Drought Contines…But A Change Ahead?

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Lots of things to talk about on a beautiful TGIF afternoon around these parts. We’re in the 60s now and should stay near to above 60 for the weekend with plenty of sunshine expected. The highs will warm up through Tuesday before our next change in the weather occurs sometime WED into THU. More on that potential over the weekend. There are stronger signals today of a more energetic weather pattern trying to develop that potentially may finally break our mini drought that we’ve been dealing with for the past 2 months or so.

On the subject of the drought…the latest information/data has upgraded most of the region from KC southwards into a “Severe” Drought with moderate drought conditions surrounding this area up towards 36 highway. Take a look at the map from the MO side…

As far as the KS side goes the data is even worse, again this, for many areas, has been an issue for the entire year. Here is the data from the KS Side…

Officially @ KCI the last time we had more than .01″ of moisture was on 10/26…the last .10″ of moisture was 9/18..the last .25″ moisture was 9/17 and the last .50″ moisture was 8/20. So really it’s been over 2 months since we had a really good rain around these parts. Some have had that much since then but it’s been more scattered in nature. Some areas have had less than .50″ since late August hence all the talk of drought. Again there are some signs that we may get stormier but it’s still a bit premature to get overly excited about the potential. Maybe by Sunday I’ll start getting a bit more excited.

This has been an interesting weather week, of course the focus for me was watching the early season snow occur in CO and parts of TX and NM. In the TX panhandle which has been dealing with a terrible drought…1-5″ of early season snow occurred. Here is a shot satellite showing the snowcover.

Obviously the farther NW you went conditions were considerably worse. CO has seen early season snows before, I remember a couple of years ago I was attending a conference in Boulder in late October and one day it was in the 60s and the next they had 1-2 feet of snow, so it’s not out of the realm for them to get slammed.

The Interior NE part of the country has already gotten some early season snow and now another storm has close to 25 million people under either a Winter Storm Watch/Warning. at this time. The main concern for the residents there is that the combined snowfall, “weight of the snow” and the leaves on the trees spells disaster for power lines as the tree limbs start snapping. The potential is certainly there for hundreds of thousands to lose power over the weekend. In the CO storm a couple of days ago, close to 200K lost power.I also have concerns that trees weakened by Irene may be more vulnerable to losing their limbs as well…this could be a big issue.

The bigger cities may end up with snow as well, but more likely will mostly be rain. There will be about a 2-4 hour window where it may snow heavily in the NYC area as the storm ingests cold air and intensifies. They’ll no doubt be watching the track very carefully over the weekend. I don’t believe the NYC area has even had a frost yet. How unusual would it be for NYC to get snow before Halloween? It only has happened 3 other times…1876…1925…1952 and none of those cases saw snow totals over 1″

It’ll be a fascinating weekend!


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