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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!"

August 15, 2009

Winds have veered to southeast!

Filed under: chase mode updates — Mike U @ 3:12 pm

3:12pm cdt 8/15…The anticipated veering of surface winds from north
to southeast has occurred! I am in Sidney at this time watching
cumulus almost all quads (except southeast)… there are storms over
the Laramie Mountains which will eventually move out onto the plains
of far southeastern Wyoming. At the same time, low level moisture
will continue to advect on the now southeasterly surface flow. I
think it’s still too early to jump on anything quite yet, as storms
may form very near here, so I’d hate to bust west toward Kimball/Pine
Bluffs only to find out that a storm exploded back east near Sidney…
so I’ll sit here for a little bit I think.

Mike Umscheid Photography


  1. Hey Mike,

    How did you know the surface winds in Sidney would veer from north to southeast? When I look at surface maps for the day I would not have expected this shift given the position of lows and the cold front . . .

    Watching this from KC.

    Comment by Stephen Locke — August 15, 2009 @ 3:55 pm

  2. Stephen: it is vigorous low level response to synoptic scale “dynamics”. ahead of a vigorous shortwave trough like this, you would expect cyclogenesis ahead of it. The north-south topography enhances this cyclogenesis as strong cyclonically curved mid level wind flow crosses the terrain at nearly right angle (the leeside pressure trough component).. the other component is a diurnal one… elevated heating over terrain you tend to get upslope wind development, all else being equal. This all spells rapid pressure falls and subsequent dramatic shift in wind direction. The short-term NAM and RUC forecast this, and nailed it. this is fundamental meteorology at work here! north winds in the morning on the high plains isn’t always a bad thing (so long as it’s not frigidly cold and huge pressure rises to the north). The terrain has a huge play in all this.

    Comment by Mike U — August 15, 2009 @ 4:02 pm

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