Well, yesterday was it for a while folks. The next 10 days look rather uneventful as the jet stream shifts north and GOM moisture return is nil. Not sure I’d go sa far as to call it a “death ridge” just yet, but no doubt there will be a lot more down days than active ones over the next 10 days to 2 weeks. That’s not to say we won’t have some marginal opportunities, especially up north, but it really doesn’t look too exciting.
Something thrown into the mix will be the possibility of a couple of early season tropical or sub-tropical systems over the next week or two. The GFS has been insistent on forming something near or around the Gulf for the past week in it’s long range, and now the other models are picking up on this for later next week. There could be something that form in the GOM next week and possibly near Bermuda as well. With such a weak westerly flow now and likely continuing for the next couple of months we may see an early start to the tropical season with even a chance for a major landfalling U.S. hurricane before the end of July. By the way, if something tropical or sub-tropical forms in the Gulf next week then the circulation around it will kill any GOM moisture return to the Plains, thereby increasing the likelihood of a very quiet severe weather pattern.
So is there hope for a return of a sustained and classic severe weather pattern across the Plains? The ensembles have been showing a western torugh for the end of May and the first part of June, and have been consistent in this possibility for about the past week. This consistency is good, and may indicate an overall shift to a more active pattern beyond the Memorial Day weekend and into the first part of June. It is discouraging, however, that so far the operational runs of the models have been reluctant to pick up on this trend advertised by the ensemble members. It’s a watch and wait situation. Keep watching the ensembles and hope the pattern shift they show continues, and look for the operational models to start showing this trend as well on a consistent basis over the next week.
In general I’d say there is not much hope for a sustained severe weather pattern across the Plains through the remainder of the month of May, and there is at least a chance for one during the first two weeks of June.