My 2006 svr wx forecast

Weigh in. How many considerable (at least 15-20 tornadoes) outbreaks will we have this year?

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ENSO ANALOGS

One of my favorite techniques to use, and one that has been successful over the past several years, is to do comparative ENSO analogs and then compile active areas to predict "active" and "dormant" areas of the country as far as severe weather goes. In 2005 we came out of a weak El Nino and went into fluctuating neutral conditions. Neutral to weak La Nina conditions are projected for most of 2006 and this was taken into account. The matching analogs are: 1953, 1959, 1967, 1979, 1984.

What was found was a consistent belt of very active weather across the Central United States, stretching from Minnesota and Wisconsin southwest into tornado alley and eventually bending back around to the Arklatex. The Central/Eastern Great Lakes were generally quiet despite a few concentrations of more active weather in Indiana and Michigan. The Southeast was pretty average as was the Central Atlantic Coast. The Northeast was rather quiet as well with no major events. The west was generally average (sporadic severe as per usual) except for a bit of a void across the Four Corners region and a concentration of active weather on the Frontrange east of Denver.

The two major corridors in the larger active weather zone extended from C/E Nebraska and N Kansas east-northeast into N Missouri, Iowa, and S Minnesota as well as from N Texas and Oklahoma east-southeast into Arkansas and N/C Louisiana and W Mississippi. These included some larger outbreaks of tornadic activity and even long-track and violent tornadoes. One can't forget the deadly one-two punch of the Barneveld F5 tornado and the Wales F4 tornado in Wisconsin in 1984.

CLIMATE OUTLOOKS

The CPC outlooks lend for a general trend of above-average temperatures likely near the Gulf Coast and the Western US, with above-average precipitation over the Upper Mississippi River Valley during the summer months. The spring and fall months are pretty much equal chances in most major concern areas. Not much to be gleaned from this although drier conditions across the south for the next three months and building temperatures could lead the drought to persist across the Southern Plains which could negatively impact the primary convective season down there.

DROUGHT OUTLOOKS

Speaking of droughts, we look at the CPC drought outlook which forecasts Oklahoma, Texas and Western Arkansas to remain firmly in the grasp of a nasty drought through March which could impact available moisture during early season systems and perhaps even transpirational effects later in the season. There is forecast to be some improvement in the drought over the upper reaches of the Mississippi Valley, but the drought conditions should generally persist over S/C Iowa and N/W Illinois.

LA NINA?

If we do in fact enter a weak La Nina pattern, what does this typically signal in terms of overall flow pattern adjustments? SST anomaly depth loops show an expanding pool of anomalously cool water in the equatorial Pacific not only horizontally but in depth through about 200 meters. La Nina would tend to adjust to more of a mean southwest flow over the US with abnormally wet conditions over the Central US and Ohio/Tennessee Valleys...and hot/dry weather over the Southern states. A lot of major outbreaks have taken place during negative Oceanic Nino Index periods including: Superoutbreak of 1974, Palm Sunday Outbreak of 1965, May 3rd outbreak of 1999, 1996's active season including F5 Oakfield, WI tornado, The May 1988 Mother's Day Outbreak and many more. Extended forecast graphics for the summer months show a flow pattern similar to La Nina periods and thus we could potentially see a weak La Nina or small negative ONI period begin.

IN SUMMARY

All of the factors considered some general conclusions can be drawn. We should operate under the assumption that general La Nina flow patterns will become more common over the severe weather season which means potentially active weather over Tornado Alley and the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys. With a persistent drought and generally unfavorable conditions under negative ONI or weak La Nina periods, the Gulf Coast could be rather dormant severe-weather wise. The Northeast should be cool and wet, but not necessarily active or dormant severe-weather wise. We could see abnormally dry conditions take hold in the west again as well.

Nevermind the image didn't work. LOL Red-shaded active area was pretty much tornado alley north of Central Oklahoma and also extending into AR/LA and WI/IL/IN/MI. Inactive was the far S Plains and the Southeast and the Mid Atlantic.

