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                   Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 5:06AM CST

Storm Photography forecast update for April 10 - 19

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Unfortunately, there is just not much to talk about regarding storm photography potential in the Plains and Midwest over the next 10 days. None of the long-range models have been performing particularly well beyond 3 or 4 days, leaving considerable uncertainty about where things are headed. The indicated patterns are not terrible, but not good either. That is to say, no massive eastern trough, rex block or "death ridge", but no western troughing either. Upper flow is shown as remaining mostly zonal (flattened west to east) with small perturbations moving across the US with less-than stellar moisture to work with. These *could* produce a "sleeper" type storm photography day here and there, but likely nothing to make a Plains trip worthy of consideration.

The only glimmer I see is a large Pacific Ocean trough looming at the farthest reach of the Euro model's range. Even if that comes to pass, there's no way to know if such a trough will make it far enough eastward and/or maintain its depth. Having said all of that, due to the recent poor performance of long-range models, I have to concede that I just have little clue of what is going to happen beyond 5 days. In reality, all scenarios are in play at this point, from the worst to the best. What little inkling we do have for the full 10 day period isn't great, so at this point Plains storm photography expedition probabilities through the 19th will remain low.

This week, we have a positively-tilted trough evolving over the center of the country, bringing a couple of low-end setups to the Plains and Midwest this weekend. There will definitely be some thunderstorms with this system, and at least a low-end severe threat. But nothing worth making a major trip for, in my opinion.

It's still very early in the season, and thankfully we've got a long way to go before mid-June.

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

2014 Plains Storm Expeditions - Probabilities as of April 9
April 9-130%
April 14-1910%

2 tornado busts in 5 days (well, there were supposed to be tornado outbreaks when there were only a few). Sunday's outlook looked like February 10th, 2013, and Thursday's ongoing convection kept down instability so yeah. The strongest tornado this year? EF2 and it's a third of the way through april. I'm not quite going to call this expedition season a total bust, but at this rate it's getting there. This year is even less active than last year (thanks brutal winter). If only there were tornadoes swirling over open prairie.
- Posted by Tim

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