Friday, 25 May 2012

Kansas slight risk

Morning! Today looks potentially interesting although a stout inversion may keep the atmosphere capped in many places. An area of low pressure across the SW of Kansas should slowly move north or north-east today, as a dryline mixes eastwards to its south, and a warm front lifts north to its north-east.

Targeting the triple point of the dry line and warm front should yield the best chance of thunderstorm development, and along and just north of this warm front, backed low-level winds should give the best chance of low-level mesocyclones and possible tornadoes.

As always, pin-pointing the exact location of these features for late afternoon via models yields somewhat different results - thus, picking a relatively central starting target point and then refining as observations come in is the plan. Guidance suggests that the Russell - Hays - Great Bend triangle may be a good starting point, so either Russell or Hays for lunch seems a good plan, and then refining from there.

There's also a chance of severe storms down the dryline into western Oklahoma - indeed, some models, such as the ECMWF, are much more bullish about storm development down there than around here. However, with a deeper boundary layer, the tornado risk would seem lower down there than close to the warm front.

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