In addition, based on the long history of intense tornado outbreaks and long-tracked violent tornadoes both in the analog years and in La Nina or slightly below neutral years, it would not be surprising if a couple notable outbreaks occurred in 2006, particularly in April-June and particularly across the red shaded area on the above map. It also would not be surprising to see a couple long-tracked tornadoes over 50 NM in track length and of F3-F5 intensity.

...Alex Lamers...

**posted earlier in January for my personal use**
 
Chaser heaven? :wink:

Given that you can only ever be on one storm at any given time, and given as how the word "outbreak" immediately brings forth the impression of fast-moving, death-dealing weed-whackers.......I think you'll find that most chasers do NOT view tornado outbreaks as "heaven".

KR
 
Originally posted by Karen Rhoden
Chaser heaven? :wink:

Given that you can only ever be on one storm at any given time, and given as how the word "outbreak" immediately brings forth the impression of fast-moving, death-dealing weed-whackers.......I think you'll find that most chasers do NOT view tornado outbreaks as "heaven".

KR

I suppose but more outbreaks = more shots at bagging a tornado. Inactive years tend to make people disappointed, and after this past year an active season full of outbreaks would make chasers happy.

When was the last time we had an F5? It's been awhile...I think this could be the year.

...Alex Lamers...
 
Originally posted by Alex Lamers+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Alex Lamers)</div>
Speaking of droughts, we look at the CPC drought outlook which forecasts Oklahoma, Texas and Western Arkansas to remain firmly in the grasp of a nasty drought through March
[/b]

Yea, but then look out for floods!!

<!--QuoteBegin-Alex Lamers


Nevermind the image didn't work. LOL Red-shaded active area was pretty much tornado alley north of Central Oklahoma and also extending into AR/LA and WI/IL/IN/MI. Inactive was the far S Plains and the Southeast and the Mid Atlantic.


Cutting out Tx again huh? What are the chances Tx could have another bad tornado year considering it has been out of it for a number of years now with the exception of some of last season? I hope you are wrong on that one as I don't want to drive far.
 
Chaser heaven?

Given that you can only ever be on one storm at any given time, and given as how the word "outbreak" immediately brings forth the impression of fast-moving, death-dealing weed-whackers.......I think you'll find that most chasers do NOT view tornado outbreaks as "heaven".

Manchester day must have sucked eh. May 3, 99 too. Lone sup dropping south May 24, 2004 producing a bazillion tornadoes must have been a dream then? May 15, 2003....sucked too? May 4,8,10,15 03 all no fun lacking dreams chase days. June 9, 2003 surely sucked too. And we all know how crappy October 9, 2001 was. I know June 9, 2005 sure sucked. Then we have 2004, year of tornado outbreak days moving at breakneck speeds in forests.....errrr.

Yeah I'm not part of that "most" chasers don't view tornado outbreaks as "heaven". Count me the hell in.
 
I kind of agree with Karen. We don't need a Super Outbreak II to make chasers "happy". In those cases (days with numerous tornadic supercells, often covering a large geographic area), the destruction is often widespread and severe enough that I'm not sure any of us wish it upon anyone. I'm not saying I feel bad for chasing, since I don't because there isn't anything I can do to prevent the tornadoes -- I'm just there to witness them. However, I think most chasers still 'score' on days with only 2 or 3 cyclic tornadic supercells. We're chasers because we're mobile -- we don't need a May 3rd 1999 supercell concentration to have an excellent chase day. I'd put the magic number at 2 or 3 -- if we have 2 or 3 tornadic supercells within 100-150 miles, I think most chasers would end the day with some good video and/or pictures. 5-12-04, 6-12-04, 5-12-05, 6-12-05, 6-9-05, etc, are all good examples of days with a 2-3 tornadic supercells during which many chasers scored. Sure, it doesn't guarantee success (I busted 6-12-05, and sat out 6-9-05), but most will still score more than half the time I think on days like those. Heck, the big outbreak days (like 5-4-03) don't even guarantee success, despite the fact that they affect many people.

