Early year again?

Mike Hollingshead

I know I'm way out in model wonderland, but it looks like a good pattern change is now underway. Several runs have been showing a good setup by late February, with a few runs leaving it a bit more zonal. Most though have been keying in on a much more favorable pattern. The trick is getting that stubborn troughing in eastern Canada to shove east and weaken some. It keeps doing this around Feb 21-24 or so, with a lot of energy in the pacific nw. It looks like the gulf would be left alone once that is moved east and these systems could amplify and eject ne. Hell I could see myself chasing before March if it is anything close to what it seems to want to do.

My 2007 prediction......March Madness. Jinx.
I've noticed this a bit as well while looking at the long range models for more of a warming trend moreso than a storm chase chance. I was about to move to Florida just to get away from the cold weather, but it seems its a long way off. And, before anyone else does it, we all know models are inconsistent at best a day or two out much less 15+, but it's sure nice to talk about spring again like its coming and not going :D
Funny, while chasing yesterday in SW OK I had ran into Simon Brewer and we had a quick conversation about the pattern change for the later part of this month. I thought is was just me jumping lol. Glad to know I am not the only one eyeballing the change.

It’s hard to to really rely on the long range models, but IMO in comparison to the past system few systems (winter and thunderstorm) GFS has been pretty consistent with it’s forecasts. Honestly though, I really hope it gives us a few good chases starting in March, but I really would like to see us get some more winter precip down here in OK before FEB is up because we still need the moisture in a bad way.

Even so, if momma nature calls, I’m there.
Here was my guess a month ago: http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/showpost.php?p=119503&postcount=14
So far it seems to be more-or-less following the program, with transition into persistent continental troughing, east Pacific ridging, and a more zonal flow through March and into April. This would be great for mid-April and beyond, but a little too early and chilly in the boundary layer dep't. I suspect for good storms except near the Gulf Coast. The point is we may be two pattern transitions away from chaseable storms. Hopefully the second transition is to the more zonal long-wave pattern with energetic progressive short-waves superimposed, for reasonably sane early season chasing. FWIW.

I'm really interested in hearing the experts like Dr. Forbes talk about their views on how soil moisture affects severe on the Plains. Color me a global warming believer, but a soil moisture skeptic.
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My 2007 prediction......March Madness. Jinx.

You've got company, I went for pretty much the same forecast over on CFDG a week ago. I really like the fact that the southerly branch of the polar jet is becoming more dominant. In the coming weeks it looks like it will take over the flow pattern across the US. Remembering past seasons this is usually a good sign. We'll know soon as the SE'rn states will get hammered. Yesterday Louisiana's dozen tornadoes was an example of what's probably coming....and later Texas as it warms up. In a "normal" season tornadoes start in the south and move north with the warmer spring, not start out in Kansas like last year.

Of course chasing this thing in the early season is insane, the storms scream through the pine trees at 65 MPH, best you can hope for is a glimpse of the wedge as it zooms by....not to mention fog, stratus and meso on the ground. There is a reason we don't see that many Louisiana to Georiga tornado videos. If I were to pick the best outcome for tornadoes I would like to see the flow enter the US near San Diego with a SW bias. On the downside, if the jet digs too deep off the coast of Baja it will scoop up the dregs of the tropical ITCZ and we get recycled tropical cirrus and midlevel gunge, not pretty. Another issue with this pattern, if the jet flow skims across the rim of the Gulf of Mexico it will form surface lows along old warm fronts and the coastline. This will shift the plains return gulf flow northerly and make chasers pull their hair out
. Regardless of the risks, I see it as a favorable sign for the (early) season.

Gene Moore
Just logged on to start a thread about this.. :D Glad to know i'm not the only one eyeballing this too.. The models are starting to show the change to a slightly more zonal pattern in the next 10-15 days. However, I believe models may be wanting to make it happen just a little to quick. Especially the GFS. But I concur with everyone that a change will be coming.. spring is on our heels.. and i for one cant wait!