Both October 10 and October 12 saw big severe weather risks introduced over the Great Plains. On both days, the possibility of long-tracked, strong tornadoes was discussed and on both days that threat largely failed to materialize (at least in the highest outlook areas!).

What happened?

I personally didn’t chase either day — though I don’t fault anyone for chasing — the setups didn’t look like ones that’d be worth the 8-hour drive either day for me. I should say with that statement that I tend to not storm chase at night on purpose because I’m really not a big fan of it personally.

I saw three things that kept me at home.

First, I didn’t like the projected storm modes in the primary target either day.

Second, the thermodynamics on Tuesday did not look favorable at all in the primary target with a significant near-surface stable layer forecast on models (and later verified on soundings). There was a secondary target that became apparent on Tuesday morning but storms largely did not organize sufficiently to produce tornadoes until well after dark.

Third, for Sunday, advancing cold fronts are just a no-go for me. I talk about it more in the video but what happens with cold front storms typically also happened on Sunday.

Be sure to check out the video for helpful tips and hints on how to assess potential big-time severe weather events ahead of time on the plains!

0:00-1:20 Introduction
1:20-2:56 SPC Outlooks are not chase outlooks
2:56-5:37 Storm mode concerns
5:37-10:29 Shear vectors and storm mode
10:29-18:49 Thermodynamics of nocturnal tornado events on the Plains
18:49-21:27 Avoiding advancing cold fronts
21:27-24:09 The recipe for big tornado days on the C/S Plains