We’re coming out of the coldest air so far this fall season… and now we have another taste of summer heading this way. The in-between day is today and it will be another gorgeous sunny day with just some high clouds around.

The bigger warm-up cranks up Friday into the weekend as highs should surge into the 80s all three days and there’s going to be a lot of wind around… with the potential of neat 50 MPH winds for parts of the region on Sunday.

Now that we’re warming back up again, it’s worth talking about the 2nd severe weather season that can occur in October and November.

As we know, severe weather is something that can happen ANY month of the year. We’ve had events in December, January and February, but we more commonly are vulnerable from roughly the middle of April through the middle of June.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Forecast

Today: Sunny and very nice with highs in the lower 70s

Tonight: Fair and pleasant with lows in the 40s

Tomorrow: Windy and much warmer with highs 80-85°. Gusts to 30 MPH

Saturday: Same. Gusts to 40 MPH

Sunday: A few more clouds, windy with gusts to 50 MPH, and increasing clouds. Storms are possible later Sunday night. There may be some stronger storms, especially towards NW MO and NE KS later in the evening.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Discussion

After a couple of days of the furnace clicking on and off, now the A/C may click on and off heading into the weekend as warmer air starts to return to the region ahead of a cold front and strong storm system that will be developing through the upper Midwest.

With such dynamics in play, storms can develop, and that will be the focus on Sunday evening/night it appears. Typically storms in the fall are very fast movers, and while it may be tough to get tornadoes, it’s not as tough to get marginally severe level winds with such fast moving winds in the lower and middle part of the atmosphere.

I talked about this chance a couple of days ago in the blog and on the air.

Before we get to that though, here’s a look at what has happened so far this year:

Data is confirmed through June, and preliminary after that. In other words, the duplicated reports will be filtered out. Usually there is a small reduction from preliminary and actual, but not all the time.

So we stand right now 844 actual tornados with 130 others in the “preliminary” stage. That may be whittled down to about 100. So let’s roughly say about 950 tornados thus far in 2022. This chart ends on the 11th of October. I don’t think there has been anything since.

Odds are this season will fall below the three-year average of 1304, rather substantially unless November really cranks up some storms, which can’t be ruled out of course. There were 232 tornadoes in December of 2021 including the devastating and long-lived/tracked western KY tornado

December 2021 outbreak on the 10-11th

So things can happen in December, too. It’s just not as common.

One of the first steps though is we need to get some gulf moisture to move up toward the region. This will slowly evolve over the coming days. Right now the dew points are pretty low toward the Gulf Coast even into the Gulf of Mexico.

Dew points as of 10AM. Even in the Gulf dew points are barely 50°

So as things evolve over the weekend, and as stronger south winds work through the region, dew points will be on the uptick. We get something like this by later Saturday, give or take.

Our dew point this morning is a low 27° but is forecast to be closer to 55° by later Saturday.

Then by Sunday we should be well into the 50s for dew points again.

The surface storm part of the equation will be wrapping up in the western Dakotas. So that by later Sunday we have something like this.

I’ve dashed in black the area of concern for initially stronger storms to develop Sunday evening.

As the low pressure develops toward South Dakota, strong winds at the surface and aloft will be curving through the Plains region. As a matter of fact IF we go up to about 18,000 feet or so…you can see the strong winds clearly.

18,000 foot winds…note how the winds are in knots. Also note that 97 kts equals about 110 MPH in southern CO.

Those stronger winds are “poking” right towards the NW MO and SE NE region. IF we go farther up into the atmosphere to around 30,000 feet, I’m looking for areas where the air is “spreading out” and I’ve found some in the area outlined closer to KC.

When air spreads out at that level, referred to as “diffluence,” the air is rushing in below it to replace the air spreading out. This combination creates lift. Lift is important for developing thunderstorms.

So we have moisture, lift, and a surface front in the Plains. So we have the ingredients for storms. With the winds above us cranking away, the storms will be moving at warp speed towards the evening and overnight. That may allow some stronger winds above us to work towards the surface as the storms generate rain.

Odds favor winds to be the main threat for these storms. The tornadic risk is pretty small, but it’s not zero. Also, this might be more of a nighttime threat (or at least after sunset). We’ll see how much surface instability will be around towards the overnight hours.

We also need to see if dew points can get into the 60s with the sustained gulf moisture return.

The SPC has outlined the area of concern. This area may be expanded over the coming days

Finally, this just was released from NOAA: Its winter forecast. Remember they work in the probability world, so for our area, pretty much “equal chances.”

and moisture

Standard La Nina playbook forecast for moisture at least…

Look at LAST YEAR’S winter forecast for moisture…see how they’re almost identical.

Here was the reality…

December through February departures from normal.

Part of its new forecast for THIS winter is a look at the drought situation…and according to them…not great.

We’ll see…

The new drought report came out this morning and we’ve seen another downgrade in the areas outlined in yellow.

We’ve seen an expansion of the severe drought conditions on the northside of the Metro in the latest update

So that’s not good, and I’m not overly excited about the rain amounts at this point for the region on Sunday night either locally at least. NW MO should do better than us.

Our feature photo comes from Lesa Waldrip of a pretty sunrise in Parkville this morning

Joe