target may actually be a repeat of last Wednesday, thinking of starting south someplace along the Missouri River. Last week, we grouped in Nebraska City, am thinking there as a starting point, maybe a bit east of that. I'll leave Denver this evening and drive about halfway tonight, then get up early to make my target destination.

My third and final week of my chase-free-for-all, so hoping to get it off to a good start! :D See everyone out there!
I looked at last night's ETA, have not seen it today. As of the 0Z run, tomorrow's setup reminded me very much of yesterday's, with a somewhat weaker surface low forecast to form a little more north and east of yesterday's. Seems as if these Day 2 setups which are dependent upon smaller shortwaves get pushed back west as the models tend to rush the disturbance, so wouldn't surprise me to see many of the same areas in eastern Nebraska under the gun on Monday.

We're in Beatrice, where the ATT tower suffered damage and my cell phone doesn't work. This is a blessing, really, since I've managed an oil change, shave, car wash, laundry all after having slept in until 11:00 AM. Now I'm going to re-organize and try to post some video captures from tornadoes in Colorado and Nebraska from the last three days.
With all of the activity again today further east, haven't seen much chatter about tomorrow yet ... hopefully we're not getting worn out by forecasting already! ...

I wonder if Amos' suspicions may be correct. If so, then great care will need to be exercised tomorrow, because we will definitely be playing with a Missouri River crossing this time - -

I haven't really taken a look at the Day Two other than to see the outlines, and will base this primarily off of ETA guidance.

First of all, something I definitely agree with Amos about is the similarity between this system and last. We are again working with a great deal of moisture ... gobs of juice. By 18z, ETA breaks out precip both in Northern Nebraska and along the Missouri/Kansas line ... with dewpoints of 70 in NE Kansas and mucho Theta-E advection showing up in NE Kansas, where CAPE also increases dramatically along the dryline. By 0z the map explodes across eastern Nebraska and Iowa and forty kts. showing up on the llvl southerlies where the four states meet. Watch out for tomorrow, the shear is again very good ... the moisture is very good ... this has the potential to get big.

My thinking - right now it looks like the show may start early and further west - and possibly further south than we see the current mod risk ... this time of year we don't want to see any warmer than 12c for cap strength - tomorrow is currently looking like it will be around 5c in northeast Kansas. Though I never go by ETA for precip, the fact that it breaks it out early further south tells us that the cap will be on the weak side.

So my target as of now: extreme northeast Kansas - possibly as far west as Marysville - and possibly further east on highway 36. Amos - enjoy your rest in Beatrice - because tomorrow looks like another big day.
Surprised I haven't seen much discussion yet ... New Day1 has High Risk along IA/MO border... I'd prob chase it but it's about 100 miles out of my typical domain..

Looking at 0z ETA, looks like the 5000+ CAPE and 300-450 helicity setup has the potential to break the no-F5 streak that we'be been on since 5/3/99... Looks like points east of a line from DSM to MCI are at the greatest risk of violent tornadoes. ETA-forecast hodographs even indicate the semi-classic "kink" in the hodograph near 4km that are seen with violent tornadoes (from 21z MCI hodograph)... Interesting...
I'm in Council Bluffs and ready to roll tomorrow. Funny feeling inside of me after Nebraska yesterday, but I'm sure once storms start up, there won't be much time for feelings.

Nice call Tony on starting this thread. Who'd have thought at midday yesterday that we'd be staring at another day with such potential?

Lots of people have helped while I've been out most of the past two weeks and I want to thank them before things get hectic again. Anybody who has my number and wants to help tomorrow is welcome to call. Imagine most of you will be out and good luck to all.
Its deffinately looking to be a big day across NE/IA/KS/and MO-I try to stay far away from there. I'm kind of glad I wasnt chasing in May this year, because we'd be in Oklahoma. Nothing is going on down there this year. I'm hoping June is this active across NE/IA/KS. I'll be leaving June 4. If I were chasing today I would target SE Nebraska or northwest Kansas. Best influx of moisture and instability appears to be there. I'm concerned about the relatively low cape across southern IA coupled with the enormous helicities. I'm new at forecasting, so if you want to critique me, be my guest :) :) :)
Good luck on this dangerous looking day. May someone get a big F5 wedge.
Public severe weather outlook is posted now on the SPC website. It's going to be a day from hell.
Well, this is setting up over the top of my home and the little towns where I was born and raised ... after seeing what happened Saturday, I just can't find it in my heart to be happy about this setup one bit ... have way too many friends and family in the high risk zone to feel excited right now. Rock Port, Tarkio, Mound City, Falls City, Auburn, Maryville, Shenandoah - all of these places may not mean a lot to most, but they are really important to me.

