Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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                   Tuesday, April 11, 2017

April 10 expedition log; Plains forecast update for April 11

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Despite unidirectional wind profiles, speed shear thanks to a 60-knot midlevel jet overhead coupled with modest instability and a cold front to initiate storms meant it was at least a marginal severe weather storm photography day in the St. Louis metro on Monday evening. After several left-split-dominant clusters of storms struggled during the evening, a few supercells finally evolved at sunset. I grabbed one of these just south of home at Venedy, IL where the RFD gust front pushed a rounded base outward with a nice show of frequent lightning.

Venedy, IL storm

A descending blob of precip produced a tornado look-alike in about the right spot for one:

Venedy, IL storm

I encountered a few downpours of dime-sized hail, but otherwise didn't come away with any "keeper" imagery. It was nice to have only a 25-minute drive home after an expedition.

Plains forecast update for April 11

The Plains system I had been watching for next weekend and beyond has - not unexpectedly - vanished completely from model-land. A few marginal (weak instability) setups on the dryline appear possible over the coming 10 days, but certainly not anything I feel will be worthy of spending spring chase funds (and vacation days) on for a trip. With nothing of interest showing up on medium-to-long range models either, I'm fairly confident in no storm photography expeditions happening for at least the next 10 days.

The following table charts the probabilities for a Plains storm photography expedition taking place for the date ranges shown:

2017 Plains Storm Expeditions - Probabilities as of April 11
April 12-160%
April 17-2110%

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