Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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                   Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - 9:48PM CDT

Day 6: Tough day without going anywhere

By DAN ROBINSON
Editor/Photographer
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The 7-hour drive from Tulsa today kept me from biting on the setup that would produce the tornado outbreak in the Texas panhandle. It was a 'sleeper setup', one that had potential to be either a great day or an expensive bust using up valuable funds - so I chose not to gamble. This was a day for the storm chasers with money to spend. The expected MCS/flooding turned out to be a non-event in the Tulsa area, and finally, the 00z NAM model has slammed the door shut on the setup for Thursday, meaning that trip #1 is looking like a wrap. The only saving grace about today is that I didn't further deplete my trip funds. Unless the atmosphere tomorrow morning defies what the NAM model is hinting at, I should be on the road eastbound by noon or so.

Posted at 2:14PM:
Still looks like a possible storm chase day tomorrow, albeit a very iffy one. The upper flow is forecast to just barely be overtop of the best surface features (dryline bulge and good moisture). A slight change in the position of the upper and surface features could either mean a great storm chase day or a total bust. Beyond that, Friday has some potential in central Oklahoma - then things really shut down over the weekend, with good moisture retreating well to the south. In all likelihood, I'll be heading home after Friday's chase.

Posted at 11:47AM:
Currently on semi-standby mode here in Tulsa. Should be plenty of lightning here in the next 24 hours - and the upcoming few days may hold some 'sleeper' chase potential worth hanging around for. Models also suggest some significant flooding potential here tonight. The models are not doing well with medium and long-range forecasts, so I'm not ready to discount the upcoming days just yet. I've also been blessed with hooking up with some observer friends here to team up on travel arrangements, which may allow for an extended storm chase expedition more typical of past seasons.

The local Starbucks shops around town have proven to be productive 'working bases' to give my web projects some attention, negating any urgency to return home. I'm really liking the laptop-external hard drive-USB mouse/keyboard setup, highly portable and really no different than sitting at my desk in downtown Charleston.

So, we'll see what the upcoming days will hold. Maybe a few more lightning shots to post after tonight!

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