Sunday, February 28, 2010
Lets take a glance at the week to come... weather wise. Here is a view of this morning's computer model run of NOAA's global forecast model for Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
In the above graphic: Time runs right to left. The vertical solid colored bars indicate precipitation. Green - rain. Blue - snow. The red line is the surface temperature. The grey boxes are clouds at varying heights.
It is looking like a relatively quiet week ahead. Notice the clouds streaming in starting Monday. This will be cloud cover coming in off a system that should miss us to the south. The clouds will stick around for a couple of days.
Temperatures will also drop off for Tuesday and Wednesday. This model puts high temperatures in the upper 30's to lower 40's. (If it was a month ago we'd probably be talking high temperatures in the upper 20's.) We will start to rebound with the temperatures for Thursday and Friday as high temperatures climb in to the upper 40's to lower 50's.
Question marks exist for the weekend. Notice the model brings in rain for both Saturday and Sunday. The model spits out about 0.2" of rain for late Friday night through Saturday morning. Then it puts out an additional 0.25" for Sunday. We'll see if this stays in the forecast as we go through the week.
If you are sick of the cold here is something to boost your spirits. Meteorological spring starts tomorrow (March 1)!
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Take a look at some of the helicorders from around the region. Time goes from top of the screen to the bottom.
First I want to show you a helicorder from a calm day two days ago.
Here are the helicorders from this morning across the region. The earthquake happened around 6:34 UTC.
Poplar Bluff, MO:
St. Louis, MO:
I added Hawaii, Alaska, and the United States so you can get your bearings. It is showing the energy moving through the Pacific Ocean. It is this energy that powers the tsunami.
You can watch live coverage from Raycom News Network's KHNL-TV in Honolulu.
To put the Chile earthquake in perspective lets compare it to the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in January. The Haiti earthquake was a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. This means that the Chile earthquake was roughly 850 to 900 times stronger than the Haiti earthquake.
I have been looking over some of the data from the US Geological Survey's earthquake website. The earthquake started at 3:34am Chile time. The epicenter was 200 miles southwest of Santiago, Chile.
This was a deep earthquake. It was measured at 21.7 miles below the surface. That is important to know. The deeper the earthquake often times the less shaking takes place at the surface. Earthquakes in southeast Missouri are typically much more shallow. Generally in the 2-7 miles deep.
Just like Haiti, strong aftershocks continue to shake Chile. Through 7:40am CT there have been 19 aftershocks ranging from 5.0 magnitude to 6.2 magnitude.
Another threat from the earthquake is the possibility of tsunamis. At one point this morning there were Tsunami Warnings in place for 40 countries across the world. Hawaii will be evacuating some locations across the islands at 6am Hawaii time. You can follow coverage from Hawaii from our Raycom News Network affiliate KHNL on their website. You can also watch their LIVE coverage here. The waves are expected to hit Hawaii around 3:00pm CT Saturday afternoon.
Additional information from the USGS site regarding the region the earthquake hit.
This earthquake occurred at the boundary between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates. The two plates are converging at a rate of 80 mm per year. The earthquake occurred as thrust-faulting on the interface between the two plates, with the Nazca plate moving down and landward below the South American plate.
Coastal Chile has a history of very large earthquakes. Since 1973, there have been 13 events of magnitude 7.0 or greater. The February 27 shock originated about 230 km north of the source region of the magnitude 9.5 earthquake of May, 1960 – the largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world. This magnitude 9.5 earthquake killed 1655 people in southern Chile and unleashed a tsunami that crossed the Pacific, killing 61 people in Hawaii, Japan, and the Philippines. Approximately 870 km to the north of the February 27 earthquake is the source region of the magnitude 8.5 earthquake of November, 1922. This great quake significantly impacted central Chile, killing several hundred people and causing severe property damage. The 1922 quake generated a 9-meter local tsunami that inundated the Chile coast near the town of Coquimbo; the tsunami also crossed the Pacific, washing away boats in Hilo harbor, Hawaii. The magnitude 8.8 earthquake of February 27, 2010 ruptured the portion of the South American subduction zone separating these two massive historical earthquakes.
