State of the Chase Season 2023

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I've only been following the synoptic pattern closely for roughly a year now, but for the life of me, can not remember a spring with such cool nighttime temps as this one on the east coast. It got down to a low of 36° about a week ago, and has averaged high 40s and low 50s consistently, which kinda blows my mind since we're into June now. Moisture has been completely absent up until a few days ago, which is enjoyable as far as comfort goes, but has only aided in the spread of some wildfires and the associated haze.

I was kinda hoping the parade of lows and troughing on the east coast would at least bring some garden variety storms to the region, but I'm still waiting. The long range models have been hinting towards the action picking up around the 9th in my area, which ties into the chart @Jeff Duda posted... but I feel for everyone out on the Plains. Chasecationers are getting a raw deal unless the were fortunate enough to book trips after the climatological peak. Again, my opinion could very well be biased based on my recent introduction to following the weather closely, but it's interesting nonetheless.

When was the last time some of you veterans saw a similar pattern play out through the main part of spring?
I gotta remember even though it feels like I've already been watching that period for ages, it's still nearly 300 hours out. I just commented in there, it'd be more worrisome if it were showing a perfect, classic negatively titled trough ejection at this range.
My thoughts exactly... At this point I'd be surprised if ~something~ didn't materialize in that time frame... The signal is certainly there and the GFS picks up on it, despite CFS recently wavering. The question is "only" what and where 😂

Don't want to get my hopes up too high, but I'm suffering from acute storm deprivation syndrome here in California... probably going to head out in a week. I'll be happy few marginal-to-slight-risk-type-days, and more robust setups would be bonus.
Even though I am still booked for 10-16, I'm gonna make the final call this coming Tues/Wed. The 00Z GFS this morning is interesting for sure on that Negative tilt on the 12-14th. I think if the trends between now and then remain either positive or negative, that's enough time in terms of real model trend confidence that I, for me, can make a good determination on saving the money and cutting off this seasons run out there or not. woo-sah indeed lol


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When was the last time some of you veterans saw a similar pattern play out through the main part of spring?

I think the better question is, when was the last time it was a *good* pattern. I feel like it’s been poor for 10+ years already. Last active season I remember was 2013, and many didn’t even like *that* one because the activity was condensed into just two weeks - but oh what a two weeks it was!!!
Glad to see the thread is still alive and active. I haven't had much time between work and taking some R&R time away from chasing.

  1. May forecast was an obvious bust and 2 category error with one of the lowest May tornado counts in decades. 7 states recorded no LSRs in the month of May which is incredible and not something seen since the 1950s. This will probably be an interesting case study on predictability, but it definitely says that we have a long way to go for sub-seasonal forecasting.
  2. The good news is the rain. Climate models have been correct about the above average precip across much of the High Plains and it looks like this will continue. Hopefully, we can nix the drought completely.
  3. Hello June! 👀 Also not something the southern and central Plains have seen for several years, the pattern heading into mid to late June appears much more favorable for severe over a broad area. With the height gradients finally tightening from the fashionably late sub-tropical ridge and continued western US troughing, significant flow aloft looks very likely. With near climo moisture and the drought help out west, EML concerns arent nearly as high as typical in June. Some really strong indications of better flow and an active sub-tropical jet look good for some nice late spring and early summer chasing activities.
I just realized that if a real organized late season pattern does actually emerge, ugh I can just feel the youtube/twitter chaser hoard beginning to rachet up like the trolls in the hobbit when the one hobbit drops a bucket down a well.
wince face.jpg crap 🤣
Just landed back in Philadelphia (in fact, still waiting for bags an hour after touchdown, at what has to be the worst baggage claim in the United States - but I digress…)

So incredibly frustrating that, for the first time after 25 years of chasing, I had the ability to work remotely and be on the Plains for 24 days through June 15th, and here I am coming home at barely the halfway point because the pattern sucks so bad. Yeah it may get active next Friday/Saturday but I’m not going to sit here working in a hotel room for a week burning cash just in the hope that I squeak in a couple more days before the 15th (when my son has to get back this week anyway - it’s nowhere near as much fun chasing alone).

