Sunday, 24 May 2009 – Potty Animals

Today, we may have set a record for the Most Restroom Stops on a Mediocre Chase Day. I cannot recall when we last had 6-8 stops on a day with storms. What’s sad is that is may have been one of our best opportunities to see storms during the entire week.

The atmosphere is in a June/July pattern, with the 500mb winds WAY up in Canada:

500mb winds on 24 May 2009

What we’d REALLY like is to see these storm-supportive winds (those cheerful yellow and orange bands in the map) over the U.S. heartland.  The promise of chaseable storms is zero to microscopic. Bummer!

The cause is  two-fold:

  1. the strong westerly 500 mb winds (needed to make storm top shear) are not in our chase realm. What storms do form rain on themselves instead of in front of the main updraft. Picture dancing on your own feet and you will see why such storms are short-lived.
  2. the low pressure focused over southeast Arkansas is steering northerly winds into Texas, effectively chasing away much-needed moisture for our storms.

So we chase in the Nebraska panhandle, where the higher altitude does not demand CAPE values exceeding 1500 J/kg.

1000C ___ Hays,KS load vans; Wx briefing
—-C ___ dpt – Hays, KS
1627C ___ lv Pine Bluffs, WY
1635C ___ stop for cloud base
—-C ___ stop at Scottsbluff, NE
end ___ Fort Morgan, CO motel; dinner:McDonald’s

note: FRED freq=457+ MHz (FRED is the radio transmitter on the rear of a freight train)

Leave a Reply