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April 6, 2006 Update
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Written by Reed Timmer   
Thursday, 06 April 2006 17:07 stormchasers Reed Timmer and Joel Taylor, along with Martin Lawrence and Matt Chatelain are currently (10:30am) in Marysville, KS awaiting convective initation and analyzing the morning model data. The forecast ETA and RUC soundings are strongly favoring southeast NE given the more southeasterly 1 km flow and enhanced streamwise vorticity. I (Reed) believe that a region from Topeka to Kansas City is too far south for a maximum potential of large tornadoes, given that the storm motion vector is nearly parallel with the 0-1 shear vector, thus minimizing the streamwise vorticity unless a northeasterly supercell occurs. We are hoping for initiation in in the northern few tiers of counties in KS with tornadogenesis likely near the NE border. This event looks like an extremely dangerous situation for extreme NE KS and SE NE. The forecast hodographs for Omaha, NE (left) and Topeka, KS (right) are shown below.
As can be seen above, the angle between the storm motion vector and the 0-1 km shear vector is much higher at OMA than TOP, but the shear vector is much longer in TOP (based on research of John Esterheld and Don Guiliano). Thus, a location intermediate between these two locations will likely be ideal for large, violent tornadoes. Specifically, we are targeting the four tier of counties straddling the KS/NE border.

Interested media outlets can contact Reed Timmer via cell phone at 405-206-2307.

April 1, 2006
User Rating: / 2
Written by Reed Timmer   
Saturday, 01 April 2006 14:12

A very dangerous late afternoon and evening could be in store for western OK, the extreme eastern TX Panhandle, and southwest KS tomorrow, April 1, 2006. A classic springtime warm front/dryline setup will be established on Saturday, with the late afternoon/evening thermodynamic and kinematic profiles strongly supporting supercells with potentially long-track, violent tornadoes over the above areas. stormchasers Joel Taylor, Dean Schoeneck, and I (Reed Timmer) plan on departing from Norman at around 9 am, and will stop at Joel's parent's house in Elk City, OK for data. Right now, we believe the best area for large tornadoes is southwest OK and the extreme southeast TX Panhandle during the late afternoon and evening, especially after 2300 UTC. The ETA and GFS models appear to have the 0-1 helicity, 900 mb flow, and CAPE maximized in this region, with locally backed surface winds enhancing the low-level shear. Saturday is a classic case of "00-03Z magic",with a strong low-level jet developing around and after 00Z as the low-level atmosphere begins to decouple. During these events, supercells often develop in the mid to late-afternoon, and fail to produce tornadoes during the first few hours of their life-cycle. However, as the low-level jet commences and if discrete supercells can remain intact, all hell can break loose, and a supercell can become a tornado-producing machine in a matter of minutes (Example: May 12, 2004 in SW KS). As can be seen in the figure below of ETA-forecast 850 mb flow over western OK on April 1, 2006 at 00Z (left) and 03Z (right), the magnitude of the 850 mb flow increases from around 30 kts at 00Z to 45 knots at 03Z, especially over southwest OK, hence our target selection. The 0-1 km helicity increases due to the low-level jet during this time-frame, and the backed surface winds in SW OK further enhances this vital parameter.



Further supporting our initial selected target of extreme southwest Oklahoma are the higher ETA-forecast CAPE values in SW OK by 00Z as seen in the figure below at left, and this pattern has been consistent in the previous few ETA runs. The blue color represents CAPE values of greater than 3000 J/kg. The forecast hodograph at 03Z for Frederick, OK in extreme southwest OK is presented at right below, and reveals that a westerly moving supercell moving at 25-25 kts would be very likely to produce large tornadoes, given that the storm motion vector makes an approximate 90 degree angle with the large 0-1 km shear vector (based on research of John Esterheld and Don Guiliano).



Stay tuned to for more updates concerning this dangerous situation. We hope to capture up-close, extreme tornado footage from this event, and we will display it immediately following the chase on this page and on the chase logs page as well. Interested media outlets can contact Reed Timmer via cell phone at 405-206-2307.

March 30, 2006 Update
User Rating: / 4
Written by Reed Timmer   
Thursday, 30 March 2006 02:00
It is now 2am on Thursday, early in the morning before a potential major severe weather outbreak later this afternoon. We are extremely anxious for tomorrow, since we had difficulties on March 12th keeping pace with the fast moving storms after getting pounded by baseball-sized hail. Our windwhield is replaced, and we are eager to redeem ourselves after a difficult, yet exciting beginning to the season. Our intial target area for tomorrow is in east-central or northeast KS, where low-level shear and CAPE will be maximized. The main reason for selecting this location over southeast NE or southeast KS/northeast OK is that the forecast hodographs look slightly more favorable in northeast KS, with the storm motion vector making a near 90 degree angle with the base of a very long 0-1 km shear vector, which is extremely favorable for strong tornadoes. The hodographs over the rest of the warm sector are still impressive, but not quite as favorable as that of northeast KS. Joel and I are departing at around 6 am, since we expect the show to begin early tomorrow. Stay tuned for breaking news updates, and look for a detailed account in the chase logs page will soon follow.

UPDATE: Three supercells were intercepted in E KS, but only brief funnels were observed.
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