May 22, 2012

May 23 Target: south-central NE/extreme central KS

What We Saw

The picture above is a panorama of the base of one of two super cells near Kit Carson, CO.  We are looking northeast here.  If you look to the left side of the lowered cloud base, you can see a notch cut out of the cloud base. That is a rear flank downdraft....a downrush of drier, sometimes warmer, air that occurs on the back side of a mesocyclone.

Meteorological Blather

The 0000 UTC WRF-NAM shows an elongated sweet spot from the warm front/dryline/cold front join  over extreme central KS northeastward. The forecast CAPE is 2500 J/kg with (according to the WRF-NAM) no CIN in that area.   The simulated reflectivity product has a storm in south central NE that can be inferred to drop southeastward with a line developing after 0000 UTC.  The forecast hodographs are best in the capped warm sector...but are still good INVO Hastings to Hebron to Concordia to Beatrice north to Lincoln back to Hastings.  

The risk reward here is that the model could be wrong and the area will be capped....the reward is that any storm that can get going will be tornadic.

Now, a developing low pressure area in sw KS is moving the moisture tongue back under very favorable shear in eastern CO and nw KS.   So we have two targets over which to deliberate....and so we will drift west from Belleville KS towards the west, having both targets as possibility for the next hour or so...but we will eventually have to commit to one or the other.