Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
Weather, photography and the open roadClick for an important message
Storm Highway by Dan RobinsonClick for an important message
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                   Wednesday, May 14, 2024

Season forecast update 11, for May 14

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Thanks to the active late April and early May we've seen so far, I've already logged a season's worth of mileage and trips (3) at this point with a near-record high of tornadoes observed already (15). This means I've used a big chunk of allocated spring travel funds and vacation days from work. While I still have a good amount left, I've reached a point after this many trips and miles that I'll need to start being more selective about what events I'll cover. A fourth trip might be the last one I can manage for the season, so I want to make it count!

We've been in a mostly-quiet Plains tornado period for the past week, which looks to continue for another few days before the pattern starts trending active again. Models don't show any blockbuster systems movingt through the Great Plains and Midwest any time soon. But, they do show some of the classic spring juxtapositions of instability, moisture and upper-level flow returning in some form next week. The upper jet pattern is shown becoming favorable for severe storms in the Plains with westerly to west-southwest flow aloft over increasing moisture. Whether or not these will be of sufficient quality to warrant trip #4 remains to be seen, but they are at least on my radar to keep an eye on as we move through this weekend.

GFS 500mb forecast for Thursday evening, May 16

The following table charts the probabilities of a Great Plains chase expedition taking place during the date ranges shown:

2024 Plains Chase Expeditions - Probabilities as of May 14
May 15-192%
May 20-2445%

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