5/25/06 FCST: KY / IL / IN / OH

Jun 12, 2004
Athens, OH
I find myself in Kentucky this week. I do have the chance to chase Thursday. With that in mind I am taking a look at what appears to be a reasonable setup for Thursday.

A quick look at the models shows enough cape and enough shear for some discrete activity. The pattern looks to be a wave of storms from today's MCS rolls through and then reheating and then a chance for discrete activity before the front moves through and things go linear.

So much of the East of the Mississippi stuff is hard to predict. We get too much moisture, too much cloud cover and MCS or lines instead of discrete cells, I guess that point to not enough shear.

Well tomorrow has the usual problems.

If the cloud cover clears, if things do not go linear etc.

Still worth watching.

The SPC day one upgrades to moderate and the tor is 10% on the graphic. The text downplays the tor potential. Forecasting these east of the Mississippi event is rather dificult. See what tomorrow has to offer. The terrain is somewhat chaseable and many of the pieces are in place. More shear would be nice.

Tom Hanlon
It was fascinating to see all the chase reports coming out of the WI/ILL border area. As a lifelong Badger, I feel like I'm in sort of an odd dream, seeing guys I've met in typical Plains chase territory actually coming within a few hours of my location.

Today may be even stranger and more delightful, LOL.

Folks are going to shortly become aware of SPC upgrading to a mod risk with a 10% hatched tornado threat for most of eastern Indiana and the adjacent portion of west central Ohio. This pulls the tor risk much farther northeast than it was previously, and the best part is it pulls it out of the hills and jungles of far southern Indiana and Kentucky up into much, much better chase territory. I'd say the game is on, could be the best day of the last 3.

Imagine a lot of chasers are tired and not quite aware of this yet. No strong forecaster here, but wanted to give a heads-up for those who need to plot a way to get thru Chicago and head east and southeast from there.

Hopefully Indiana and Ohio can do more for chasers than Wisconsin was able to do. ;) Go get 'im!
I believe there will finally be some descent tornadoes today over Central/Southern Indiana stretching into Western Ohio. Morning convection has cleared out nicely and clouds are breaking up over the region. CAPE should reach 2000-3000 j/kg. Shear looks good with south-southwesterly to southwesterly 35-40 knots & 850 and west to west-southwesterly & 500mb, plus 300mb is around 50 knots which should keep storms from undercutting their updrafts/mesos. Discrete supercells should initiate ahead of the cool front along a surface trough axis over Western or Central Indiana early in the afternoon. I'm expecting to see several tornado reports.
I'm going home today! :) Unreal, my life-long chasing dream has been to chase a system from Denver, Colorado to my hometown of Circleville, Ohio, and here I am in Bloomington, Illinois about to embark to complete that quest with the best chances this entire journey. I cannot even begin to tell you how this feels.

Potential looks very nice today compared to previous days. Weaker forcing along the front will limit the chances of squall line potential and hopefully keep cells more discrete for a long period of time. Moisture is just like I remember it so hopefully temps will stay a bit close and keep the spreads low. My bigger concern is too much moisture which may send storms into HP mode and make it hard to see what's in them.

I'm beyond excited! If I can nail down a tornado in my homestate today, it'll be the biggest one of my life!
Sitting here at home in Central OH the sun is shining and my wx station is reading a temp of about 75, dew point approaching 65 and SE winds 5-10 mph. Looks promising right now.

Unfortunately, when the weather is in my backyard I end up spending most of my time at the station, locked away in a windowless room. Oh well...good luck to everyone.
I haven't looked too much at things, but my enthusiasm for tornadoes today seems to be shy of that being offered by SPC, and I would want to shift it further south. Certainly better deep layer shear will be in place today - and moisture isn't a problem, but the storm speed for what appears to be the best area (western KY to southern IN) could result in very frustrating chasing imo. Also, low-level hodographs don't look that impressive to me until evening - when storm mode could be a problem again. Maybe more cellular convection can cling back into western KY during the evening hours.
I am in Paducah, Kentucky (Western KY). Totally clear sky here. CAPE is already approaching 3500 in this area. Cold front remains to the west. PAH is having a conf call at 1 p.m. for emergency management to discuss the situation. Would not be surprised to see some nice supercells move from Missouri into IL and KY. I would think the hotspot would be Southeast IL and Southern IN. The supercell composite is showing 12 over Cape Girardeau, Missouri. LI readings of -7 to -9 are already indicated.

Anyone who has access to satellite can see that most of MO is cloud free and all of Southern IL and Southern IN. West KY is as well. Lot of dry air being pulled in behind the circ. Moisture is more ample as you approach this region. It will be interesting to see where storm initiation will occur. Would think, again, that Southeast IL and Southern IN will be a favored spot.

Effective shear and BRN is fairly impressive in Illinois and Indiana. I will be curious to see if the SPC moves the moderate a tad west.

2"+ hail already reported in Tennessee this morning.
I am nowcasting today for an old Cloud 9 buddy (from 1999, LOL!) who came out from Boston to try and catch some storms this week. He's heading south into Indiana from the far SE side of Chicago at the current time. I've told him from what I'm reading and seeing to think about getting between Terre Haute and Vincennes for initiation. I drove that stretch of Hwy. 41 the morning after the Easter Sunday supercells in SE ILL and SW IND and it's not bad chase territory at all. Mostly flat, mostly open. Not sure how it is off to the east, but it looks fairly good on the Rand McNally until you get south and southeast of Bloomington.

I've got my satellite, surface maps, radar, SPC mesoanalysis pages open and I'll be watching things carefully. I honestly wasn't expecting this much potential and am a little bummed I'm not out myself, but it helps having Dave out there -- the virtual chase thing.

I'll be keeping my eyes here as well for any good nuggets or insight as this moderate risk unfolds.
Sitting in Crawfordsville IN(feels strange being this far east in May). I've seen some pretty tall towering cu in the area and it just has that look like it will go soon. It's nice to actually see cu that aren't extremely high based. I'm wondering about that sw-ne line on satellite here, if anything will go this far east on that. I guess the last couple images hint at it washing out some. Wasn't this trough supposed to vanish by now, lol. I remember some of the runs showing it quickly weakening. Now we have a 50-60 knot mid-level jet plowing over 4500 sbcape.

Edit: Storms firing in se IL now with maybe an area of more enhanced cu near me here somewhere. Hmmm radio beeping now, assuming tornado box.
Wow, wierd hearing about some of you guys being this far east. I missed out on yesterday due to work so I'm eyeing the chances for today when I generally wouldnt be.

Unfortunately the best ingredients appear to be right in the crappiest terrain near the Wabash River in SE IL and SW IN.

I'm also watching the area of cu near Hollingsheads location and may head that way some. I'm still sitting at home in Champaign, about 20 minutes from the IL/IN border and may begin crawling eastward soon. That area doesnt have the best potential, but the terrain is far better the further north you go so keeping with any storms will be a lot easier.
For those wondering where the terrain is and isn't bad(maybe I'm the only one, lol) I just noticed how well you can see it on the NWS radar with the radar image unchecked. I'm not going south for nothing by the looks of it.