No, I haven’t lost my marbles; you can chase during a building ridge of high pressure over the middle of the country. There are several places where severe storms are often favored as prominent ridges build in during the summertime months over the middle of the country.

One example of this occurs this weekend, as a weak piece of energy rides over the crest of the ridge in Colorado — locally enhancing shear over a broad, moist, and unstable airmass. This pattern is a classic mesoscale type of evolution of the June pattern and is right on schedule. Further east, there is NW/WNW flow over the east end of the ridge which also could be a favorable spot for a severe storm or two given a proper focal point to get storms going.

Typically, the N/NW side of the ridge where troughs emerge can be favorable, as well as on the east end where W/NW flow persists, so long as moisture is available to create instability.

But…

I won’t be too optimistic, though. When a ridge like the summertime ridge we are seeing builds does just that, the overall tornado numbers go way down, and the severe weather reports become more sparse on average.

  • In our seasonal forecast, I called for a rough year for the High Plains June storm chasing period as the ridge would likely set up further west, bringing more of a focus on the east end with W/NW flow over the Midwest powering severe setups. I have no reason to doubt that won’t be the case largely this month.
  • Unfortunately for storm chasers, especially those chasecationing in June, this is going to be a slower month than April and May by a long shot. That doesn’t mean there won’t be storms, but the setups will be very low-key and may occur in disparate locations and dates that require tons of travel between setups.

I’ll have more in a video soon!