Flood Watch

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Go Billikens! (St Louis University). We’re playing MSU this afternoon and while I don’t have high hopes, IF we can keep them under 60 points, we’ll have a chance.

Well it’s going to rain…and rain a lot over the next 3-4 days and while it’s been dry lately the potential of some localized flooding will be increasing by Tuesday and/or Wednesday. There is even the potential for some hail from these storms, but not till later in the week. The big thing will be the rain and that’s what I’ll be focusing on for the next few minutes.

The storm is now in the Desert SW, where rain has been falling in the deserts and heavy mountain snow has fallen through the SW part of the country. Some of the highways there have been closed because of all the snowfall. Meanwhile for the time being we’re still on the warm side of the storm, as is most of the country east of the Rockies where again today, record highs are falling like crazy, including the 5th straight record high being set in Chicago. Last night I talked about some of the cities that set ALL-TIME March highs yesterday, including International Falls, MN (77°) which shattered a daily record as well by an amazing 22°!

The good news about this storm is that the Sierra Nevada is getting much needed snowfall that will eventually turn back into water for the reservoirs out  there. Some areas have had 5-7(!) feet of snow over the past 3 days or so!

The storm now spinning near Las Vegas, NV. You can see it clearly on the satellite loop. Right now it’s 49 in Phoenix and 43 in Tuscon, AV…pretty darn cold. The storm will eventually come through the SW part of the country, get into TX and start meandering since it will be “cut-off” from the main jetstream that will be way up into Canada and into the NW part of the country. As a matter of fact it may meander across TX for a couple of days and depending on where it comes out finely will determine whether or not we have to worry about rain on Thursday.

The rain, with such a tropical atmosphere will be very heavy at times and with the storm being so slow moving, any little disturbance coming up the State Line will trigger additional rainfall. The rain may initially move in from the SW then eventually from the S then as the storm gets a bit closer, the rain will spin our way from the SE…so it will be moving towards the NW, from the Lakes region towards KC!

As the temperatures aloft get colder and colder later in the week, mainly THU, should there be holes in the clouds and enough instability gets going, we’ll need to watch for some convection. IF that scenario plays out, and with the freezing level so low in the atmosphere, it sure wouldn’t take much to create some hail. Something to think about at least.

Now in terms of how much rain may fall…here is a look at the models. First the NAM…through later Wednesday.

This indicates 2-4″ on the KS side and 1-3″ on the MO side.

Here is the GFS on a regional scale, maxing out with almost 11″ in SW AR…for us we’re roughly in a 2-4″ swath. This would be accumulated through Friday AM

I thought I’d throw in the ensemble runs of the GFS as well, with this being a cutoiff low that there is still a question about where it’s final track will be I thought it would be a good compromise especially for the amounts through WED AM.

Click on all those images to make them larger!

The bottom line is that there is widespread agreement of a heavy, prolonged rainfall event. Temperatures will also be coming down as well through WED as the clouds and the rain keep highs in check.

Concerning severe weather chances through Tuesday, I think the better chances will be well south of the region. I don’t think there will be enough instability to get a lot going, however there will be a lot of wind aloft, in the area of 45-55 MPH a few thousand feet above the ground, so it would not be out of the question to get a marginal high wind report from anything that can get going. Those same strong winds aloft will keep the storms moving from the south to the north VERY quickly.

By the way, I’ll be handling the morning duties for the next few days, so expect lots of graphics and radar coverage of the storm and all the rain!

Joe

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