STATUS: 24 Mar 2017


The researchers have arrived in Huntsville for the upcoming observing work.

This morning, all of the high-resolution forecast models are showing a band of storms moving into AL tomorrow.  The forecasts vary from a midday passage near Huntsville to an after-dark passage. The uncertainty is huge.  Uncertainty here in AL is normally larger than anything I have experienced in the Plains, but this case is one of the most uncertain I remember.

One thing that looks more certain is storm rotation.  CAPE and the wind profiles look supportive of rotating storms, with the wind shear in the lower atmosphere possibly supportive of a tornado threat.

So… the researchers will meet at 8PM tonight to see if we have a better picture of what will happen tomorrow.  And likely we will meet one more time at 8 AM tomorrow to finalize our “plan-of-the-day”.

Because of the uncertainty, the nighttime mission of the NOAA P-3 “hurricane hunter” aircraft has been cancelled.  There was no way to fly tonight, rest the crew, and take off again at a reasonable time tomorrow.  Instead, the flight is now scheduled to begin at 11 AM tomorrow, and finish by 11 PM.

Because this is our first mission this year, and the weather looks particularly busy, I doubt I will be able to blog tomorrow.  Maybe when the mission wraps up…

Here’s a cool set of pictures from our recent media day.

VORTEX Southeast 2017 media day

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