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State of the Chase Season 2023

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It's wild to see the western plains continue to churn out incredible chases several times a week all the way into August. If you live out there or have unlimited freedom to chase, this year has probably been the best of your career. If you're like me and largely limited to chases within 5-6 hours of you and live in eastern NE or eastern KS, it's been one of the most frustrating years of your career. This area has been a dead zone going on a decade now. We finally got the incredibly active season we've all been dreaming of, and it's confined to one geographic area at an unconventional time of year lol.

I'm out of Colorado and this has been an incredible season this year. It's seemed never ending with such active early and late seasons. Record moisture both out West and along the Front Range has been the fairy dust needed to make this year truly special. For a part-timer/opportunistic chaser to hit 20+ tornadoes in a season is a sign of just how unique this year has been for us high-plainers. I'm definitely not taking this for granted, and am trying to savor/make every chase opportunity I'm lucky enough to experience.
The pattern has been interesting for sure. Western KS has large areas drought free. I am here in Eastern KS in extreme drought. Ponds are going dry, my neighbor is hauling water to his cattle, hay production 1/2 of normal, etc.
when you look at the comparison slider tool on the us drought monitor page from early June to now, you can see where the drought is definitely been cut back in KS/OK but its certainly an interesting shape/pattern that seemed to favor OK Wrn KS. Nrn TX during this past quarter while at the same time places like IN/OH/PA/NY have quickly caught up during that period. Certainly a bit of good news at least in the next 5days showing some high QPF totals over Ern KS. anything at this point will be a blessing for the cattle and tributaries/lakes that need it.
I saw some posts about the fall or 3rd peak of the season happening now and I wondered if anyone had any analogs or data on Fall season chasing patterns tied to La Nina / El Nino .. seems like there's been a nice trend as of recent, so it made me wonder what you all have seen in the past as I am not typically accustomed to chasing in the Sep/Oct time frame. Granted a short-term weather pattern is what it is, but I was thinking more from the climo perspective. This is one thing I did see from the SPC.


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Reviving this thread to share some early verification of the seasonal forecast. I had called for an above-average season focused over the Midwest mostly banking on an active March. This part did work out with several big days early in the season including the March 31st Outbreak. But, the rest of the year proved elusive and my overall tornado count was a big miss. April was below average despite a strong start. Late-season cold and a poor pattern with numerous cutoff lows and northwest flow limited severe potential beyond the two weeks or so. A very interesting trend has emerged with May. This has been a recurrent issue in the past several years. While there were still a few events, we fell below average missing almost 100 more tornadoes than normal. This is now the 4th below-average May in a row. The last active May was 2019. I didn't end up running the stats for June since I didn't include it in the forecast but it was quite active.

MonthTornado Count1992-2022 AvgForecastResult
March20691Above AverageHit
MAM Total:525545Above Average (775)Miss

I've also picked up on some of the spatial verification. The Midwest, Dixie, and the High Plains show up nicely here with large positive standardized anomalies. The central and northern Plains along with central TX had a quiet year. Im looking to do more verification as the full set of storm data is finished later this year. Ill also plan to spin up a new thread for 2024 in January. There will be some more in-depth verification in there. Hopefully, next year's forecast goes a bit better :)

Andrew, I didn't take the time to go back and refresh the methodology on this, but are the plotted values standardized anomalies or raw tornado counts?
Andrew, I didn't take the time to go back and refresh the methodology on this, but are the plotted values standardized anomalies or raw tornado counts?
Hey Jeff, sorry for not getting back to you. Holiday travel and family kept me busy. This was supposed to be a standardized anomaly plot for the months of March April and May. Looking back at this thread and my code, I realized I made a mistake. Not surprising given that I wrote all of this on my set of midnight shifts. Guess I didn't have enough coffee :)

Below is the correct Standardized Anomaly graphic and the raw anomaly count as well.

I'm ready for the 2024 State of the Chase room!

cause.... ( SMH ), I thought we might stay in ENSO a little longer than this but now I am like, well.. this should start off 2024 well, lol.

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