Friday, February 20, 2015

Chase Dates

Me being a stat junkie + a February that refuses to let up with frigid temps + being bored at 3am during the off season = what Im about to post. 

I've wanted to do this for awhile now, I've decided to see what dates I have chased the most to see if any trends or patterns would emerge. There is obviously no scientific value in this at all, but sometimes its fun to see how things come together. I went back and plotted all my chase days during traditional chase season. Chase dates during other months are so obscure and random there really was no point in doing the entire year. 

Here is how things stacked up between 2004 and 2014. 10 years of documented storm chases. 

So there really isn't a whole lot to conclude here but a couple things did emerge.

April takes the lead with most chase dates, which surprised me. Only 2 days in that month have not featured a storm chase in 10 years, compared with a surprising 5 in May. Shear tends to be stronger in April, which prompts more "potential tornado days." There is also a lower "death ridge" potential since the summer airmass hasn't quite taken hold yet, something that can sometimes completely shut down May. It appears that in any given year, April is at least likely to give me the most chase opportunities.

May does lead the amount of repeat chase dates though. Instability tends to be higher, shear decreases and weather patterns move slower, leading to more multi day chase setups. The longest stretch being May 19-24th which also includes 3 of the months 4 3-peats. The statistical peak of tornado season is May 22nd, and it looks like my personal chase stats reflect this well. I can probably conclude that this period is in fact, when I am most likely to chase.

There has not yet been a date where I've had 4 chases on. Will 2015 break that? It seems probable.

June 5th is the only date with a star on it. Meaning that it is the only date with multiple chases that featured a tornado on each of them (2009 and 2010.) I can therefore conclude June 5th is my best chase date.

You can also see how quickly things shut down in Junes final week. So when that June 20th setup presents itself, it might just be worth biting on, despite any negative parameters. That could be it for the traditional chase year!

I also realize there aren't 31 days in June. I used the same blank calendar for each month and forgot to delete it. Seeing as how this is not a scientific study and it really has no value to anyone but myself, it is prone to laziness and personal error.

Bring on chase season 2015 already...