Sunday, July 22, 2007

The End of Trip 5

Well, it is over. What a horrible weather trip. I will have more to say concerning the weather of the last week when I get home. For now, just know that from a storm chaser's perspective it was very dissapointing. Nothing came together at all. No storms were ever good viewing storms, if they fromed during the day at all which most of the time, they didn't.

Thursday the storms were east of the shear. Friday it was capped and nothing formed till way after dark. Saturday, the cap persisted and although it was close, no storms ever fromed. Look at the 00Z sounding out of Bismarck. Great shear, lots of CAPE but low level CIN that was too much to overcome.

Nat to say that the trip was all bad. I thought the people were great. We didnt drive too much. We will have put on less than 5000 miles, probably more like 4750, which for going to west of Edmonton is not bad at all. And we did see the Rockies. It was beautiful.

I would have posted pictures but I really didn't take any. I mean I have some people pics and pics of the terrain, but no storms. I will post those on our web site later.

All in all, while not the worst weather of a chase, certainly, it ranks among the lowest.

To end on a positive note, there were good moments of analysis and I am very proud of the group and they way they did their morning analysis.

That is gamble and this year, the atmosphere wasn't even dealing.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Day 7/8

Did I say I was optimistic?

what a crappy pattern. the worstof my fears had been realized this week. Stupid large eastern Trojgh just kept brinign in more and more dry air. yesterday was as frustrating as it gets. Flow finally becomes good but the surface features pusheast ahead of it. Lots of storms but nothing good at all. All of them near SK border which wasnot under the flow.

It seemes that the wave moved in bodily rather than having a real baroclinic shortwave. Saw some good lightning but not good for photos.

Or at least not when we were there.

Today is hot and capped. No wave to start things off although a little better in surface features.

There is some hope for tomorrow, just not much.

Did i say i was pessimistic?

Actually...tomorrow could be the only day with storms then we go home. d prog/dt is looking better. That sounded optimistic didnt it?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Day 5/6

Well it is almost 12:30 Alberta time. Today was pretty lame. Drove to Rocky Mountain House and had lunch and saw some pretty areas and played with a turkey and saw a couple of weird animal including a mix of a zebra and a pony.

If I made a bad call it was hoping that storms would make it to the Drayton Valley area. storms that formed stayed tucked in around the mountains and didn't come out to the more plain-like areas. It was tough because it felt like storms were close and at the same time, just too far in the middle of roadless areas. So after a softball game in Entwistle (8-8 tie:-) we headed back to Red Deer. Stayed thre last night and will probably stay there again tomorrow night. Nice and relatively affordable Holiday Inn Express. Had dinner at Moxies and while there, Jim Booth reported some storms coming close to us. As it turned out storms finally came off the mountains at dark. We drove a few miles west of town and watched a good shelf cloud. Strong winds came through with a lot of blowing dust. Back at the hotel, we got some pea-sized hail. And now we just listen to the rain and thunder enjoying the storms in the high plains.

Tomorrow looks a little better with at least as much instability, but better low-level flow. Will there be residual boundaries? Not sure. Mid-level flow is still pretty pathetic but a few better storms might be possible. We will probably go to Banff and Lake Louise tomorrow.

Thursday looks interesting as the upper trough finally moves into Alberta with 50kt plus winds forecast to be from the south. Low-level flow is a little too southerly but there should be adequate shear for a few supercells. Friday looks text book in the mid and upper levels...we just need to have low-level winds remain backed (as they could in the valley) and good enough convergence to initiate storms. Sustained storms whould easily become supercellular with a good chance for tornadoes.

still pretty in Canada and still optimistic!

Trip 5 Day 4/5

Can I tell you two things that I have figured out? Canada is big and ridges stink!

Yesterday, we left Moose Jaw, SK at 8:10 AM (CDT) which is really early. we stopped for data at Medicine Hat and got lunch there as well. Then we drove until we got north of Calgary near the towns of Caroline, Olds and others. Were there storms? Yes. Saw a bog wall cloud over the mountains. We thought things would move off and be good. but they didnt. Everytime a storm formed and moved off it would die a horrific death. As we saw in the 00Z sounding near Edmonton, there was a subsident near surface layer that basically capped everything badly. No CAPE. Just air that convected on the mountains and then death. Have I told you I hate ridges?

We came to Red Deer and just had fun. I wish I could say that today looked good but I would be lying. winds are worse and the omega block ridge just persists. Thursday looks like flow actually enters AB and we hope that is a good day. Friday everything moves out in a big way but we are not sure how the surface will truly respond.

Did I tell you I hate ridges?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Trip 5 Day 3

What a silly day yesterday. we drove from Carrington to Minot where we had lunch. We had given up on the idea of heading *really* far north (which was good) and so tried to find a place to stay. There are no hotels in southern SK. If anyone wants to make money, put some hotels in this region. Same in South Dakota. We finally stayed at a hotel in, you guessed it, Minot. It was ok beside the A/C not really working. Good little restaurant called Ebenezer's in downtown Minot. Had fun at least. Played go-carts which was fun. And we didnt just drive around.

Have I told you I hate big ridges. That ridge jsut won't go away. The only real hope of breaking it down doesnt happen until Friday. So we try to find little waves in NW flow which aint easy. There is a little surface low across west central SK that is tracking southeast. Hopefully, we can get some surface based convection near that low. Now to find that proverbial needle.

Sigh. Got to get the flow over the Rockies.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Trip 5 Day 2

Well, we saw a storm yesterday. Pretty storm in some ways although not great structure. High-based and elevated, it had some good lightning and our view was terrific. Nice double rainbow (only an R0) and we ended up in Carrington. All in all, an easy drive day (except for traffic NW of MSP) and a good food day. Great little diner (Moe's) in Osseo, WI, and Space Alein's Cafe in Fargo. Played a little darts in Carrington at the Chieftan Bar and Grill.

We had thought about heading north toward Lloydminster SK but the low-end possibility after 12 hours of hard driving just seemed to be more than we should worry about. we will be looking at SW MB and SE SK and maybe even ND tomorrow and AB sometime after that. So we are analysing and waiting for the 12Z WRF to come out and then figure out where in Canada we will head today. Maybe Brandon.


BTW...yesterday in southern MB, dews started in the low 50's. With NW winds (meaning no Gulf moisture) dews in some places went into the 70's.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Trip 5 Leaves

Friday morning 7:30. Three vehicles left COD...a 12-passenger van and two full-sized SUV's filled with 19 people and a lot of luggage. There is no way we could do 18 people in 3 SUV's. No room. Can't wait for new vans.

We are hopeful about this week even if the first couple of days are not that exciting. Been a real big ridge over the central Prairies and residual NW flow furth east. Shear is good but annoying with surface northerly winds and very dry air. Ironically, there is a slight risk over ND/MN today...2% tornado prob. Wouldn't it be hilarious if we saw something today? We are headed to Fargo and will be there early enough if storms are in the area. Very funny. We will see!

More later.