January 27, 2009


In no particular order. Be sure to vote at the bottom or 
leave a comment if you think the best isn't listed here.

A) May 25, 2008 - Parkersburg, IA EF5

B) May 8, 2008 - Leighton, AL

C) July 1, 2008 - Stockholm, Sweeden - author unknown

D) August 15, 2008 - Poland - author unknown

E) August 15, 2008 - Poland, bus flipped - author unknown

F) May 29, 2008 - Northern Kansas - 

G) May 24, 2008 - North-central OK - Fox News coverage

H) June 7, 2008 - Chicago area, IL - 

I) May 23, 2008 - Quinter, KS - filmed by Doug Keisling

J) May 25, 2008 - Parkersburg, IA EF5, bank security camera

January 9, 2009

Forecasts from the past season

Seeing as though I have thoroughly neglected this blog over the past year and want to change that for the upcoming severe weather season, I am going back through my personal forecasts and Stormtrack posts and posting them here. 

Where applicable I will post the image of my forecast map drawn on my handy-dandy whiteboard. I will make a later post explaining the process behind this in depth, but it should be said that I complete it the night before a potential chase (or whenever I want to practice) before looking at the SPC Day 1. I draw the surface features for the initiation period and two areas; the first being a general tornado threat area (usually in green), and the second area within the first of the highest tornado risk (usually in red). I then pick my chase target (normally within this red area) based upon terrain, road network, forecast storm mode, and daylight. This target is marked with a black dot and is hopefully covered up in the verification stage where I overlay the SPC preliminary storm reports for that day onto the forecast map. 

This first forecast is one I made on May 16th, 2008. Due to Stormtrack's restrictions for forecasting for only one day at a time, this forecast is geared specificaly for May 21st, though I was using this forecast as a jumping off point for my forecasts for the four days of tornado mayhem after the 21st:

May 21, 2008 Forecast:
"Confidence in a widespread severe outbreak next week has grown significantly over the past 36 hours with the GFS finally trending toward the ECMWF's consistent doomsday(s) solution. Although Wednesday will likely be the smallest day of the bunch in terms of areal coverage and probabilities, there is a slight prospect of late evening tornadic activity near the I-80 and I-70 corridors. Very warm mid-level temperatures will be in place due to the amplified trough just entering the picture from the West. This pattern will effectively cap most of the warm sector but will also result in a considerable amount of divergence aloft. Cyclogenesis will begin early Wednesday morning over the high plains and the sfc low will rapidly deepen throughout the day. Before nightfall, we could be looking at a sub-980mb low. When is the last time that happened in May? The LLJ will rapidly strengthen to over 60 knots after dark which will contribute to very favorable shear profiles for any updrafts that can break through the cap.

June 10, 2008 Forecast:
"Epic battle tonight of NSSL 4km WRF vs NAM-WRF... who will fire the the loaded gun?

NSSL 4km WRF: 10pm forecast sounding for DDC and simulated reflexivity (no precip, -158 MLCINH):

NAM-WRF: 10pm forecast sounding for DDC and NCEP derived simulated reflexivity (-76 MLCINH):

November 5, 2008 Forecast:
This is my preliminary target map, using the 03/12z model suite and 21z SREF as main guidance and refined with the 0z runs. Note that this map is my forecast for tornadoes only and not general severe weather which will extend well east into the night. The GFS has been unsurprisingly more progressive with the trough and subsequent sfc features. A quick glance at the ensemble members shows the Operational GFS as the progressive outlier (Black line), so this fcst will lean towards a blend of the slower NAM and Euro.

I am not convinced the moisture return will be anything near what the 0z NAM is advertising, with 60 dews up into NE. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see the 60 degree isodrosotherm not make it into OK on Wednesday. The SW low level flow prior to the event will not favor deep, quality moisture return- but given a narrow tongue of mid-upper 50 dps, the seasonably cold temps aloft and unseasonably warm temps at the sfc, instability will be sufficient for supercells and tornadoes as far north as the sfc low in SD. Hodographs will enlarge throughout the afternoon as the LLJ backs and strengthens with time across the warm sector. This will be vital to the low-level turning in an otherwise unidirectional flow. I agree with Brian Stertz that we could see some LEWPs/embedded sups after everything goes linear. 

I am favoring the southern target ATTM for a few reasons. First of all there is the potential for early-mid day convection in nrn-KS and NE as the strong forcing arrives a tad early. This could kill any instability, but the screaming storm motions up there would quickly take this convection away from the initiating boundary. Secondly there is the issue of the cold front and how much it will push east during daylight potentially mashing potential supercells into a congealed mess. Depending on which model to believe, the CF won't undercut the dryline until after dark in the southern target. Lastly, storm motions in the northern target under the 70+kt H5 jet streak will not be fun to chase. I miss spring."

November 10, 2008 Forecast:

Target: Brownwood, TX (100 mi sw DFW) @ noon

Compact shortwave trough currently over AZ will take on a slightly negative tilt and phase with the sub-tropical jet early in the fcst period. Lift/divergence will be enhanced downstream of the phasing. This will result in elevated convection during the overnight hours into early morning over the target area. Even with the possibly remnant overcast skies, instability will be sufficient for supercells owing largely to a very moist airmass. Main concern right now is too much forcing and not enough cap to hold off convection until peak heating and to also keep cells discrete. H5 speed max is currently rounding the base of the shortwave and will be over the target area around noon when sfc based convection will develop along the dryline. Slightly veered H85 winds should not be a problem due to the se'rly sfc windfield which will enlarge low-level hodographs. Tornadoes are possible in the Texas target area and an isolated strong tornado cannot be ruled out in the northern half near the baroclinic zone due to the low LCL's, high shear, and moderate instability in this area especially if low clouds can mix out early. Early-mid day elevated convection ne of the sfc low will be capable of large hail. Climatology and pattern recognition suggest that a significant severe event is possible tomorrow, but mesoscale features need to be nailed down before where and if this will be realized."