Sunday, June 26, 2005

sitting idly...

the reason i'm here at home blogging instead of out chasing is because i'm moving on tuesday. i have to finish packing and whatnot, so the only way i'll be able to go out chasing over the next couple of days is if it involves something fairly close to winnipeg--what's often called a spot chase or a gentleman's chase. (i'm not trying to be sexist--that's what it's called.)

today my target changed a bit, but had i gone chasing i would have been in the right general area and would have had time to make it there. it's now clear that the area south of jamestown, nd is primed for supercells--possibly tornadic. there's a warm front lifting slowly northward through the area. with peak heating and abundant moisture and shear, well, things should blast off in extraordinary fashion. in between taping up boxes i'm coming back to my computer to check and see if it has gone yet. as of this writing, the first storm seems to be going east of mobridge, sd, just south of the warm front. as soon as it hits the front it could do one of two things: it could either cross the front and keep going, becoming slightly elevated and maybe a hail producer, or it could turn hard right and have a tornado on the ground for 2 hours.

another area of potential concern is, oddly enough, the southern red river valley. cirrus blowoff from overnight convection has limited the amount of sunshine over southern manitoba, but despite that, temperatures have still made it into the mid-20s, providing for a very healthy 2000 j/kg of sbcape. locally backed winds due to i don't know what could provide enough shear for any storm that pops up to become a supercell with a chance of low-level rotation. we're not talking long-lived tornadic supercells here--at least i don't think we are. not like in southeastern north dakota, anyhow.

i have to keep reminding myself that we're not yet even at the peak of the traditional season around here--we're still in the early stages! actually the first sign of approaching the peak season came to me today--i smelled the evapotranspiration from canola crops when i went outside. if you don't know what it smells like, let me try to describe it to you: it's sort of like an inoffensive, slightly sweet skunk smell. i'm not kidding. when we're out on the road and encounter it (and trust me, we will!) you'll decide for yourselves what it smells like to you. but i like my description.

whatever its description, it means the moisture is here to stay. bring on the storms!


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