Joe’s Weather Blog: Random thoughts on a bright day (THU-3/2)

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Good afternoon…our weather is blustery by somewhat mild for early March Temperatures today are in the 50s again…we’ll do that tomorrow and then pop to the 70s over the weekend. Yes the mild air returns along with the winds…stronger winds are likely over the weekend again and also note that after a decrease in the tree pollen today…they’re on their way back up over the weekend and through Monday as well.

Forecast:

Tonight: Clear and cold (seasonable) with lows in the 20s

Friday: Mostly sunny and mild with highs into the mid 50s

Saturday: Windy and warmer with highs 70-75°. Winds 20-35+ MPH

Sunday: Clouds and warm. Windy as well with highs in the 70s. Winds 20-30+ MPH

Discussion:

This blog will be a random thought blog…nothing really to drill down on…next rain chance appears to be on Monday evening at this point.

The latest drought report came out today. 2/3rds of MO is now considered in a “moderate” drought.

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and we welcome KS into the moderate drought status as well this week.

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I don’t start jumping up and down about this stuff for another month or so. JAN/FEB are notorious for being fickle and dry around the Plains…

This is our 20th driest start to the year in KC…(officially at KCI at least)

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Dryness rankings…green squares are the wettest rankings…brown the driest…the #20 for KC is combined data from the various “official” reporting stations for KC

So looking at the map above shows why MO is having issues for sure.

Our next chance is Monday…there are some subtle differences in the frontal placement potential. Perhaps it may put KC in a better position for some much needed moisture.

Obviously our wettest time of the year here is April>June…IF we’re still struggling through April into mid May…then I start getting more worried.

One issue that is making things a bit rougher for the landscape out there is the warmth has kick started spring around here…we’re easily 3 weeks+ ahead of schedule for growth. This growth will be looking for moisture sooner rather than later…so the lack of moisture will be an issue soon I would think. The cold nights will help out the next few days…but over the weekend…it gets warm and stays warm, even at night.

The 1st leaf index from the National Phenology Network clearly shows the region well ahead of schedule.

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Out to the west…obviously things are different.

Overall it’s been warm and dry..

The severe weather season has started off on an active note with the warmth. The two usually are connected…we had the rough weather on Tuesday night…thankfully though we didn’t see any tornadoes. Nationwide this is the busiest start to the tornado count since 2008 I believe

One interesting note. One of the items that we always look for to get severe weather or t/storms in general around here is moisture from the Gulf Of Mexico. One would think that a sustained southerly air flow would enable this moisture to stream more efficiently to the north. One may also surmise, although I haven’t seen research on this…that IF it’s warmer down towards the Gulf of Mexico…odds are that it would be easier to have higher dew points sitting down there. Hence I wanted to show what’s going on in the Gulf…because for the most part it is really warm in those waters (compared to average)…especially the closer to the coast you get.

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The waters nearest the coastline are 3-5° above average. One can wonder IF that will play a role in the severe weather set-ups this spring…also one wonders about the hurricane season down there…warm waters and hurricanes can be a potent combination.

As I mentioned earlier though…lots of severe weather so far this year…on Tuesday tornadoes were especially strong including this one towards Washburn, IL. (EF3)

Meanwhile farther south that night…a tornado got VERY close to one of the NWS radar sites in southern IN…so the data set was incredible…it eventually passed a couple of miles south of the radar site.

Let’s hope nothing like that get’s close to KC this season…

A reminder that severe weather can strike at any time during the year…the NWS will continue their severe weather training sessions but time is starting to run out. You can see the future meetings here.

Also of note is the advanced training session coming up in Lawrence THIS SATURDAY. It’s a full day affair starting at 8AM and continuing till about 4PM. I look forward to presenting some of my research concerning the overuse of severe thunderstorm warnings. It’s a great venue for learning more about severe weather. The link above has the information. The day’s seminar coast $15 but it does include lunch.

Our feature photo comes from Melissa Flory from the thunderstorm activity Tuesday night…so much lightning with it!

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Joe

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