Thursday, February 28, 2008

Car Repairs / Storm Chase Sunday 2nd?

Well my xterra has just about hit the 100,000 mile mark so its time to do some major maintenance before chase season really gets going. I recently got a full transmission service, fuel system service, oil change, etc.. Now it looks like I'll be getting a new water pump and timing belt as well hopefully before this weekend. Everything else seems to be in relatively good shape and all I will need throughout the season is a few oil changes and tire rotation (hopefully).

Looks a though a large longwave trough will develop and move across the central and eastern US late this weekend through early next week. On Sunday March 2nd, a sfc cold front will be surging southward across the central plains while the 500 mb axis, slightly positively tilted, will extend from the Dakotas SSW to New Mexico Sunday evening. NAM/WRF, GFS both depict a sfc low developing on the southwestern extent of the cold front somewhere in western north Texas likely. Modified gulf moisture should be in place with dewpoints generally ranging from 55-60 throughout much of central and northern Texas into south/southeastern Oklahoma. Still a ways out but looks like a chase may be in the works for northern TX on Sunday. I won't go into any more detail now but will likely post again Saturday as to if I'll be chasing along with a more detailed forecast.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tornado Wacth for Gulf Coast / Cold End to February

A tornado watch has been issued for much of the se TX coast al region along with most of southern Louisiana. Two tornados have been reported so far near the TX/LA border not far north of the coast. A tornado warned cell is persisting northeast of lake Charles as of now and a couple more tornado reports are possible before the day is up.

Looking down the road at some medium-long range models, both ECMWF and GFS develop a large eastern US trough for about the last week of February. For the plains, this means northwest flow aloft with reinforcing sfc highs likely diving down into the Gulf. So it looks like no more chases for February but thats fine with me. March is rapidly approaching as well as spring break. March will likely present at least a few oppurtunities for the southern plains and who could forget the 28th of last year, I'll be watching the pattrern closely and see how it evolves after the east coast trough move on out and hopefully somewhat of a zonal flow in the mid -levels can develop.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ice for Southern Plains

A shallow cold layer of air has worked its way into the central and southern plains. The stage will be set for freezing rain later tonight when the sfc freeaing line migrates far enough south. Here's a total ice accumulation forecast from OUN NWS.

Monday, February 18, 2008

First Storm Chase of 2008

Well my first chase of the year in se Texas was pretty much a bust. I had a chance to make it into a vacation though and visit family in Houston for the weekend. Overall, it was a good chance for equipment tests and everything worked great. My backup/second laptop is on the way here and I will be installing all of my chasing software on it this week. Right now I have a busy week of school work ahead of me. I'll update later this week as March is slowly approaching and I'll be having an eye on the long range models.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Severe Storms Saturday?

The large upper level storm system set to hit part of Texas has slowed considerably on the models lately. Just looking at the 12z NAM today (14th), the closed 500mb low will be centered somewhere near Midland/Odessa at OOZ Sunday (Sat. Evening) with sw flow of 55-65kts spreading over central and southern TX. Above that, a 200mb jet streak will be rounding the base of the trough with winds of ~120kts from the WSW. At the low levels, a front will have pushed into the area sometime Friday and likely stall out near the coast. With the approach of the earlier menitoned trough, strong low-level warm advection should take place Fri night/Sat morning lifting the stationary front north some allowing richer gulf moisture to filter into southern TX. Sfc winds are forecasted to be from an SE direction at ~10kts. 850mb winds are likely to exceed 50kts from a southerly direction. With this said, the speed shear and directional shear profiles are supportive of supercells over much of southern TX. With 850mb winds quickly veering behind a cold front from the west coupled with strong forcing, a squall line will likely develop overnight but there may be a period with isolated supercells on the tounge of the low-level jet before that. Instability depends mainly on how far north the retreating front can make it but 500-1000j/kg CAPE values may be likely from I-1o south to the coast. With all this being said, I'm watching this closely for my first chase of 2008. It falls on a weekend so I might have to jump on it. Check back later for more details.

Extreme Early Target:
Yoakum, TX

Sounding for Victoria, TX 00z Sunday 17

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Gulf Coast Storms

A tornado watch has been issued for the se TX coast and much of southern Louisiana. A complex of storms is heading se in advance of a cold front. Tornado spinups are possible along this line and with any storm that can form and maintian itself in front of the line.

In other news, one of my chase partners, Sean Waugh, has updated his vehicle for chasingwith a in-car-computer complete with a touch screen monitor, delorme street atlas, etc... I'll post some pics of this sweet setup as soon as I get them.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Storm Chances Next Week

A few storms may be possible Monday evening into Monday night across much of Oklahoma. Return flow of modified gulf air will make its way north into OK with upper 50's F dewpoints common throughout the state. A strong cold front will sweep down from the north with a dryline mixing east. Capping will likely prevail throuhgout much of the day but some elevated hailers may form north of the front with possibly some sfc based storms are possible near the dryline-coldfront intersection.

