TWISTEX Field Operations for May 8, 2011

May 8, 2011 – 8:39 am

Past few days:

Assisted with the relief effort in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Alabama clearing trees and assisting with the search effort.  Amazing damage with homes totally destroyed, and trees completely stripped.

One of the amazing facts we’ve heard is that collectively there are roughly 1,000 miles of tornado tracks that were generated across Dixie Alley last week-most with devastating damage.

Truck blew a turbocharger during the super outbreak chase, and was in the shop for a week afterwards getting the work done.  Unfortunately, it disrupted the radar installation plans last week, and now the next round of severe weather begins today(perhaps).

Today:

Huge thermal ridge across most of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.  Perhaps a few high-based storms would initiate near the Rio Grande under the southern branch of the subtropical jet stream.

12z model data suggests that storm initiation may occur on a convergence/wind shift line from Lincoln, NE to Sioux City, SD line. Impressive low level shear and storm relative flow suggest a narrow window for tornadoes within an hour or so of storm initiation.  Meager jet stream flow is a problem, but should be sufficient-for a while before the storms become rain wrapped.  Storm system will evolve to an MCS after dark, and will drift into Iowa through the evening.

Our target is a Lincoln to Fremont, NE line.  Storms should initiate by late afternoon.  Hopefully, storms do initiate.

Tomorrow:

Model data very inconsistent from day to day, but the general feeling is somewhere in South Dakota with the wave slowly nudging its way out. Won’t speculate, as it will change tomorrow.

Future:

Very uncertain–current thinking is this wave will push through the midwest by Thursday allowing time for RADAR installation in St. Louis on Thursday or Friday (depending on timing).

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