While I will most certainly be chasing today and will be concerned with the video and photos - going to concentrate every second into reporting this time. Please help us out today -
Little time, as need to head out the door, but two things caught my eye:

First: The 12Z eta and RUC both break out convection by 18Z over the KS/MO border region south of Kansas City. This does not appear to be the main play (in the model world), but worth keeping an eye on to make sure convective debris/outflow do not get sucked up into the target area. The dryline bulge upstream of incredible progged soundings are hard to pass up.

Second: The 12Z eta, RUC, and other models break out convection in southwest OK and western north Texas along the trailing dryline. The shear profiles and cloud bases are not progged to be as favorable, but still may be good enough for a tornado or two for any storms that manage to form. That may be a secondary target consideration for folks who can't make the high risk area.

Pattern recognition suggests the MCI/TOP/STJ area, so I'm out the door to head up the Kansas turnpike...again. Good luck and be safe!
Looks like this could be a very long day. Currently, I am in York, NE; planning on heading a bit east, then south. Nebraska City looks to be a good starting point, but wouldn't rule out heading south, maybe into far Northeast Kansas/Northwest Missouri.

As Mike said, lets be on the ball today guys.. I know the vids and photos will likely be once in a lifetime, but we've got to remember that we are out to warn the public of what's going on. It could be a helacious day, so lets be on our toes gang. Be safe and good luck out there!
While I'll stay at home for data gathering today, the target looks like it might shift westward a bit on 36 for me - will have to really pay attention to find out where the big show ends up ... if it does initiate to the west, watch out for northeast Kansas - the road network just doesn't seem nearly as good as Nebraska, which has road options every mile - in Kansas and NW Missouri you'd better make sure your GPS is working -

Primary roads today are highway 36, I-29, highway 75, I-35 and I-70.

River crossings in Missouri: Rock Port, MO/Brownville, NE ... Rulo, NE, St. Joe, Atchison, Leavenworth, and Kansas City.
This is the first time posting/checking any email/logs, etc in 48 hours as I am w/o a laptop for my trip. Currently in Lincoln, NE on Brian Morganti's computer.


Had an excellent day Saturday; May 22 - Bill, Brian, Keith, Kinney, the Tempest Guests and myself did a comprehensive damage survey yesterday (Sunday; May 23) across Theyer, Jefferson, and Saline CO. NE; where we observed a large tornado 3 miles S of DeWitt (Brian/Keith were on the full lifecycle).

What is the phone number to the NWSFO in OMA??? Is Dewitt, NE in OMA's CWA????? Email me offlist at [email protected].


I LOVE the Theta-E ridge pointing to Hiawatha, KS (S. of Falls City, NE). The Tempest gang and myself will be in target by 2pm CT; and I can nearly 90% guarantee there will be tornadic activity within 10-20 miles of this region.

This will be the last time I post; please do not call me today as I will be unable to take calls (being the driver; Bill wants me to focus on driving).

Good luck to all; stay safe... and please don't kill yourself attempting to drive into a tornado for jackassery merrit. (Sorry to sound pompus there).

A possible suggestion for chasing today's outbreak:

Since this is somewhat/very similar to the Saturday event; I thought I would discuss the strategy Matt Biddle/Mark Svendold and one of the radar trucks used on Saturday. Since storms were firing everywhere and nearly every storm looked decent (could very well happen again today) they decided to play the "tail-end charlie" and got lucky.

