4/30/19: Severe Weather Outlook for May 1-7

With less than a week left before I go chasing, I am watching the weather in the Great Plains closely.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has not made me feel any better.  There is a Slight Risk, just out of reach for us, on Day 2.

On Day 3, there is a widespread Marginal Risk.

After that, it’s “Potential Too Low” until Tuesday, which remains at “Predictability Too Low”.

Diving into the models, The GFS shows that the first few days should be in Texas. Then, perhaps we will have to make a decision between Texas or making the long haul to Nebraska. As we get closer to departure, I’ll switch over to the NAM, as I tend to trust it for severe weather location a little more than the GFS.   These models are subject to change over the next few days.

5/1/19: I don’t think we’ll reach the area of maximum threat. The strongest threat is split in two, with the stronger threat in south central Kansas.  If we move, we can perhaps get to the Texas Panhandle.  Even so, this threat seems to get weaker with each model run.

The NAM is actually favoring farther west, into the Texas Panhandle.  Could it be a chance?  We’ll see.

5/2/19:  The threat for this day has actually improved on this model run, showing more development along the I-44 corridor, just north of Red River into southern Oklahoma.  I’ll be watching this closely.

The NAM is less optimistic when compared to the GFS, but it is better than yesterday’s NAM.  The Texas threat is not very strong, with only the tiniest of threats in southeastern Oklahoma.

5/3/19:  This threat has remained weak.  We would probably hang out somewhere in the Texas Panhandle, perhaps ready to go hiking if the storms aren’t going to fire.

5/4/19:  The GFS has the threat decreasing in size, as well as shifting northwest, as compared to yesterday’s model run.

5/5/19:  The GFS has weakened this threat as compared to yesterday.  It has also shifted south into western Oklahoma.

5/6/19:  The threat on this day as diminished significantly, according to the latest GFS.  There is a tiny spot where upslope flow and a dryline meet over southeastern Colorado.

5/7/19:  The threat has shifted northwest and increased over the Texas Panhandle.  If this pans out, we may chase for a bit, then bail and come home late to Magdalena.

This just goes to show how much the models are varying for this week.

On one hand, the SPC and the NAM are both pretty dismal.  I tend to trust the NAM heavily.  However, given the dismal outlook, perhaps the GFS will give us some hope and we’ll play with it more on this trip.  The RAP is somewhere in between (for 5/1/19), showing more widespread coverage of storms, though the simulated radar imagery is mostly a blobby non-severe mess.

As it stands, conditions aren’t great for storms.  Zonal upper-level flow, no developing mid-level cyclones and relatively cool temperatures are hurting the chances of storms.  High temperatures in the 70s F for the Texas Panhandle does not scream “supercells”.  However, there seems to be a strong dryline in the eastern Texas Panhandle each day.  That plus a little upslope could be enough to get a rotating storm or two.   With the low expectations, perhaps we’ll have the storms that do form all to ourselves.

Thank you for reading my post.

Storm Prediction Center
College of DuPage

About highplainschasing

This blog is about my tales in storm chasing. My name is Seth Price and I am an instrumentation instructor at New Mexico Tech. My amateur radio call sign is N3MRA.
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