Hurricane Ian is (Almost Certainly) a Disaster

As of this morning, Hurricane Ian is a major category 3 hurricane. Depending on when you read this newsletter, it may have strengthened into a category 4 by later today. Almost all signs are now pointing to this storm being a major hurricane when it comes ashore on the western coast of Florida in the next 48-72 hours. Currently the structure of Ian has improved considerably, with maximum sustained winds of 125mph and a minimum central pressure of 950mb as of the morning NHC update. Thanks for reading Tornado Titans Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support…

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Tropical Trouble Ahead? (9/19/22)

We wrote in a newsletter towards the end of August that the tropics would heat up somewhat heading into September, and that is exactly what is happening. Hurricane Fiona should continue to strengthen as it moves north and then northeast in the coming days — and while Fiona shouldn’t threaten the continental U.S., it has left a wake of damage in the Caribbean including heavy damage and flooding in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.   The current tracked hurricanes/tropical storms and tropical waves (marked by Xs) in the Atlantic. As Fiona moves north into the open ocean, the area…

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Marginal threat of severe weather this week!

As the pattern turns, so we turn with it!It looks like there are a series of Marginal risks late this week for the Plains. The low-levels will be pretty dry, so the main threats with any cells should be damaging winds. Hail is also a possibility in the stronger cells.Severe weather threat today.Severe weather risk area outlined for tomorrow (9/15).The SPC risk area for Friday (9/16).The Pattern Evolution In The Next Two WeeksOverall, looking at the jet stream pattern these next two weeks, the pattern should progress in a couple of stages:The current batch of W/SW flow fueling severe weather…

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I’d Chase These Three Regions The Rest of My Life If I Had To

I’ve been storm chasing for nearly 20 years and I’ve chased a lot of places across the country! For this completely biased, unscientific, but personally preferred list — I chose the three places I have tended to see more storms that produce tornadoes + good storm structure. I tend to lean more into tornadoes than I do storm structure as something I am after (though I will never complain about interesting storm structure!). So my list is biased towards that! My three favorite places are all on the central/southern Plains, and I honestly took some liberties to create some pretty…

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Dust Bowl Storm Chasing! – April 22, 2022 Texas Panhandle

My 2022 storm chase season began in the Texas Panhandle on April 22. A trough with strong winds aloft was passing overhead, but that also created strong southerly winds at the surface. With strong drought conditions present, that created a dusty mess of a day which made chasing storms…difficult. Still, despite what I thought were a little too dry low-levels and so-so shear until sunset — the SPC issued a 5% tornado risk and I decided to give it a go. The day was a tough one to chase, but the ending scene at blue hour was one I’ll remember…

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Monster EF-4 Tornado Near Solomon, Kansas!

Sometimes a storm chase is completely and utterly unexpected in what it produces. On this day, there was a weak MCV in northern Kansas but no other real indications that something incredibly powerful could take shape. In fact, the best tornado risk on this day was shaded south in southern Kansas. Still, Titans Eugene Theiszen and Jason Caster waited patiently in northern Kansas near Solomon as a supercell took shape. Over the next three hours or so, they’d witness a storm produce a long-track, monster wedge tornado that was on the ground for nearly 90 minutes. This tornado was rated…

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The Tropics Awaken

You would be forgiven if you did not know that it was hurricane season, given that we haven’t had any activity so far this month. Getting through August without much more than a whisper is like tornado season moving through April with little activity. It can and does happen, but it’s more rare. But September is the historical peak of the season and it does look like the tropics are beginning to light up right on cue.Thanks for reading Tornado Titans Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.There are currently four areas the NHC is…

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Is tornado alley shifting? How June tornado activity is changing…

What you need to know: There have been a few studies done about the changing frequency of tornadoes and tornado-favorable environments in the country, showing a notable shift to the east for the most active regions. So is tornado alley shifting? A big reason why tornado environments seem to be less common on the Plains, aka traditional Tornado Alley, could be because June has seen tornado activity plummet. A more inconsistent season: Overall, activity on the Plains (classified as OK/TX/KS/CO/NE for this video) seems to have plummeted for June over the last decade. Typically this has been because a ridge…

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Las Vegas Flash Flooding From A Monsoon Storm! August 11, 2022

Tornado Titan Jason Caster is in the southwest documenting the 2022 monsoon season across southern Nevada! Flash flooding during the Southwestern Monsoon is a real danger, especially in urban areas like Las Vegas, NV. Here, a heavy thunderstorm core can create a raging river down city streets incredibly fast. This is exactly what happened on 8/11/22 as heavy rain from a monsoon storm led to an intense flash flood on the Vegas strip.

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Tornado Factories: What Are Supercells And How They Churn Out Twisters

The basics of supercells.

Supercells are what storm chasers are after each and every year. Ask any storm chaser what they’re really after out there and it is probably either tornadoes or incredible storm structure — both of those are most common with supercells! These rotating storms pack a punch, creating some of the most dangerous weather on earth while being the primary manufacturers of tornadoes. If you are new to severe weather, weather, climate, or really anything to do with all of this genre of content — you may be wondering about how these supercell storms form, where they form, what the different…

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A break from the heat inbound!

I hope this e-mail finds you ok, because the heat we’re all experiencing from the Southwest out onto the Plains is brutal with 110F readings widespread at times. This is some real-deal heat that would make any person uncomfortable, even if you have been trying to convince people you are not! Luckily, the pattern that has brought the record breaking heat is in the process of breaking down for a bit. But, some bad news, you’ll have a few more days of very hot to get through first.Thanks for reading Tornado Titans Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts…

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The Ridge Dominates

In our last post, we talked about how there were some signs the ridge parked over the central U.S. might flatten out and shift west some by mid-July bringing reasonable severe weather chances to the Plains again — but models are converging on a scenario that really isn’t that. The mid-level jet stream forecast by the European model for July 19.Overall the ridge looks to remain in place across the central U.S. with the typical sinking air and extremely hot temperatures the dominant weather feature. While this storm chaser is wanting to chase some more supercells this summer, I’m not…

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Severe Weather Incoming in the Northern U.S.

It’s hard to imagine a more traditional summertime pattern than the one setting up over the next week with a strong ridge of high pressure dominating the southern and central Plains. Over the top of that ridge will be some meaningful jet stream energy, which will lead to the chance of severe weather through much of the next week across the Northern U.S.The jet stream pattern by Friday showing the ridge over the south and the jet crossing over the northern Plains and Midwest.Overall, the pattern evolution over the next week is a very classic one for this time of…

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Severe Weather Still on the Menu!

First off, it should come as no surprise that we will have sporadic chances of severe weather, including supercells and tornadoes, over the next few months on the Plains. That’s a pretty normal thing. As such, we’re watching our first interesting summer setup taking shape tomorrow across Kansas:SPC day two tornado outlook valid for 6/23.Tomorrow’s setup is pretty interesting from a storm chase standpoint. Take a look at the sounding below:Model forecast sounding valid for 6 p.m. tomorrow in central Kansas.While cloud bases will be higher initially because of large temperature/dewpoint spreads, the wind shear will increase in tandem with…

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The monsoon season in the western U.S. is a bit early and should get off to a fast start!

If you live in the Western US, the monsoon season is early and off to a fast start. The CPC has just released a new set of graphics showing above normal precip is forecast through about mid-July. That is awesome! We need to get every bit of rain we can to get rid of this drought. Now, there is some bad news in the latest forecast though. The strongest La Niña ever since records began, was recorded for this past May. La Niña is a big driver of Western us drought. So if we can get a good monsoon season, that…

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