Storm Chase Day #10: Predictions

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued an Slight Risk for the very southern Great Plains.

Associated with this risk is a 5% Tornado Threat ring stretching from Hobbs, NM, down to Pecos, TX.

The surface map shows a light, easterly breeze this morning, with overcast skies. Temperatures are in the 60s F, with dewpoints matching.

I highlighted two boundaries on this map. The vertical line is the dryline; storms will form east of it. The horizontal line is a cold front; notice the wind shift. We will need to be south of this front as well.

The visible satellite imagery shows scattered, morning convection along most of the route we would take to get to the threat area.

The HRRR shows humid conditions, with a sharpening dryline in the west Texas later this afternoon.

The 12 Z sounding from Midland/Odessa, TX, looks like a spring, severe weather sounding. There was a lot of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and a capping inversion in place. The deep-layer shear is good (45 kts), and has a directional component to it. The low-level shear is good (24 kts). The lapse rate is a low, but we have an elevated thermal inversion that may keep a lid on early convection.

The surface-based CAPE is forecasted to be highest over the very southeastern corner of New Mexico and into west Texas.

Surface vorticity will be highest near Carlsbad, NM.

The Supercell Parameter is highest near Wichita Falls, TX, but I think that is driven by one parameter alone, and not representative of storm probability.

I pulled up the simulated reflectivity for the HRRR. Cells are firing off the central mountain range in New Mexico and over the Great Bend area.

The NAM simulated reflectivity shows a bit more favorable conditions for isolated supercells along the dryline.

I am initially targeting Lubbock, TX, for a few, and deciding what to do from there. My actual target is probably Kermit, TX, but we will evaluate in Lubbock and see if it is worth the drive. It is easy to forget that Texas is huge.

Thank you for reading my post.

The forecasts from the National Weather Service are from The NWS Homepage. The upper air soundings and mesoscale analysis plots are from the Storm Prediction Center website. The satellite data, model data, and forecasted soundings are from College of DuPage – SATRAD

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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