A large vigorous aftershock sequence can be expected from this earthquake.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
At noon temperatures range from 63° in Cape Girardeau and Paducah to 48° in Farmington, Mo to 41° in St. Louis. Think something is going on in the atmosphere today? haha
From the Weather Factoids.... Today's 63° temperature at Cape Girardeau is the highest temperature for 2010. (We still haven't reached the high temperature of the day.) It has been 84 days since we last saw a temperature of 63° or higher. It was 65° on November 28, 2009.
There has been some nice sunshine over southeast Missouri, western Kentucky, and northwest Tennessee but that will be coming to an end soon. Take a look at the visible satellite image taken at 12:10pm CT below.
Showers and thunderstorms are moving across central Missouri and Arkansas. Expect to see rain move in from the southwest by mid-afternoon.
Another interesting weather factoid I pulled up this evening. I wanted to compare the start of this year to 2009. You will remember that 2009 was the year of the MAJOR ice storm that hit the area.
Number of 60°+ days January 1 through February 19.
- 2009: 8 (2 in January & 6 in February)
- 2010: 2 (1 in January & 1 in February)
I think we should see a good deal of sunshine during the morning and early afternoon. Clouds will start to increase and then rain will start to move in from the west. Our hi-res model, RPM, is hinting at a line of rain, with embedded thunderstorms, moving in to our western counties of southeast Missouri around 6pm CT. Some thunder is not out of the question tomorrow evening. No concerns. Nothing severe is expected.
Enjoy the mild temperatures tomorrow as everything is pointing to a return of cold air starting Monday evening. The coldest day should be Wednesday with Thursday morning being the coldest morning. Currently, I am going for a high temperature of 30° for both Wednesday and Thursday, but some of the new data coming in tonight is making my number look a little optimistic. Perhaps highs in the 20°'s? We shall see...
Saturday, February 20, 2010
The 55° temperature at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport is the warmest temperature in 26 days.
We have seen a nice gradual increase over the last couple of days.
- Feb. 15 - 28°
- Feb. 16 - 34°
- Feb. 17 - 44°
- Feb. 18 - 49°
- Feb. 19 - 51°
Even with the 50° the last two days we are still well below normal as far as temperatures are concerned. Through yesterday, Feb. 19, we are 5.3° below average per day for the month.
Get out and enjoy the warmer temperatures this weekend as it won't be around long. All signs indicate that another shot of cold air is coming down our way.
Above is an image from the European forecast model of surface pressure and temperatures around 3,000 feet up in the atmosphere at 6pm CT Wednesday. As you can see, it brings in a shot of cold air for Wednesday.
We might be getting to the corner, but we haven't rounded it just yet.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Take a look at the snowfall accumulations maps from this morning's GFS and NAM runs. Notice how the snow areas are well north of the region.
The Canadian model also keeps us warm. The below image from the Canadian model shows what could be going on Sunday evening. Remember the pink line is roughly the rain/snow line.
The Japanese model (below) is still trying to bring the storm further south compared to the other models. If the JMA is correct there could be an accumulating snow over the northwestern third Monday.
I should mention that the Canadian is hinting at some change over to some light snow on the backside of the system. However, the model is much drier compared to the JMA.
Since it appears we won't be dealing with much snow over the next couple of days, it looks like we will be dealing with rain instead. Some of the rain could be heavy. Here is a look at the NAM's quantitative precipitation forecast (how much rain could fall) over the next 84 hours.
It is showing that we could see anywhere from 0.50" to over 1" of rain during that time period. Some rain wouldn't be a bad thing. For the year we are 2.25" below normal.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Today's 40°+ is the seventh day this month to reach 40° or more. Fourteen of the previous 17 days (82%) have been below average. We are currently 5.6° below average per day this month. That works out to a temperature deficit of 95.2°.
