Monday, May 30, 2011

5/30 - 10:15am CDT - Time for Some Northern Plains Action

We're off to Eastern South Dakota (Northeast Nebraska maybe?) to intercept storms that will form up that way. This has so far been a difficult forecasting day because the computer forecast models show an area of low pressure in Nebraska this morning, but each have a slightly different scenario on where it ends up. Some are even forming a secondary low to the north this afternoon. The general rule for today is to drive to where the east winds are and adjust our position as necessary because we simply can't trust any model output. This is one of those days where skill in analyzing surface conditions and cloud formation will be key.

Since moisture, instability, and shear will all be ample today combined with the east winds, wherever they set up, the Storm Prediction Center has issued a Moderate Risk for severe weather with a 10% tornado risk. Supercells that form today won't stay isolated for very long since directional shear will be parallel to the cold front pushing through according to the SPC. If this happens as forecast, we may only have a short window to chase a good storm with a tornado risk, so being on-time is very important. That's why we left North Platte, NE at 8am his morning. We should be in our target area early this afternoon.

As we pulled in a restaurant to eat breakfast this morning, we saw The Weather Channel's Tornado Hunt vehicles in the parking lot. We also saw quite a few other chasers pull in to restaurants and hotels in North Platte last night, so I'm sure that town was happy to see the quick uptick in business generated by all the chasers.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook today. I'll be posting frequent updates and photos from our chase, which should be a good one if the forecast plays out.

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