So far. We found out last year just how fast things can go wrong with the weather, insects, etc… but as of now, we are enjoying the garden and it is looking the best it has looked since the first serious work started in 2009.
An updated gallery can be found at: http://www.pbase.com/okweatherwatch/garden2012
A complex weather pattern is evolving over the central and southern Plains. There are model to model and run to run inconsistencies, but some general solutions are evident. For today (Friday), there should be a surface low pressure area near the northeast corner of the Texas panhandle. A dryline will be located in far western Oklahoma with a moist and unstable atmosphere in position over the main body of the state. Unlike Thursday, all model solutions suggest that storms will be forming this afternoon and continue into the nighttime hours. As the western U.S. upper storm approaches, the jet stream level winds will be steadily increasing. Also, in response to deepening surface low pressure, low level winds will be increasing by evening. This will all create favorable shear profiles for storms to be supercell in nature with the potential of producing very large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes. There will be a few hours window late this afternoon and evening where shear would support significant tornadoes. These events should be isolated. The greatest risk appears to be from southwest and west central Oklahoma into the north central part of the state.
Progressive eastward movement of the upper system on Saturday will bring yet stronger mid and upper level flow. The surface low in the central Plains is expected to deepen significantly and a dryline will extend from the low southward through western Oklahoma and Texas. Moisture and instability will be high in the warm sector east of the dryline. Shear will be strong across a very large area. Most all supercell/tornado producing parameters will be in the strong category. Confidence is increasing that there will be a widespread outbreak of severe storms including the chance at strong or violent tornadoes. Large cities including Omaha/Lincoln in the north… Topeka and Wichita in Kansas… and Enid, Stillwater, Oklahoma City and Lawton in Oklahoma lie in the greatest threat area.
Different from a couple of days ago, it now appears that the severe weather threat from this system will be ending Saturday night with any severe potential on Sunday and Monday pushing well east of central Oklahoma.
The state of Oklahoma is entering what could be one of the most amazing stretches of severe weather for so early in the season. Usually, day after day severe weather events come in late May and early June. On Monday the 9th, supercell storms in northwest Oklahoma produced several short-lived tornadoes and giant hail. On Tuesday the 10th, we were able to squeeze out a few severe events in the Oklahoma panhandle. It now looks like we may be starting another six days in a row of severe weather as a strong trough of low pressure steadily organizes over the western U.S. and moves gradually eastward across the Plains.
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (12,13,14) appear to have the greatest risk of supercell storms in Oklahoma producing all facets of severe weather. Giant hail will be possible with the strongest storms and tornadoes are likely. It is hard to make a confident forecast more than 48 hours out, but all indications are that conditions will support significant bouts of severe weather. Before the start of next week, there will likely have been several tornadoes in the state. Given the amount of moisture/instability and wind shear, some of the tornadoes may be strong.
The forecast will change on a daily basis; the threat level each day will be heavily dependent upon the coverage and duration of storms leading up to each days event. Still, people in the state should be aware of the threat for the next several days.
And I had a few other choice words as well. While looking at the garden this morning, I came across this guy sitting near the top of our largest rose bush. I don’t think he could be hunting anything up there, so maybe he was just getting a little sun after our drenching yesterday.
I don’t know the slightest things about snakes… I’m assuming that this one is a harmless garden snake. At least he didn’t look very mean. All I know is that they freak me out. I get chills seeing one on the road as I drive by.
I’ve always felt that me and the snakes have an unwritten understanding. I won’t kill one of them – they won’t hurt me. I guess it’s more of a karma than understanding. Anyway, unless a rattle snake gets in the house – they are safe with me. I’ll just walk wide and I figure they will too. Still, it was more than a little surprising to find this at eye level when you are checking out a rose bush.
BTW… I’ve always thought one of the funniest tunes ever written came from Ray Stevens:
An interesting severe weather day appears to be in store for the central and southern Plains on Monday (2nd). A strong upper storm system is moving through the southwest U.S. and will approach the Plains on Monday afternoon. While the system will weaken somewhat, it still looks to be strong enough to cause widespread severe weather.
A very unstable atmosphere will be in place as cold mid-level temperatures begin to overspread deep moisture southeast of a cold front and east of a dryline. By late afternoon, the surface low in association with the storm will be located over the northern Texas panhandle. The dryline will have advanced into extreme western Oklahoma.
Initially, severe thunderstorms are likely to rapidly develop along the cold front in Kansas and near the surface low. Very large hail will be possible with some of the storms in Kansas, while tornadoes will be an added threat with lower topped storms near the surface low. By late afternoon, convergence along the dryline, afternoon heating, and gradually increasing lifting associated with the approaching upper storm will result in thunderstorm development along the dryline.
Given the degree of instability, explosive development is possible along the dryline. Shear profiles will support rotating storms with all facets of severe weather. Hail to the size of baseballs or larger will be possible with any sustained supercell storm, and tornadoes will be possible.
There are questions about the wind profiles near and east of the dryline which could cause some messy storm interactions… possibly limiting the severe weather threat. However, better shear profiles are likely to be in place near or just after 6 P.M. and if organized supercell storms are able to take advantage – the tornado threat will increase.
As the main storm system begins to move farther east, severe thunderstorms may redevelop from southern Kansas to northern Texas during the day Tuesday. Severe threats will be similar to Monday with very large hail and a couple of tornadoes possible.