This is the first blog post documenting our storm chasing trip. I will be publishing a new blog post each day for the next 11 days. Make sure to check out the main chase page which will include photograph and video updates, livestream feeds, location tracking and more.
Today we departed New York and began our journey west to the great plains. Strong tornadoes can occur any time of the year, however the month of May has the most potential of having both the greatest number of tornadoes as well as the most intense tornadoes. The month of May averages 279 tornadoes per year.
The reason why tornadoes are more common in the month of may compared to other months is because the required ingredients are more favorable. That cool, dry air in the upper levels of the atmosphere in this region caps warm, humid surface air. This situation leads to a very unstable atmosphere and the development of supercell thunderstorms.
The current forecast suggest that Friday will be our first chase day. That also means we can split up the drive out west over the next few days. On previous chasing trips we had to drive 10 to 15 hours a day however this trip we will average around 8. Below is the discussion via the SPC:
On Friday/D5, strong southwest flow aloft will spread into the Plains, with the strongest winds from NM into west TX. Low pressure is forecast across northeast CO into NE during the day, with a dryline extending southward into west TX. Widespread mid 60s F dewpoints will be in place ahead of the dryline, and northward to the warm front from eastern SD into IA. Moderate to strong instability will develop over the warm sector, with wind profiles supporting supercells producing very large hail and a few tornadoes. Clusters of storms, or an MCS, is also possible overnight mainly over northwest TX into western OK.