Cyclone Road


Wednesday, April 28, 2004

I still have work here and I could finish it in time to leave tomorrow afternoon, but it would make for an insane 36 hours with probably 3 hours sleep tops. It would be impossible for me to chase Thursday; I could only make Friday. And I would chase Friday if I were already out, but I like the idea of finishing here at a normal pace, getting everything ready, and heading out early next week. The ensembles signal the western ridge break down by Tuesday, significant height falls by midweek. I'll head out on Tuesday or Wednesday depending on what's happening.

Friday, April 23, 2004

April will come and go without my having chased once, yet another ugly milestone of my stay here in Indiana. I'm still grateful for the storms I saw in March, but this week has been particularly hard to stomach as my friends chase day after day under a stalled trough regime. An upper level system parked out west shoots impulse after impulse out over the warm moist boundary layer in Texas and Oklahoma, and chasers rejoice. This is our third or fourth day in a row with supercells and tornadoes in and around the plains, not to mention the outbreak in Illinois and Indiana two days ago. My friend Steve Miller has posted some images here.

Right now I intend to chase anything this side of New Mexico as early as May 1, and the latest GFS run suggests I may get my wish. Never know.

Monday, April 12, 2004

What luck! Another potential weekend system coming up with a strong upper level trough moving into the plains Saturday and Sunday. Details are still pending and the entire thing could disappear from the computer models at any time, but, so far, things look favorable for a chase on Saturday. Here is the 500 millibar map from today's 0Z GFS run showing the 144 hour solution, which is 0Z Sunday, or, 7PM CST Saturday night. Based on this run, which is certain to change and then change again, I would target Childress, Texas for Saturday afternoon. We shall see!

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I think Friday April 9 has real potential in southern Oklahoma and north Texas. Sometimes it's hard for me to remember that the Red River Valley region is over 900 miles away, and that chasing Ardmore these days is a three day commitment, more or less. With three major papers due in the next three weeks (if I really intend to hit the road by April 30) there's no way I can chase a setup that isn't a lock-down guaranteed tornado day. Unfortunately, sometimes the best tornado days don't look like lock down guarantees, especially three days beforehand, and sometimes not at all. The sort of balanced setup ETA is showing as of this morning's 12Z run is one of my favorite kinds: subtle--isolated storms and isolated chasers.

I'll have to leave the apartment to get any work done today, otherwise I'll peruse every model run and begin working on how I could chase and still finish everything in time; a dark path from which I must turn away--LOL!

Monday, April 05, 2004

Some rockin' storms in Mexico yesterday and even deep south Texas, with one station reporting baseball sized hail piled one foot deep. Wow. No chasers on these, however, as they're too far south and in poor terrain. Today and tomorrow hold more possibilities down there as a cutoff upper low over the four corners region slings impulses over a warm, humid airmass in place over Texas. Tuesday looks interesting as a possible tornado day down there. Meanwhile, I'm sidelined until chase vacation with far more schoolwork than I can do. Taking another full weekend off to chase is out of the question.

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