Why I mind chasing 5-3-99? Heck no! That was a day during which you could pick just about any storm and end up with at least one tornado. However, I'm not sure I'd characterize such events as "Chaser Heaven". Give me 5-12-04, or some of the more localized tornado events and I'd be perfectly happy. I don't need >15 significant tornado outbreaks.
 
Well outbreak does not = storms moving 70mph in forests either. Would June 12, 2004 have been any worse of a storm had the outbreak happened in se NE, ne KS with it...allowing other chasers to score too? I don't think so. I pointed out May 24, 2004 as KER wasn't on that storm but further south on the dryline where nothing was happening. Would an outbreak have helped that day? Why I believe yes it would(even though I realize the one storm by itself was an outbreak to some small degree). This was never about NEED, but about best case scenerio for a chaser heading out. Did an outbreak HELP chasers on the Manchester day? I'd say so looking at the various areas they were all in and able to score. Chaser heaven, as it was stated, would be best case scenerio as a whole...or closer to that. More storms producing, the better ANYONE's odds are...pretty simple.

I'd certainly call June 9, 2005 an outbreak too. By the posters number to equal a considerable outbreak(15-20) I think it qualifies. http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/050609_rpts.html Guessing the day cleared 15 tornadoes.

It simply makes no sense to me why a chaser would think of better odds with less tornadic storms. Again, the post was never about what is needed for a good day.

Putting my crack away now...
 
Why I mind chasing 5-3-99? Heck no! That was a day during which you could pick just about any storm and end up with at least one tornado. However, I'm not sure I'd characterize such events as "Chaser Heaven".

If damage isn't part of this question(which it shouldn't be as ONE tornado can wipe out a town), then I really don't get this statement. Having one storm that everyone and their dog is on would be better? Or better yet, not being on 'the' storm would be chaser heaven? I'm lost. Please tell me what this chaser heaven is you guys are refering to. I'm guessing it is this mystical event of this lone amazing cell you are on(with many others). Problem is they are just as heavenly when others are occuring.
 
Originally posted by Mike Hollingshead


I'd certainly call June 9, 2005 an outbreak too. By the posters number to equal a considerable outbreak(15-20) I think it qualifies. http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/050609_rpts.html Guessing the day cleared 15 tornadoes.

Mike,

I'm considering 'outbreak' to be a day with more than a couple tornadic supercell that produce >20-25 tornadoes over a relatively large area ("synoptic outbreaks"). I suppose 6-9 does fit that definition, but I was thinking of events more like 5-3-99, 5-4-03, 11-15-05, 11-10-01, etc. I would not consider 6-12-04 an outbreak, as, IIRC, there was only one significant tornadic supercell (Mulvane storm), though there were a sprinkling of tornado reports elsewhere.

I'm saying that there are days with 1-2 cyclic tornadic supercells in which >50% of the chasers still score -- I don't think you need days where there aren't a dozen tornadic supercells in a single state (like 5-3-99 was) to get an event duing which most chasers get some good video. Again, I'd certainly chase 5-3-99 (who wouldn't?), and I certainly don't get 'down' on those days, but I think we can have smaller events that can still be "chaser heaven".

Regardless, I entirely accept (and expect) the difference of opinion. It's all personal preference I guess, so no harm!
 
Originally posted by Alex Lamers


When was the last time we had an F5? It's been awhile...I think this could be the year.

I doubt there will ever be another official F5 ranking handed out, because almost all the powers that be are convinced the windspeeds aren't accurate, and that no buildings today are built like they were 30 years ago. What would've been an F5 ten years ago will now just be F4 because there's always some structural issue that becomes the focus for doubt.

IMO, the state of tornado ratings is in utter chaos. No believes in the current system, yet no one can sell a new one. I don't even try to estimate by the Fujita anymore. I have a simple Shane scale:

Weak
Strong
Violent

Screw the details, that only provides fuel for speculation and debate, and I'm burned out on all that.

