Thursday, October 8, 2015

Once Hurricane Oho to Bring Record Warmth to the Midwest

It's happening again! A tropical cyclone is set to have a major impact on the weather across the United States. Remember Nuri last year (Nuri Post)? It brought a major pattern change, one to a cold trend. Oho, seen below, is set to have the opposite effect. Its track takes it north right on into the jet stream, which will help to build a ridge to the east of its track. This ridge will then propagate to the east and set up over the mid-section of the country for the weekend, bringing widespread 80s and 90s the parts of the Midwest.
Building the ridge is one way to bring warm weather to the area, but another method is also in play. With the counter-clockwise rotation around the deepening area of low pressure the winds will be out of the SW and create an onshore flow from the Pacific Ocean. As this flow persists, heavy rains will fall in the mountains and air will be forced up the front range of the Rocky Mountains. As this occurs air parcels will cool as they rise to levels of lower pressure. This cooling will allow for saturation to occur and increase the amount of rain in the area.

Then on the lee side of the mountains the opposite will occur. The air that was once going up the mountain will fall down on the opposite side. This will bring warm weather through a process called orographic warming. The air is forced down to higher pressure, which will act to warm the air parcels. The image on the left is the GFS model for 850mb temps Saturday, notice the vast area of warmer temps through the Dakotas and points northwest? Orographic warming can be thanked, along with Hurricane Oho for the pleasant conditions!
The map attached to the right shows just how much above normal temperatures can get on Sunday. The high temperatures on Sunday will run 15-30 degrees above average and record highs will be in danger. Would not be surprised to see some 90s in the Northern Great Plains! The weekend will also feature dry Canadian air, with dew points in the 50s. It can definitely be described as Indian Summer, all aided from a Hurricane that once threatened Hawaii.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

So Called, "Indian Summer" through mid-October

After a record warm September across much of the Midwest, the weather looks to hold its ground with more warm conditions. The pattern will set up to favor above normal temperatures through the next couple weeks, as the jet stream will push north into Canada and allow for winds to flow from south to north, bringing in warm weather. Precipitation will generally be limited through mid-October as the sun shine bright as we head into the meat of autumn.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Initial Winter Thoughts

We are back!! As the winter season nears, here are some initial thoughts on what the winter of 2016 will bring...It is starting to look more and more likely that warmer temps in the Pacific will hold the Polar jet stream further north than usual and keep the Midwest warmer than average. Big snows are still possible, with the best chance for above average snow in the southern Midwest feeding off the tropical jet. Otherwise we are leaning towards slightly below normal snow amounts, but certainty is lower for precipitation anomalies. One thing looks certain, above average temperatures do look very likely!

Follow me on twitter for continued discussion: Personal Twitter Page

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Remnants of Hurricane Blanca to Dump Heavy Rain Thursday

Very heavy rain in on the way for Thursday across much of the Midwest. Flash Flood watches have already been issued and rightfully so. Moisture from Hurricane Blanca (which once made landfall in Mexico) will amplify an area of low pressure that will form over parts of the Great Plains. With a feed of moisture in from the Gulf of Mexico and Blanca's moisture, heavy rain will set up on the north side of the track of low pressure. A large swath of 1-4" will fall, with locally higher amoutns likely. Someone could walk away with near a half of a foot of rain by Friday. These types of totals can cause urban flooding and rising rivers. Be ready to take action if you reside in a low lying area. Meanwhile, severe weather to the south could drop local amounts of heavy rain and strong thunderstorms pass by. Below is the simulated radar off the 18z NAM Model for Thursday.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

March Weather to Hold its own

More of the same right on through the first half of the weekend. After a week of above normal temperatures, we are stuck in a pattern of chilly weather. Welcome to April! A cut-off area of low pressure off to the northeast will slowly sift to the east over the next few days. For the Midwest, this means that winds will come straight out of Canada and usher in cold air. Areas near the lakes will be even cooler and water temperatures continue to be cool.
Meanwhile, another storm system will move up from the four corners regions and set up for a soggy, yet much need rain across central parts of the Midwest. Relief does set in by Sunday and next week as temperatures climb back to normal levels and the sun peaks out yet again.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Chasing Historic Midwest Tornadoes

