Gearing up for Chase Season 2022

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It’s almost April, which means it’s that time of year when Convective Season plans are made.

As for me, not much has changed between 2021 and now. I will be in the same vehicle (2015 Subaru Forester) repping Highways & Hailstones gadgets and gizmos, and helping with severe weather operations for KAKE-TV.

Beth and I will be roaming the Plains throughout the Spring and early Summer months, with plans for a week “Chasecation” in May, much like we did last year when we spent a few days in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

The live stream will be up during every chase, so people like you can follow the action and the adventure. Just visit Highwaysandhailstones.com and click on Live Map. Chase logs are so easy using the Highway and Hailstones Mobile App – more on that here. I’ll be Live Streaming using Highways & Hailstones using the setup from 2021, H&H makes it easy to broadcast the whole chase on the Live Map and the same stream goes to my Facebook page!

Beth Bowdoin and Bryce Kintigh scan the skies for rotation last fall in Oklahoma.

So, what do I expect, as far as an active/inactive chase season this year? The hint may be in the ENSO pattern we are firmly situated in.

Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies, courtesy of NOAA.

The NOAA Climate Prediction Center gives a 53% chance of La Nina continuing through the next several months. With a negative anomaly of sea surface temperatures in the equatorial regions, storms may be fewer and far between, but the storm days we have may be bigger.

While La Nina conditions generally favor a drought-like pattern across the Central US, many may remember how active 2007 was, in terms of severe weather. That year was influenced by a strong La Nina off the west coast of South America. While nothing with weather is definitive, all signs point toward a more active Spring than we had in 2021, at least in terms of chasing in Tornado Alley.

The Chase vehicle is gassed up, tires pressures checked, oil is changed. Data cards are charged and activated, just ready for that first chasing opportunity.

The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted a large area of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas with severe weather potential for Tuesday, March 29. In writing this post, my intuition likes an area just east of Woodward, Oklahoma. But, with several days between now and the possible event, many small details will emerge.

The Severe Weather Outlook for March 29, 2022, courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center.


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