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Storm Photography forecast update for May 9-20
The models continue to show a pessimistic outlook for chaseable severe weather in the Plains and Midwest after this weekend's meager opportunities. The downtime could be a long one, lasting until at least the 20th. Long-range models agree that a deep eastern trough will likely become established and will be slow to depart:
I am fairly certain that I will not leave the immediate area around the St. Louis metro area for all of the severe weather days that we will see from now through this weekend. That, coupled with the deep eastern trough indicated by the long-range models, means I don't see any chance of a Great Plains trip on the horizon. The first glimmer of a pattern change is shown by the GFS around the 21st, but that is simply way too far in the future to make any sort of plans.
Again, those of us who've been observing for a while don't see much to worry about - yet. Some seasons only see one or two bursts of good activity, and sometimes those bursts come late in the season. June 15 is the typical end of the Great Plains peak season, so we've still got over a month to go. Patterns can change wildly in that amount of time! Patience and flexibility to postpone trips are what is required right now to maximize the chances of a successful expedition.
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 May 8|