Wednesday, May 18, 2011

5/18 - 9:30am CDT - We're Back to Chasing!

It's been a long start to the week since there haven't been any storms to chase here in the Great Plains. That changes today. We're on our way to Oklahoma in search of tornadoes this afternoon, and I think the potential is looking pretty good considering how things have been this week. Moisture is still going to be an issue, but surface dew points should recover somewhat today. That recovery will take time, so storms may not form until later in the afternoon. Easterly winds at the surface and southwesterly flow aloft at 500mb (18,000 ft) should create ample shear for today's setup, meaning any supercells that form will stay discrete and have the associated tornado risk with them. CAPE or instability shouldn't be a problem based on the modeling for this afternoon and the cap (warm updraft-inhibiting layer of air aloft) should break sometime after 3pm. Given these factors, the Storm Prediction Center has issued a Slight Risk for severe storms this afternoon for much of Southwest Kansas and Western Oklahoma with a 5% tornado risk for the Panhandle region through Southwest Oklahoma.

Be sure to follow my updates on Facebook and Twitter for the latest on our storm chasing adventures this afternoon!

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