Tuesday, May 17, 2011

5/17 - 12:45am MDT - Back to Texas Tomorrow!

Surface dew points at 7pm CDT Wednesday from the 0z GFS
We'll be heading back to Central Texas tomorrow so that we can prepare for Wednesday's severe weather risk in that region. The latest 0z model runs (hence the late blog post) have come back with decent results, especially when it comes to the moisture return to the region that we'll need for the Wednesday through Friday's severe weather risks. The NAM and GFS models are both expecting dew points to be in the middle 60's in Central Texas on Wednesday afternoon, which is within the range needed for severe storm development. 500mb winds may not be the best, out of the west-southwest at around 30kt, but that should be enough upper-level support for this "entry-level" event for the week. With the upper wind support, surface heating, and high dew points, instability or CAPE will be in the 2000 J/kg, which again is good enough. These factors plus the presence of the dryline (boundary between moist air in the East US and dry air in the West US) should squeeze out a discrete supercell thunderstorm or two provided that the cap (inhibiting warm layer of air above the surface) doesn't stick around too late. The tornado risk isn't huge because of the higher bases these storms may have, but it's certainly not nonexistent.

We'll plan out an exact target area as we're driving later today and we'll refine it even more tomorrow morning. Thursday and Friday will have higher numbers for these variables across the board, so we can expect an enhanced storm chasing setup then. Should be an interesting mid to late week!

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