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                   Saturday, May 19, 2007 - 11:09AM EDT

June or bust

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We're nearly past the point of no return for arranging a trip for next week, as the setup for Monday-Wednesday still looks too short-lived and meager (aside from Tuesday). With flights that need to be arranged and other items, we'd need to make a final decision today - which isn't going to happen. My solo trips are over for this year, so it's either the main expedition this time or nothing.

The models are all over the place for early June, ranging from a big trough in the eastern US to a big trough remaining too far west, both scenarios being bad for storm observing on the Plains.

There are two factors for me personally that are beginning to erode the chances for an expedition at all. The first is available trip funds. After two trips out west, a third one will use up the last of the travel funds I have left for the spring. As I've said before, I don't want to spend those for anything less than a very potent setup. I'd rather save them for next year if things continue as they have been the past two weeks. Second, and most importantly, I have several big summer projects that I can't start on until storm season ends. We've been in intensive 'chase standby' mode for over a month now, and I'm anxious to move on and get back to 'real life'. We've already had plenty of success this season and I'm more than satisfied.

So, for the first time in the history of the probability table, 'no trip' will get the largest percentages today. The atmosphere really has some work to do in impressing me before that changes. Now it's looking like June or nothing. We also have had to move our standby end date up to the 12th due to several commitments.

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

2007 Storm Observing Expedition - Departure Date Probability as of May 19
May 19-252%
May 26-318%
June 1-725%
June 8-1225%
No trip40%

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