Outlook (Monday-Wednesday)

…Nice weather for early July…

Upper: The strong northerly flow across Oklahoma will gradually weaken through Wednesday as a high pressure area dominates the Western U.S., and low pressure over the Mid-Mississippi Valley slowly moves westward.

Surface: A large area of high pressure will remain in place across the Plains and Midwest, with a low pressure trough taking shape over the High Plains by Wednesday afternoon.

Impacts: While a few isolated showers and thunderstorms are possible through Wednesday, it is unlikely that organized areas of precipitation will develop.  The surface high will result in seasonably low temperatures and humidity.

Okarche Weather:

Monday morning: 59

Monday: 85

Tuesday morning: 57

Tuesday: 85

Wednesday morning: 59

Wednesday: 87

Severe Thunderstorms Possible / June 27

Severe Threat 27 June 2013

The weather map this morning shows a cold front moving southeast across NW Kansas.  The atmosphere across Oklahoma and Kansas in advance of the front is very moist and will become extremely unstable with afternoon heating.  Morning upper air analysis shows a weak short wave trough embedded in northwest flow which is moving southeastward through Nebraska.

The combination of lift associated with the trough, and convergence along the front will cause afternoon thunderstorms to form in Kansas.  Given the degree of instability and shear, several of these storms are likely to become severe as they track southeastward into Oklahoma.  A few large hail events are possible, but the main threat today will be from damaging winds.

Prior to the arrival of the frontal storms, a few isolated thunderstorms are possible over NW Oklahoma where high heat and abundant moisture may allow for the cap to be breached.  Should storms form in this area, a few hail reports are possible along with the potential for damaging winds.

Outlook (Thursday-Sunday)

…Unusual Summer weather pattern will be developing over the next several days…

Upper: A strong high pressure area currently located near the Four Corners area will move slowly westward and amplify through the weekend.  At the same time, a large low pressure trough will become established over the Eastern U.S.  As this occurs, the flow over Oklahoma will become increasingly stronger and more northerly.

Surface: A cold front will be found just northwest of Oklahoma on Thursday.  This weak front will move slowly southward through the state on Friday.  A seasonably strong cold front will push across Oklahoma by late Saturday.

Impacts: Oklahoma’s position relative to the upper high on Thursday will result in very hot weather with temperatures across most of W and C Oklahoma over 100 degrees.  Showers and thunderstorms which form near the front in Kansas will move into the state late in the day and overnight to Friday morning.  While temperatures will still be rather warm on Friday, they may be limited somewhat by cloudiness and convective outflow.  Cooler air will filter into the state on Saturday and there will continue to be a chance of showers and thunderstorms / mainly over W and S Oklahoma / through the weekend.

The weather into next week / possibly through the July 4th period / is expected to be mild with chances of showers and thunderstorms.  This unusual extremely amplified high/low ridge/trough is going to result in seasonably cool temperatures across the eastern part of the country, while the west will be baking in record heat.

Okarche Weather:

Thursday morning: 73

Thursday: 102

Friday morning: 73 / Showers and thunderstorms

Friday: 98

Saturday morning: 70

Saturday: 90 / Showers and thunderstorms

Sunday morning: 65 / Showers and thunderstorms

Sunday: 83 / Showers and thunderstorms

Eastern Colorado variety – June 23, 2013

VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KSKUMQDNaU&feature=c4-overview&list=UUwCFYBj6FjKdz8SJMAOzFHg

This was the last day of storm chasing during my “organized chase season”, before getting home and settled in for “Summer Lightning 2013″.  My Summer lightning photography usually consists of short outings within a hour or so of home, and usually done spur of the moment depending on the location of active storms.

Moisture was somewhat limited over E Colorado, but sufficient to support thunderstorms.  Really, a thunderstorm was all I needed to say that 2013 was a complete season without any busts.  We ended up getting much more and the day was a fun one getting a good amount of lightning and storm structure shots associated with storms between Wiggins and Cope, Colorado.  I ended up shooting lightning late into the evening near Cheyenne Wells, Colorado.

Wyoming/Nebraska supercells, tornado – June 22, 2013

VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSyPuk4TrZk&feature=c4-overview&list=UUwCFYBj6FjKdz8SJMAOzFHg

After picking the wrong target area the day before, I decided that wasn’t going to be the case this day.  Especially when the target was as obvious as it was.  Somewhere near the Wyoming/Nebraska border was where a chaser would want to be this afternoon, and I spent the first part of the day in a double time mode heading west.  It’s a long haul getting across the length of Nebraska.

In a little bit of a surprise, storms were already severe over SE Wyoming by the time I reached Scottsbluff, Nebraska.  I found a good viewing position near Torrington, Wyoming where I observed a supercell for the better part of an hour.  The storm had decent structure when I caught up with it and was producing a large number of cloud to ground lightning strikes.  After a brief weakening period, the storm organized again and appeared to come close to producing a tornado.

When things started becoming messy, I picked up and quickly headed south to another supercell which was located west of La Grange, Wyoming.  By the time I reached a good position for this storm, several others were crashing into the area and I continued south to get out of the way of what became some powerful storms.  I ran into Vince Miller and Matt Crowther at this point and our little group continued south while targeting a storm near Pine Bluffs, Wyoming.  Between Kimball and Dix, Nebraska, we stopped and had a good view of the supercell storm to our west and northwest.  While shooting lightning images, a mesocyclone organized just to our northeast, which produced a small tornado near Dix.

After a dinner in Sidney, Nebraska, I dropped south into Colorado to attempt some lightning photography before finally ending the day in Julesburg, Colorado.

Late evening storms in Nebraska – June 21, 2013

The majority of my “north of Oklahoma” chases over the past several years have been confined to the High Plains.  With a couple of options, I chose to play the eastern target along an outflow boundary somewhere in NE Nebraska or SE South Dakota.  This was really the only time this season that I strayed from the obvious target, and I paid the price.

The atmosphere was highly unstable, but well capped in my target area.  Cumulus/towering cumulus formed by late afternoon and struggled through most of the daylight hours before finally becoming storms just after sunset.  The storms that I finally landed on in Knox County, Nebraska were only marginally interesting.  Cloud to ground lightning was limited and storm structure was far less than what I have become used to this season.  About the only thing these storms were good for was keeping the no bust 2013 season alive.