Joe’s Weather Blog: Sunday’s game may FEEL 60-70° warmer (WED-12/21)

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It’s winter! It started earlier this morning (astronomical wise) but it’s felt like winter for almost the whole month of December. For snow lovers though there will be no Christmas miracle. For those who need to get out and about…that’s great news. For others who were hoping for a White Christmas…sadly that won’t work out. As a matter of fact there is a better chance of a severe storm (wind) than there is of seeing a flake of snow on Christmas Day.

Forecast:

Tonight: Filtered moonlight at times. Chilly but seasonable with lows in the 20s

Thursday: Variable clouds and pleasant with highs in the 40s

Friday: There is a small AM chance of some freezing drizzle. After that anything that may fall, and it won’t be much at all, will be liquid. It does bear watching though up in N MO especially in the AM. Highs get to near 40°

Discussion:

Aside from some high clouds out there today…it’s a great afternoon as we continue to melt away what’s left of the past weekend’s snow. Interesting that today’s highs of well into the 40s is the warmest in over 2 weeks…not bad for the 1st day of winter.

So what exactly is Winter? Well it occurs because of the tilt of the earth as it orbits the sun. When the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun…we get colder. Notice in the image below…the area south of the equator…the southern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun…hence it’s summer down there!

Obviously during the 1st day of summer the above image is reversed.

Also this is technically the shortest day of the year. Although do to various other factors that is not necessarily the case.

Although if you notice we’ve actually gained a few minutes on the sunset side of things for the last week or so.

capture

OK now that we’ve got all that taken care of…our weather has a bit of winter and spring in it for the next 7 days. One thing though is that there isn’t any unusual cold (or anything like we’ve been though for the last 2 weeks or so)

We need to watch Friday morning…

There is a small upper level swirl off the coast of Baja California

What’s left of that thing will be shearing out and falling apart as it moves towards the Plains on Friday. I’m not convinced there will be enough low level moisture for this to work with as it gets to us and breaks into pieces…but IF there is…it’s not out of the question we can see a few little showers develop. The next issue is what will the surface temperatures be should and IF that were to occur.

The model data has some serious issues about the potential temperatures on the ground…why…because it still thinks that by tomorrow morning there will STILL be pretty widespread snow in the area…which we know will NOT be the case.

nam_snow_depth_mc_9

the graphic shows what the NAM model thinks till be the depth of the snow TOMORROW morning…that area in our neck of the woods isn’t going to work out

As a result it has the surface temperatures near 30° for highs on Thursday and keeps temperatures steady and near 30° into Friday morning…in reality we’ll be in the 40s I think tomorrow afternoon with no snow on the ground of importance and a developing south wind overnight temperatures may stay in the 30-35° range into Friday morning…so what falls may or may not freeze. Obviously when fighting a 1-3° variance around 32°…a lot can go wrong…so it’s something to watch at least for Friday morning.

Then as we get to the weekend a stronger system will be dropping down the western US coastline…it will turn into a rather strong surface low in time and moves into the Northern Plains on Sunday (Christmas). This will force the Gulf Of Mexico to open up for business and send moisture streaming northwards. While a lot of that moisture will be in the form of clouds…the screaming south winds on Sunday will also allow highs to surge to near or above 60°.

So let’s see…we have moisture (dew points in the 50s)…we have temperatures in the 60s…and we have a cold front coming into the area sometime Sunday night it appears. Seems to me that could be a recipe for somewhat rare and unusual thunderstorms on Christmas.

Now with the atmosphere setting up with strong winds above us during the late afternoon hours on Sunday…notice the winds about 5000′ above us for Sunday at 6PM…

ecmwf_uvz850_mc_19

Sunday 6PM winds above the surface

Those winds are pretty impressive…some 55-65 knots…or 60-70 MPH winds…that’s an important consideration because IF there is convection moving into the area…those winds up there can be tapped and brought down to the ground…we could actually get some severe weather. 

The main risks would be near 60 MPH winds and also perhaps some small hail. It’s a small window and the storms would be FLYING towards the ENE and NE at close to 60 MPH…let’s see how unstable we can get during the afternoon.

We will turn chillier…seasonably so, early next week.

Our gorgeous weather photo comes from Becky Johnson down in Linn County, KS

capture

Joe

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