Monday, April 27, 2009

4/26 Fail

Well, I knew there wouldn't be much going on yesterday with the way things were trending. I got off work around 2:00 and came home trying to convince myself to head out. I talked to Rich Gudmunsen for about an hour talking about what was going on. Around 3:00 we ended our conversation and I realized it was pretty much a bust from Minnesota through Texas (except for a few small areas and select chasers). No cap over pretty much the entire risk area=bad day. But, still, I couldn't resist the temptation to head south for the extremely outside chance something happens in southern Minnesota. I head south around 5:00 pm (I know, most people were already on their way home by then), figuring its only a 90 minute drive to Albert Lea, plus there were a couple other local chasers in the area, if nothing else I'll have dinner and complain about the setup with them. I get a message from Brian Howell saying that if I head out, he wouldn't mind teaming up since he was right on my way south. We make it as far south as Owatonna when we see rain starting to blob up along the Iowa/Minnesota border, any hope gone now. But we meet up with John Wetter in the Cabela's parking lot and shoot the shit for a while waiting for Andy Revering and his wife to get to Owatonna and get some food. Head over to Famous Dave's, Joel Lampe, Tony Perkins, and Scott (not sure what his last name is) meet us there. Have dinner, get a call from Rich talking about the MD for quote "Brief tornadoes and damaging wind gusts". WTF?!? Seriously? But 10 mintues the entire MD area is blobbed out with rain too. Make it home by 10:00, nothing to really report except I got my tethering plan activated and it worked fine, ran GPS on Spotter Network which worked fine, one thing I realized is that I need to get a USB port before my next chase, it'd be nice to be able to use my mouse. Other than that, some fine tuning my laptop and dash cam mounts. Also need to pick up an external antenna for better cell signal.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

4/26 Surprise day in MN/IA?

Thanks to the guys over at for catching my attention about tomorrow, I hadn't even noticed it. So, the helicities look awesome, nice jet streaks, dews look good assuming that nothing happens to the return, but we are supposed to be under clouds/rain pretty much all day. However, GFS shows a little area of clearing across SW/SC Minnesota later in the afternoon (hopefully its not post-frontal) so if that happens and we get a little heating, we may have just enough instability to spark off a storm. If that happens, watch out! But, if we dont get any heating, all these nice dynamics are just a waste. But, I'll stay semi optomistic, both GFS and WRF show LI's getting down to -2 by afternoon and GFS shows MLCAPE around 1000 joules for southern MN, which, when combined with mostly uncapped air, should be more than adeqaute to get something going. But, I have seen the ill effects of uncapped air, and all you get is a giant blob which is the fear of many about tomorrow. Will be keeping a close eye on satellite, and if it looks good, it will be my first official chase of '09 (yes, I did attempt to chase the sub-severe line in east central Minnesota yesterday...and failed, but that's a different story). Eyes to the skies tomorrow, work till 2:00 but after that, anything goes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Possible severe wx this week?

Right now it seems there is the possibility of some severe weather later in the week for us here in the upper Midwest after a LOOONG winter. However, the GFS (Good For Shit) and WRF (What The Fuck?) models have been very consistent at being inconsistent. Neither have any handle on what this pattern is going to do. Needless to say we will see a warm up throughout the week, but at this point that's about all we really know. Both models show temps close to 80 on Thursday and Friday with dewpoints climbing to the mid to upper 50's by Friday. But, with the gulf not open yet, and the transport of that moisture being relatively slow, I really doubt the return of the moisture by Friday, atleast to the extent the models show. However, if we can get that kind of return, it could yield CAPE to over 1000 j/kg which is sufficient for this time of year. The thing is, shear doesn't look to be the greatest if this setup actually happens. Probably just some hailers at best. Will it be enough to get me to call in for the day off from work? We'll see. We need the models to actually agree on something before we make any plans.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Extremely Dry

The last couple of days have been extremely dry here in Minnesota with relative humidities dipping down to the single digits while temps are in the 60's. Taken with a grain of salt, the AWOS in Blaine reported a dewpoint of 3 degrees with a temp in the 60's and an RH of 9% yesterday. So, with this dry weather, and the dead grass that is just waking up from the winter, fire concerns are on the rise. Today a large (large for Minnesota standards) grass fire burned 100 acres in the southwest Twin Cities metro this afteroon. It only took about 3 hours to get the fire under control but fires dont happen too often in Minnesota. Current reports say that the fire was started by a resident burning leaves in his yard when it got out of control and quickly spread, threatening neighborhoods in Shakopee, although I dont think any damage was actually done. The same threat should develop tomorrow, Red Flag Watch in effect for areas west of the metro, and Red Flag Warnings in effect for southwest Minnesota. But the conditions should improve by the weekend with some possible much needed rain.

