Tag: south dakota

21 Nov

June 13, 2017 – South Dakota Tornado

stratosigma / Blog, Storm Chasing / / Comments

After a moderately successful chase in the high plains on the 12th, another potential significant day followed. As a closed mid-level low rotated across Montana and Wyoming into the Northern Plains, a trough lagged behind that was forecast to move into the Dakotas during the evening on the 13th. At the surface, a low along the SD/NE border would drift east throughout the day while low 70 dewpoints advected into the warm sector in eastern South Dakota.
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17 May

May 17, 2013 – Winner, South Dakota

stratosigma / Blog, Storm Chasing / / Comments

The 17th was day 1 of a 4 day chase excursion. A broad upper trough was working its way onshore across the western states and this was the first day its influence could be felt in the Plains. I had driven out from Michigan the day before and spent the night in Sioux Falls, SD. The plan was to play south-central South Dakota for the slight opportunity at supercells and maybe a tornado.
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02 Jun

June 2, 2011 – Beautiful South Dakota

stratosigma / Blog, Storm Chasing / / Comments

Ah, to be in South Dakota again! A strong trough was expected to move from the Rockies to the Northern Plains which would nudge the cold front eastward across the western Dakotas providing focus for storms to my north. Meanwhile a warm front draped from North Dakota down into Iowa and Missouri would provide a focus for storms to my east.  I opted to play the cold front as the warm sector would be flooded with ML CAPE near the 4,000 J/Kg range along with strong low level winds and curved hodographs would set the stage for a potentially decent severe weather threat.
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24 May

May 24, 2010 – Howes, South Dakota

stratosigma / Blog, Storm Chasing / / Comments

Well, this was the last day of my chase vacation. After spending the 22nd reveling in tornado outbreak bliss on the northeast side of the state, I was eyeballing the northwest part of the state this day.  The 23rd I spent in Pierre resting as it was my first and only down day of the entire vacation.  The SPC was calling for slight risk across most of the area, however they were outlining a 10% tornado probability across west/central SD into South Central ND.   There was a surface low in the Nebraska Panhandle that was going to lift to the NNE throughout the day and an attendant warm front was supposed to lift along with it and a cold front was forecast to swing eastward through the northern plains in the late afternoon.  This meant much of Western South Dakota would be in the warm sector with nicely backed surface winds, and with temperatures headed for the 90s and dewpoints into the 70s the picture was painted for some serious action in the area.  The only problem:  forecast storm motion was to the NNE at 50 MPH!  This was going to be similar to the speed demons of the May 10th Oklahoma chase.  However, motion to the N/NNE meant chances were high these storms would be parallel to the road network, but if you weren’t on a storm from the beginning, you sure as hell weren’t going to catch up to it.
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22 May

May 22, 2010 – Bowdle, SD

stratosigma / Blog, Storm Chasing / / Comments

After a dismal outing in Wyoming the prior day, I was hoping today would be better.  I felt I was in decent position as storms were a possibility north and south of Valentine, NE.  The common rule of thumb is “when in doubt, go south” meaning if you’re not sure where the best play is for the day, head for the southern end of it.  What I was worried about on the south play was the pretty stout cap that was over Nebraska that I was concerned any storms would form at all.  The cap was looking pretty moderate in South Dakota as well, but not quite as strong.  I also spoke with another chaser and his concern was the cap as well, but we both independently made the decision to head north into South Dakota.  It would pay off big time.
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