Seriously, models have been a little all over the place with the two systems that will swing through. The first arriving Friday night through Saturday morning and the second coming in Sunday night. Many of the models try to push in slightly warmer air as the storm moves in to southeast Missouri. So right now, everything seems to point at mainly rain for the majority of the KFVS viewing area. However, as you look at the northern third of the area there could be a mix of rain, sleet, and a little snow.
Here is a look at this morning's NAM's output of snowfall amounts through 84 hours (Sunday afternoon).
Just beyond the reach of the NAM is the Sunday night system. This one looks to be the more troublesome of the two systems as it could bring some snow to parts of the area.
Again, models are all over the board. The GFS brings the warmer air north and keeps the KFVS viewing area mainly rain.
Here is a look at the GFS snowfall totals through 120 hours.
It is interesting to take a look at some other models with the Sunday storm. Today I'll give you a look at the Canadian model and the Japanese model.
First here is the Canadian model.
The image (above) shows what is going at 6pm CT Sunday. This looks like a typical winter storm for this region. The rain/snow line is the pink line and splits this area in two. North of the line would be snow. South of the line would be rain. And somewhere along the line would be a mix.
This image (above) shows what is going on at 12am CT Monday. You can see the rain/snow line sliding south indicating that colder air is moving in on the back side of the storm.
Here is the Japanese model.
The above image shows the model data at 6am CT Sunday. Take a look at where the rain/snow line is located. It is much further north and north of the storm. As warm air is drawn north on southerly winds ahead of the storm it would keep the moisture as rain. Perhaps on the backside of the storm there could be some change over, but this model still keeps the cold air a bit further north on the backside of the storm.
So what is the bottom line? It is too early to tell exactly what type of precipitation is going to fall with the Sunday/Monday morning storm. Hopefully the models will start to come in to better agreement as we get closer to the storm.
Here is a look at a map with snowfall amounts drawn on from the National Weather Service office in Paducah.
Here was my forecast.
Monday, February 15, 2010
How much snow did we pick up? Here is a look at reports sent in to the National Weather Service around the area.
- Red Bud, IL 4.1"
- Mt. Vernon, IL 4"
- Plumfield, IL 3"
- Water Valley, KY 2.3"
- Pinckneyville, IL 2"
- Shawneetown, MO 2"
- Bloomsdale, MO 1"
- Mayfield, KY 1"
- Sharon, TN 1"
- Union City, TN 1"
- Cape Girardeau, MO 0.9"
- Farmington, MO 0.5"
- Marble Hill, MO 0.2"
Over the last 40 years we have averaged 12.6" of snow per winter. Here is how the snow totals rank over the last 11 years.
- 23.3" 2002-2003
- 14.1" 2004-2005
- 13.3"* 2009-2010
- 11.6" 2000-2001
- 8.8" 2005-2006
- 8.4" 2001-2002
- 6.3" 2007-2008
- 5.3" 1999-2000
- 3.9" 2003-2004
- 3.3" 2006-2007
- 3.0" 2008-2009
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Here is a look at the radar at approximately 5:45pm CT.
The snow will probably taper off a few hours before the upper-level portion of the storm moves through. You can see the upper-level portion of the storm taking shape across the western part of Missouri in this radar image.
Snow totals will be pretty close to what I had on here yesterday. I have "fine tuned" the amounts a little. Basically I have taken the amounts down just a bit.
The above are my snowfall amounts through late morning Monday.
As is usually the case "clippers" don't bring much snow to southeast Missouri, western Kentucky, and extreme southern Illinois.
Data coming in from last night is supporting the above statement. The NAM computer model seems to have the best handle on this "storm".
