Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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Thursday, May 13, 2010 - 5:20PM CDT

Update and long-range forecast

By DAN ROBINSON
Editor/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Observing
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Finally back home, with a lot of photos to go through and process before I can post up expedition logs from this recent trip. The final tornado tally from the May 9-12 expedition is anywhere from two to four, depending on how much I want to nitpick what I saw with the Medford, OK storm. Overall, an enjoyable trip with some decent imagery and experiences to add to the list. For now, I posted a couple of quick HD clips from that day:

HD EXPEDITION VIDEO 1: May 10 Medford, Oklahoma tornado(es)
HD EXPEDITION VIDEO 2: May 10 Red Rock, Oklahoma tornado

I'll have some more imagery up in expedition logs from each day from the 9th through the 12th sometime in the future.

As for the long-range outlook for Plains observing, things are going to be very quiet in terms of high-probability tornado setups as a strong central US ridge establishes itself. Right now, both the GFS and Euro models show nothing of interest to me for as far out as they go (about two weeks). There will be the ever-present marginal parameter days and possible high-instability/low-shear/outflow boundary days, where a surprise tornado or two may reward someone willing/able to go out in the face of slim chances. But again, low-risk storm observation days cost just as much as high risk days in travel expenses - so given a limited season travel budget, I have to reserve my trips for the higher probability events. Some of the northwest flow patterns shown by the GFS actually favor chances for nice local observing opportunities here in the Midwest while the Plains is in "down mode".

2010 Storm Expeditions - Probabilities as of May 13
May 14-182%
May 19-2320%
May 24-2835%

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