I burned most of my PTO days anyway chasing marginal setups, so there goes the idea of spreading the same number of PTO days over a longer period of time to get the “big” days - tough strategy to execute when there are no big days…

Theoretically I could go back out Thursday night if it’s looking good, but at this point I’m so irritated (maybe more so because I’m still waiting for my bags as I write this!) that I feel like saying “screw this!” I’ll regain my enthusiasm by next year, but probably not by next week.
Considering a re-deployment for the middle of next week if the models hold-up. Lots of monkey wrenches this time of year, including cap strength, but it would appear there should be some good chasing after the 12th, or so. Any set-up w/o cold, dense outflows, lack of real drylines and non-straight hodos would be a welcomed change!
Below normal heights across the Plains and Midwest is favorable in June. Pesky East trough would be trouble in May. In June an East trough does not necessary impact the Plains. One can drill down and see 500 mb flow forecast, but it keeps jumping around the Plains or Midwest. At this point, extended forecast, we just want to see flow. Ditto 850 mb progs.

Canada block weakening should allow the forecast modest flow. Typhoon Mawar gets some credit for the Pacific jet extension. Also cleared the West Pacific deck so the MJO could pulse again out of the Indian Ocean. Technical details aside, I just want to give the models a sanity check. Indeed reasons exist upstream, and globally, for the mid-June progs.

As noted, later this week could see a couple days in the Plains or Midwest. Southern High Plains? Perhaps starting Thu/Fri. Appears to be another system good for a couple days early to middle of next week June 11-14. That one keeps shifting in time and space. The above does not include mesoscale accidents sooner and/or between systems.

A couple days ago (Saturday) all of next week (June 11+) looked like a Retro southwest flow June set-up. Glad I did not have time to post, ha.

Now it appears systems dive through the northern stream in chunks, Plains to Midwest, week of June 11. Also have the southern stream still going. Forecast will be challenging. Warren's post came in as I'm typing. Yes, the cap will be there more next week. By June 14 a flat Texas ridge is forecast, but with still below normal heights north of it. Fortunately, a little more flow is also forecast by June 12.
it would appear there should be some good chasing after the 12th, or so. Any set-up w/o cold, dense outflows, lack of real drylines and non-straight hodos would be a welcomed change!
I hope so! Heading west after Chicago Blues Fest for a couple weeks again after 2 disappointing earlier chases in april/may ( wrong cells..wrong timing).
This feels like some weird combination of spring .. and summer monsoon season here in CO.
No complaints on the rain (other than I need it to dry out a bit to do some gardening)
And no severe, but I have had a few little lightning shows to watch. :)
I have the potential ability to go back out from this weekend through next Wednesday, but I am not seeing anything at all compelling in the most recent GFS or Euro runs from Monday night. On Sunday night (can’t remember if it was 0Z or 06Z) there was a beautiful GFS run for next Tuesday with a negative tilt trough and a sharp dryline in KS, but that was gone with yesterday’s 12Z run. The current runs do not look good. Yeah there will probably be some chase opportunities and conditions should be much better than they are right now, so if you haven’t been out yet I would definitely go and get what I could. Things will be better than this week we are in, but not much better than the two weeks I was already out there (5/22-6/2). I am not seeing anything on the current runs that would draw me back out for a second trip, but I will keep watching.
I am sure most of you are tracking the same stuff, but I went back 8 model runs focusing on the 12th thru 16th using 12Z&00Z only (I have read information on 06/18Z GFS runs being less skillful or useful over the 12/00Z runs when going out to 5days and beyond due less RAOB inclusion? yes/no/maybe so?). Anyway, the 12/00Z runs have in my eyes have been more consistent in targeting the SCP (variations in intensity and scope of coverage aside across the SRN plains.

based on what I am seeing, it appears to me at least that there is an increased focusing mechanism for convergence/diffluence from 850/500 from the 12th to 16th extending from West TX starting on the 12th, and gradually moving eastward to the areas from Tulsa down through the Red River down to Dallas and into WRN Ark with a decent dryline and theta buldge from the 13th, and more especially the 14th and 15th.

I think it's fair to say, like Warren/Jeff House said, what the Cap will do or not over some areas and the more Microscale parameters that are way too far off to even worry about, but I still feel pretty confident in this period. from 12-16 that there are going to be some opportunities before getting shut off again. How extensive or not, we need another 3 days to really begin to get to that. I'll make my final decision to go or not tomorrow when the 12Z comes out just to see if its continuing to maintain the target areas and general flow patterns about the same.

