Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
Weather, photography and the open roadClick for an important message
Home | Blog Index | Blog Archives | Christianity & Faith Essays

                   Sunday, April 21, 2012 - 12:21AM CST

Returning to the Plains: Chase forecast for April 12-14

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

The first major multi-day, observer-friendly tornado event of the 2012 season is under way in the Great Plains, set to culminate with three potent days from Thursday through Saturday (and possibly Sunday) as the bulk of a big upper trough slowly moves across. Thanks to this trough, widespread southwesterly 500mb winds from 50 to 70 knots will overspread instability in the Plains for at least three solid days. Unlike most systems this time of year that quickly sweep through, this one will stick around for several days. The result will be Thursday through Saturday seeing good chase setups, mainly centered on Kansas.

Over the past two years, I have with great interest been paying attention to video and reports from other expeditioners in the field. It seems as if my fears of an oversaturation of expeditioners - that is, a critical-mass 'day of reckoning' that makes the hobby impractical for expeditioners and dangerous to locals - may not be fully coming to pass, at least not yet. In fact, some indications point to the peak of weather expeditioning's popularity either being imminent or having passed in the past 2 years. And so, it is with a mix of great joy and trepidation that I will be returning to the Great Plains this week for a three to four day weather expeditioning expedition. Lord willing, a westward departure via I-70 is in the plans on Wednesday night, with a stopover somewhere on either side of Kansas City.

The apprehension is simply for what I'll find on the roads during this trip. Will the rural prairies of Kansas be a vehicle-clogged menace, or will it be like I've always known it to be? What I see on this trip will determine whether long-cherished regular springtime expeditions to the Plains will be a part of my future, or remain a memory of the 'good old days'. For the answer to that question - and hopefully a few photogenic tornadoes - stay tuned!

And for old time's sake, I'll revive the expedition probability table. The following table shows the probability of an expedition happening during a particular time period. (Factors affecting weather expeditions include not just the forecast, but work and other obligations.) The probabilities of a weather expedition in the extended range generally remain low, until an upcoming favorable pattern can be reliably detected in long-range models.

The following table plots the chance of an expedition happening in a particular date range:

2012 Storm Expeditions - Probabilities as of April 10
April 12-1599%
April 16-2210%
April 23-3010%
May 1-1210%

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:

Very happy for you, move finally paying off :)
- Posted by p from d

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 and trees
Trees are nature's lightning rod - take a closer look here.
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