Thursday, October 25, 2012

Not even a lightning strike

We got to Eau Claire and it was cloudy, drizzly and about 20 degrees.  Close to the warm sector.  After a lunch stop, we decided to drop south to La Crosse, where it turned out to be about 23/18.  Not bad but, unfortunately, too cloudy--and therefore the cap wasn't able to break.

We were, however, able to call the chase relatively early (6 PM) because darkness came on so early.  A silver lining, I suppose, to that cloud.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October chase possible? Really?

I'm going to be in Minnesota tomorrow, visiting. The visit is totally unrelated to chasing, but it appears I may have something to chase tomorrow.

No, really, I'm serious.

Here's the setup.

Moisture: it's looking pretty good.  I checked the current obs, and there's already a 64F (18C) dewpoint in northeastern Iowa.  Don't believe me?  Have a look-see.

And by tomorrow afternoon it's forecast to only get better, both at 850 and at the surface.

And as a result, the instability is forecast to be very good.

3000 J/kg?  In October?  I'll take that in June!
How about the upper winds and therefore shear?

Plentiful.  Combine that with good low-level veering and that would give a fairly chaseable storm motion of around 20 knots.

So, what to do?  Here's a prog sounding for the region, around 4 PM.

There are 2 negatives I can see for this case.  First off, it's not the best chasing territory; that part of the world tends to be rather hilly and treed, with not as many navigable, straight roads as in the plains.  Second, it's October, so that means sunset will be around 7 PM--not a huge window of daytime opportunity.

If this setup holds, it looks like we will be going for a target of Eau Claire and watching things develop.  Wish us luck!