Joe’s Weather World: Big Plains storm(s) coming (TUE-3/17)

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Another pretty cloudy and murky day is coming…with more or less steady temperatures expected in the 40s for most of the day. The low gray overcast will hang through tonight so the temperatures won’t be changing much tonight…and we should see a nice rise tomorrow and especially tomorrow night into Thursday.

This will come about as a strong surface storm organizes in the western Plains and comes eastbound. To the north of the storm cold air will create heavy snow and near blizzard conditions for parts of Nebraska and maybe IA as well. Travel up there will be tough.

Winter is fighting Spring as typically happens and while we won’t see much snow out of this..maybe some flakes somewhere on Friday…we will get the cold weather over the weekend, especially on Saturday morning.

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Forecast:

Today: Cloudy and cool with highs near 50°

Tonight: Steady temperatures with rain and some storms developing after 12AM or so. Lows in the mid 40s or so

Tomorrow: That rain moves away in the morning then mostly cloudy and breezy. We should start to warm up into the 60s by the end of the day.

Thursday: More rain/storms in the morning…then partly cloudy and windy conditions. Highs into the 70s with gusts to 40 MPH possible.

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Discussion:

There haven’t been too many changes to the forecast for the next few days. There are some questions how warm we get tomorrow though and that will depend on how far north a warm front comes up the State Line area. There is potential for a near 70° late afternoon and IF we can get the rain to move out quickly…which is entirely possible…then we could pop nicely.

Additional rains though are likely tonight. The big picture storm that will create these changes is off the coast of CA this morning.

The storm continues to bring moisture into CA…radar will typically never look that great out there because of all the elevation changes and the radar beam getting blocked by the mountains…

You can see by the above slider how things have changed in the last month. That is a significant increase in the snowpack there which is good news for them.

There may be some lighter snows there today.

The storm will send out disturbances as I highlighted yesterday and a few of them are coming our way tonight into tomorrow morning. This will create more lift here in the Plains and rain will result for many areas…this rain will come into and through the region overnight into tomorrow morning.

Here is the HRRR model showing the next 15 or so hours…for timing purposes…21Z is 4PM…0Z is 7PM…3Z is 9PM and 6Z is 1AM

You can see all the rain moving through the northern parts of Mexico too…a sign of additional lift coming out of Mexico and coming towards the northeast.

That will be part one of the storm system.

Part two comes out Thursday and helps generate a decently strong surface storm across the western Plains region.

In the colder air on the northern side of the storm…that means snow. With the combo of the wind…that means blizzard conditions are possible out towards Wyoming and western Nebraska

So a pretty decent snowmaker in the western Plains region especially.

For us just rain…1 to maybe 3″ worth on top of pretty saturated soils.

Did you know that we actually have more moisture this year than we’ve had last yer into today’s date…by about an extra 1/2″ or so.

So the concern will be run-off…and while widespread flooding isn’t an issue right now…some localized flooding is certainly possible.

Locally there are a couple of rivers near minor flood stage, which isn’t that unusual for the late winter really.

So more wet weather coming…

The colder weather will come into the area in the wee hours of Friday morning…so Friday will be about 35° colder and it will feel even colder that that. The front’s timing appears to be sometime between 10PM and 2AM in terms of passage through the Metro…then the winds will switch from the S/SW to the N/NW and the colder air will pour into the region. We should see some pretty big 1-2 hour temperature drops.

The feature photo today is from Kevin N Keltner‎

Joe

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