June 7, 2009

Tornadoes in Kansas!?!

Tornado chances are looking stellar for tomorrow in eastern KS if we can get initiation to the south of the warm front. The forecast hodograph shapes are just about classic; unfortunately the second lobe of this potent EML will be over the target area tomorrow afternoon featuring 700mb temps likely 1-2C degrees higher than the cap bust we had today. BUT we will have a couple things working for us tomorrow that today lacked. First of all, low-level moisture may be of much higher quality given the trajectories coming from the western Gulf instead of northeast Mexico. This richer moisture may not make it far enough north in time to have a huge positive consequence but the extended period of low-level moisture pooling we've had along the surface front should be sufficient to weaken the cap and provide high instability. Now all we need is some lift to fire this loaded gun, which brings me to:

Above, from left to right, there is the 5z IR image, the NAM 500mb vorticity map for 18z and the GFS 500mb vorticity map for 18z. What you can see is a small piece of subtropical energy that was sucked up into this swrly flow from off the coast of the Baja. This subtle upper-level disturbance is forecast to be slightly upstream of the target area near initiation time which will hopefully provide lift with the help of upper-level diffluence and more significantly the strong, negatively-tilted shortwave ejecting across the Central Plains. This little piece of energy may not have a big roll in initiating convection on the warm front or triple point, but if I were targeting further south along the dryline I would be keeping a very close eye on it.

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