Joe’s Weather Blog: Spring weather means stormy chances (MON-2/27)

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Good foggy morning. Visibility is starting to improve out there after some dense fog developed overnight, at first down south, then spreading northwards. There is a heavy frost out there as well this morning. The switch though will begin later this morning as the sunshine starts to goo to work and we warm up some 10+ degrees above average (again). I’m also watching for a seasonably strong front to move through the area later tomorrow, briefly changing our weather once again.

Forecast:

Today: Fog then sunshine this morning…then increasing clouds this afternoon with an isolated shower possible later today or this evening. Warmer again with highs around 60°. SE winds of 15-25 mph during the afternoon

Tonight: Variable clouds (and isolated evening shower possible) and milder with lows near 50°

Tuesday: Lots of thick upper level clouds mostly. Windy and warmer with highs near 75° again. A cold front will move towards the region later in the afternoon. Rain chances will go up ahead and behind the front towards tomorrow evening. Some thunderstorms are possible SE of the I-35 corridor. These will need to be monitored because they may be strong.

Wednesday: There is an outside chance of some rain and or snow briefly towards daybreak…especially from KC northwards…aside from that a cooler day with highs in the 45-50° range (seasonable).

Discussion:

A few weeks ago I posed the question on twitter whether or not we’d get our next 1″ of snow in KC or our 1st severe weather reports in the area…with the way the maps look…odds are starting to lean towards the latter, even IF it doesn’t happen tomorrow (which it may not, at least in KC).

The morning the story is the dense fog. I’m not surprised by the heavy frost out there but I thought the winds overnight would keep the air stirred up enough…they didn’t and as a result very dense fog formed in many areas in the wee hours of the morning. This will dissipate rather quickly this morning.

Next up is this afternoon as moisture starts moving northwards. This morning that thicker surface moisture is down towards the Red River region in southern OK and TX…I’ve contoured in the 50+° and 60+° dew point lines.

2017022714_metars_ict

That’s spring-like dew point air down there that will coming up towards the area later today thanks to a SSE wind. Here is the forecast for 12 hours from now (give or take) that will automatically update

 

There may also be a very subtle little disturbance coming through SE KS this evening…that may help to spark at least some isolated brief and very fast moving showers in some areas. Don’t count on the rain however but just don’t be surprised if something pops and flies through.

Tomorrow this moisture will be a bit more solid through the region especially for areas SE of KC. The trickier part around and north of KC is that there is going to be a lot of wind tomorrow stirring the air up (one reason why we’ll be almost 30° above average again) and that may actually lower the afternoon dew points as this drier air works down towards the surface from above us. The NAM model is showing this…dew points are in the upper 50s at noon but then start dropping in the afternoon.

nam_dew2m_mc_13

Notice however that the dew points are rather “spring-ish” for areas towards the SE of downtown KC. Essentially S and E of the I-35 corridor region. Dew points like that plus a front coming into the region should result in some nice instability building.

The model indeed shows this with a nice area of increasing CAPES values (Convective Available Potential Energy) which indicates more and more instability building.

nam_cape_mslp_mc_13

CAPE forecast for 6PM Tuesday

There is an area of 1500+ CAPE values in the region S/E of I-35 mainly (on the MO side and south of KC down the State Line. Decent instability for late FEB.

The model itself develops some storms and then “behind the front” rains towards 9PM Tuesday night. The “behind the front” rains are moving NEwards…the storms will be moving ENEwards.

nam_ref_mc_14

“Forecast” radar look around 9PM Tuesday night

I’m more interested right now in the “greener shades” towards the SE of KC and closest to the KC Metro area. It’s not totally out of the question that those storms may try to get to near severe levels (60 MPH winds and 1″ hail).

It’s also very possible that the area of rain towards the NW of KC moving NEwards and the storms near or SE of KC moving ENEwards manage to miss most or at least parts of the KC Metro area with the beneficial rainfall too. IF the front slows down a bit more…we may get more in the favorable spot for the storms to pop on top of the Metro…so a few things are on the table for later Tuesday.

The snow risk out of this seems pretty small this morning…maybe some random flakes early Wednesday, especially across N MO. No accumulations are expected at this point.

After a more seasonable WED>FRI..we warm right back up again next weekend with 70s VERY possible again…so March starts mild. Another seasonably strong March front is due later Sunday or next Monday perhaps…ushering in at least a day or two of chillier air once again.

Our feature photo comes from Starfire Sue (@stormchaser111) up in Leavenworth, KS showing the fog this morning.

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Joe

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