After the 16th, if you trust the GEFS/CFS, it looks like the pattern shifts northward and west a bit more. If I had more money and time, I'd stick it out!.. but alas, this 5 day window will happen or not. til we meet again next year! lol
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Well @JamesCaruso, today's 12Z GFS came in considerably more interesting for several days next week. However, it's a bit frustrating that, after watching the 6/10-17 period for several hundred hours now on the CFS, with its relative consistency for a signal in that timeframe prompting me to ask for next week off a week ago, we're still in the range of knowing little more than "there should be some degree of potential, somewhere in the central U.S."
I've gone ahead and asked my supervisors about taking a few days off next week, with the caveat being I'm not sure which ones yet. They said no worries, just let them know when I know. I'm convinced I have the single most flexible and understanding leadership in the entire Air Force. Being stationed at a small, slow paced, training base doesn't hurt either I suppose. Hopefully next week will pan out like the models are suggesting though. I'm eligible for a PCS soon, so I'm not sure if I'll still be living on the Plains next season.
Finally seeing a smidgen of consistency on the last few GFS runs that somewhere in eastern/southeastern Kansas could be interesting next Tuesday, with a potentially significant threat in the mid-South on Wednesday (Rather than haul @$$ for this I might chase lesser potential portrayed over portions of KS/NE for that day). Still far out but some eyebrow-raising EHI values being shown over the NE/IA/KS/MO confluence region on multiple consective runs for next Friday with a system that comes in behind the first one. Consistency falls apart pretty quickly for Father's Day weekend with wild run-to-run differences in how that second system is handled beyond Friday 6/16.
I'll be based out of Wichita starting Saturday evening and I concur with your thoughts. albeit I feel there has been more than a smidge of consistency for the last 3 days at least up to this morning from 12/00Z runs anyway, but my previous post on this explains it. I was thinking a moment ago, the SPC should be putting 15% on Day 7 and 8 lol... then I thought, what does it take for SPC to actually paint an area that far in advance, but that's my personal confidence (which I hope doesn't land on its face!) on there being organized or isolated "something" to chase. The CAP is gonna be something to watch but I agree that S & SE KS plays an interesting place to look at.
your point about 16/17, now I am considering extending my trip by a day, but also considered SD as the lesser obvious spot, less "hoardy" hahaha
Complicated forecast for Sunday though the middle of next week. I'll prepare for an air attack, but I want to see a few more model runs. My main concern is DL placement, atmos. recovery for multiple day event, cap and HP potential. I'm thinking there will be excellent sleeper events away from the straight line hodos with obscenely high RH values, maybe target CO or NE. Could actually be a couple of high end, dangerous events for mid-June.
I have been considering a possible return for the Friday 6/9 - Wednesday 6/14 timeframe, but I am almost certainly bailing on the idea at this point. If I had not been out yet, I would certainly go for it. But it's going to be difficult to break away from work again so soon after having taken most of two weeks off. Therefore, the bar is higher for me, given the level of personal/professional disruption of going back out. If it looked like there would be great chasing Fri/Sat/Sun, it might be worth coming out for that, and dealing with the weekdays when the time comes... But I'm not seeing that. Here are my thoughts based on a very quick and superficial look at the 12Z GFS (12Z Euro not yet available on PivotalWeather), but take with a grain of salt because I'm biased toward finding reasons *not* to chase given the personal/professional considerations. Again, if I had the opportunity to come out without issue, or if it was a question of "take a chase vacation or not," I would definitely go for it. Also I am still always learning so if anyone thinks I'm completely off the wall with this rundown don't hesitate to tell me so!

Sat - maybe some action in OK but east of I-35
Sun - possible sleeper chances in southeast CO? Parameters nothing special, but could be a chase day at least, and magic tends to happen there
Mon - this looks like the best day to me, at least in traditional chase territory; dryline in TX PH, but not the best orientation; dry punch near ABI? Negatives include weak LLJ, possible capping concerns, trough axis way back in southern CA / Baja so lift may be limited?
Tue - could be a big day but the best moisture is shunted east, chasing likely to be mostly in the trees of OK east of I-35?
Wed - back to NW flow, maybe a little more zonal in south TX but moisture shunted to eastern TX

Not looking beyond this because even if I had stayed out there, I would have to get home on the 15th (or maybe early on the 16th, but then my range would be limited on the 15th anyway...)
If not for the comradery of hanging out with my chase friends every year for a few weeks, enjoying Weller and steaks, I'd likely move on to targeted hits. The cost of a week or more of "so-so" chasing is close to the cost of flying in for a few days... with much better results. I will likely make one Dixie Alley High Risk chase next year just to say I did it. (I also have a good drone so trees are no longer a factor).

The latest models are ejecting the aforementioned system quicker than previously forecast, so any chase forecast would need to consider this trend for DL placement into the Mekong Delta regions of OK, in addition to the possibility of typical June MCS thugs peeing in the pool for day 2+. I still have zero doubt there will be tornadoes, but I'm not convinced yet the locations will be easy to forecast or they won't be hidden in HP crud.
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