Upcoming Storm Chase Tours

 Posted by at 8:25 am on May 26, 2013  Storm Chase Forecast  No Responses »
May 262013

SPC Outlook for Severe Storms Monday

SPC Outlook for Severe Storms Monday

The weather pattern this week is evolving much as it did last Saturday-Monday over the central U.S. Several rounds of severe storms will occur with severe weather expected somewhere in the central U.S. each day through at least Thursday.

With regard to my tours, here’s how it might shake out:


I’m considering a “Quick Shot” one day tour to northeastern Kansas on Monday.  I’ve been watching a streak of jet stream winds which could develop over this area, enough to produce supercell thunderstorms.  There would be ample unstable air in place.

We would leave by late morning Monday and come back in between Midnight and 1 a.m.


While the pattern will be slightly more favorable on Tuesday, it will be a tad farther away. While this would normally trigger a “Lock and Load” tour requiring an overnight stay, I have prior commitments on Wednesday which would likely prevent me from chasing.  Tuesday might change into a “Quick Shot” depending on exactly how the pattern evolves. This would be doable, stay tuned for updates!


Prior commitments, no chasing


These are a way off still but there are pretty good indication of a strong jet stream and unstable air will continue to be in close proximity. Chasing is definitely on the table for these days.

As always, contact me on social media or my e-mail if you are interested in an exciting storm chase tour!


May 262013

Surface Weather Map Early Wednesday

Surface Weather Map Early Wednesday

The weather pattern is warming and becoming slightly more humid as southerly winds persist for at least the next five days.

The rest of the Memorial Day weekend forecast looks this way with perhaps a few scattered storm to contend with especially today.

While some rain is in the forecast, it is not focused by a front or boundary so the timing and location of any rain and/or storms is going to be hard to nail down.  I don’t think more than about 30% of the area will receive rain by the time the day is over.

Most thunderstorms will remain below severe limits today and also with any that pop up on Memorial Day.

There is a chance that a cluster of storms which forms well to the north of the area later this evening would drift southeast into central Missouri and provide some organized storminess for say the Lake of the Ozarks area by this evening and overnight.  Whatever boundary is left behind by that activity will serve to pop more storms on Monday.

As I mentioned, the Ozarks is locked in a pattern of warm, humid southerly flow until further notice. This will mean highs in the eighties and lows in the sixties through the week.  The breeze will be very present each day out of the south with speeds averaging 18-22 mph each afternoon.

We’ll watch as the jet stream increases its strength out west this week and interact with the humid and unstable air mass to produce severe storms.  At first, it seems this activity will stay west of the Ozarks. With time, we may find ourselves a tad closer, enough to at least consider the possibilities of severe storms by later in the week.





Showers Here and There

 Posted by at 7:13 am on May 25, 2013  Daily Weather Blog  No Responses »
May 252013

Radar at 7:10 a.m.

Radar at 7:10 a.m.

The morning radar indicates a few showers west of Springfield. This sort of rain activity can be expected through today and tomorrow.

A warm and somewhat humid flow of air will take over this weekend. While this pattern generally isn’t focusing shower development very well, a few of you might see some rain today or on Sunday. The chance seems to disappear a bit on Monday.

Having said that, there might be a better chance for a cluster of rain and storms to affect areas of upstate Missouri on Sunday afternoon which could provide a wet time for the Lake of the Ozarks area.  What’s left of this activity could focus some scattered showers again on Monday.  It’s a domino effect.  Overall, the Ozarks have, at most, about a  40% coverage of storms at any given time.

Temperatures this holiday weekend will be nice, perhaps a tad cool for late May especially in areas staying in cloud and showers for a time.  Look for highs in the seventies.

The upcoming week will be interesting. Generally, a pattern similar to the start of last week is setting up with abundant humidity building up and a favorable jet stream pattern.  This will likely lead to rounds of severe weather again over the central U.S.  Some of this severe weather will shift toward the Ozarks, especially in the Wednesday/Thursday time frame.

Temperatures next week will get back into the lower and middle eighties.

