Saturday, December 27, 2008

Some WILD weather!!

WOW!..what a wild day of weather. A very potent storm system is affecting much of the central U.S. The storm swung a warm front through Friday morning with an abnormally warm and humid airmass behind it with temperatures in the mid to upper 60's. This put in place all of the nessesary ingerdients for thunderstorm development. Now we just needed a trigger, and potent cold front heading toward the area would do the trick.

As the cold front approached the area and moved into central Kansas, I started seeing signs of rapid thunderstorm development. During that same hour, thunderstorms started rapidly forming just east and west of the Kansas/Missouri border. A couple of them turned severe with wind and hail the primary threat. A Tornado Watch was issued for areas east and southwest of Kansas City. Even with the Tornado Watch in place, most of the thunderstorms remained under severe limits, and the storms that did go severe were just marginally severe. If there were going to be any tornadoes, then the first storm that formed would of reached supercell status and they didnt. The storms continued to remained scattered around the area until the cold front arrived.

Right out ahead of the cold front, a line of thunderstorms developed with a swath of rain behind the storms. Some areas of the line formed bow echos and produced strong winds.That is what happened in Kansas City as a bow echo formed and pushed through with 70 mph winds.

Then the cold front moved through, and temperatures crashed began to crash. They dropped below freezing before the area of heavy rain moved out. This area of heavy rain became an area of heavy freezing. This caused the NWS to issue a freezing rain advisory and over 1/4 inch of ice formed in some locations such as Atchison, Kansas, where I am at. There is just over 1/4" inch of ice on the trees and other surfaces. Now that the rain is gone, we focus on a developing upper low trying to get its act together.

Take a look at the map below:

This upper low formed at the end if the potent storm system that swung the cold front through. I talked about the possibility of this happening in the last blog entry. If this hold together by the rime it reaches us, there is a possibility of getting up to an inch of snow in spots, but if it weakens and/or moves further north, a dusting or less will be the result.

There is already a band of snow developing in Kansas, and I am almost 100 percent sure we will see some snowflakes, but it is still up in the air to me as to how much will fall. Right now I will go with up to an inch possible. There is no chance of freezing rain later today as the cold air settles in. Temperatures by 3:00 PM should be in the mid to upper 20's around the area.

After we get over with this storm system, we get a break from this active and cold pattern with a dry warm up for about the next 4 days with highs all above freezing. Highs on Sunday will be in the low to mid 40's so this ice will all melt, and Monday, we get another big warm up with highs in the mid 50's to low 60's around the area again. Tuesday should also be warm again with highs in the 50's.

There is another storm system due in around New Years. I will talk about the next warm up, and the New Years storm later.

Alex Pickman


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