Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21

Thread: Slow Start?

  1. #1
    Member kmreid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    74

    Question Slow Start?

    This is my first year of official chasing. I have been studying up and getting advice from veteran chasers for almost two years now. My question is, does it seem like this season has been off to a bit of a slow start for the southern plains states? Maybe I should elaborate...I live in Arkansas and so far this spring has been dreadfully slow and not much activity to be had in my area. I do not chase in Arkansas, but rather in OK and TX for the most part. Is it just my anxiety to get out and chase that is clouding my judgement, or has it actually been a bit on the "inactive" side? I realize that it is only early May and there is still time for things to pick up, but being an Arkansas native, it has been unusually dry and warm around here. I would love the insight of others!
    Kayla Reid
    KF5LPV

  2. #2
    Member Jeff Duda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Norman, OK
    Posts
    1,602

    Default

    So far this year Oklahoma has somewhere close to twice the normal number of tornadoes up to this point in the year. The majority of those occurred in April. I'd say, no, the season has gotten off to a normal or fast start. Perhaps since it's now May and the typical peak of tornado activity in Oklahoma with little activity you are perceiving it as being a slow year.
    M.S. Meteorology, Iowa State University, 2011
    B.S. Meteorology, B.S. Mathematics, Iowa State University, 2009
    storm chasing
    4 km NAM forecast graphics

  3. #3
    Member Sean Ramsey's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Yukon, OK
    Posts
    203

    Default

    I can't speak for others but it seems there has been something to chase for the better part of the spring since mid March. I've had over 12 chase days (had lots of luck on 5% days), and that's only in the Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas areas. If I had chased every 5% day, I'd have a bunch more days under my belt. Right now as far as higher risk days there hasn't been a ton of them, but you can expect a few between now and then end of the month. Later this month the action will move northward, where there are plenty of chases to be had. Hang in there, and if you get the chance to chase a lower risk day take advantage of it.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Broken Arrow, OK
    Posts
    49

    Default

    This year has been fairly active for me. I've been out 5-6 times and have bagged quite a few tornados as of now.
    2013 Stats:
    Total chases: 2 | Miles driven: ~680 | Tornados seen: 2 | No storm busts:
    Wx5uif

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Bentonville, AR
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Gotta say, Kayla, I feel your pain. Every interesting system to come our way has been nocturnal, so it seems like we're in a dead zone locally. Hopefully May will bring some watches/warnings our way and some chase-able daytime events, because sitting at home and watching everybody and their dog score big gets old. I'll be in TX/OK/KS/NE for the next big event, or my year is gonna suck.

    JB

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    104

    Default

    While things may seem normal for early May its certainly not as active as it could be.
    Steven Williams
    Storm Chaser

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Essex - UK
    Posts
    133

    Default

    Seems a normal Tornado Count so far averaged out atm, Skewed obviously by 2 or 3 Notable Outbreaks in the Early Spring/Late Winter Timeframe.

    More worringy going forward is the usual Early to Mid May Dross Pattern Setting Up on the Models and with good cross model agreement on Jet Placement over the next 7-10 days.

    Active end of May yet again ??
    My StormChase Blog Can Be Found At
    http://plainschaser.blogspot.com/
    Please Feel Free To Drop By And Take A Look!

  8. #8
    Administrator Team Skip Talbot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Springfield, IL
    Posts
    3,175

    Default

    This is about how active it normally is. If it seems slow, you're probably a beginner chaser with unrealistic expectations, or restricted to localized chasing.

    From a tornado count perspective, we're above normal:


    Yeah, most of those tornadoes came from two big outbreak days, March 2 and April 14, but that's how it usually goes. You get a few active days and the tornadoes come in spurts. I wouldn't toss those days as outliers.

    From a chasing standpoint, again there have already been a bunch of great chase days in the plains: March 18, April 3, April 9, April 13, April 14. I left March 2 out because it wasn't in the plains, but it was still a huge chase day for many. There were also many other rewarding chase days that featured great supercell structure.

    I think a lot of beginner chasers have unrealistic expectations about how busy or active the seasons are, and expect the season to start abruptly. On May 1, tornadoes do not suddenly swarm the plains. The season gradually builds upon active and non active periods, peaking in the middle of the spring. Unless you have no job and are chasing every single setup, you're going to come away from the season with a handful of tornado days. A couple of those might be photogenic. Cherish them. They are rare. Those who can't make it out to the plains too often or just have a single chasecation will be very lucky to have 2-3 good tornado days (or even 1 if they're out for just a week). A lot of work for a little reward, but that's how it goes.

  9. #9
    Stormtrack supporter Warren Faidley's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Mos Isley Space Port
    Posts
    689

    Default

    I think Skip covered the reality of what to expect. As I was once told by a veteran chaser, there are only a few really good "chase days" in a year. It would be interesting to research past history and see how many good days (chaser-wise) were available for the past 10-15 years. By good days, I mean those days offering a decent forecast and producing one or more tornado intercept opportunities, in daylight with acceptable terrain. I am guessing from past experiences there are somewhere around 8-10 "good or obvious opportunities" per year, somewhere in the US if you are willing or able to travel and be patient.

    As for the season, who knows. As usual, the models this time of year have a difficult time more than 3-4 days out as the transition from winter / spring / summer occurs.

    W.

  10. #10

    Default

    [...I live in Arkansas and so far this spring has been dreadfully slow and not much activity to be had in my area.[/QUOTE]

    You may be on to something for your area: a slight reprieve. Up until a couple of years ago, Arkansas was severely under the gun for significant, long-tracked storms for several springs. And to think just a few years ago, Arkansas had a tornado track for over a hundred miles, an amazing record for them.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •