May 3: Tentative departure date set
While nothing is 100% certain (as is everything with storm observing), it appears that the upcoming two weeks will be at least moderately favorable for severe weather in the Great Plains. We've set a target date of late Sunday, May 7 or Monday morning, May 8 as the kickoff of this year's expedition. If Monday looks like it will be a good storm observation day, we'll need to leave on Sunday to make it there in time. Otherwise, we'll head out Monday morning. This last little detail won't be apparent until probably Saturday, so stay tuned!
We're also pleased to introduce Tom Mullins of Charleston as the latest addition to our chase team. Tom has extensive computer experience, and has been instrumental in making a lot of the new mobile technology for this season work. Tom has already been on two of our long-distance expeditions this year to Missouri, Tennessee and Illinois, and barring scheduling complications, he will likely be accompanying us for this year's trip. We're still awaiting the arrival of several parts for our latest upgrades (outlined in yesterday's blog post) which should all arrive tomorrow. Friday is our gear and wiring install day, and the new setup should be ready on Saturday in time for our departure.
The main thing that could throw a wrench into our current plans is if the models begin to show a major 'death ridge' of high pressure and northwest flow setting up over the Great Plains in the next week or two. Right now that doesn't look like a distinct possibility according to the long-range models, but of course the models are known to flip-flop. Right now the best we can do is just get the ball rolling on the trip, and hope and pray that the weather doesn't throw us a major curveball after we leave.
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 3|
|May 28-June 4||19%|
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