Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
Weather, photography and the open roadClick for an important message
Monday, April 20, 2009 - 4:33AM

May visible on long-range models

By DAN ROBINSON
Editor/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Observing
Important Message
Dan's RSS/XML feed
Dan's YouTube Video Channel

The beginning of May is finally on the far horizon of the long-range GFS, with the Euro on the verge of that point (now out to April 30). That means we can start a little monitoring for consistency and agreement for the traditional peak month of observing. Both models show a general western-trough upper air configuration around the first of the month.

Run-to-run consistency on the position and strength of the trough has not been good. Last night, the GFS showed the trough not really digging into the Plains until Monday. Today's 12z run show it farther east now, with even Friday the 24th starting to look like an expedition day. The GFS's depiction of the trough for Saturday is especially potent.

Some questions remain about moisture quality at the surface, as the GFS doesn't show great low-level moisture in place through next Monday - maxing out in the low 60s. That could change, but honestly, it's just way too early to tell if next week will be a series of banner setups. It is something to watch though.

As for the non-weather related factors influencing a weather expedition, I'm somewhat doubting that I'll be 100% ready to go if this early May event turns out to be a player. I have a week of intensive work ahead of me, a family get-together this weekend (in Raleigh), - and (probably more significantly) a whirlwind of pending financial incomings and outgoings. My tax bill should be coming in less than I expected, due to higher-than-expected 2008 expenses and mileage. In fact I just talked to my accountant today, and the estimate he gave me was very encouraging! So, some chase funding should be available providing that a couple of outstanding invoices get paid on time. By the first week of May, I should have a better grasp on whether the money's going to be there, and if I'm able to hammer out some web projects ahead of schedule. I always try to go to the Plains leaving as little unfinished work back home as possible, just to make the trip more enjoyable by not having to worry about an incomplete project waiting for me when I get back.

So even though next week holds some observing potential, the other uncertainties mean that for now, I'll leave the departure probabilities unchanged from the previous version.

Based on the current outlook, this probability table charts the chance of the Plains weather expedition starting on a particular date:

2009 Weather Expedition - Departure Date Probability as of April 20
April 20-3010%
May 1-1022%
May 11-2022%
May 21-3122%
June 1-1522%
No trip2%

Post a Comment
Please note that IP addresses are logged. Abuse will be reported to ISPs or corporate network management

The following comments were posted before this site switched to a new comment system on August 27, 2016:

25 Years of Storm Observing
Important Message
Dan's RSS/XML feed
Dan's YouTube Video Channel

This web site is made possible by support from CIS Internet.
CIS Results-Oriented Internet Marketing

GO: Home | Weather Observing | Photography | Extreme Weather Library | Stock Footage | Blog

Featured Weather Library Article:

Lightning types
Anvil crawlers, bolts from the blue, sheet, ribbon and bead lightning. Learn how to identify each!
More Library Articles

All content © Dan Robinson. All usage requires a paid license - please contact Dan for inquiries.

Web Site Design and Internet Marketing by CIS Internet