Another Sunday, Another Chase - Oklahoma Skies

Posted on May 8, 2016 at 12:58PM CDT.

I should be spending quality time with mom today, but instead I'll be spending it with mother nature. I'm sure my mom understands, I mean after all she raised this hell bent passionate rebel of a son. Truthfully as supportive as my mom is, she doesn't fully understand my obsession with twisting columns of air. Someone said it best the other day, I refuse to apologize for my fascination of weather. We can't control it but we can observe it and learn from it. 

So here I am pouring myself over the data all morning and now early afternoon, impatiently waiting for a sign of imminent initiation. When that happens it's out the door and down the interstate for another hopefully promising storm chase. This storm season has been largely underwhelming with the exception of yesterday's photogenic tornadoes in Colorado. I've said it before and I'll say it again, chasing the plains of Colorado is at the top of my bucket list. Someday.

A hand drawn analysis as of 12pm this afternoon shows that models were not smoking something when they had mid 60+ dews into Oklahoma yesterday. There was a lot of doubt given the dry mid levels on soundings near the Gulf but obviously underestimated the source region. Surprise surprise! I think more data buoys are needed over the southwest Gulf so we can better sample the air down there. I digress. 

Low level moisture is advecting northward with most stations in Oklahoma reporting AOA 60F with the exception of the far west where the dryline is beginning to mix east. Satellite imagery shows clearing behind this morning's convection across much of western Oklahoma. A cumulus field is already apparent over southwest parts and that will be the area to watch for initial storm development as it has been relatively unperturbed from this morning's mess and seems to be destabilizing quite nicely. Let's hope most don't pick up on the southern target today, the chaser hoards are getting a little ridiculous. 

Some of the RR models are painting an interesting scenario across SW/WC Oklahoma a bit later this afternoon. Storms that form today will be few and far between, but the ones that form are likely to be intense and capable of all severe hazards. Unlike the last couple of setups, shear profiles are much more favorable for tornadoes. 

As storms move east this evening and approach I-35, they should be on a weakening trend as the CAP is much stronger the farther east you go. Also the axis of greater instability is pretty narrow. This doesn't mean that we can't have severe storms in the metro later this evening, so please continue to monitor the weather while out celebrating mom. I'll have updates on my chase adventure on social media so make sure to follow me there! Let's hope today doesn't disappoint. 

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