Joe’s Weather Blog: Southern storm takes unusual track (WED-12/12)

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Started my morning bright and early talking to the men’s group from Southminster Presbyterian Church…so the blog is a bit delayed today…but now I’m catching up. The data tomorrow still hasn’t changed much and I’m still struck by the unusualness of the far southern track of the storm. I’ll talk more about that in the discussion. The weather today though is nice…cooler than yesterday but nice.

  • Forecast:

Tonight: Increasing clouds and cold with lows down to near 32°. Some mist or drizzle is possible towards daybreak.

Thursday: Periods of mist…drizzle…rain showers…and rain. The better rains that might be a bit more substantial may wait till the afternoon though. Highs will struggle all day and probably only go up about 5° (if that). Winds will be increasing from the north at 10-15 MPH during the day and then getting a bit gustier for the game itself it appears.

Game forecast: Expect at least some rain…drizzle…mist and gustier winds with steady temperatures in the mid 30s. The rain may fade towards the end of the game. Cold and raw.

Friday: We may be socked in all day long or at least through the 1st part of the day…and there could be some drizzle at times in the AM as well. Highs may struggle to get to 40°-45°

  • Discussion:

Yesterday was really nice…and today isn’t bad either. The satellite picture confirms the clear skies in the region.

Start paying attention to the lower clouds towards the I-44 corridor in OK…that is a surge of low level moisture that will come northwards over the next 24 hours…and that moisture will go a long ways to starting the mist and drizzle on Thursday.

At the surface, in the southern part of the country we can start seeing that moisture in the form of higher dew points. The numbers in green below are the higher dew points…note the 40° or higher dew points coming northwards…this map is from 11AM this morning…the dark blue circles represent low clouds and fog/lower visibility.

The persistent south wind down there…will bring that moisture farther northwards later tonight. The HRRR model shows this…this will auto-update for you…and note how towards 12AM (06Z) and beyond the clouds get up the State Line region.

So tonight…with initially clear skies…and somewhat dry air…temperatures will drop off…maybe close to 32° then as the lower clouds move into the area…we may actually start going up overnight.

Now the storm…

It’ actually still sort of developing and the energy for it is in the northern Rockies today…

That developing system will drop into western TX…then head into eastern TX. The model data this morning confirms this and it shows up better when you go up to about 18,000 feet or so…this is referred to as the 500 mb level. It’s about 1/2 way up there in the world of weather…and you look for “dips” and ridges. The dips are what we refer to as troughs. They’re U shaped an the sharper the U the deeper the trough. Occassionally these “dips” will close off into upper level circulations…and notice what happens in TX.

For timing purposes…12Z is 6AM…18Z is Noon…00Z is 6PM and 06Z is 12AM.

That storm track through TX…from a system that’s coming out of the NW part of the country is indicative of a storm that has dug so hard…and in a way is rather unusual. IF the storm had come out of CA…or come out of the Baja Mexico region…I could see that. It’s not  as if it hasn’t happened before…it has.

As a matter of fact…there was a somewhat similar storm that happened…on Christmas Eve…back in 2009…hmmmm do you remember what happened on Christmas Eve…in 2009. Yup…massive snow storm. The difference between that storm which tracked from the PAC NW in 12/22…

to the Las Vegas area on 12/23

to West Tx on the 24th…

and then towards east TX on the 25th…

is the other key piece…the one that forced the storm back in 2009 to come farther north…with it’s moisture…is the digging other wave coming into the Plains. In essence it sucked up the southern storm northwards and we had a TON of snow in KC.

From 12/26 in 2009…

This time though that key northern piece of the storm…isn’t there…there’s nothing to force the TX storm to come northwards…so as a result in the 2018 version the storm continues to slowly move eastwards.

There was another storm back in early JAN of 1998 that sort of did what the 2018 storm is doing too…I bring this storm up because I think it’s more of a parallel to the current situation. That storm, gave us about 1/10-1/3rd of an inch of moisture. That is what I’m sort of expecting with the 2018 version

I love using way back in past storms to try and learn what could happen in the future.  Sure enough…the look of the rain from the 1998 system is sort of what the forecast is for the 2018 version.

This storm is going to be a big ticket item farther south of KC..that’s a lot of rain down there and the reality is that the I-44 corridor towards the AR border hasn’t had a lot of moisture over the past couple of weeks

The bottom line is that we’re NOT going to get a LOT of measureable rain from this…BUT it will be a somewhat off and on misty/drizzly/nuisance type thing. Will it be terrible for the game…maybe not…will it be damp though…probably.

How long the low clouds hang around on FRI…will determine the temperatures. Since the storm is going soooo far south…there is no connection to Canadian air…so the storm isn’t tapping into any cold air masses and in reality there aren’t any cold air masses dropping southwards. IF we break out into sunshine…as the GFS thinks…we could pop to near 50°…the NAM model holds the clouds all day..and all night Friday too…keeping our temperatures in nowheresland…only near 40°. My feeling is that we’re between the 2…with afternoon clearing skies and highs into the 40-45° range.

Back in the Christmas Eve storm in 2009…that 2nd upper level wave was in the process of injecting cold air down through the Plains as the system to the south was coming northwards…it was perfect…this time not so much.

Have a great rest of the day…the weekend looks pretty nice right now with 50s very possible both Saturday and Sunday with enough wind. Saturday could be a challenge since we should start cold…and with a lack of wind it may struggle a bit…but overall…not bad at all.

Our feature photo comes from Mary Jo Seever‎



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