Well, it has been a crazy 24 hours! My video and comments have been on local news around the country. I currently have a broker licensing my video of an EF-4 tornado to media outlets. It all started after bailing from a separate tornadic cell after it began to get wrapped in rain. After getting ahead of that cell, another super cell began to form to the east, so we chased after it. Witnessed the funnel form and then touch down. We then reported to emergency management, 2 minutes later a warning was issued. It rapidly grew into a large tornado. We stayed with it for an hour and 15 minutes before losing it in the darkness and trees. It might be safe to say I will never see anything like that again. It was historic. Here is our chase video:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Major Severe Weather Outbreak Likely Thursday

Thursday could feature large and damaging thunderstorms across a highly populated area Thursday. A strong cyclone will bring in warm and moist air from the south. This will fuel thunderstorm development, with large amounts of shear and instability some of the storms could be damaging. There will be a threat for large and long track tornadoes as well. Right now it looks like the largest threat will be from the Mississippi River up toward Chicago. Be sure to watch the latest local forecasts.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Severe Weather and Heavy Rain on the Way, for some

Another round of severe weather and heavy rain will impact the Ohio River valley Thursday. A strong storm system that brought severe weather and 80+ degree temperatures to Minneapolis is pushing south and east. With a humid air mass in place and a cold front crashing south east, storms will have an ample amount of energy to work with, as well as a strong trigger in the form of a cold front. The main threat for severe weather will be damaging winds, along a squall line, with embedded areas of large to damaging hail.

Meanwhile, heavy rain looks to be an even larger problem. With deep Gulf moisture streaming north ahead of the strong cyclone over the Midwest, dew point and humidity will be primed for heavy rain. Precipiatable water values support almost a half of a foot of rain, Luckily, this area is running somewhat below average in recent precipitation. At the same time, 5" of rain across the Ohio River could cause major problems. A flash flood watch has been posted by the National Weather Service, in anticipation of the heavy rain over the next 48 hours.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Heavy Snow to Parts of the Midwest Tonight

A strengthening band of baroclinicity across the region will bring the potential for very heavy and possible convective snow at times. The snow has already erupted this afternoon in Minnesota and is poised to develop further in areas near the MN/IA.WI corner. It appears that a wide area of 3-6" will be likely by Monday morning, but withing the swath areas will see amounts near 8" where the bands of heavier snow set up over. Winter weather advisories and warnings have been posted.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Typical March Weather through Next Week

After a week of well above normal temperatures and 2 weeks of well below normal temperatures prior, we are now heading into an average March pattern. The jet stream is currently running directly from west to east, and will hold its own over the next week. This feature usually brings near average weather to the Midwest, and this March will be no exception. The attached image is the temperatures compared to normal over the next 1 to 5 days off the CFS model. The next five days look very similar, before cooler weather works in late next week. As for precipitation, the Midwest looks to stay very dry, with minimal threat for large rain or snow events in the foreseeable future.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Winter Storm to Bring Snow and More Cold

Yet another winter storm will impact the Midwest. This time around areas further to the north will get in on the action. A storm will develop on Monday over eastern Colorado and track east, northeast Monday night. Southerly winds ahead of the system will usher in warm and moist air along the Mississippi River. The moisture will wrap around the center of the storm Tuesday and drop several inches in the cold sector of the system by Wednesday morning. Our forecasted snow totals are mapped out for you. A general 2-5" of snow can be expected from northern Iowa to Canada. Areas further south will be limited in snow totals, as a warmer layer above the surface will change much of the snow to sleet, freezing rain and just plain old rain. Thunderstorms and even some severe weather is possible points further south. No matter where you are, cold air will once again filter in behind the system as Wednesday and Thursday get closer. Things look to warm up significantly Friday and Saturday, before a possible pattern change next week that could bring above normal temperatures to the Midwest. A welcomed sight for many!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Moderate Snow Saturday into Sunday

A developing area of low pressure will pass over the Ohio River Valley over the weekend. An area of snow will fall on the back side of the system. It appears that a general 3-6" snowfall will fall from Nebraska to Ohio. There may be some 7" amounts in isolated areas within the band.

