Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2014 Gets the Last Laugh

In something reminiscent of my early days of chasing in the late-2000s, nature decided to spit out what seems to be the final surprise of 2014 long after I had thrown in the towel and flown home. A powerful stacked low set up over the far eastern Panhandles/SW KS on Sunday with modest moisture (~50F) wrapped up around the sfc low in a beautiful dryline arc. While instability issues did plague this setup, as was shown in how elongated many of the storms were, a few weak tornadoes were spat out near Apache and Arcadia before the big kahuna landed near Harper, KS at dusk. For a day like this, a big ass tornado popping out of what appeared to be a multicell cluster was confusing as hell. So far as I know, no chasers that picked the KS target got it but it still just makes me wonder what the hell was going on. This:

Managed to produce this:

It would seem as though this season has some malicious intent to humble chasers even after the spinning water vapor smorgasbord of June on the northern Plains/High Plains. Thankfully the models appear to all be hinting at a highly-amplified, meridional flow regime over the US for the next 240 hours with a trough starting at the top in the PNW and riding the rollercoaster down into the deep South. Another blast of cold across most of the CONUS seems to be a pretty likely possibility and with it, hopefully some rain/or snowfall across the southern Plains between CDS-LTS-SPS as well as the area up by Arnett.

I have a rudimentary at best knowledge of the Arctic Oscillation and El Nino/La Nina, but indications and predictions of a cold and wet winter across the High Plains in the Panhandles/far western OK/W KS are more than welcome after the previous seasons bordering on dormancy in those areas. The drought has most noticeably affected the Panhandle's tornado/supercell count over the previous three years as the dryline mixes rapidly east due to the bone dry conditions out that way. With any luck, continued rain will allow for an earlier season out in the PH similar to something like 2007 or 2010 which had decent March and April dryline days. Hard to believe we're almost to Christmas and are running closer and closer to only two months until the opening of the 2015 chase season.

If I don't update again in the near future, happy Hannukah/Kwanza/Christmas/Festivus/Pastafarian Holiday and pray OU doesn't get mauled as badly as I think they are in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Start of Meteorological Winter

The first day of meteorological winter is gone and in it's wake it looks like the temperature across the southern Plains will rise along with the chance of precipitation for an extended period of time from Wednesday through Saturday. The drought in NW Oklahoma took a massive hit from all the rain they received in October as well as the TX Panhandle which has had decent drought removal from where it was 3 months ago. There are still about 3 months until the start of the 2015 chase season, but this offseason has already gone by faster than the past two years. Hard to believe it's already below 90 days.

Exams and working back home in Ohio for a month are on the horizon so updates may be few and far between for most of December, but the regularly programmed bitching and moaning about lack of tornadoes/storms should resume around mid-January.