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A Strong Storm Heads This Way | Weather

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A Strong Storm Heads This Way
Weather

You wouldn’t think, on a day like today, that I could come up with some interesting weather trivia, but I got some for you on this Saturday afternoon. More on that in a moment. Lots of sunshine out there today, but in an interesting twist, it really is feeling like winter from a temperature standpoint as readings are struggling this afternoon to warm up. We’re only in the mid 30s as of this writing and are going to have a real tough time warming up to my forecasted 48°. A lack of wind is reducing the mixing that we have in the atmosphere, plus that little disturbance that came through last night and created some snow at that may have also brought down a little chunk of cold air with it as well. Take a look at the 925 mb map from this AM, showing the flow about 3K feet above the ground.

The temperature @ Topeka was -4C or about 25°F…meanwhile in Omaha it was -10C or about 14°F and the winds were out of the NW to NNW actually creating cold air advection in the lower part of the atmosphere. That’s not a good combination during this time of the year to see a big warm-up and since we started in the lower 20s this AM, it will be a struggle for us to get into the mid 40s today but we’re going to give it a good run.

What’s fascinating is that the winds tonight will quickly increase and come from the SSE at the surface and increase more dramatically aloft. I talked about that yesterday and today’s data shows even stronger winds a few thousand feet aloft…almost 60-70 MPH!  at the surface though, my guess is that the winds may only be 15-30 MPH. So we’ll go from nearly dead calm conditions now, to gusty winds tonight and go from chilly weather today to milder weather tomorrow, despite some weak wind shift line moving through. Highs tomorrow should be 55-60°.

The weather gets more entertaining early next week, as a storm, which is off the coast of AK, moves through the western Plains states. You can clearly see the disturbance moving through the Midwest, by looking at the flow at 500 mbs or about 18K feet up.

The UL map is 6PM MON the UR map is 6AM TUE then the BL map is 6PM TUE and the BR map is 6AM WED. Again the storm is moving towards the NW of the region, which will allow lots of warm air and gulf moisture to stream our way. Yesterday I talked about the potential of the storm slowing down, and that is happening. This will allow more moisture to work it’s way towards us and increase our chances of seeing some t/storms. Here is the surface map for the Noon hour on TUE off the NAM.

The richest gulf moisture may get shifted off towards the ESE or SE of the region, we’ll still be able to get 50-55° dewpoints in our area, and my thought is that there is some potential for t/storms to form off to the W/SW of the region and then fly this way TUE evening. Winds aloft would still be in the 50-65 MPH range so IF there would be any storms blowing through the mixing of some of that stronger winds to the surface would be possible.

It’s not a slam dunk though, because as I talked about yesterday there will be a large dry slot developing with this storm system. A dry slot occurs when the storm gets so wrapped up, that it pulls in drier air from the SW. The battle will be whether or not a line of fast moving storms can develop within the dry slot region closest to the cold front.

Temperatures are also tricky to figure. The potential of clearing skies would allow temperatures to soar into the 60s, should the lower 3-5K feet of the atmosphere remain saturated, we may have a tough time breaking 60°. Right now both the GFS and the NAM model keep us in the muck through 3PM TUE and even later on the NAM model. So Tuesday is a tricky forecast for many reasons.

Regardless this will be a wet, not white storm for our area. So what else is new right? We’re stuck at 3.1″ of snow officially @ KCI and are still 1.4″ short of tying the record low snow total. What’s fascinating is that there are some areas of the country doing great when it comes to snowfall. Midland, TX has been talked about a lot. Well it took awhile but Chicago, IL finally ties Midland, TX for winter snowfall today with 19.5″ each. Think of this however, that’s still more snow than Boston, MA, NYC, NY and Philadelphia, PA combined! There’s your random stat of the day!

Another look over at the maps also indicates no cold Canadian/Arctic airmasses in the future for our region. This looks to go on for the foreseeable future. The GFS ensembles continue to show, and have done so all week long, that the Hudson Bay vortex which is usually responsible for helping to drive cold weather into the USA is going to basically not exist, it really hasn’t all winter though. A large polar vortex will be located closer to the North Pole and slow migrate towards N AK over the next 10-15 days or so. This will place the USA in a strong, but wavy pacific flow of air. This means that the storms moving across the country will not have a lot of cold air to tap into, except the ones farther northwards towards the US/Canadian border. It’s a potentially off and on stormy flow, but it’s also a more than likely warm flow too! Getting harder and harder to hold out much of a chance for a snowstorm around these parts as the snow window seems to be slowly closing in KC.

The only sobering thought about that is that our all time snowstorm record occurred in March 23-24 1912 with some 25″!

Joe

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