Severe Weather Set-Up

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Weather is a fascinating thing. If one were to look at the latest maps for Monday, one might be concerned about severe weather for this part of the country. If this would be 30-90 days later, we’d be primed for a nasty outbreak of at a minimum, a large squall line and potentially some tornadic activity as well. While February is not immune to severe weather around these parts, you really need to have everything come together perfectly. Do you remember what happened on February 28th, 2007. The nation’s 1st EF4 tornado struck Blue Mound, KS (Linn County).

Here is some video of that day/night.

So it can happen but I don’t think it will happen though on Monday despite a strong storm system that will be approaching in the upper levels of the atmosphere. Ahead of the storm strong south winds, potentially gusting to over 30 MPH will be bringing warmer and moist air from the Gulf Of Mexico and streaming it our way. Temperatures should soar well into the 50s if not 60s for some areas assuming the clouds that develop ahead of our storm aren’t too thick. The surface dewpoints though will not get us to where we need them to go for an outbreak of severe weather. Dewpoints may only be in the 40-45° range and that just doesn’t cut it for big storms. Again, you have to remember that the atmosphere is in 3D, what works aloft may not come through at the surface and this is one of those cases. Here is the surface map for later Monday. The cold front to the west of here is not particularly strong, and since this storm is isn’t going to tap into any cold air in Canada, once it comes through and we briefly cool down on TUE AM, we should rebound TUE PM with lots of sunshine and WSW downslope winds.

Most of the rain associated with this will be along and behind the front. So for us in KC the better rain chances will be when the front comes through or right after the front moves through. The timing on that would be closer to later MON evening and early TUE AM.

Here is the latest model portrayal of the precipitation heading this way.

Wednesday will be another wonderful day I think as highs try to surge to near 60° again thanks to downsloping winds. Later in the week, we’ll see a drop back closer to average around these parts.

One thing that continues to look very promising is that we won’t be able to lock into any cold air for the next 10+ days. There will be some cooler days every so often, but without any blocking patterns showing up in the atmosphere, especially in the North Atlantic region, and without a strong Hudson’s Bay vortex that sits in one spot for a week or so (these two things have been the case all winter long), it will be tough to sustain any cold weather. As late February ends, the averages increase to near 50° for highs so even a day with average highs 10° below average, we’re still talking about near 40°.

By the way so far this February we’re running some 3.5° above average for the month. We’ll talk more about that tomorrow afternoon on the blog.


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