Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Time to wake up!

There has finally been some consistency among the models in regards to breaking down this ridge and an active pattern once the month ends and June begins. The only thing missing is large amounts of shear, but shear can always happen on a local level that models dont always pick up and that doesnt concern me.

Memorial Day, which often in the chaser world is marked with a multi day chase excursion [especially last year where I spent 4 awesome days in the plains] was a nice one. I got a taste of the summer life at my summer home where we drank, fished our asses off and BBQed to the point I couldnt muscle another bite of food. It was a nice break but Im ready to resume the chase!

Actually, I kind of like it this way, as much as I love chasing its really easy to get burnt out from constantly doing it. One doesnt know how hard it is to do all that driving and planning, it really does take allot of effort for those who are dedicated and chase all over the country. So a 2 week break to enjoy some other aspects of life was welcome. Of course I would be singing a different tune if I havent bagged a tornado by now or the models still showed no signs of hope for the future.

However, I never bank on anything and I jump on early season setups to get my fill in. Im a storm chaser not a tornado chaser. I love getting goot pictures and video of weather in action.

All that being said, Im ready for the seasons last breath before the summer pattern sets in!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

And now we wait

Ask a storm chaser what weather pattern he fears most and the answer will always be "A death ridge, especially in May."

Sure enough...thats what has just happened. Models show this thing lasting all the way into June, hopefully that will change. Ive had some of my best chases in June though so there is still hope for the season as a whole.

If it werent for this past Wednesdays chase I would be in panic mode. The screeching halt to the season will sting less, I was able to get my piece of the pie and bag a pair of tornadoes in Missouri. If you havent read about it, go to my site:

With the death ridge in place though, I can focus on other things. Tweeking the website. Fixing up my truck and getting my bottom of the line equipment to function better. I can also catch up with friends and spend the weekends fishing BBQ and having some beers, all things I neglect heavily during chase season. I would much rather have an active weather pattern right now though, because I know I still have an entire summer to do these things....but I need to see things in a positive light.

Its been a great year so far and Im still way ahead of myself compared to 2005, 6, 7 and 8

Hopefully this prolonged pattern of crap will break down and my patience will be rewarded with a nice long trough setup that can give me a week long chasecation somewhere in the plains, if not over here!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ok now 13th, 15th and 16th?

OK Tuesday is beginning to look like a sun tan cap bust. Talk about a stout ass cap. Damn. Hate to see setups ruined that way. If it breaks though the rewards may be significant. Right now I wont gamble on it but Ive said that before only to be lured out last minute.

For now I will focus on Wednesday which looks like my home turf has its first real shot at an outbreak this year. The thought of not having to drive 12hrs to the target zone and sacrifice two days off for a good chase setup is turning me on in a way haha.

If Tuesday is a cap bust we might not see crapvection get in the way of things, as often is the case around here. All other ingredients look to be in place. Central Il has some excellent chasing terrain. I think IL would be the best state to chase in terrain wise...we just lack storms.

After Wednesday models are showing something for the plains again on friday so Ive already got that back in my mind. The action would then shift into my region again for the weekend. All in all there are some things Im looking forward too this week.

After this though, models have been consistent with showing a west coast ridge...BAH!!! This will put a huge damper on the remaining season so I need to get out there and bag my tornado now, the season can come to a screeching halt then, and it will sting less. I need one grand prize to remember the year by.

Although even if the ridge does setup, that will keep the chances for a NW flow event around here. There will be smaller setups to play with for sure, but id rather have a big classic May outbreak than a small localized "maybe" type setup anyday.

Just gotta take it 1 day at a time right now. It aint over till its over I always say.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Chasing Tuesday the 12th?!?!

First off people,

I know long range models arent reliable!! Regardless, I still like to look at them and call out what i see to watch how the patterns evolve, it helps me learn and understand current patterns and why a model may be showing what its need to point out to me every single time that what Im observing and mentioning probably wont me...i know!

Now, onto what matters. I like the setup Im seeing for Tuesday. This is looking like a more classic setup, better than anything Ive seen all year IMO. For once we will have a broad target zone. Im sick of these localized 4 county moderate risk setups. It would be fine if the forecast was kept to yourselves but in this day and age every leeching jackass can flock to that area right now...makes me wonder why i even bother trying to forecast on my own. Why work so hard when you dont have to?

Dammit I went off on a tangent again. Back to the weather!!!!! I think this could be a good classic setup if it pans out.

What I like here is we finally have a deep surface low with the GFS bringing it down to perhaps lower than 995mb. That will finally up the forcing and aid in stronger convergence wherever boundaries may setup. There is an obvious dryline extending down from southwestern NE though TX. However right now the cap looks to be really stout with 700s above 15C...that is a thermal nuclear cap for sure. Given the storng forcing from said surface low though, it might be breachable.

However that would be a southern dryline play. There also looks to be somce nice triple point play as well which is the area im considering. Surface winds begin to back around the low and the 500s come in from the WSW and are a bit stronger as well. The cap is a bit weaker here perhaps around 12C. Another thing going for this area is the t/td spread isnt as great. The area along the DL could see surface temps in the 90s with dewpoints perhaps in the mid 60s leading to higher based storms.

The area near the tp wont have this issue as much with lower surface temps and a similar moisture profile, of course finding that tounge of deeper moisture will help. Just took a quick glance at some soundings and the hodos are very large and curve the way they should!

All in all I think this setup holds some real potential!! I tossed up my preliminary target map based on what Ive mentioned above. Hopefully once the NAM comes into range it will line up well. Models have sucked horribly this year and I hate to see this go to waste. This is largely based off the 5/8 0Z GFS run on

The GFS has been consistent for a few days with this setup. *keeping fingers crossed*

View Chasing 5-12 in a larger map