Friday, May 4, 2012

Awesome CG/Wall Cloud shot from MN!

Captured this awesome lightning bolt at fairly close range in front of a ground-scraping wall cloud in Minnesota May 1st, 2012! Cell was tornado-warned for several hours...had great rotation and structure, and several funnels, but we never observed any ground circulations.

5-5-12 Chase Forecast

Currently sitting in Dubuque, IA, picking up a couple people for the chase tomorrow in South Dakota. Certainly not the best setup I've ever seen, but one that definitely has the potential for some nice tornadoes.

Latest runs of the NAM forecast model show an elongated low with associated warm front set up over Nebraska and South Dakota tomorrow afternoon/evening. Dewpoints are forecast to be in the lower 70s, CAPE values over 4000, and a moderate 500mb jet should be in place along the warm front by 4 PM. Helicity  and bulk shear values look to be more than sufficient for supercell structures, and potentially strong tornadoes. Any cells that fire near the warm front and are able to latch on to it will have to greatest tornado threat. Only real question for the day is whether storms will be able to stay discrete...4000 CAPE normally denotes a derecho threat. Updates to follow!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Amazing MN Tornadic Supercell! - 5-1-2012

What looked like a fairly mediocre setup with a solid dry air punch advecting in to kill storms turned into an incredible day as an isolated tornadic supercell rooted onto the warm front and dove east. Plenty of intense moments on the chase, including a point in Sauk City where traffic slowed us down enough to where the circulation crossed right overhead!

Here's a shot from my chase partner Jonathan Williamson...I'll have video up later. Chasing today in IA/SD/NE...hoping for some sort of outflow boundary magic.

Incredible inflow tail to the right, rapidly rotating wall cloud in the center, rear flank downdraft punch to the left.