A larger storm system will likely affect the southern plains come next Friday (15th) as a closed low tracks across the SW US. Cold air will filter in from the north while the Gulf of Mexico may open up and send plentiful moisture northward. A swath of snow/ice may develop north of the upper low while severe storms form to the south .

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Deadly Outbreak

At least 45-47 people are confirmed dead as reported from CNN. It was a historic outbreak. Most of the deaths were due largely to the majority of tornadoes that struck after dark and the extreme storm speeds as well. Mosts chasers had difficulty keeping up with the storms but at least two I know of saw tornadoes yesterday. Here are some radar grabs of a few supercells yesterday.

Two tornadic supercells here..

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Video from Tony Laubach in Memphis

A multivortex tornado filmed by chaser Tony Laubach just ne of Memphis...

Tornadic storm crossing into Arkansas

A large tornado warned supercell has crossed from northern Louisiana into se Arkansas. There are 3 known chasers near this storm and it is currently tornado warned. No official words of a report yet. This is the best looking storm of the day so far and has a ripe environment ahead of it.

4 tornado watches are cuurently in place including 2 PDS watches. A couple of storms have tornado warnings in Missouri but so far nothing confirmed.

Tornado Watch Issued

A tornado watch has been issued for se OK, ne TX, and sw Arkansas.

This area is focused right near the sfc low and dry line intersection. Much of the warm sector is still slightly capped but it looks like things may overcome within an hour or two. Tornadoes, a few strong, are still a good possibility across much of the region but storm motions are ridiculous. I know a few chasers out there right now and will update later with reports from them.

High Risk Today

SPC posted a high risk outlook for much of Arkansas today. I think it will be a very early show and I'm problay to late if i leave now. Looks like I'll be watching it from here unless sfc low slows down even more and something interesting happens in se OK.

Quick Update

It's 5:56am and I'm up checking the latest data. High-Resolution models don't get me too excited as the main core of storms seem to fire in extreme sw Arkansas and track ne across the state. Horrible chase territory. Some potential does still remain in extreme northern-northeastern Arkansas into southern Misouri northeast of sfc low where terrain is a bit better. It's hard to pass up on such a potent storm system fairly close to home.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Tornado Outbreak Possible on Tuesday

The large upper level storm system has slowed a bit and is located over the southern rockies as of now. Strong moisture advection is transporting dewpoints in the low 60's F up thru Louisiana, se Oklahoma, Arkansas, & Mississipi. A strong cold front will push through the region tomorrow setting off possibly numerous rounds of strong thunderstorms. The WRF model shows somewhat of a sfc low along the front in Arkansas between 18z-00z likely enhancing the sfc winds to back to the southeast just a bit. Atop this, SSW winds at 850mb over 45kts and SW winds at 500mb over 75kts, will result in good shear profiles throughout the entire warm sector. Low-level flow is nice with storm relative helicity values over 200 m^2/s^2 over ne Arkansas into western Tenn. Instability may be an issue but 500-1000j/kg CAPE values should be adequate for this time of year in the given location. All the ingredients are there for a fairly substantial outbreak of severe weather including tornadoes but that will likely depend on small-scale features that will be seen better tomorrow morning. As for a chase tomorrow, conditions will be extremely challenging with storm motions around 50kts and the terrain over much of the warm sector. However, with the storm system looking to be slowing down a bit, it leaves a good chance that supercells could develop over eastern and northeastern Arkansas which is decent chase terrain with relatively flat land and a decent road network. I will look at things closely tomorrow morning and make a decision. It will likely be an early show and I could see tornado watches issued before noon with little to no cap in place. Stay Tuned...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

February Updates

Here are some pics from the heavy snow I encountered near Perry, OK on Jan. 31st. Hopefully I will have a full account up later.

In other news, a large upper trough will make its way across the central US and set the stage for severe storms overnight Monday 4th through Tuedsay 5th. The Arklatex through the gulf states region will be mainly affected from this large storm ssystem. More to come as this event unfolds. Highly unlikely I'll be chasing though.

Also, I recently purchased another Canon Digital Rebel. I went one year without my last one and I had to jump back on board with the dSLR's. This is the end of equipment upgrades this year as I am set with same stuff from last year; WxWorx, Delorme 06', Sony HC7, and now Canon XT Rebel. My Acer laptop is holding in there but I think I may be recieving a Dell d610 for no cost. I will likely download all needed software for use as a backup. As far as the vehicle, my Xterra is in desperate need of some care but looks good for another 20,000 miles or so this spring.

Come sometime in mid-March, I am going to try and update the blog more often. By the time the end of school gets here, hopefully it will be updated daily even if the only news is the status of the death ridge (lets hope not). So check back in often this spring.