The next storm looks to strike the Midwest Tuesday. It will be even stronger and affect areas further to the north that have been stricken of snow in recent weeks. Stay tuned for updates

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Quick Hitting Alberta Clipper

A quick hitting, fluffy snow event will take place tomorrow, with Iowa in the bulls eye. The snow will be accompanied by an Alberta Clipper that is forming in southwestern Canada at this moment. Snow will begin to break out along a frontal boundary tonight in the Dakotas and develop rapidly, with a band of heavier snow through central South Dakota to Iowa, before weakening in the moisture stricken area near Illinois. Winter weather advisories and warnings have already been issued in anticipation. The weekend storm is looking less and less impressive.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Persistent Alaskan Ridge to Favor More Cold Blasts, maybe a storm?

More of the same on the way for much of the United States, cold, and substantial cold. All time records are in danger yet again as we start this next work week, especially around the Ohio River Valley. The general pattern over the next 10-15 days will feature a massive ridge over the Pacific Ocean. This will allow multiple shots of cold, arctic air on the same caliber as the past 10+ days to filter into the US. As storm systems continue to pass into the north Pacific, warm air is ushered north.
As a result, the flow pushes the jet stream north. Since the Polar jet acts like a wave, any perturbation must be felt down stream. In this case a massive trough sets up in the eastern half of the country. The attached map shows the geopotential height anomalies off the GFS model, a good indication of where troughs and ridges will likely set up. The warm anomalies can be thought of as ridges, and cold anomalies troughs. The CPC agrees with continued cold air across much of the CONUS over the next 8-14 days. This pattern is similar to the one that set up in January last year. Luckily, we are heading into March, so the sun angle is higher in the sky and "Polar Vortex-like" temperatures will not be seen. However, departures from average will be extensive, and there will be nothing Spring-like about the next two weeks.

It has been generally dry, or snow free in the Midwest over the past month or so. This can be attributed to the northwest to southeast flow. Alberta clippers can form on such a pattern, but they are usually moisture stricken, as their origin is in a cold dry area of Canada. Meanwhile, the east coast was orientated directly in the active storm track. There is a potential that we could head into a more stormy pattern, in the Midwest. Some models suggest the trough to push far enough west and high pressure to build off the east coast. This would allow the jet stream and storm track to set up through the Great Lakes, with snow to the west of the storm track.  This would be very favorable for winter storms and cyclones in the Midwest. It would also signal warmer weather for the east coast. Our first opportunity of this change comes in next weekend. The European and american models are showing decent snow across Iowa and Wisconsin, as a storm system and substantial line of baroclinicity sets up. We will need to watch this closely and provide updates, as needed if these storms come to fruition.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Snow and Ice Across the Ohio River Valley Saturday

A storm system is beginning to get its act together in Northern Texas. An area of sleet and freezing rain has now developed ahead of the low pressure in an area of significant lift in the atmosphere, along an area of baroclinicity. Much of this precipitation will kick over to all snow as cold air wins out in Illinois and points east. As the system cross into the Southern Ohio River Valley, it will begin to deepen and draw in significant Gulf of Mexico moisture and deposit it into the cold air mass to the north. Ground temperatures will are cold enough for accumulation to begin at the onset of the snow. A wide area of 3-6" will be likely north of the Ohio River, with the potential for up to 7" or 8" in an area that has the potential to stay all snow throughout the event.

On the warm side of the system, freezing rain will be a concern. Winter storm warnings and ice storm warnings are in effect for tonight through Saturday. On the right is the freezing rain potential, courtesy of the WPC. With warm air aloft and a substantial cold air layer near the surface, ice accumulation is yet again going to stack up, on the order of a quarter inch or more. Power outages and impassable roads can be expected in the hardest hit locations. We have attached a snapshot of the 18z GFS, at the height of the storm. One thing to notice is that the rain/snow line, as per usual, will feature a sharp cut off. Any minor tweaks to the track, or strength of the cold air could majorly impact snow totals in some areas. Along with the expansive cold across the eastern US, winter is definitely not over yet. The pattern looks to stay cold for the next 10 days, when we may switch over to a more zonal and warm pattern, fingers crossed.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Storm System to Pass through Ohio River Valley

