May 8: Forecast update - Plains quiet for next week or two
The mid-range GFS model is showing a strong Omega-block type pattern setting up across the USA, with troughs in the east and far west, and a ridge in the central states (see map at right). This will shut the Plains severe weather machine down for an extended time starting late this week. The next sign of a western trough sweeping through is as far away as Sunday the 21st, but that is in long-range model territory that is subject to change dramatically.
We're looking less and less at a May 15th departure, thinking that date may need to be pushed back even further as it becomes clear exactly how long the Omega Block pattern persists. It is quite possible that our trip will run for a week or two around Memorial Day, which has actually been the traditional time for most storm observing trips in the past.
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 8|
|May 28-June 4||12%|
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