Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cass County Chase 5-25-14

It's been a pretty slow start to 2012.  I mean 2013.  I mean 2014.  So, yeah, it's been slow the last couple of years for severe weather season here in ND.  And the last couple of days, we've been under a 'See Text'.  You know you are getting desperate as a storm chaser when you start drooling over the possibility of a "See Text".  And guess what?  Yeah, I went out today.  Fully knowing the following: 1.  Chance for tornado was zero.  2.  Chance for even seeing something severe was marginal at best.  3.  Best I could hope for today was maybe some pea size hail and a shelf cloud.  So when you don't set your expectations too high......hey, I'm desperate even to see some cloud-to-ground lightning at this point.

Normally on a day like today, I check the HRRR model to see what it says.  Unfortunetly, something happened today, and the last usable run from the HRRR was from 4z.  Really wouldn't help me out today.  So instead, I went to the station, chatted with Lisa and checked out the latest RPM model we have at the station.  RPM seems to do pretty good at these weather systems in managing precip and estimated radar.  At the station, we are really lucky to have the RPM as a resource in our weather toolkit.  RPM and HopWRF were pretty accurate today, so west towards Jamestown I went.

I made it to Oriska, and I was greeted with my first storm and thunder of the season, but it really wasn't photogenic.

As I made my way east to Fargo, I was greeted with a little more structure to the storm:

Here shelfy, shelfy, shelfy....

And near Tower City, it got even more shelfy!

As it got closer to Buffalo, that's the best it really got.  After that, whatever structure was there just disappeared.  However, all the farmers working in the fields did make for some photogenic opportunities!

Dust coming off a farmer's field.

More dust!


Ominous looking, but harmless. 

Farmer tilling with smoke in the background. 
You really have to feel for all the farmers in the area, especially out near Spiritwood and Jamestown.  After a pretty good snowmelt this spring, lately it's been so wet they can't even get in the fields to cultivate or plant.  I know the deadline is coming up for many of the farmers for crop insurance to get their fields planted, so it would be nice if they could get a few days of sunny weather with 10 mph wind to dry the fields out so they can get in there and plant.  Days like today won't help matters any.

As I look into the future, there is a system I'm starting to watch for later on into next week.  Not sure if it will pan out, but it's something we're keeping our eyes on.

On the flip side, it was a very good day to test everything out, including some upgrades, so if you ended up watching the live feed today, you _may_ have gotten a glimpse into said upgrades.  More to come later this year....