Thursday, May 24, 2012

5/24 - 12:35am CDT - We're in... Iowa?

We didn't think we'd be in Iowa tonight. The storms that formed yesterday (Wednesday) rushed eastward as the cold front in the region decided to push further east than expected. Unfortunately none of these storms really did much because they formed in a linear fashion and didn't have the moisture necessary to get too severe. One of the southern cells in the line just west of Omaha, Nebraska managed to be isolated for a while and generated a wall cloud that triggered a tornado warning. Our only option in this environment was to cross the Missouri River in Omaha and wait for the storms to come to us because it would not be good to have the storms outrun us while trying to find a way across the river. The storms slowed down and died out pretty much at that point so we threw in the towel for the day.

Tomorrow will likely be a travel day back to Kansas or Southern Nebraska as we await Friday's potential chase setup. Storms tomorrow will be up near the Great Lakes in Wisconsin and Michigan and we just don't chase there due to the distance from the Plains and lack of good chase environment up there. Strong capping should keep storms from going up in the central and southern Plains, but we'll keep an eye on that in case that changes. Friday's setup may be decent if capping aloft doesn't ruin it. A deepening trough out in California and hopefully some better moisture return from the Gulf of Mexico should create potential for severe weather. A strengthening low in Southeast Colorado/Southwest Kansas should provide ample surface wind support for rotating storms should this pan out as forecast. The Storm Prediction Center already has a 5% risk area for this in their 3-day severe weather outlook. I'm crossing my fingers that this setup will yield some good storms because Friday is my last day chasing in the Plains until late June!

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