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                   Friday, April 14, 2017

Plains forecast update for April 14

By DAN ROBINSON
Storm Chaser/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Chasing
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The atmosphere has been playing some tricks on chasers this week, most notably the surprise quality tornado event in the Texas panhandle today (Friday) with less than 10 knots of midlevel flow aloft! The medium-range models have been flip-flopping on the system next week, with an "outbreakish" negatively-tilted wave overspreading the Plains in the Friday-Saturday timeframe:

GFS forecast for April 22

This wave is preceded by a multi-day episode of 30-40 knot midlevel southwesterly flow over "doable" moisture starting on Wednesday of next week. It has my attention for sure, but given the models' performace as of late, I am not above 50% on heading out for a Plains expedition just yet. If next week plays out as things are shown right now, I'd be out of here Tuesday night for a trip that could last through the weekend. If the models can stay stable on this pattern, my confidence levels for a trip starting on April 18 will go up 10% with each passing day.

Tomorrow in the Texas/Oklahoma planhandles looks like a decent event, but it's too far of a drive to make a last-minute run for a one-day opportunity. That plus the fact that Sunday looks like a Midwest play may happen within a few hours of home.

The following table charts the probabilities for a Plains chase expedition taking place for the date ranges shown:

2017 Plains Chase Expeditions - Probabilities as of April 14
April 15-172%
April 18-2345%

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