I’ve been watching the GFS signals for this Thursday (19 March 2015) flicker on & off for the past week. It’s nice to see a thin glimmer of hope for tomorrow. Moisture is forecast to move up to the Red River with dew points around 60 degrees. Lapse rates aren’t so great, and NAM and GFS vary on the degree of instability from 250-500 j/kg for GFS and up to 1000 j/kg from NAM. A cold front will sag southward and into this area of instability with storms firing as it forces its way into the warm sector. A shortwave trough over the southwest will feed 40-50 knot H5 winds over the area. So this leads to the possibility for some severe storms with a lot of caveats—especially marginal instability and an undercutting cold front.
18Z NAM shows 0-3 km Helicity maximized up to 250-350 m2/s2 narrowly along the cold front near the triple point at 00Z in the vicinity of Childress. 0-1km SRH is localized and probably barely worth noting near the triple point in the 50-100 m2/s2 range. 18Z GFS is much more conservative and also points further east—south of Wichita Falls. Obviously wouldn’t mind NAM’s optimism working out moreso than GFS at this point and I’m planning to give it a shot just in case. I’m planning to head out of Elk City with an initial target of Vernon, TX by early afternoon.