Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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                   Tuesday, May 1, 2007 - 2:59PM EDT

"It's here!" and possible May 4-8 storm chase expedition

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May 1 is a date that has the same significance to storm chasers as December 25 does to kids, the start of arguably the greatest of all months (cue Andy Williams' "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year"). Now that it's here, our 'official' standby period begins as the classic storm season kicks in to high gear.

So now that May is here, what's the plan? The models indicate a nice, slow-moving trough bringing setups for severe storms and tornadoes to the Great Plains from Friday through Tuesday. The potential show starts in the High Plains of western Kansas on Friday and Saturday, then moves east on Sunday-Tuesday as the trough advances. It appears like there is potential for four or five solid storm chase days in a row with this system, if the models' forecasts come to pass.

Now, the bad news. Unfortunately, our crew is not going to be able to make it to this one. Between the four of us, each of us have work and/or family obligations that will prevent us from making a trip this week. However, while Matt, Tom and Bill are tied down this weekend, my obligation is a meeting with a client scheduled for Thursday morning. This means I can still make it out west for Friday's setup, Lord willing, if I left immediately afterwards. This would be a solo trip for me.

Since May 1-10 looks to be an active period in which I may make a second trip out west, we'll break the probability table into two segments again - one for the upcoming week, the other for our main expedition.

Based on the current outlook, this probability table charts the chance of our trip starting on a particular date:

2007 Storm Chasing & Photography Expedition - Departure Date Probability as of May 1
Red - main expedition; Blue - May 4-10 trip
May 4-1065%
No May 4-10 trip35%
May 11-2033%
May 21-3133%
June 1-1533%
No trip1%

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