May 28, 2011

May 28: Two Possible Targets in KS--Went to Colorado...and Bust

10:05 MDT Update:  After sheparding Thom to the Tulsa Airport, I hooked up with Scott Landolt and company....targeting Colorado.

I decided to abandon my target areas because of tremendous capping (the warm air aloft mentioned below)....but much to my of them would have had me reasonably close to the storm in Kingfisher County, Oklahoma, though, truthfully, I would have been further west and probably would never have gotten back  in time for....what?   Frankly, that storm looked good on satellite, but never did have a stunning look on radar.  But I digress....

....decided to play that ever shimmering target of the Palmer Divide, which once again, when I got there, lost its shimmer.   Will the Palmer Divide ever, ever produce a decent storm as advertised.   I realize that rotating storm did develop a way down south...but what we were seeing along I70 looked to me to be layered clouds associated with forced lift of pretty stable air north of a warm front in the warm advection area.

I am certain enough about an early exit for me to have booked a flight for Monday.  True, eastern Wyoming or ne Colorado beckons tomorrow....but I am not going to go way northeast on Monday, and after that all things go down hill and, frankly, the weather pattern in California looks to be more interesting later in the week.8:15 AM CDT. Awaiting the 12 UTC RUC. But the two other plays I see (besides eastern Colorado) are along the outflow boundary/quasi-warm front south of I70 (sort of north of Emporia and west to east from there, but mostly east) and the upslope area along the KS-OK border.

There is a very warm layer, or cap, pushing out from the desert Southwest at around 10000 feet.  That will make storm initiation a real problem. But the models have a real moisture surge underneath that back towards the west around the mesolow in Oklahoma, and adequate moisture along the outflow boundary further north too.  With lots of heating, getting storms to initiate may not be impossible...and if they can move back into that deep moisture, then a supercell or two is not out of the question.

I just dropped Thom at the Tulsa airport...and will be attempting to link up with Scott Landolt, Daniel Porter and Cameron Redwine later on.