Forecast: May 9, 2015

04 May

This time of year, I always keep an eye on the long-range models to see when the next chasing opportunity could present itself. At the current time, I’m particularly interested in the weekend, because that’s the only time that I can chase. For several runs now, the long-range models have been pretty consistent in a somewhat weak trough ejecting into the central plains on Saturday May 9. A few days ago, the speed max was somewhere in the 30-40 knot range, however now that has increased to be above 60 knots per the ECMWF. Both the GFS and ECMWF are in fairly good agreement as to the location and timing of this feature.



If this trend continues, and the surface features line up, this could be a pretty significant day somewhere in Kansas, and possibly Oklahoma and Nebraska. My main question right now is what will happen with moisture return. Currently models are predicting just above 60 degrees right along the dryline. However, this may be sufficient, as surface temperatures are not expecting to top the mid-70s.


Also evident on the above map are backed surface winds, particularly up near the warm front in northern Kansas. If moisture return is sufficient, and the upper trough arrives across the dryline in the late afternoon/early evening hours, this could be an outbreak type of day.

As of now I’m fairly confident that this will be a worthwhile chase, even given the distance from my current location in Indianapolis. The consistency in the models from run-to-run is what increases my confidence. The SPC is also confident enough to have introduced an outlook area in the Day 6 outlook this morning.


I’ll continue to watch the models, and likely won’t make a final decision on whether or not to chase until the day is within the range of the NAM. If it all pans out, I’ll likely leave Indy on Friday afternoon and make it as far west as possible in order to shorten my drive for Saturday.

Stay tuned!


Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Forecasts


3 responses to “Forecast: May 9, 2015

  1. David Byers

    May 4, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Good luck, hope you can find some beauties without any building damage. Thanks for the update. I’m in Houston, so if u think you’ll ever have to travel this far south, let me know and I’ll buy your dinner or some gas money if u let me sit in the back and absorb all your weather and tornado knowledge as your on the hunt. I’ve got a weekend place in Grimes county Texas. I’ve seen a couple funnel clouds working hard to form but no ground contact. This was about 2 weeks ago. Lots of rain, some hail, really high winds. I’ve seen a few trees blown over so I know the winds have been exceptionally high. There’s been several tornadoes sighted down south across this state in the last couple of weeks. I’ve seen some fairly nice funnel clouds on various weather channels down here. Good luck.

  2. Matt Hunt

    May 5, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    David, I’ll actually be in Sugar Land in June. A little late to be that far south, I think, but if there are any storms on the weekend while I’m there (even if they’re further north), I’ll be chasing them!

    • David Byers

      May 5, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      Ok, send me an email the weekend u come down IF the weather looks active. I can drive if u need a chauffeur. If we see some tornadoes or some sweet weather action I’ll treat you to one of the best steak houses in Houston if u like. Taste of Texas. Check out their website. I understand, it’s June and a little late for tornadoes this far down south. But maybe the weather might be in your favor. Keep me posted and beautiful pictures by the way.


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