Here is a look at a regional view of snowfall forecast amounts from this morning's run of the NAM:
Here is a look at the same model in the KFVS viewing area:
It is still looking like the precip should be moving in later tonight as the upper-level low moves in. This will be the snow-maker for the area with this storm. The heaviest snow will be over southern Illinois (Northeast sections of southern Illinois).
Saturday, February 13, 2010
It appears that there will be less and less moisture to work with for this system. This isn't too surprising as clipper systems like this typically don't bring much snow to this area. It is looking like the heaviest snow from this system will fall over south central Indiana.
I don't expect for us to see very much from this system overnight. That isn't saying we couldn't see anything, but I don't think it is likely. The heaviest snow will come as the upper level portion of the storm moves in and through the area.
Generally, the heaviest snow around the KFVS viewing area will be in northern portions of southern Illinois. A 2" to 4" snow isn't out of the question with a few locations getting 4.5".
South of that area is the 1" to 3" band. Honestly, I don't think there will be too many 3" reports from that area. I think it will mainly be a 1" to 2" area.
Here is the 18z NAM run. Snow accumulations through Monday night.
Here is the 18z GFS run. Snow accumulations through Monday night.
I should say that I normally don't give a lot of stock in the 6z/18z runs of the computer models. When they ingest data to start the modeling process, they do not include upper-air data in the initialization.
To contrast this information one of our 12km forecast model, the RPM, tries to drop even more snow across the area. It is suggesting a 2"- 7.5" snow across southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, and western Kentucky. haha I'm not buying this one at all. This model likes to flip flop more than a dead fish on the beach.
I am still feeling pretty good with my snow forecast from earlier today. Although, if the north trend continues in the models, it could be a little less than forecast.
Here is what the models are putting out for snowfall for the region. Remember, this is not my forecast, just what computer models are suggesting.
12z NAM Snowfall amounts through 6:00pm CT Monday:
12z GFS Snowfall amounts through 6:00pm CT Monday:
I think the NAM is a little closer to reality. Here is a zoomed in look for the KFVS viewing area.
There could be parts of southeast Missouri that only receive rain from this as depicted above.
The advisory covers all of southern Illinois, western Kentucky, northwest Tennessee, and parts of southeast Missouri.
I would anticipate additional Winter Weather Advisories being issued for Sunday night through Monday afternoon.
Here is the data from NOAA's NAM forecast model.
A couple of items to take note of when compared to the data from yesterday morning.
1) First and foremost... Not as much precipitation. During the time period from Saturday night through Sunday morning the NAM is putting out around 0.06" of liquid. Snow wise, that would be about 0.5". During the Sunday afternoon through Monday morning time period the model is putting out 0.23" liquid. The model is showing some of that falling as rain. Snow wise, that would be around 2.2".
You can look at the type of precipitation by looking at the colored vertical bars. Green indicates rain. Blue indicates snow.
2) Temperature profile... The models keep the idea of "warm" air being at the surface. By warm, I am referring to temperatures above the freezing mark (0°C/32°F). With the warmer temperatures whatever falls will have a hard time accumulating. Either it will melt as it reaches the surface or it will be very wet/slushy.
The yellow lines indicate air temperatures at different altitudes. The temperatures are shown in celsius.
This run of the NAM brings in warmer temperatures at the surface. If this model is correct, temperatures could climb in to the upper 30's Sunday afternoon. Hence, the model is indicating rain. You can look at the surface temperature by looking at the red line. The line is shown in fahrenheit.
All totaled the NAM is putting down 2"-3" of snow for the two rounds. To compare, the NOAA's global forecast model is putting down 2.5"-3.5" of snow for the same two rounds. The same models are putting down a total of 3"-4.5" for the Farmington, Missouri area.
The data is much closer to what I was thinking in yesterday's post. As I said earlier, clipper systems historically don't put down a lot of snow around here. This clipper is a little different than most clippers due to the path. Typically, clippers slide through Illinois and Indiana. This one will slide further west and south going through Missouri, southern Illinois, and western Kentucky.
