May 29, 2012
This was quite a day. The forecast worked out great knowing that with the minnamla flow regime the higher CAPE was favoured. The area up near the warm front would have been favoured if CAPE values were to be higher but the way the setup was, the big CAPE was needed to be able to tap the minimal shear available. This strategy worked out extrememly well and the show we got was spectacualr. But with the instability came the large hail, some of which was reported to be grapefroot sized. We were able to stay out it and had one close call as the back side of the meso begane to spit out some softballs near us. A quick u-turn had us out of it in a few seconds as storm motions were slow today. The storm was able to get its act together and form one brief tornado before the storm was undercut by its outflow.This picture was taken south of Piedmont, OK just before it produced the tornado.
Today looks like it will be yet another active day for severe storms. This time in the southwest portion of Oklahoma along the warm front which is currently sitting at or just south of the I-40. The primary triggers of interest here will be the outflow boudary (currently sitting in the Watonga, OK region), where it intersects the warm front, and the short wave trough deeping as it crests the Rockies into the TX panhandle. This setup is very similar to ysturday's with the one exception being that the large CAPE is not as crucial to get things spinning and there should be suffucient shear in the low levels along all the boudaries. At the moment the current high resolution models are having a tough time resolving this but monitoring the sfc observations satellite imagery should reveal what the day has in store. Image here shows the currently sufc low in TX area but with little curvature in hodographs splitting cells will dominate there and with slightly better curved hodogrpahs in the southwest OK region, this will be the play as the outflow boundary from overngiht convection and warm front interact. This area is also under the upper livel divergence from the 250 mb jet streaming in from the west.