May 242013


Canadian High Pressure

A wedge of cooler air connected to a high pressure system continues to affect the Ozark today.

This high brought frost to the Great Lakes area this morning and will keep our days on the cool side of average for today once again.

As we head into the weekend, the risk for showers and a few thunderstorms increases.  The rain chance is all in the warm flow side of the same high which has been keeping us cool.  Therefore temperatures will recover but then be controlled more by the areas of showers and the clouds connected to them.

Generally, a return to a breezy and warmer pattern is expected next week.  Around the middle of the week, more shower and storm chances develop. These may eventually pose a severe weather threat but its too early to tell which day or how much activity to expect.

Highs over the weekend will be in the seventies. Eighties will start becoming common next week.



Great May Weather, Next Rain

 Posted by at 11:57 am on May 23, 2013  Daily Weather Blog  No Responses »
May 232013

Morning Weather Map

Morning Weather Map

Our mornings will get just a tad cooler before temperatures in the Ozarks start back upward.

A ridge of higher pressure is controlling our weather on this Thursday morning.  It is giving us cool temperatures with readings in the lower fifties.  It is also keeping showers and storms, including a batch in central Oklahoma, at bay and this effect will continue through Friday.

On Friday, the high will settle in at its closest to the Ozarks therefore our lows will drop briefly into the upper forties on Friday morning.

As for the days, today and Friday are looking great with sunshine in abundance. 

Over the weekend, the winds will start to pick up out of the south on the back side of the retreating high. This will mean warmer temperatures for the Ozarks.

There are hints of shower and thunderstorm activity over the weekend.  It doesn’t look focused and I can’t see it as a plan-changer for outdoor activities at this point. The activity that does pop up doesn’t look severe.

Next week looks warm as high temperatures will return to the eighties. The computer models differ somewhat on the progression of a storm aloft out west.  This might bring mid-week rain and storm chances to the area but there is a lot of uncertainty on timing and placement

May 222013

Morning Weather Map

Morning Weather Map

An area of high pressure will keep us dry for a few days and on the slightly cool side of typical May weather.

This high will come in behind the series of fronts seen on the map this morning.

This will provide the Ozarks a stretch of high temperatures staying in the seventies. Less humidity as well.

The high will move off later in the weekend and start a warm up. The warmer temperatures will be delayed a bit by the development of more showers and a few thunderstorms arriving over the weekend.

I don’t see much of a severe weather potential with the next batch of thunder.

Our highs really get a boost starting on Sunday when eighties come back.

This warmer pattern of weather featuring eighty degree temperatures will come back for all of next week.


May 212013

The radar view once we settled in on the hill

The radar view once we settled in on the hill (white circle)

The Moore/Oklahoma city was the single most devastating storm I have tracked while storm chasing!  I sit here the next day thinking about the destruction and loss of life caused by the storm and I still get a bit weak.

I’m writing this blog from a storm chasing perspective.

When you set out to chase storms, lots of factors need to be considered.  The one I wrestled with yesterday was seeing the incredible signature on radar, knowing it was a low-to-the-ground tornado and realizing it was likely tearing apart the towns it was striking, how do you chase?  My answer was: you don’t!  Not in this situation.

If we had come up from the south or west, it would have been different.  The tornado developed over open areas with good visibility at the start.  Here’s one video (although still way too close for a tour group!):

When it comes to the safety of guests, I wasn’t willing to drive into a relatively unknown metropolitan area to chase this storm. I actually think we would have been successful at seeing this monster tornado had we decided to drive in. But with regular traffic, gawkers,  emergency vehicles, flying debris (it goes farther than most people realize, the day will come when a chaser is hurt or killed by this!) and the unknowns about the exact size of the storm, it was a conscious decision not to chase any closer.

We decided to wait for the storm to come to us.  We spent a lot of time searching for a safe spot with a good view. But as I found out last year, the area east of the Oklahoma City area is much like the Ozarks, lots of hills and a surprising number of trees.  It took us about a half hour.  We ended up on a hill which provided a great vantage point but in a surreal twist we were just on the southern edge of the path of the tornado which struck Shawnee the day before!

