Joe’s Weather Blog: Updating severe weather chances (MON-4/6)

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It’s Opening Day and Mother Nature has cast a gray sky through the region as the moisture that moved in yesterday late afternoon/evening has thickened up as expected…now the issue is will we clear out or at least break up the cloud cover a bit towards the late afternoon hours…it’s going to be tough.

Forecast:

Today: Cloudy skies with mist/drizzle around through lunch. Temperatures this morning will struggle in the 50s then hopefully get into the 60s in the PM. We’ll need some bonus 4-6PM sunshine to get about 65°…doable but not guaranteed. With the south winds blowing it will be chilly for sure for morning tailgating at the “K”.

Tonight: Perhaps a few isolated showers but overall dry. Lows in the 50s

Tomorrow: Some clearing and temperatures may really warm up. Highs well into the 70s. a front will be moving through the area in the PM…so temperatures will be cooler across NW MO and warmer towards the SE of KC. Typically we’d be concerned about storms with this…but we’re going to be capped so storms may not fire (if they fire at all) until the front is towards the S/SE of KC.

Wednesday: This will be the day that needs watching. Still very contingent on many things…but severe weather is likely across the central parts of KS down towards Oklahoma City…those storms will be moving towards the NNE. We may get into those storms (but weaker probably) sometime WED night. With that said…there will be a warm front draped in the area in the PM…should a storm fire near that front…it will need to be watched carefully for severe weather potential. If there is a more significant severe weather risk…it would probably be this time frame to watch the most.

Discussion:

Don’t really want to re-write everything that I wrote yesterday regarding WED>THU.  Feel free to look back to yesterday’s blog for those details.

Meanwhile today is going to be a fight with this low gray overcast that has settled into the area. Despite fighting mist/drizzle all night and part of the morning…rain amounts were <.01″ as expected. Just plain dreary though and it’s going to be tough to break up the muck as the day moves along. It’s plenty warm and dry above this 5000′ moist layer…so hopefully we’ll crack the clouds a bit later this afternoon. Here is the satellite picture for an idea of the clouds in place. There may be a few breaks showing up in that mass of gray…so let’s keep our fingers crossed for the afternoon.

 

Regarding Wednesday…still much to be determined with where exactly a warm front set’s up. The potential of significant severe weather west of here towards central KS and southwards towards OKC is certainly higher. Those storms would move towards the ENE…at some point we’d at least get some rain from them…maybe something a bit more WED night as the storms move into some decent instability that will be present WED near the KC region.

The wild card is the potential of storms firing near the warm front (whose location is still to be seen). Those types of storms are always concerning because they have the potential of becoming supercell thunderstorms which produce the severe weather that we talk about.

The winds through the lower part of the atmosphere would be veering. Veering winds means the winds towards the surface are blowing from the SE/S, as an example, and the winds as you move up through the mid-levels of the atmosphere are blowing from the SW/W. This, in effect, produces a clockwise vertical turning and is associated with lifting air parcels. The opposite is “backing” winds or when the winds are turning counter-clockwise as you move up into the atmosphere. For example a north wind at the surface and a west wind up at around 10,000 feet.

The strength of the “veering” wind profile is one of the many things we look for when we think about severe thunderstorms…and warm fronts enhance this condition. That’s why we pay particular attention to the location of the front and where thunderstorms are in relation to it. Once storms travel north of a warm front they become “elevated” and even though they’re still rotating…the threat of a tornado in the cooler air north of a warm front drops…although the hail threat can actually increase.

Here is the latest forecast from the SPC for Wednesday…

 

As is typical from a couple of days out…a large swath if the Plains is under a slight risk of severe storms…this outlook will be modified with higher categories tomorrow I’m sure and especially WED AM.

So let’s monitor WED in particular at this point.

Have a great day and Go Royals.

Joe

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