27 March 2004 – Western OK

March 27, 2004 by
Filed under: Forecast 

sfc map


Well, today is only a little clearer than mud, although the reasonable target area is fairly narrow. The near-MAULs and weak cap on the morning AMA/MAF raobs and weak cap indicate that, for discrete storms, it may be an early show, and that we need to get on the road soon. [I say near-MAUL because the UL is not exactly true…those layers had lapse rates weaker than absolutely unstable.]

John Hart’s sounding pageis a great way to look at RAOBS, BTW…in a way more visually appealing to me, and that I can read much easier than the UCAR or COD displays.

Alnado’s sfc map as of 11:10:34 CST shows the dryline/cold front intersection a little NE of GCK, dryline SSW through Beaver County to just W of Canadian, moving E through the Post/Slaton area and already past MAF. The dryline is mixing and advecting nicely off the Caprock, a process which shall continue through the remainder of the afternoon until it crosses into OK. I do see some evidence for a weakly baroclinic and kinematic (wind shift) ENE-WSW boundary, as Bobby mentioned, just S of the Red River, which would lift N through the afternoon.

Examination of the sfc maps show a relative dry hole down in central and west-central TX, with dew points mid-upper 50s F, and which has been advertised by the Eta for several days now. Gripe all you want, justifiably, about that model’s other problems related to severe convective forecasting; but it seems to pick up on these dry holes well. [29 May 1 Kress-Turkey storm was badly assaulted by inflow trajectories from an even more pronounced dry hole.] This is something to watch for the farther S one chooses to play a storm. Therefore I am not inclined to go too far S of the Red River, if at all.

Farther N, generally N of I-40, VIS imagery shows there is a narrower window of optimal diabatic heating between the W side of the pre-drylinear clouds/storms and the dryline itself. It is possible to get a tornadic storm farther N, but lower probability IMO, particlularly with the front rampaging into NW OK later today. Farther S along the dryline in SW OK, the midlevel flow should strengthen and become more westerly with time this afternoon as the main trough impinges upon the area, increasing crossover and absolute 0-6 km AGL shear.

These factors bracket my area down to the CSM-CDS corridor. We’ll head WSW past the Wichita Mountains, and “go visual.”

The hoards will be out. If a few careless, unthinking yahoos leave tripods set up in active traffic lanes, their loss! I do not plan to drive *around* such equipment as in the past. My front end already has some damage, so a little more won’t matter.



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