Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
Weather, photography and the open roadClick for an important message

May 10: Forecast update - Some positive signs and a vehicle update

The long-range GFS is beginning to show signs of large western troughs taking shape and moving toward the central USA after May 21 or so. The map at right shows the GFS forecast for Tuesday, May 23. This is the first time this month that the models have shown a significant feature that would indicate the return of strongly active severe weather patterns to Tornado Alley. Once again, we are dealing with long-range model forecasts which can change dramatically from day to day - but it is encouraging to at least start seeing these types of possible patterns showing up on the horizon.

In light of these new possibilities, we'll look at Saturday the 20th through Monday the 22nd as the new possible starting dates for our trip.

Based on the current outlook, this probability table charts the chance of our trip starting on a particular date:

2006 Weather Expedition - Departure Date Probability as of May 10
May 10-120%
May 13-161%
May 17-2030%
May 21-2741%
May 28-June 427%
No trip1%

Event vehicle update: In mobile chase gadget news, we're looking at the possibility of installing a Davis-type weather data station onboard the Freestyle before we leave. This station would record temperature and humidity while we are in motion in addition to wind speed, direction and rainfall rates while we are stopped. Ideally we will want to have this data recorded onto an onboard computer and sent live to our web site. Time and budget will determine whether this idea will pan out.

Also, I just took the vehicle to the Ford service center for recall repairs on the fuel tank, but it turns out that my model wasn't in the batch of vehicles subject to the recall. That was the only semi-major mechanical issue that had to be taken care of before the trip, so other than an oil change before we leave, we're good to go.

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