Blustery to say the least…and when the winds around sunrise are cranking at over 30 MPH…and more wind is slated for the day…it’s going to be one of those days in the area. Gusts may approach 45 MPH+ and there is a Wind Advisory in effect for the area. Today is also Tornado Drill day so at 10AM many communities are supposed to trigger their sirens. Remember they are meant to be outdoor sirens. It’s an OUTDOOR warning system. They’re NOT meant to be heard inside. They should never be considered a first warning system for you. Please make sure that you have secondary ways of getting warning information. TVs, weather radios, cell texts, weather apps etc all are helpful in this regard. Sirens fail…sirens sometimes don’t work, sirens sometimes lose power etc…all reasons why secondary ways of getting life saving information are the best way to go.
Here are some secondary options:
Today: Turning cloudy this morning and there may be a few flurries flying around the air. Windy and colder with highs in the 30s to lower 40s. It will feel colder today. Winds may gust 40-50 MPH in spots
Tonight: Clouds around and chilly with lows in the 20s. Windy too with gusts over 30 MPH
Wednesday: Partly cloudy and not as windy with highs near 40°
Thursday: A bit more seasonable with highs 45-50°
Severe weather awareness week continues in MO/KS today…and to reiterate what I started off with…IF you’re not to deep into weather and are more of a casual observer of the skies around you…
Remember to NOT rely on OUTDOOR warning systems (the sirens) for your only way of getting severe weather information…
Tonight Karli Ritter will be looking at the difference between straight line winds and tornadic winds among other wind related aspects of severe weather.
Last year was a busy year…and it started one year ago today with the severe weather outbreak that created more tornadoes around these parts that we’ve seen in many years (from one system).
There may have even been more tornadoes that day as well…they just weren’t surveyed. The high-end EF2 tornado that affected the Smithville/Trimble region could’ve been even stronger but they couldn’t find higher damage indicators.
Have a safety plan in place and think about it today…while it’s 40° outside.
On that note…another windy day is at hand with a Wind Advisory in effect for the region through 6PM.
We are not alone with the wind either…and all this wind + the dry conditions, especially on the KS side…is breeding ground for grass/brush fires. They were so bad last year at about this time…and this year may be worse because of even drier conditions.
The wind is coming about because of a low pressure area circulating through IA today…you can see the circulation when looking at the radar this morning.
The 7AM surface map shows the colder air again flowing into the region via WNW winds. Also look at the weather reports…and look for the little ** between the temperatures (in RED) and the dew points (in GREEN). Those are various light snow reports showing up…
We’re now fully in the storms circulation…and this will be around through tonight it appears. Notice on the following map, the isobars (black lines). Isobars are lines of equal air pressure
When there are soooo many black lines in a relatively small distance…that means that there is a large change of pressure in a short amount of distance. This is why the wind is strong today. Air is being circulated into that area of low pressure.
This will be part of the system that will create a major snow across the northeastern part of the country into Thursday.
On another note…the dry conditions.
The vegetation is still pretty dormant…and with the chiller weather on the way…it will be not be as fast of a green-up this March compared to last March. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. The good part about it is with all the dry weather at hand…this reduces the need for soil moisture. The bad thing about it is the vegetation is really dried out. The wind makes things worse.
We do go through this each FEB>early April it seems but with a lack of snow again this winter..and a lack of moisture overall this season…it’s problematic.
Check out the 10 day forecast off the EURO model showing total precipitation…mostly under 1/10″
There is a system to watch for Saturday however that perhaps can alter the map above. The GFS model is making a big deal out of it.
However the GFS ensembles are even farther south with that system and odds are are more correct than the GFS itself.
Odds are we’ll be on the edge of whatever goes south of us…and may miss out on the vast majority of needed precipitation, maybe not all but the better rains. As we move farther into March…the grasses etc will start to come out of dormancy and require more soil moisture. It’s not a good look initially at least. The winds that we’re getting also don’t help the cause as they dry things out even more.
Great shot by @Cos72 via Twitter.