I am thinking 2"-3" of snow starting tonight through Monday morning for the northern half of southeast Missouri (up to 4" around Farmington/Ste. Genevieve), 2"-4" (maybe 4.5") for southern Illinois, 2"-3.5" is a good call for the northern half of western Kentucky.
Friday, February 12, 2010
A weak disturbance is moving through creating snow flurries at times. The air is drier in the bottom 2,000' of the atmosphere so much of what is showing up on radar imagery is most likely not reaching the ground.
As mentioned earlier, another disturbance is forecast to come out of the Rockies and quickly dive to the southeast over the weekend. As the surface low develops moisture is likely to develop on the east/northeast side of the low. As the surface low moves in towards the KFVS viewing area moisture could start to fall and reach the ground. Initially it will fall as a rain/snow mixture before turning over to sleet.
You can see this a little easier by looking at the afternoon run of NOAA's global forecast model.
Blue vertical bars indicate snow. Orange vertical bars indicate sleet.
During the initial rain/snow period the model is depicting 0.1" of liquid to work with. If it were to fall as all snow we could be talking 1.2" to 1.5" of snow.
As the system swings through cold air will start to usher in on the back side. If this model is correct, available moisture should increase meaning the snow should increase. The models are spitting out 0.35" of liquid which would turn in to an additional 4"-5" of snow on the back side of the low (round 2).
There are several elements in play that are keeping me from totally buying in to this solution.
Lets talk temperatures... Temperatures are extremely important for a snow accumulating storm. The red line in the above graphic shows the surface temperature. You can see temperatures will be straddling the 32°-33° range Saturday evening through Sunday morning. You can get an idea what the temperatures are by looking at the scale on the far right in gray.
Look at the yellow lines in the graphic. The yellow lines indicate the temperature at different levels of the atmosphere. Look to the right and you can see a scale of altitude in 1,000's of feet indicated in white. This run of the forecast model tries to bring in some warmer air at the surface starting late Saturday morning. It takes temperatures above freezing (0°C/32°F) and hugs the warmer air at the surface through Sunday night. If this is the case, a lot of what falls would be very "wet" and probably have a hard time accumulating.
As far as where most of the snow should fall will be over southern Illinois. Parts of southeast Missouri as well as western Kentucky could see the snow too.
The temperature profile and the models depiction of all of the available moisture in the atmosphere are two reasons why I am not buying the heavier snowfall predictions just yet. Also, historically, clippers like this don't usually bring this much snow to this region.
While typing this up the National Weather Service in St. Louis has just issued a Winter Weather Advisory for several counties in southeast Missouri and southern Illinois.
The advisory will be in effect 6:00pm Saturday evening through midnight Sunday night. In the advisory area they are calling for 2"-5" of snow.
I have had a few people asking why I haven't been keeping the blog up-to-date over the last two days... Believe it or not I usually update the blog on my time off from work. It has been very busy the last couple of weeks in the weather department so I decided to give myself a couple of days off from taking time to update the blog. I wish there was a way to automate the process of going over all of the data, creating the graphics, and finally putting all my thoughts in to words. I usually spend an hour (if not more) going through the entire process.
Ok, enough defending myself on my own personal blog. haha
I will be working my usual shift at the station Saturday and Sunday so I'll have more on Heartland News both days but I will also be keeping the blog up to date (time permitting).
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Forecast models indicate an area of low pressure will developing over Wyoming/Montana Friday evening. The low will quickly dive southeast through the Plains and move over southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, and northwest Tennessee Sunday morning.
Out ahead of the low precipitation could develop Saturday evening. Ahead of the low temperatures should support rain. However, as the air saturates enough to get all the moisture to the ground there could be a little evaporative cooling taking place, so there could be a small amount of sleet/snow before changing back over to all rain.
Behind the surface low, cold air will usher in. As the cold air moves in, we will see the rain change over to snow.
