Wednesday, March 26, 2014

More Snow Expected Thursday for the Same Areas

Yet another storm is on the way for just about the sames areas who saw accumulating snow about a week ago. An area of low pressure will pass through the Midwest on Thursday. Areas further south will see a wintry mix or just plain old rain. There will be a warm side to the system as a warm front moves through places such as Illinois or Indiana. Even further south severe weather is expected to break out, see map below. Warmer weather arrives by the end of the weekend, which will be the first 60 for many areas!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Major Warm Up on Tap Next Week

Early next week has the potential to bring some of the warmest air of the season. With high pressure in the eastern part of the country and an area of low pressure passing through the Dakotas, strong warm air advection will bring Gulf air northward.
On the left you will see a map of 850mb temps for next Monday of the latest 18z GFS model run. It is showing widespread 10-15C temps, which translates to 60s/70s for at least the southern half of the Midwest, depending on where the front sets up. Stay tuned for updates on this incoming Spring.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Outlook and Spring Flood Threat

NOAA has released their annual Spring outlook for 2014. Believe it or not, we are now officially in the season of Spring! While the weather may not agree with the calender, warmer temperatures will eventually greet you outside. However, model trends and analog years point to a cool spring, as seen on the left.  Many factors are in play for the persistent cold, but significant snow cover and oscillating jet stream are two driving forces to the unwanted below normal temperatures.
The map on the right shows the flood risk over the next three months. The snow cover and frozen ground will cause problems with rain run off. Many areas in the Midwest are in the "moderate" risk area for flooding and should consider preparations to those that reside in a flood prone area. Otherwise, it will be a wait and see scenario and will depend on how quickly it warms up and/or where and if heavy rains occur in these areas. In other news, There are some signs of a warm up in 8-10 days on a few models! Something to watch for...

For the sake of Spring optimism, here is a 850mb temperature forecast of the 12z GFS ran this morning for 2 weeks from now. It is showing a warm Spring day and pattern. Cold air suppressed well north and a strong area of high pressure in the east. This pattern leads to a long fetch of warm air from the Gulf to Canada leading to widespread 60s/70s/80s. While this exact situation likely will not happen, it is showing up more and more on the models as this stubborn pattern is attempting to switch over.
Briefly discussing the U.S drought forecast, we see much of this country's dry conditions will reside in the desert southwest.  The CPC is predicting a drought removal for nearly all of the Midwest, after several years, thanks to an above normal winter in terms of precipitation.

Thanks to for the well done maps!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Major March Winter Storm Tuesday

A major March winter storm will slowly push through the Midwest on Tuesday. Snow will begin to overspread parts of the Upper Mississippi River Valley later Monday night and last through Tuesday. A foot of snow is not out of the question for areas around Duluth that usually see leeside downsloping (see red area). Otherwise, a wide area (for March) of accumulating snow from the Dakotas to the UP of Michigan. Areas further south will see mainly rain, with some mixing on the back side as cold air is ushered in.

This system will emerge out of the Rockies and deepen to a healthy 992mb. Then face upper atmospheric dynamic problems and quickly weaken back to a minimal 1000mb area of low pressure. However, the area of precipitation will continue in Minnesota, but will weaken with the storm. The real question comes in to yet another strengthening in Wisconsin, which will have a major impact on how much snow will fall in northern Wisconsin. This is not a standard winter storm and is ever-changing in the models. As always, the latest snow model can be found HERE!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Light to Moderate Snow Tonight with Associated with an Alberta Clipper-like System

A weak system will develop tonight and fall apart just as fast tomorrow morning. In the height of this disturbance a general area of 2-4" will fall with up to 5" in some spots and only an 1" around the heaviest band of snow. Most of the snow will fall overnight, making for a dicey commute for the morning in some spots, while other areas will not see a flake.
Areas that see clear skies will see the temperature drop like a rock, while the snow will act as a blanket to keep the atmosphere warm.

Latest Computer Model Projections

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Heavy March Snow on the Way, Anyone Surprised?

A major snow event is on tap for Sunday into Monday. This system will dump rain, snow and ice from coast to coast and effect the Midwest in a big, snowy way Sunday. With ample moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to overspread an arctic air mass already in place, snow will break out late Saturday night and continue well into Sunday. The heaviest axis of snow will stretch from central Nebraska to the New Jersey area, where up to a foot of snow is possible in areas on the east coast. Points further south will deal with a wintry mix that will limits snow accumulations.

On the right is a map of the current NWS watches, warnings and advisories. As you can see this storm will effect more that half of the country over the next few days. Winter storm warnings currently in place for 21 states on this, the first day of meteorological Spring, with winter storm watches kicking over the warning for the east coast late today or tomorrow. Notice the wind chill warnings in the Northern Plains, as yet another arctic blast is on the way after this system rolls though Sunday night.