Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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                   Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Annual March 1 post; February 28 southern Illinois chase

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It's that time of year again! Much like in 2012, we don't need any reminder of the upcoming severe weather season, as the atmosphere is doing that job quite well this year. In 2012, storm chasers were preparing for the big March 2 outbreak across the Midwest - this year, it's a Midwest outbreak on the last day of February, one day before the start of meteorological spring.

February 28 chase log >

Christopher, Illinois tornado

I discovered that my camera captured clear images of the Perryville-Christopher EF4 tornado, so I gave the chase log its own page here.

Looking ahead: first spring 2017 forecast

So now, let's continue the old March 1 tradition of looking at long-range models for signs of the next chase opportunity of the new season. And it happens that we do have a system to watch for next week. Models show a potent trough swinging through the country's midsection during the Monday-Tuesday timeframe. The European model (ECMWF) takes this feature further north, while the GFS really digs it south:

GFS model for March 7

Instability is shown as rather weak with this feature right now, however - meaning that the impressive upper pattern might be limited in its severe potential. It's definitely something to watch for next week, though.

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