May 24, 2012

Two Potential Targets on May 24: Most likely se KS


We hung around the area south of Emporia and watched bubbling cumulus.  At around 5PM towers went up along the cold front and one, near Emporia, showed a weak mesocyclone.  It developed a low level inflow tail and briefly had very robust updraft towers and a crisp anvil.   But, it was struggling with the warmer environmental air at 10000 feet or so and never did much.

We stayed with it as it moved along I35, and it became absorbed into the circulation of the storm just north.  The flanking line had areas of strong rotation, probably generated by the shear along the flanking line.  You can see a still of one such area at's the dimple or curved shape in the middle of the picture....caused by the counterclockwise rotation at cloud base.

Meteorological Blather

As the cold frontal wave shifts southeastward and stalls, the RAP has been consistent in seeing a small sub synoptic feature in se/sc Kansas.   You can see it evidenced as follows:  (a) a bent back portion of the dew point and CAPE fields south of Emporia;  (b) a maximum in the 0-3 and 0-1 km SREH fields; and, finally, (c ) the focussing of surface convergence yielding no CIN in that area of 65+ dew points.  For what it's worth, the RAP simulated reflectivity fields generates an isolated storm there, that moves rightward.

We were looking at northeast Oklahoma as a CAPE/CIN-less spot the last two days on the WRF-NAM for the last two days...and that has shifted northward.  

The other potential target would be se CO...with decent hodographs...and surface south to southeast flow, but with very mediocre CAPE.  

Right now, on Thom's last two days, it would be nice to see deep moist convection, rather than the CAPE starved storms we saw yesterday in Colorado.  Also, if the RAP bears out anywhere in that area with that small feature, it might even be a mesoscale accident day.

The map at upper right shows the important features.  The red box encircles our target with the map time positions of boundaries and important features.  The sub synoptic low in central KS is projected to move southeastward during the day....and the box encompasses the region just head of the afternoon position of the cold front.