From clear to storms?

Chasing from home today unless something develops within 50 miles of Fort Smith today and then i might have a go. Looking at the visible satellite there is hardly any clouds at all across much of the slight and all of the moderate risk area. I dont think i have even been out and by 2pm not had any clouds at all at any level. Usually i like to have at least a few cu clouds by this point and this got me thinking about what some of you have seen as far as going from completely clear to storms?? Whats the quickest you have seen storms go from nothing?
 
One of my best days had absoutely ZERO clouds til 6pm when the storms popped and we were deluged in hail by 6:30pm with an F2 tornado at 8pm. So daytime cloudlessness may be a good sign...
 
Today is actually looking quite a bit like the 4/2/06 outbreak. The only difference I've noticed is that there were periods of clouds until the cap broke about 22 or 23Z that afternoon. That day we got hit with golfballs twice within 30 minutes by soon to be tornadic supercells. They don't call it a loaded gun sounding for nothing.

Damon Poole



One of my best days had absoutely ZERO clouds til 6pm when the storms popped and we were deluged in hail by 6:30pm with an F2 tornado at 8pm. So daytime cloudlessness may be a good sign...
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While it can influence the severe/tornado potential (too little insolation = not enough instability or too much = moisture mixed out), cloud cover is not a positive reliable indicator. As Rdale said days with full insolation can contain very severe storms and I have seen days with numerous alterations between clouds and sun (namely August 18, 2005 and May 23, 2004) do the same.
 
Not to mention, storms on cloudless days tend to be more visible... I love it when it's crystal clear and you can see the entire storm structure after it blows over (i.e. the back of the anvil, backlit, lightning, etc.).
 
6/31/05 was like that, there wasn't a single cloud in the sky all day and it was very warm. At 6:00 I was starting to lose hope that the cap would be overcome. I was outside and it was as blue and clear as can be and 5 minutes later there was a huge supercell 50 miles to my south. It went on to produce a tornado in SE SD and was pretty impressive but I was astounded at witnessing such explosive development.
 
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