Wednesday & Thursday Storm Update

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Yesterday morning I said I’d hold off on a detailed look at the risks for Wednesday & Thursday until this afternoon. But I’ve learned over time that when I go to bed thinking about something completely different and awaken in the night with weather the very first thing to come to mind (vs. other first thing in the morning thoughts/needs) it’s quite often meaningful.

I’ve had it happen that the meaning is “lookee here, what you thought was a big deal, isn’t.” But this isn’t one of those times. The models changed a bit less than I expected, honestly. The GFS is still the most bullish with its treatment of Wednesday, but the Euro is more consistent than it was early yesterday, and now that we’re coming into the time domain of the NAM, I’m seeing support for the GFS.

Okay, so that was the metaphysical and insider baseball version of the forecast….

Here are a few highlights….with the reminder that we’re still talking on Sunday morning about an event for Wednesday evening, and a lot can change.

This video loop shows one set of parameters based on the GFS model. It starts at 4pm Wednesday and goes through 10pm. Note at 4pm there is a large clear area (meaning capping in the atmosphere has eroded) also not the large area of 3000 CAPE…that is a large value for this time of the year, meaning there is going to be a lot of available energy to build updrafts/storms. There’s also a very tight nose of both those features extending the width of Oklahoma about 50 miles west of OKC. At 7pm some light capping has developed, but I think storms will be ongoing at that time. The “spaghetti” lines behind the best CAPE tighten, which tells me the forward moving dryline is quite close to the best CAPE. At 10pm there are two tight areas of 3000 CAPE…one ahead of a bulge in the dry line south of Wichita, the other near an apparent triple point southwest of Salina.

With this event sitting just beyond the end of the NAM timeframe at the moment, I don’t have an equivalent set of maps from that model yet. This afternoon, I should. But I wanted to point out something likely to play a role: There is a punch of mid- and upper level wind showing up on the NAM earlier in the day, that would be positioned just about right to give any storms that have developed along the dryline a strong boost right about sunset, which is also when the lower-level jet starts to ramp up.

NAM 500mb wind, Wed midday

NAM 500mb wind, Wed midday

NAM 250mb Wind, Middday Wed

NAM 250mb Wind, Middday Wed

Those things, to me, spell reason for concern from 4pm Wednesday until about 1am Thursday. Tornadoes are a possibility as I see it. I’m going to try to get the other guys together, at least virtually, later today to develop a consensus outlook on this event, which I’ll push out this evening.

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  1. Josi Schwartz April 5, 2015
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