As I approach the time of the year where I am available for storm chasing, I will probably spend more time on Storm Prediction Center (SPC) updates. Generally, my target area will be from I-25 to I-35, and from I-10 to I-80, though I may stray outside of this area as well.
Day 1: The SPC has issued a Slight Risk for a swath of the eastern Great Plains today.
Associated with the Slight Risk area is a 2% Tornado Threat Ring.
This morning, there is some convection already happening in the Slight Risk area near the Kansas and Missouri border. Don’t get distracted by this, but instead, take note of any outflow boundaries that may form from this morning’s convection.
The primary feature, according to the SPC, is an upper-level trough that extends into Colorado and Utah. This trough will eject into the Slight Risk area.
Other than that, storms will likely be high-based, with downdraft winds and hail as the primary threats, though a few tornadoes are possible.
Day 2: The SPC has issued a Marginal Risk for a swath of land between central Texas and Michigan, extending also into the Carolinas. The conditions are not great for severe weather. The threat over Texas is tempered by the low shear that is expected in this area. Storms that form will favor multi-cellular globs instead of discrete supercells, though there is some potential for severe weather.
Day 3: The SPC has issued two pockets of Marginal Risk, one of which is almost in my active chase area (eastern Kansas and Missouri). Overall, the atmosphere is setting up a blocking pattern, and this is the last hurrah for severe weather in the Great Plains for a few days. The Kansas and Missouri threat will be limited by the low dewpoints (40-49F), though we will see how much moisture is left after the next few days.
Day 4-8: The SPC has a mix of “Predictability Too Low” and “Potential Too Low” for these days. The blocking pattern will be in place by Day 4, and there may be some threat in the Mississippi River Valley by Day 6, but it is too early to tell.
Good luck to those of you out chasing right now, especially Allen and Mike! You’ve had a few good chase days, and perhaps you can make some lemonade with the lemons the atmosphere is throwing at you on days 4-8.
Thank you for reading this post.
All data and images are from the Storm Prediction Center Website.