TWISTEX Field Operations for May 19, 2011

May 19, 2011 – 6:46 am

Currently driving to Kansas

Past couple of days:

While enroute to St. Louis on Thursday, we intercepted four tornadoes north of York, NE.  Since we were in a loaner vehicle (TWISTEX truck broke down again in southern MN during a chase).

We drove to St. Louis Thursday evening/Friday morning for RADAR installation.

We’re pleased to announce that we now have RADAR aboard!  EWR has provided us a EWR700 Doppler RADAR system to use during our TWISTEX missions for this year.  This is a huge upgrade for us as RADAR is something that TWISTEX lacked for several years.  The folks at EWR in St. Louis, MO worked tireless last Friday to get this RADAR installed on the truck.

We returned to Denver on Saturday with the new RADAR system aboard, and began work on getting the new probe instrument prepared for our departure on Thursday.  Through the tireless efforts of our crew, we now have the new 500 pound tornado in-situ instrument aboard and ready. Hopefully, the instrumentation will continue to work pending the long ride to our target.

Huge maiden voyage on many fronts for TWISTEX today.


Somewhat of a complicated forecast today as a low deepens in southeast Colorado (per morning RUC analysis).  Strong backed flow across the warm front on I-70 and points south suggest good tornado potential from Wakeenny to Russell to Ness City triangle.  Storm initiation should happen by mid afternoon.  At the moment, we’ll target Hays for crew meet-up by early afternoon.


Problems with tomorrow’s forecast with overnight precip.  Model data suggests storms will be in place all day, limiting any instability for afternoon.  At this point, chances are pretty slim for operations, as the wave weakens a bit–but will evaluate later.


Future uncertain through the weekend–looks like the best day after today could be on Tuesday with the next wave emerging.  0z GFS suggests that next Thursday could be back in the Mississippi area again.

If the forecast suggest that no opportunities exist after today, we may decide to head back to Denver.

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