Earlier in the day they saw mesos left and right but mostly just HP bombs with possible tornadoes shrouded in rain/dust. After much frustration they headed south to Republic county Kansas (THE tail-end charlie for Saturday) and witnessed at least 4 clearly visible tornadoes WITHOUT having to worry about another southern storm sneaking up on them or getting pounded by gigantic hail from a left split or something. Granted this storm didn't pop until around 730pm, but they still bagged some awesome TORs. After a phone conversation with them this morning, I'm pretty sure this will be todays strategy as well. This might be especially useful judging from the RUC's precipitation structure around 18z.
have I mentioned how much I hate the possiblity of chasing NE KS/ NW MO?? If it's an outbreak like Saturday, this is dangerous business. Much like in Texas Hold Em Poker, don't forget the Cardinal Rule today: Always leave yourself some outs.

Mike P.--Is that the TOP or OAX Skew-T??? Can you say "Loaded Gun"?? :shock:
That was the St. Joseph hodo, J.B. -

Austin has some good points - with this much instability and moisture everywhere today, I won't be surprised if we end up with HPs everywhere, no matter where you are ... best visibility will be as storms initiate and the bases first become visible. One important lesson from Saturday is that the storms became very tornadic almost instantaneously - - - it didn't take any time at all for them to go up and start spinning ... so hone your target today and get on them early, and then stay with them -

Also - I agree that we will probably end up with mesos all around us, so while you are chasing Storm A, lookout for Storm B coming up from behind ... and then C ... and D.

good luck everyone, and have fun -
I want to agree with what Austin posted about the southern storm that went up near Republic toward 8pm 2 days ago.

After having the wits scared out of us near Glenville NE just after 7pm (just could not get around the east end of this storm, heading south out of Hastings) my partner and I were more than ready to find a storm that had better visibility. The Republic storm was just the thing we wanted to see.

We felt even better when a Dow truck turned on to Hwy 81 as we headed south toward Hebron, NE about 8-8:15pm. Always nice to have DOW in your rearview mirror, LOL.

Heading out of my room in Council Bluffs in about a half hour for the Lincon/Beatrice corridor. Will be monitoring the usual chaser channels on ham radio. I am KC9BQA.

Every time I look at satellite it seems like there's more debris - wondering what this early junk is going to do - - - target continues shifting - - -
This all looks very impressive right now on "paper." We'll see if it turns out to be as impressive as it looks. I'd favor the high CAPE area in northeast KS. Probably right between Concordia and Manhattan somewhere. As someone mentioned earlier these will be a little more discrete and less HP in nature.

I'm sitting here laughing at the high risk for east-central IA into northwest IL. 58/45 conditions here right now with no signs of movement yet with the warm front. We'll be lucky to hear a clap of thunder in this area lol.

Good luck and be safe to all who go out today! 8)
If I wanted to do a long chase right now, I'd head up to ne KS. However, the latest model guidance suggests that the focus for the most violent storms may be a little farther south, into eastcentral and southeast KS. Additionally, both the ETA and the RUC suggest potential for strong tornadoes (check out http://www.wxcaster2.com/CENTRAL_ETA_SVR_C...HSWEAT_12HR.gif ... enough said) for locations east of a OKC-ICT line... IF THE CAP CAN BREAK ... 4000-5000 CAPE, 50-55kts 0-6km deep layer shear, and 250-350 helicity east of I35, north of I40 leaves the ne part of OK and eastern KS in the zone for strong tornadoes. Now, as Kevin mentioned, the ETA does initiate convection in sw OK and adjacent portions of northwest TX this afternoon, but veered winds will leave that area with poor low-level shear. Both the RUC and ETA suggest the cap over the areas east of OKC/ICT will be rather strong, so this may be a bust. Whatever the case, I"m probably going to wait around OUN until mid-afternoon and see what evolves. I'm currently thinking about meandering north and east of here in the hopes that something can pop...
It looks like Western Illinois may not be a bad spot to be in either. Tornadoes a possibility, but a derecho will become a increasingly element of severe weather overnight as it moves across Illinois and Indiana.
OK, so SPC has now seen what I have been watching throughout the morning -- the distinct possibility, IF storms can form, for isolated tornadoes from I35 westward in Oklahoma. After just checking CAPS southern plains domain, CAPE values are already 5800 here in Norman!!

If the warm 700-850 inversion can be overcome, we could definitely see some interesting storms here in the Central Oklahoma vicinity -- a very nice sound!!