As for the 2006 chase forecast - who knows? But I know I'd rather not be sitting mid-January knowing the last time I saw measurable precipitation was October 19.
 
I don't care if it's an outbreak or a normal good chase day you have to work for - I'm going to have a target and I'm going to have my gameplan. All I care about is seeing a tornado. I don't care how the events are packaged.

I think we can all agree that June 4 last year was a great example of how you still have to do your homework on High Risk tornado days.
 
Regardless, I entirely accept (and expect) the difference of opinion. It's all personal preference I guess, so no harm!

I'm not even disagreeing with your thoughts. It is something way too simple to have much disagreement over.

Everyone knows one storm(or two!) can be heaven to them...simple.

Everyone knows May 3rd, 1999 events or the Manchester day in se SD in 2003 can have a heaven.

We all know you don't NEED a billion tornadic storms to have a great day.

All Alex did was use "Chaser Heaven" for the spot of 9 or more outbreak days. Please tell me a better place to use it. He never said a word about not being able to have great days with less. I was just trying to point that out. Someone just decided to be anal over it and it made(and still does) no sense to me. 9 or more outbreaks is the best case scenerio....period. If you are a chaser wanting to see the sky at its worst I don't think you'd turn down the best case scenarios(and NOOOOOOOO I ain't saying you can't have a good day without it!!!).

:) ?
 
Originally posted by Shane Adams

I doubt there will ever be another official F5 ranking handed out, because almost all the powers that be are convinced the windspeeds aren't accurate, and that no buildings today are built like they were 30 years ago. What would've been an F5 ten years ago will now just be F4 because there's always some structural issue that becomes the focus for doubt.

I saw somewhere (I think it was an SLS presentation) that the level-5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale (EF-5) may be given to tornadoes with winds >190mph. I think it was noted that many houses can be destroyed by >150mph winds, not the 230+ mph winds attached to the current F-scale. This would also place an end to the discussion of whether there could ever be an EF-6 tornado, since the wind range on the EF5 category would be similar to Cat 5 on the SS scale -- it would have no upper bound! I'm trying to find the presentation... I think it was given by Tim Marshall... Hey, how come he never posts here? Apologies for the slightly off-topic post.
 
I don't have a problem with re-assigning windspeeds/degree of damage for tornado ratings. But let's please lose the "E" and "enhanced" from the scale; the last thing we need to do is make it more complicated by changing the rating markers themselves. Keep the F-scale and change the levels they represent.

Meanwhile, I'll stick with the S-scale :wink:

(somewhere in central TX a TV met is rolling his eyes)
 
Well I am encouraged that 70% of the people that voted on the poll through Sunday afternoon are optimistic about the season.

Never meant to cause such a debate over "chaser heaven" like some said.

The reason we probably haven't had an F5 is because they are so rare. They don't just come down in droves in a season. But it would seem that we are due.

I think my outlook was a little bold since some other people I've talked to have a more pessimistic outlook on severe weather season. I'm encouraged by the weak La Nina developing though...and it is amazing when you line up all the greatest outbreaks and the majority are in Nina years.

Buckle in!

...Alex Lamers...
 
Here is a rudimentary map of deadly tornadoes/outbreaks I could find for the La Nina years Alex listed, 1953, 1959, 1967, 1979, and 1984.

Also, another to add is Adair, Iowa on June 27, 1953, an F5 which claimed one life.



Click the image again when the PicTiger page opens for a full size version.
 
If a wedge is in the field, not damaging anything its all good, nobody likes to see homes & lives turned upside down. When we see something, we go from chaser to spotter, may help to save a life hopefully. Hence the Flora tornado in 97 I believe. Wife seen the funnel developing, at dark, we alerted NWS Lincoln to what was up. They warned it &alot of good people had some extra time to get to shelter. Felt real good too. We was hooked.
Kevin
 
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