Monday, May 9, 2011

5/9 - 8:30am - South Dakota Today... Maybe We'll See a Storm?

The overnight computer model runs have toned down the severe weather threat in South Dakota for this afternoon. While east winds at the surface and instability should be OK, the upper-level wind support that we need for supercells to form will be entering the region after the peak time for storm development. This is a problem because it limits our wind shear, much like yesterday. Moisture is another issue because dewpoints (green numbers on plots in left image) in South Dakota this morning are still in the 50's. Models are in disagreement as to whether they will actually recover into the mid 60's, but based on the performance we saw yesterday I'm inclined to think the models with lower dewpoints will be the more correct ones at the end of the day. With these issues, the SPC has issued a Slight Risk of severe storms for the western part of the state, but the 2% tornado risk runs through the eastern portion of the state as well:

Our target area will most likely be somewhere in the eastern two-thirds of the state south of Fort Pierre. We'll see what happens as we're driving along... I think we will see storms today but there's not a lot of evidence to support a good tornado risk. That's too bad after seeing the good potential for today on yesterday's model runs. Things always change, so surprises could be in store.

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