Alberta Thunderstorms - 2017 season

lightningmanAB
Weather Nut
Posts: 269

Alberta Thunderstorms - 2017 season

Postby lightningmanAB » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:52 am

Alberta Thunderstorms - 2017 season

lightningmanAB
Weather Nut
Posts: 269

Re: Alberta Thunderstorms - 2017 season

Postby lightningmanAB » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:18 am

I am starting to get excited for a potential storm chase on Sunday June 4th. Yesterday a friend noticed that Sunday afternoon was looking interesting in southwestern Alberta along the foothills so I started looking at the models to get a feel for what we might expect. This morning's 12Z model runs looked just as good and it looks like it will be the first serious storm chase for me this year. (A few other Alberta locations already had a couple of severe storms this past week but it was too far for me to drive and I was working).

Here is the dewpoint and lifted index for 3PM Sunday (the orange oval shows the area I am interested in targeting):
NAMWCAN_sfc_dewp_057.png
NAMWCAN_sfc_dewp_057.png (370.87 KiB) Viewed 218 times


Here is the 500mb level wind speeds for the same time. Winds ramp up to 50 knots from the SW:
NAMWCAN_500_spd_057.png
NAMWCAN_500_spd_057.png (170.97 KiB) Viewed 218 times


850mb winds from the east or southeast around 10 knots in my target area. Ideally I would like to see closer to 20 knots but the direction is good for moisture to pool up against the foothills during the afternoon:
NAMWCAN_850_spd_057.png
NAMWCAN_850_spd_057.png (123.12 KiB) Viewed 218 times


Surface air pressure quickly drops along the foothills in southern Alberta during the afternoon in the area highlighted in purple:
NAMWCAN_sfc_temp_057.png
NAMWCAN_sfc_temp_057.png (369.24 KiB) Viewed 218 times


Here is the mixed layer CAPE (about 1200-1500 J/kg in my target area. Surface based CAPE around 1500-2000 J/kg):
NAMWCAN_con_mlcape_057.png
NAMWCAN_con_mlcape_057.png (127.27 KiB) Viewed 218 times

lightningmanAB
Weather Nut
Posts: 269

Re: Alberta Thunderstorms - 2017 season

Postby lightningmanAB » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:46 am

Here is the simulated radar reflectivity for 4pm MDT Sunday afternoon:
(The black outlines signify areas of strong updraft helicity over the previous hour)
NAMNSTNW_prec_radar_058.png
NAMNSTNW_prec_radar_058.png (181.48 KiB) Viewed 217 times


Here is a prog sounding for the area I am targetting:
2017060212_NAM_057_49.64,-113.49_severe_ml.png
2017060212_NAM_057_49.64,-113.49_severe_ml.png (164.08 KiB) Viewed 217 times

The hodograph looks fairly straight and the wind shear looks decent for supercells. If there is a storm split I would want to favour the one that splits to the right.

To me, this doesn't look like a scenario where we would typically see tornadoes in Alberta. I suppose it *could* happen but I would expect to see large hail and perhaps strong winds as the main hazard. Moisture near the surface is lacking somewhat here so I think it is quite unlikely for a tornado. Crops are still too young to have a huge impact on evapotranspiration at this point to expect to see a spike in moisture during the afternoon.
If you look at the ML (mixed layer) values for the LCL (lifted condensation level) it is progged to be 1268 feet and the dewpoint depression is a little on the high side (temp 77F and dewpoint 56F - dewpoint depression: 21F). For a higher tornado risk the LCL should be perhaps 900 feet (or maybe lower?) and of course the dewpoint depression would be smaller.

lightningmanAB
Weather Nut
Posts: 269

Re: Alberta Thunderstorms - 2017 season

Postby lightningmanAB » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:44 pm

A very photogenic tornado took place right by Three Hills Alberta on Friday afternoon. Here is a good video of it:
https://twitter.com/rtt05/status/870791165347479552

Here is an awesome time lapse of it:
https://twitter.com/mikeseidel/status/870896634720399360

This tornado took everyone by surprise because the dewpoint was lower than what one would typically expect for a tornado environment. The storm seems to have interacted with a dryline that was oriented W-E through that area.

lightningmanAB
Weather Nut
Posts: 269

Re: Alberta Thunderstorms - 2017 season

Postby lightningmanAB » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:59 am

Sunday's storm setup gradually got less and less exciting as we got closer to the event. Moisture near the surface was lacking on Sunday afternoon and it seemed like the upper level support was taking its sweet time to reach the southwest area of Alberta. I ended up watching a few thunderstorms NW of Calgary but there was nothing severe where I was watching. We did get a nice dousing of rain over a lot of southern Alberta during the evening and overnight and into Monday morning which should be some good fuel for future storms... I mean... good water for the crops.

