Tornado Potential Today (6-9-09), but there are Questions

As always I plan to stream my storm chase live today at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mike-phelps-…weather-stream/. Once severe weather is occurring I will switch to streaming at http://www.chasertv.com/. Streaming today could begin as early as 9am, but more likely in the 3pm to 10pm time frame.

On paper today looks like a stellar severe weather day across central KS. However, there are some factors that could lead to another bustola. Firstly, what is the expected development of elevated supercells this morning going to do to the atmosphere? Then one wonders of they will ever really get cranking since not much is going on yet. If they do, will they mess up the atmosphere, or will they be helpful in laying down outflow boundaries and reinforcing the warm front? Finally, if this activity does develop, how long will it hang around and how far west will it get. The longer it is around and the farther west it develops then that will seriously impact afternoon and evening development. The next issue is instability. Most of that is down in Oklahoma, and there is some question how far north this high octane severe weather fuel will get into Kansas today. Also, the best 850mb flow is offset to the east of where the best instability is expected. Then of course you have the ever-present cap to worry about, and finally the WRF is a bit concerning. It breaks out plenty of convection this morning, but there is virtually nothing late this afternoon and evening. This is one of my favorite models when it comes to convection forecasting this time of year, and it is failing me.

Anyway, even though I just went on and on about the negatives, I do like today’s potential. It has the “potential” to be one of the bigger tornado days of the season so far in a fairly localized area. My plan is to chase the morning hailers IF they develop, then target the general area of the dryline/warm front intersection for development later this afternoon and evening. Based on the latest RUC run this looks to be out around Medicine Lodge, KS. To be honest, I’m a bit surprised to see the SPC moderate risk so far north, and I wonder if that will shift south in future updates??

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