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Monday, April 21, 2008

Severe Weather Today

Chase Target (triangle): 1st target: Iola, KS east to Nevada, MO then back to the SW to Girard, KS. 2nd Target: Hobart, OK to Anadarko, OK

CINH should erode by 21-22z along the KS/MO state line with the NE/SW oriented cold front approaching the northern target, while the dryline mixes eastward near the surface low into SW OK. 0-3km MLCAPE, surface-based instability, as well as the best convergence, will all be maximized in SE KS/SW MO as well as SW OK near the triple point, around this time frame. While not as strong as one would hope for, 0-6 km shear, today, is sufficient enough for supercells/and or supercell structures in KS/MO, and is also adequate enough for the same in SW OK.

KS/MO should see storms fire by at least 22z - 23z, (5-6 p.m.) but the SW OK target might hold off until near dusk. I don't think there is much of a tornado threat early on (as storms may be elevated and not surface-based, along with weakly-backed surface winds), but as the low-level jet strengthens at dusk, boundary layer moisture should be adequate enough, as SBCINH further which there may be a brief window for a couple of tornadoes in each of the two areas. There is a pretty tight moisture gradient in the Oklahoma target on the triple point at 0z...and better shear, but convective inhibition seems stronger there, and may suppress convective development all together.

However, the 4.0 km NMM WRF shows no precipitation breaking out for Kansas and Missouri, while the SW Oklahoma target does, between 23z and 0z...we'll see. Someone should keep tabs on this thing on every setup and compare it with reality later on, and see what it does good on, and what it doesn't. I'm sure someone does, just no one that I know lol.

Although weak, there still is pretty good directional shear today, compared to the more speed-shear, uni-directional setups that have barred any major outbreaks on the Plains so far this Spring. I'd settle for a slow-moving sculptured supercell, with some baseballs hitting my car, and consider it a victory. But it really all depends on the timing/arrival of the mid-level support tomorrow to help erode the cap, bringing cooler temps aloft and stronger vertical forcing.

If a supercell does form ahead of the cold front during the late afternoon/evening, and moves east/south-eastward and the cooler air doesn't undercut it, one could probably survive a few hours with the amount of instability in place. (I remember one doing that LAST YEAR at this time producing a few tornadoes in this target area, and my colleagues and I blowing the day off.)

Today could be the "sleeper." SPC has a 5 percent torn/15 hatched hail out on the 6z outlook, outlined with a slight risk. I'm going to wish I was out there today, as will others who sat it out. It always works out that way.

I, unfortunately, will be giving a presentation on GIS during all of this, and can not chase. I blocked all of my classes on Monday, thinking it would leave me the rest of the week to free-up for chasing, and you know what day always seems to be the day to "chase." Tragic, I know. Oh well, not much to speak of yet, and school's almost out, so we'll see how May shapes up to be for us goofy, cloud chasers.

Good luck to anyone chasing today (especially Chris White from Virginia who planned his chase trip awhile back and has only 2 more days).

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