The other thing that will happen behind the surface low is the upper low will move through. That could bring some additional "fluffy" snow during the day Sunday.
Traditionally, we don't get much out of these "clipper" type systems. There isn't that much moisture for this system to work with. The below 0z GFS for Cape Girardeau, Missouri is only spitting out 0.33" of liquid for the entire event.
All totaled the 0z GFS is indicating 2.6" of snow for Cape Girardeau Sunday evening through Monday morning. The 0z GFS is also putting out 4" for Farmington, Missouri.
Is this "The Storm" of the year? No. Could we get a little snow? Sure. Right now the areas that could see the most snow (I use the term "most" loosely) northern portions of southeast Missouri and northern portions of southern Illinois.
At this point I wouldn't get too worked up about this "storm" and ransack the grocery stores.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Here is the view from the 0z NAM forecast model.
This is a slightly different look of the model data. This is showing wind speeds at different heights in the atmosphere. You can see the altitude by the white horizontal lines. They are measures of thousands of feet.
Generally the wind is always stronger the higher in the atmosphere you get. It is looking as though some of the stronger wind aloft will begin to make its way down towards the surface of the earth. That means it will be pretty windy, especially Wednesday.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Get a Denny's Grand Slam breakfast for free tomorrow (Tuesday, February 9) from 6am to 2pm.
Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. I bet there will be some lines.
Other amounts from around the area.
- Benton 1.5"
- Cape Girardeau 1.0"
- Jackson 1.5"
- New Madrid 2.5"
- Sikeston 1.5"
- Calvert City 1.9"
- Mayfield 2.0"
- Murray 2.3"
- Paducah 2.2"
- Carterville 0.9"
- Marion 1.5"
- Metropolis 1.0"
Winds will begin to pick-up Tuesday afternoon and will stick around through the day Wednesday.
- Annapolis - 1.5"
- Caruthersville - 2.0"
- Dudley - 2.0"
- Kennett - 1.0"
- New Madrid - 1.1"
- Poplar Bluff - 2.0"
- Water Valley - 2.0"
Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories are in place across the Heartland.
Just like the storm from two weeks ago, it appears that the heaviest snow will fall over southern portions of the KFVS viewing area. In fact, the heaviest snow will probably fall just south of the viewing area.
Here is a look at some of the new data coming in this morning... This should be all snow falling. Temperature profiles are not supportive of any change over to rain in the atmospheric column.
Let's first look at snowfall totals from the 12z (6am CT) Canadian model:
- Cape Girardeau, Missouri: 3.4"
- Carbondale, Illinois: 2.6"
- Doniphan, Missouri: 3.8"
- Harrisburg, Illinois: 2.5"
- Mt. Vernon, Illinois: 2.3"
- Murray, Kentucky: 5.1"
- Paducah, Kentucky: 3.9"
- Sikeston, Missouri: 3.9"
- Union City, Tennessee: 6.3"
Some specific numbers from the morning's run of the GFS and NAM.
- Cape Girardeau, Missouir: GFS = 3.7" NAM = 2.7"
- Farmington, Missouri: GFS = 4.9" NAM = 3.0"
- Paducah, Kentucky: GFS = 3.7" NAM = 5.1"
- Jonesboro, Arkansas: GFS = 4.3" NAM = 10.2"
St. Louis, Missouri:
As far as timing when the snow starts to arrive... It should start to move in to the southwestern corner of southeast Missouri around 3:00pm CT. The snow will continue to spread east/northeastward throughout the afternoon and evening. Snow should be near the Mississippi River around 6:00pm CT.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
We've got some of the white stuff coming our way. Right now it is looking like we will be dealing with snow with the exception of western Kentucky that might be a mix of rain and snow.
We can break it down a little more and take a look at specific points in a program called BUFKIT. Before the requests start coming in, there are only specific points available to look at. I didn't decide the specific points, NOAA did.