Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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                   Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 12:04PM CST

Storm Chasing & Photography forecast update for April 25 - May 7

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No major changes have been noted in model forecasts for the upcoming system, which boosts my confidence closer to certainty in a Great Plains trip departure happening on Friday. Saturday and Sunday both look like excellent storm chase days in the Plains, but dangerous days for local residents. Of course as storm chasers, we hope for the amazing sights to happen over open fields.

Sunday's tornado risk may make an incursion into the St. Louis metro area late. That will lead me to bias my target that day in favor of making it back here in time for such a possibility. As the models show, the tornado risk will be present Monday-Wednesday in the St. Louis area, with Monday's event the biggest of the group.

Regardless of if you are in the Plains states or in the Midwest, this system is one to pay close attention to. Have your plan of action ready in advance, and stay up-to-date on watches and warnings. Your local TV station and NOAA weather radio are the best ways to stay informed leading up to and during an event.

The following table charts the probability of a Great Plains storm chase expedition happening for several indicated date ranges in the near future:

2014 Plains Storm Expeditions - Probabilities as of April 23
April 25-2890%
April 29-May 715%

Some of these storms could be at night, so that's when it gets real dangerous. Let's hope the tornadoes stay over open fields. Hopefully all the storm chasers will be extra cautious this spring, especially in the Ozarks and Ouachitas where the road network isn't as good (and lightning's a pretty big hazard in higher elevations) and in areas with more trees (like farther south). Good luck and stay safe out there!
- Posted by Tim

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