May 21, 2011

May 21: Into Southeastern KS

What we see (from the RUC) for this afternoon are soundings with very little CIN and ~3000 J/kg around Independence, KS, for example. Yes, the surface winds are not forecast to be southeasterly, but it turns out that south southwesterly winds actually give a very good hodograph (see right, for Independence KS this afternoon). That anticyclonic loop is very dramatic between 0-3 km, with nearly 90 deg turning of the wind shear vector. The 0-1 km shear is nearly 30 knots! I don't see any evidence of weak shear, or unfavorable shear profiles and haven't for any runs of the models the last 12 hours. It's true that the NAM had some funky turning of the shear vectors for several regions in its 0000 UTC run, though.

It's hard for us to ignore 3000 J/kg and a favorable shear profile, just 100 miles or less from us today. I also think there will be action along the Red River at least that area is in range, even if we get as far north as Emporia today. So our provisional target is centered near Independence, KS.