The warm start to March continues for the next couple of days with temperatures well above average into Wednesday night before the cooler air starts filtering into the region, and waves of rain become more commonplace.
It’s been rather dry out there for the last few weeks with only about .04″ of moisture since the middle of February. After the arctic air started to move out of the region on the 19th, we have essentially been pretty mild. Including today, 14 out of the last 16 days have been above average. Several more days like that are in store this week.
The winds have helped dry out the dormant grasses and we’ve certainly seen some grass fires in the region which is very typical of March around here. We go through this it seems every month and this month is no exception. Fanned by 30-40 mph winds, and things dry out fast.
Rain though will come this week.
Today: Sunny and windy. Warm too with highs in the lower 70s.
Tonight: Fair and breezy with lows near 50°.
Tomorrow: Variable clouds and windy again with highs near 70°.
Wednesday: Partly cloudy with more wind and warmth. Highs well into the 70s. Storms are possible in the evening.
So we’re about to see a reversal of the weather towards the end of the week. Instead of warmer days, temperatures will start trending below average and after the warmth of the last few weeks, it’s probably about time.
The other part of the reversal will be more rain coming. As a matter of fact depending on how things play out over the next 10 days, the risk of flash flooding will be on the increase as well perhaps.
There is also a risk of some severe weather on Wednesday night with this transition. I’ve talked about this for about a week or so, and it’s still on the table. Typically in March we get lower-end severe thunderstorms and this may be the case again Wednesday night.
This will all be changing because of a cold front that will slowly push through the region Wednesday into Thursday. It should get south of the area on Thursday, shutting down the rain temporarily but then retreat northwards again towards Friday and the weekend, and that means the likelihood of more rain in the area.
The strong winds will also be a feature until the front comes through later Wednesday night. Winds above us will be cranking away at 40-55 mph. During the day some of these winds will mix down towards the surface although clouds may temper the strongest gusts a bit tomorrow. Regardless a lot of wind will remain through the region.
Here’s the setup for later Wednesday with the front coming into the area. The front may slow flow as it comes into the strong winds ahead of it.
Storms should fire up at night and move through. Some locally heavy rain would be possible with the storms. How severe they get remains to be seen. There will be strong winds above us, so whatever forms will have the ability of tapping into the wind fields aloft. By the same token those strong winds will transport the cells to the northeast very quickly. Odds are the storms will be moving at 40-50 mph or so, maybe faster.
Right now we are under a “marginal” risk of stronger storms.
So no slam dunk here regarding this. Just something to watch. 1″ hail and 60 mph winds would be the threats I think. Sort of typical for early season risks.
These storms will force the front south. To be honest, it would be a bit unusual for March events for the front NOT to be pushed south… to sort of dangle in the area (that is more typical of the late spring and summer). Models also typically hold the front farther north than reality in these situations. IF we don’t get a stronger line of storms on Wednesday night, then the push of the front will be much slower.
So as the front pushes south aided by the stronger storms on Wednesday night giving it a shove southwards, we may dry out and turn cooler on Thursday and then turn chilly on Friday into the weekend. So this coming weekend WILL NOT be as warm as what happened this past weekend.
On Friday, the front will start retreating northwards and that should again start increasing the rain chances in the region and then a whole storm system will be coming out of the southwest part of the country later in the weekend and that brings more rain.
It’s worth noting that the next week storm will dump some chilly air into the area… meaning next week is a cooler week and not as pleasant. That will need to be watched because there could be setups for perhaps the last chances of snow in the area next week.
The 8-14 day forecasts show these trends for the chillier air next week:
So we’re starting the month some 9° above average, which will go up over the next couple of days, and as of right now this is the Top 15 warmest starts to March. But it will go down later in the week and into next week it appears.
The feature photo today comes from @PeopleOfCowtown on Twitter.