Storm Chase 2019 Blog (6/4) - Day 3 - Storm threat shifts south

Ryan Hoke’s chase continues into the South Plains

Ryan Hoke's 2019 Great Plains Storm Chase - Day 2 Recap (6/3)

LIBERAL, Kan. (WAVE) - Yesterday’s chase was quite memorable as we intercepted storms near Springfield, Colorado that chased us all the way toward Ulysses, Kansas. Near Springfield we did have a tornado-warned storm with some hefty rotation, but as expected all of this activity congealed into a large complex of storms with very strong outflow winds before it could produce a tornado. In the process of keeping up with the large shelf cloud ahead of these storms we witnessed at least three separate gustnadoes. A gustnado is not a tornado, but rather a spin up of dust and some light debris that happens in the outflow of a thunderstorm. Typically a gustnado isn’t connected to the cloud above, which further solidifies the non-tornado designation it carries. Check out the video above to see what those gustnadoes looked like.

Today our target area shifts to the south somewhat, but there’s a chance Southeast Colorado could once again be in play since moisture and shear won’t be entirely depleted there. West Texas and Eastern New Mexico are options as storms will form over the higher elevations of New Mexico and spread eastward into West Texas, but that may not happen until later in the evening closer to dark or thereafter. While the very best moisture and instability will likely be south of Fort Stockton, TX closer to the Big Bend of Texas and the Mexican border, that area down there is quite bad for storm chasing due to a lack of road options. It may make sense to stay further north closer to where OK, TX, NM, and CO meet up since the higher elevations in this area can offset some of the lower moisture values.

HRRR simulated radar output for 6pm CDT Tuesday
HRRR simulated radar output for 6pm CDT Tuesday

The Storm Prediction Center is in lock-step with this assessment as they have a Slight Risk of severe for parts of New Mexico and Texas and a 2% tornado risk that goes all the way north to Southeast Colorado within the Marginal Risk up there.

SPC's Tornado Risk for Tuesday
SPC's Tornado Risk for Tuesday

Be sure to keep up with my storm chase today by following my social media accounts...

And of course at select times during our evening newscasts on WAVE 3 News this upcoming week I’ll be streaming video of our chase when possible. Daily (shorter than this post!) updates right here on the WAVE 3 Weather Blog (bookmark this link) will be available as well.

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