Joe’s WX Blog: Marchuary to Apriluary

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The hits keep coming as far as the chilly weather goes and yet another arctic blast is setting up now and will be unleashed through the Plains early next week.  The airmass that moves in will be of arctic origin and odds are the models are underestimated the extent of the cold air that will be associated with it. Not sure if it will be a record breaking shot of cold air…but the record on 4/4 is 20° set back in 1920…so that one will need to be watched.

I’m on my way to Hardin, MO this late morning to talk to the kids at the elementary school there. I did get down to Mound City, KS last night for a severe weather presentation/spotting class with some of the members of the community down there. I typically don’t do many of those spotter sessions, but the NWS was kind enough to let me borrow their presentation and I actually had more fun than I thought I would. So I may start to do a few more of those in the next couple of months.

Let’s talk about some good news first. Moderating temperatures for the next few days. Highs should make it up to near, if not above 60° into the weekend. We should also see a nice moderation next Thursday into next weekend and there are signs that we may be warm for the home opener for the Royals season in KC. Certainly not for the opener in Chicago where temperatures are going to be only around 35°. It should be better for next weekend in Philly with temperatures approaching 60°.

There are signs of a much awaited change in the upper air pattern later on next week…a pattern that will shift the winds in the upper part of the atmosphere to the SW and allow milder air to finally flood the Midwest for more than a day or two. This could finally be the real beginning of Spring (!) for at least a few days.

Now there is a glitch in all of this, and that would be the potential of some wintery weather later Sunday night into Monday. A cold front will be moving through the region on Sunday. Ahead of the front highs should nudge close to 60°, behind the front, which is the arctic front, temperatures will be tanking. Here is the forecast map for Sunday evening showing the leading edge of the arctic airmass just to the NW of the KC area.

sfc

As the front moves in the air aloft will start to rapidly cool down and a sharp contrast in the temperatures in the air aloft will set up from the Northern Rockies through the Plains states. This contrast means moisture and that moisture will be pushed ESEwards with the jetstream towards our region. As this happens the drier arctic air will undercut the moisture aloft so that adds the potential for some of the precipitation to evaporate while the lower part of the atmosphere saturates.

Here is a look at the GFS model forecast for later Sunday @ 700 mbs or about 10,000 feet showing what I’m trying to describe.

700

While amounts should be light, at least some accumulation is not out of the question…odds favor at this point under 2″ but the timing of this, before the AM rush on Monday could create some issues on the roads as the colder air plunges on in.

Finally there could be some showers or even a few rumbles of thunder in the area on Saturday…and there may even be a few showers around tomorrow on the south side.

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