High Plains Drifter

disclaimer:  "The meteorological views/forecast thinking expressed are those solely of the author of this blog
and do not necessarily represent those of official National Weather Service forecast products,
therefore read and enjoy at your own risk and edification!"

April 30, 2007

Chase Forecast April 30th

Filed under: Chase Forecasts/Outlooks,Storm Chasing — Mike U @ 11:23 am

Another marginal setup.  I’ve been dying to get out and chase at least something during my 4-day scheduled off weekend.  The pattern has been really poor for chasing.  Today, there is a possibility at photogenic High Plains storms anywhere from central Nebraska to northeast Colorado.  Yesterday, I made the decision to go for this marginal setup, for a number of reasons… mainly because since I will not be taking a chase vacation this year, the number of days I will be able to chase this season will be limited… so I will be chasing more marginal setups.  It appeared yesterday there would be a decent possibility at a supercell for today somewhere in the Nebraska Panhandle, like around Scottsbluff.  Today, this focus at the surface has shifted farther to the south around the Cheyenne Ridge area, mainly between I-80 and I-76.  The problem with a farther south surface setup is the shear profile looks less supportive of supercells.  Mid level winds will be at or less than 10 knots… not good for supercells.  Upper level winds will also be pretty weak…but at least they will be around 30-40 knots…such that with a nearly stationary moving storm, there should be some precip evacuation.  The other problem for today will be warm surface temperatures for the marginal moisture.  Highs today should hit the upper 80s over much of far northeast CO into central Nebraska.  This means more outflow-dominant storms.  The hope is that convection can be vigorous enough with enough storm relative inflow such that a picturesque high-based shelf cloud can form or something photogenic.  I am in Ogallala this morning, as I stayed the night here.  The Northeast CO play would be a very interesting one.  The shear profiles almost support left-moving favored supercells, should supercell processes even exist.  Surface inflow will be primarily out of the northeast in this area.  The secondary target extends from roughly where I am now in Ogallala northeast into Central Nebraska through the southern Sand Hills.  A quasi-stationary front with higher CAPE may promote a severe thunderstorm or two in this region as well.  The upper level winds will be a little stronger… approaching 50 knots near the tropopause, but mid level winds will still be anemic.  I am torn between the two targets, and I will likely hang around Ogallala until early afternoon when it will hopefully become more clear which marginal target looks best.  Here’s this morning’s NAM12 3-hr convective precip forecast from 7pm to 10pm CDT this evening:

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