Tuesday, May 4, 2010

5/5 - 12am - OH Valley Severe Weather, Storm Chasing

Things are beginning to take shape for an Ohio Valley severe weather outbreak on Friday. The Storm Prediction Center maintains a 30% risk for severe storms for us like they did yesterday. Right now it looks as if damaging winds will be the biggest risk, but a few tornadoes are certainly not out of the question. Instability and shear appear adequate for severe storms according to the NAM model, but moisture may be the limiting factor here. If dewpoints approach 70 and there's enough moisture throughout the atmosphere (not just at the surface) on Friday, then moisture won't be a problem. Right now, the GFS and NAM are having trouble getting them into the mid 60's.

Since I leave for my storm chasing trip on Saturday, I'm beginning to look carefully at the pattern that's evolving in Tornado Alley. Right now, it appears that we may have some storms to chase on Monday the 10th near the Oklahoma/Texas border, meaning we won't have too far! CAPE values (instability) of over 3000 J/kg and bulk shear of over 40 kt will really help to boost storm development. The next day may have some severe weather to the north of Sunday's initial target area, so I think we're getting ready to enter into a good storm chasing pattern after a relatively quiet start to the season.

1 comment:

Steve Carey said...

Great potential CAPE values! Add some strong shear and things could really cook! Good luck. Leave a few tornadoes for me, OK?