Saturday, January 31, 2015

Under a Month to Chase Season 2015

We're rounding third and heading for home with chase season 2015 now only 28 days away, coinciding with the start of meteorological spring. While nothing is jumping out within the range of reason going into February, measurable rainfall across the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma from .5 to .75" being reported by Oklahoma and West Texas Mesonet sites. It's unlikely that there will be a chaseable setup in the near future but I'm still gonna be looking to the near future for that first digging shortwave.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Warmer Days Across the Plains

In classic southern Plains fashion, a warmer airmass continues to sit over the region in late January. Yesterday saw upper 70s across much of central Oklahoma and even low 80s further west near Childress up to Mangum. Further west onto the High Plains looks to be even warmer than yesterday along with Norman flirting with the upper-70s again. Per usual, the nice temps are going away starting Thursday along with a possibly large amount precipitation across southern Oklahoma as the thermal ridge currently over the High Plains/southern Plains begins to break down. The 2015 chase season is still sitting about a month away but with the Texas PH receiving a bit of extra support in terms of precip due to the recent major snow event and a possible second winter weather event, I'm somewhat confident an early season setup or two may provide itself out west in the Panhandles region but that still seems like a very distant possibility.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Hidden Blocking Pattern

Once again, the hope that springs eternal was shot down after perusing the Euro and GFS to around 5-6 days out (yes I know, only the most accurate data comes from there). Towards the end of this week going into next, a rather unfavorably strong thermal/mid-level ridge looks to set up shop over the Four Corners and fringes of the High Plains. The problem with this is twofold:

1. A lack of decent precipitation is possible across the southern High Plains once this pattern sets up

2. It may start the dreaded east coast troughing that will likely lead to repeated scourings of the GOM with each impulse that rides the roller coaster.

While little is certain at this range and beyond, the trend towards that solution kind of sucks . The last time the CONUS was tossed into this pattern, the season started off at a snail's pace with moisture struggling to get north due to repeated sweeping fronts on the heels of larger upper-level features to the east.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Less than 50 Days Until Chase Season

Well folks we're finally rolling into the last and worst part of the offseason. We've hit a mere 46 days until the start of chase season 2015 on March 1st and as of right now, this winter pattern is already looking like a stark improvement to where we were last January. A much more "fluid" meridional flow regime is overspreading the CONUS with multiple troughs rapidly ejecting into the Atlantic each week. Last season, a stagnant blocking pattern with an almost constant east coast trough spelled doom for the early season as repeated polar intrusions into the southern Plains and GOM annihilated moisture and set the start of spring-esque patterns back a few weeks.

As of right now, Bessie, the ever reliable and unkillable 95 Jeep Grand Cherokee, has yet to receive the Aquapel application for the windshield or the new in-car tablet feature with a portable USB computer to negate having to lug a laptop and all the wires into the passenger seat of the Jeep. Outside the vehicle, my tripod still has a bad case of the "drop my central rod" syndrome and I'm still gonna be working with a meh camera this season. But the season continues to blessedly draw nearer and the annual promise of tornadoes somewhere on the Plains in March has me excited.