The idea was to watch the tornado pass safely to our north. Fortunately, the violent tornado lifted. We saw the storm, tracked the weaker circulation and watched in pass to our north.

During the entire time coming down from Missouri through Oklahoma, the focus was on the science of severe weather forecasting.  We talked about things such as dew point depressions, helicity, old outflow boundaries, CAPE (a measure of unstable air), the dry line, jet stream winds and rotation cuplets on radar.

My tours are about the science of forecasting severe thunderstorms, tracking their development, explaining what is happening and staying safe!  Seeing a tornado is a great experience, I strive to do it, but it has limits.

Here’s a bit of video leading to our hill top perch:


May 212013

Rain Areas South Today

Rain Areas South Today

After days of a severe weather threat, we will start to quiet down in the Ozarks.

Today however, there is still a risk of some rain and storm areas in the southern portion of the Ozarks.  The severe weather risk is low today with more of that type of weather staying south of the Ozarks.

Expect our weather to improve over the next few days. A high pressure system will nose in enough to keep showers and storm to our south.  This effect may brake down a bit by Friday when some scattered activity may pop up.

Into the weekend, highs will climb back into the eighties.

I am coming off of a couple of days of storm chasing which can be pretty exhausting. There are lots of blogs and comments I have to make and these will come out slowly today including my personal experience with the violent tornado yesterday in Moore, Oklahoma.  That storm sickened me and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in that area.



More Storms/Heavy Rain Today

 Posted by at 11:47 am on May 20, 2013  Daily Weather Blog  No Responses »
May 202013

Moderate Risk for Severe Storms Today

Moderate Risk for Severe Storms Today

This morning we have a line of weaker rain and storms draped over the Ozarks. This will influence where more powerful storms will fire later today.

The bands of rain will continue mainly to the north of I-44 this morning. Heavy rains may lead to some flash flooding especially in areas which received the heaviest rain last night including Newton, Jasper, Barton, Dade and Lawrence Counties.

Any storms which developing later in the afternoon during peak heating will likely be severe. Outflow boundaries will have to monitored for enhanced severe potential.  Much of the area is under a moderate risk of severe storms today. An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.

Storms are expected to fire to the southwest of us in Oklahoma. These would not make in in to the Ozarks until late this evening.

Rainfall Projection Today and Tuesday

Rainfall Projection Today and Tuesday

Everyone should be on the lookout for severe storms today.  There will be an enhanced flash flooding threat in some areas which will really become a threat later tonight.  A flash flood watch is in effect for much of the area.  Some areas could pick up 3-4″ inches of rain in addition to what has already fallen.



May 192013

Probability of a Tornado Within 25 mi of a Point for Later Today

Probability of a Tornado Within 25 mi of a Point for Later Today

Starting with later this evening, the Ozarks will experience several bouts of severe thunderstorms and heavy flooding rain potential.

This morning, a band of showers is drifting into extreme western Missouri. This is left-over activity from severe weather in the Kansas last night. It is behind a cool air outflow and may pose a small hail or wind threat during the morning hours.

Most of the day will warm, humid and breezy.

Supercell thunderstorms are expected to develop in central/eastern Kansas and Oklahoma by late afternoon and spread eastward, affecting areas of western Missouri and northwest Arkansas by evening.  Large hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes are expected with this batch storm storms.

The Storm Prediction Center has upgraded all of western Missouri to a 15% tornado probability.  This is a percentage chance of a tornado within 25 miles of where you live.

As is typical, the storms are expected to form more of a line by later in the evening and move deeper into the Ozarks. The line will still be severe at this point with the same threats.  Into the overnight hours, it will tend to weaken much as last night’s activity is weakening this morning.

Springfield will see a threat for severe storms in the 10 pm to 1 am time frame.

A large heavy rain area will set up behind the line during the evening hours. 1-2 inch rain totals are possible with this activity later tonight.

On Monday, this will all repeat itself, perhaps more centered over the Ozarks.  A moderate risk for severe storms exists for this day.

This will be a period where I strongly  encourage you to watch for the latest developments!  I’ll continue to update the situation.