Here is the radar estimated precip for the past 24 hours (from XSM):
201706051740_XSM_24_HR_ACCUM_MM.gif
201706051740_XSM_24_HR_ACCUM_MM.gif (46.7 KiB) Viewed 202 times


At the moment Thursday afternoon is looking like a good storm day for southern Alberta but I think it's a little too early for the hype train to be leaving the station.

lightningmanAB
Weather Nut
Posts: 269

Re: Alberta Thunderstorms - 2017 season

Postby lightningmanAB » Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:05 pm

I managed to catch a funnel cloud on Friday evening after work. I went east from Calgary and I was torn between an established storm to my SE and new convection to my north as I was going east. I eventually decided the new convection to my north was the better option.

I am glad I did because I was able to see a funnel cloud form.

Here is a picture with one of EC's radar domes in the foreground:
DB7NdYTVYAE7pFJ.jpg
DB7NdYTVYAE7pFJ.jpg (63.5 KiB) Viewed 186 times


Later I went to the area where the funnel appeared to be and I did not see any damage. It was over an open field so indicators of tornado damage would be hard to spot.

My friend Kyle managed to get a picture from his balcony from downtown Calgary looking north east. The picture looks unreal but it is a real photograph taken with a zoom lens in black and white: https://twitter.com/calgarywxguy/status/873354410822213633

lightningmanAB
Weather Nut
Posts: 269

Re: Alberta Thunderstorms - 2017 season

Postby lightningmanAB » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:15 am

It looks like there will be a minor thunderstorm setup tomorrow late afternoon and evening around the Calgary area and eastwards.

A dryline is expected to develop over the area thanks to winds at the 700mb level beginning to blow from the west across the Rockies at about 20 knots.

Here is where the NAM3KM thinks the dryline will be tomorrow early eve:
NAMNSTNW_sfc_dewp_035.png
NAMNSTNW_sfc_dewp_035.png (656.54 KiB) Viewed 178 times


The NAM3KM also has pockets of 1000+ MUCAPE right along the dryline which is alright for good storms but the bulk shear is only about 15 or maybe 20 knots which is rather weak:
NAMNSTNW_con_mucape_035.png
NAMNSTNW_con_mucape_035.png (58.87 KiB) Viewed 178 times


There was a similar setup on Friday last week where I saw a funnel cloud and I am hoping to catch another one. I doubt any of these storms will go severe though because of the weak wind shear.

It'll be my last storm chase before I head to Vancouver for a couple of weeks.

lightningmanAB
Weather Nut
Posts: 269

Re: Alberta Thunderstorms - 2017 season

Postby lightningmanAB » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:39 am

lightningmanAB wrote:It looks like there will be a minor thunderstorm setup tomorrow late afternoon and evening around the Calgary area and eastwards.

A dryline is expected to develop over the area thanks to winds at the 700mb level beginning to blow from the west across the Rockies at about 20 knots.

Here is where the NAM3KM thinks the dryline will be tomorrow early eve:
NAMNSTNW_sfc_dewp_035.png

The NAM3KM also has pockets of 1000+ MUCAPE right along the dryline which is alright for good storms but the bulk shear is only about 15 or maybe 20 knots which is rather weak:
NAMNSTNW_con_mucape_035.png

There was a similar setup on Friday last week where I saw a funnel cloud and I am hoping to catch another one. I doubt any of these storms will go severe though because of the weak wind shear.

It'll be my last storm chase before I head to Vancouver for a couple of weeks.


