Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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                   Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Storm chasing season forecast update 13, for June 4

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As this season for the record books continues, the Great Plains hasn't slowed down in producing some great chase days despite the lack of blockbuster troughs moving through. Since I've used up the vast majority of my vacation days and travel funds, I've been on the sidelines for the most recent Plains action (since May 27th). That's no big loss, since my year so far has already broken several personal records in terms of tornadoes, number of Plains expeditions and total tornado mileage. If I'm to be able to make a 6th trip if another major system materializes, I need to sit out these intermediate (albeit productive) days in the meantime.

So *do* we have any such big tornado systems on the horizon? At this stage in the game, no. Models are pretty sold on an eastern trough/Plains ridge pattern developing within the week that should persist for another week or more afterward. That's a pattern that is unafavorable for tornadoes in the Plains. In the "fantasyland" (untrustworthy) ranges beyond 10 days, there are hints that an "omega block" pattern might emerge (smaller troughs in both the east and the west) with some "shortwaves" (smaller waves embedded in the larger jet stream pattern) possibly forcing their way into the northern and even central Plains. Again, anything that far away simply can't be counted on, so I can't assign educated probabilities for that period. Right now, I'm confident in the next 10 days' pattern being below my (now elevated) threshold for another Plains trip. After that, I'll put a 30% chance on some type of system emerging that will get my attention after the middle of the month. I'll make another update if that starts showing up in more predictable timeframe.

Because it's been so active lately, I haven't done my typical post-expedition summary posts for Plains trips 3 through 5 - but I have added those logs, photos, videos and stats to the main 2024 Great Plains expeditions page.

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

2024 Plains Chase Expeditions - Probabilities as of June 4
June 4-145%
June 15-2030%

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