Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
Weather, photography and the open roadClick for an important message
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                   Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - 10:01AM

Setups looking more conditional

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The ECMWF model has been worrisome in recent days due to its refusal to agree entirely with the GFS about the weekend pattern. It has the jet more west and north, then transitions everything quickly to an eastern trough with ridging/NW flow over the Plains once more. The GFS upper air and moisture forecast looks nice, but there is a massive cap (with 700mb temps topping 12°C - above the threshold for realistic breakability).

The capping may be the deal-breaker on a trip #2 for me. I will just have to wait until the target days start falling within the NAM/WRF horizon - by then the other models should have a better handle on things as well. If I see precip consistently breaking out in that capped environment, I may give it a try.

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

2009 Storm Chasing & Photography Expedition #2 - Departure Date Probability as of June 2
June 1-733%
June 8-1533%
No trip #234%

It's nice to see that somebody else is looking at this through non-SDS glasses. I've never had success with 700mb temps >12c, so I'm not too excited ATTM. So there are really 2 potential flies in the ointment here. 1) Frontal passage scouring moisture and 2) Thermonuclear capping inversion. WOW, the verification number for this post was a pretty nice storm chase day for us ;-)
- Posted by Justin Teague from Tulsa, OK

The 12Z Euro model is showing a great trough around June 12. And yeah - that verification number is no coincidence :)
- Posted by Dan R. from Charleston, WV

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