After writing this up I noticed my friend Kyle also wrote about tomorrow's setup. You can see his comments here:
https://twitter.com/calgarywxguy/status/874650723450880000

lightningmanAB
Weather Nut
Posts: 269

Re: Alberta Thunderstorms - 2017 season

Postby lightningmanAB » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:25 am

lightningmanAB wrote:
lightningmanAB wrote:It looks like there will be a minor thunderstorm setup tomorrow late afternoon and evening around the Calgary area and eastwards.

A dryline is expected to develop over the area thanks to winds at the 700mb level beginning to blow from the west across the Rockies at about 20 knots.

Here is where the NAM3KM thinks the dryline will be tomorrow early eve:
NAMNSTNW_sfc_dewp_035.png

The NAM3KM also has pockets of 1000+ MUCAPE right along the dryline which is alright for good storms but the bulk shear is only about 15 or maybe 20 knots which is rather weak:
NAMNSTNW_con_mucape_035.png

There was a similar setup on Friday last week where I saw a funnel cloud and I am hoping to catch another one. I doubt any of these storms will go severe though because of the weak wind shear.

It'll be my last storm chase before I head to Vancouver for a couple of weeks.


After writing this up I noticed my friend Kyle also wrote about tomorrow's setup. You can see his comments here:
https://twitter.com/calgarywxguy/status/874650723450880000


EC has a write up about today's setup in their FOCN:
FROM CALGARY SOUTH TO ABOUT FORT MACLEOD, STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO FORM NORTH OF AN EASTWARD-BULGING DRYLINE IN AN ENVIRONMENT OF 750 TO 1000 J/KG MLCAPE WITH ABOUT 20 KNOTS OF SHEAR. AGAIN, LOOPING HODOGRAPHS WILL MAKE THE STORM-RELATIVE SHEAR GREATER AND, IF ANY STORM CAN MOVE ALONG THE DRYLINE FOR A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF TIME, A JUNE 2 THREE HILLS SCENARIO MAY BE IN THE CARDS.

lightningmanAB
Weather Nut
Posts: 269

Re: Alberta Thunderstorms - 2017 season

Postby lightningmanAB » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:52 am

lightningmanAB wrote:
lightningmanAB wrote:
lightningmanAB wrote:It looks like there will be a minor thunderstorm setup tomorrow late afternoon and evening around the Calgary area and eastwards.

A dryline is expected to develop over the area thanks to winds at the 700mb level beginning to blow from the west across the Rockies at about 20 knots.

Here is where the NAM3KM thinks the dryline will be tomorrow early eve:
NAMNSTNW_sfc_dewp_035.png

The NAM3KM also has pockets of 1000+ MUCAPE right along the dryline which is alright for good storms but the bulk shear is only about 15 or maybe 20 knots which is rather weak:
NAMNSTNW_con_mucape_035.png

There was a similar setup on Friday last week where I saw a funnel cloud and I am hoping to catch another one. I doubt any of these storms will go severe though because of the weak wind shear.

It'll be my last storm chase before I head to Vancouver for a couple of weeks.


After writing this up I noticed my friend Kyle also wrote about tomorrow's setup. You can see his comments here:
https://twitter.com/calgarywxguy/status/874650723450880000


EC has a write up about today's setup in their FOCN:
FROM CALGARY SOUTH TO ABOUT FORT MACLEOD, STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO FORM NORTH OF AN EASTWARD-BULGING DRYLINE IN AN ENVIRONMENT OF 750 TO 1000 J/KG MLCAPE WITH ABOUT 20 KNOTS OF SHEAR. AGAIN, LOOPING HODOGRAPHS WILL MAKE THE STORM-RELATIVE SHEAR GREATER AND, IF ANY STORM CAN MOVE ALONG THE DRYLINE FOR A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF TIME, A JUNE 2 THREE HILLS SCENARIO MAY BE IN THE CARDS.


And another update from EC for the area I am targetting:
FROM CALGARY SOUTH TO ABOUT FORT MACLEOD, STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO FORM NORTH OF AN EASTWARD-BULGING DRYLINE IN AN ENVIRONMENT OF 750 TO 1000 J/KG MLCAPE WITH ABOUT 20 KNOTS OF SHEAR. A FEW PULSE STORMS COULD GIVE LARGE HAIL AND HEAVY RAIN IN THIS ENVIRONMENT.


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