It looks to be a bit of a mess for the weekend in some of the same areas. While we are historically cold in some area, much of this system looks to be on the warmer side of things. A few inches of snow are possible on the back side, with 3-5" possible as the system reaches Ohio. On the warm size, widespread sleet and freezing rain will likely cause travel issues, before kicking over to rain as more warm air is pulled into the center of the storm.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

POTENTIAL Snow Maker this Weekend

The latest GFS model run is in, and it shows the potential for a winter storm this weekend. This feature has been in the models several days ago, but has since vanished. Well, it is back in full force. The GFS has been the best model to be the first to pick out a winter storm this year. IF THIS VERIFIES, we are looking at a 4-8" storm somewhere in the Midwest. We will certainly keep you updated in the coming days on this potential winter storm. Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Major Ice and Snow Storm to Impact Rare Areas

Yet another winter storm to strike eastern parts of the country. This time areas further south will get into the action. From Missouri to New Jersey, several inched of snow are likely with frozen precipitation points further south. The heaviest snow looks to fall in Central and Eastern Kentucky, where over a foot of snow is likely in localized areas. Meanwhile from Arkansas to North Carolina, significant and dangerous freezing rain will set up, over a half inch of ice may fall over a wide area. Power outages will be a rule of thumb by Monday and Tuesday.
Here is a forecast sounding off the American GFS model for an area just south of Little Rock Arkansas. This is a textbook example of a freezing rain sounding. The precipitation begins as snow above 700mb, it then hits 700-900mb up into the atmosphere, where temps are above freezing, so it melts. Once the precipitation hits 900mb it will then begin to refreeze on contact, as ground temperatures are forecasted to be in the middle half of the 20s! This could be a dangerous situation and a news worthy freezing rain event as the work week begins.

Even if you miss out on the direct impacts of the cyclone, cold air will fill the eastern half of the country by Wednesday and Thursday. It will be even colder than it has been this weekend, as another piece of the polar vortex drops south, thanks to an expansive ridge in the west and cyclone energy in the east. Wind chill warnings and advisories will certainly be issued by the NWS in the coming days. We have mapped out the area where high temperatures are in danger of not reaching zero on either Wednesday or Thursday, this would be over 36 hours of below zero weather. The pattern is going along with our Original Winter Forecast, so hopefully our projection of a relatively warmer start to spring holds true and the analog forecast years verify. Thanks for stopping by the page and be sure to 'like' our Facebook page for more content and updates, there is like box on the right panel for your convenience. Stay warm out there.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Excessive Cold to Last through February

Here comes winter, again. The pattern that brought much of the winter storms to the east coast and quick hitting clippers to the midwest will amplify further. This will allow could Canadian air masses into the eastern 2/3 of the country as the jet stream looks to stay south. There will be occasional warm-ups ahead of storm systems, but when they pass through the winds will quickly shift to the north and cool thing down considerably once again. Highs will run 15-30 degrees below normal through much of the next 2 weeks, with the exception of 1-2 days warm-ups.

The attached video is a loop of surface temperature anomalies off the 18z GFS model. It shows the persistent cold through the next 16 days, mainly in the east. While 2 meter temperatures off models are not the best forecast tool for surface temperatures, it does give a general idea of what we are thinking at Midwest Weather. Below is the 250mb mean wind, it shows a large ridge in the west and a trough in the east. This is the common recipe for prolonged cold spells. Meanwhile, Alaska stays warm, likely warmer than much of the Midwest over the next couple weeks, something to pay attention to .

Monday, February 9, 2015

Accumulating Snow and Freezing Rain

A weak system will bring a few inches of snow to the upper Midwest starting Tuesday afternoon and lasting into Wednesday, depending on your location. Nothing to major, as much of the snow will come Tuesday night, with the exception of Minnesota, where the snow will begin Tuesday afternoon, which could lead to a slick rush hour near Minneapolis. Total snow amounts are mapped out for you. Winter weather advisories are now in effect, mainly in our 2-4" band. Meanwhile, freezing rain will impact areas where warm air aloft will work in as the precipitation shield is still in place. Those areas are in pink, much of this area is under a freezing rain advisory.