Monday, October 31, 2011

Finally something to talk about!

Good Monday morning,

It has been a long time since we have been able to talk about some exciting weather. The rainfall for September through October has been extremely dry, with totals in most locations well under an inch. The average precipitation in this time frame is nearly 8 inches! So we are definitely due for some much needed rain. It has been weeks since we have seen any really exciting weather, and for once we are just a few days away from what is the start of a very active pattern.

A storm system is forecast to develop in the Rockies and strengthen as it pushes into the Plains. This storm has the potential to bring our area a some very interesting weather. By Thursday morning we could have seen rain eventually mixing with sleet and snow, and possibly changing to all snow. Thunderstorms with gusty winds and small hail are also possible. We will see a warm surge out ahead of the storm on Tuesday, and then a cold surge on the backside of the system. It has been a long time since we have talked about weather this exciting , but lets remember, this storm hasn't even formed yet.

Take a look at the map below valid 7 PM Wednesday:

You can see the upper level storm intensifying as it approaches Eastern Kansas and Missouri. The track and formation of this storm will be the determining factor as to weather we have a comma head of precipitation develop over our area Wednesday night. For it to get cold enough to snow, we will need some strong lifting and enough cold air to drop temperatures to near 32 degrees. This may very well happen, but the storm will need to take a perfect track. The models have been trending for the storm to take a perfect path and strength for a change over to snow Wednesday evening.

Take a look at the surface forecast map valid at the same time, 7 PM Wednesday:

Notice the blue dashed line approaching Northwest Missouri. That is the 540 thickness, which in most storms in one indication that it will be cold enough to snow north and west of this line. This line will be approaching the area around 7 PM Wednesday, and at the same time, we will going through the strongest lifting. But once again, this storm hasn't even formed yet, and there are still a lot of questions as to the strength and track.  So lets see how the next few models trend. We really need to break this extremely long dry spell. Will we end up with less than half and inch of rain, or an inch plus and a possible change over to snow? This is just the beginning of a series of storm system in the next 2 weeks.

Today should be very nice with light winds and highs in the 60's and approaching 70 degrees near Kansas City. Tuesday should be a great day as we get a surge of warm air in front of the approaching storm system. Highs should make a run in the low to mid 70's. Some locations south of I-70 and near Kansas City may approach 80 degrees.

I will have a new entry tomorrow on the approaching storm system.

Alex Pickman


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