Long range forecast: GFS has continued to show a system toward the 9-10 day time period with some noticeable dynamics. Its waaay too far out to go in to detail, and for all we know the models may change it to a snowstorm, but right now it definately catches the eye.

Monday, April 13, 2009

10 day GFS

I know I said recently that the GFS was showing a nice warming trend and that the GFS had been pretty good with verifying these trends. But, the last warming trend I mentioned was gone with the next model run. However, I think I can redeem myself this time. Once again the GFS shows a warming trend, and with that trend still being shown now within the 180 hour window, I think there is a little better chance it will actually happen. Although it doesnt look like we will get any severe weather in Minnesota between now and the end of the 10 day period it does look like we could be enjoying above normal temps, especially towards the second half of April if this forecast verifies. But other than possible warmer temps there isnt a whole lot to talk about. I dunno, maybe mother nature is saving a big show for us in June. Who knows, maybe not, but gotta stay optomistic somehow. Atleast I'll be done with school by the second week of May this year.

I guess there is one other thing I have to mention. After debating all winter long how to mount my laptop in my car, I finally decided to say to hell with spending well over $100 for someone else to build me one, I'm going to figure it out myself. So, with next to no knowledge of what I was doing, I began building. 5 days later, it's still not done. But, the only thing I have left to do is figure out how to get some extra support to keep it from shaking to much. I really dont think Ford Focus' were meant to have laptop mounts built in them, but I will try. Anyone have any suggestions for some more support? Let me know and I will post some pics and my design to give you an idea of what I'm working with. Other than that, I have it all built, even an arm to swivel from passenger to driver side.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sister's new dog and ShamWOW guy has a run in with the five-o

My sister and her husband got a new dog a couple of weeks ago from a breeder in Windom, MN. Its a young pug, and as is with all pugs, its so ugly its cute. Its about 10 weeks old, 3.5 lbs, and the size about of about half my fore-arm. When she's awake she's running all over the place, but give her about 15 minutes and she'll be asleep. After some drama with the breeder making a major bonehead mistake, my sister and her husband are the rightful owners of the dog. So, here's a couple pics:

Me and peanut

Peanut sleeping in my mom's arms:

I couldn't resist this. We've all seen the "ShamWOW" infomecials the last couple of years, so this story was just hilarious. Vince Offer (not his real name I guess) was arrested in the South Beach, FL area for apparently beating a hooker. Its not so much the story that is funny (well, ok, the fact that its the Shamwow guy is pretty funny) but the best part is by far his mug shots.

After the incident and apparently meth as well:

Sorry, I couldnt help it ;)

Weather: Zonal flow= boring weather, but then again I guess that means no snow for a few days. Im starting to have haunting memories of last year's spring.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Old man winter can kiss my @$$!

So, winter doesnt want to go away. Good thing is that it looks like the heaviest snow will stay south of the cities down towards the MN/IA border, but we could still pick up 2-5 inches of snow here. Blizzard warnings in effect for portions of Nebraska and South Dakota, winter storm watches in effect for parts of southern Minnesota and northern Iowa which will likely be upgraded to warnings soon. Snow should start as rain/snow tomorrow morning/afternoon in Minnesota and last through the afternoon on Sunday becoming all snow by evening Saturday. I dont want to get too detailed right now because I really dont want to talk about snow, but areas near the IA/MN border could pick up more than a foot of heavy, wet snow.

The bright side is that looking at the 10 day GFS forecast, it looks like we will warm up towards the end of the period. Its waaay to far away to talk about how warm, but the GFS has been pretty good so far in verifying the warming trends. If it does verfiy the way it looks right now, we may have some chasing weather by mid April.

A quick update on the Red River flooding. The river crested last week at ~40.5 ft and has since receded to ~35 ft but with the recent snow expected to melt a second crest is expected which could surpass the crest that occurred last week. I will update once I find out more info about the possible second crest.

Lastly, I have some pics I took in downtown Minneapolis a couple weeks ago, I just haven't gotten around to really go through them yet. So...Check back to check out the pics when I get them posted which I hope will be pretty soon.