Monday, October 25, 2010

3:20pm Weather Update

Just got off a conference call with the National Weather Service in Paducah, Kentucky. They are thinking much of the same as what is written below. They think the line of storms could start to move in to western portions of southeast Missouri around 4:00am and then exit the KFVS viewing area around 9:00am.

They are putting out a wind advisory for tonight/tomorrow morning as sustained winds will be 25-35 mph with gusts to 45 mph. These winds won't be associated with the line of storms. The line of storms could easily bring wind gusts to 65-70 mph.

Damaging wind continues to be the main threat with the line, but tornadoes are not out of the question.

This will be a fast moving line of storms. The line itself will probably be moving east at around 40mph. Individual storm cells could be moving 50-55mph.

Something to note that Rick Shanklin, meteorologist with the NWS, said on the call... Studies have shown that there is a 15% greater chance for deaths from storms in the fall because people aren't as aware as in the spring. Take a moment to think about
  1. How will you be alerted to a warning if you are asleep?
  2. Where will you go if a warning is issued?
I am in Tuesday morning working for Brian so I will be on the television keeping everyone updated on what is going on.

Turn On Weather Radios

You will want to turn on your NOAA weather radio before you go to bed tonight. All indications are pointing to a pretty good chance of a line of strong storms passing through southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, and western Kentucky early Tuesday morning.

I am thinking we could see the line begin to move in to some of the western counties of southeast Missouri starting sometime after 3:00am CT. The line should exit the eastern counties of the KFVS viewing area by late morning.

Here are a couple of images from our latest high-resolution Precisioncast model that you see on television.

5:00am CT Tuesday:

7:00am CT Tuesday:

I think the main threat will be damaging winds from the line of storms. Winds will be sustained at 30mph through the early morning. At 1,000 feet up in the atmosphere winds will be racing at 60 mph. At 2,000 feet up in the atmosphere the winds will be racing at 70 mph. At 13,000 feet up in the atmosphere winds will be racing at 105 mph. A few of the thunderstorms could bring down some of that wind to the surface. Hence the damaging wind threat from the storms.

Also, there will be enough turn in the atmosphere to allow for a few quick spin up tornadoes along the line. That is something additional we will have to be looking for.

The Storm Prediction Center has a "Slight Risk" of severe weather for the KFVS viewing area for tomorrow morning. The official outlooks only go until 7am so that is why it is bundled between their Day 1 and Day 2 Outlooks.

Day 1 Outlook (Through 7am Tuesday):

Day 2 Outlook (7am Tuesday through 7am Wednesday):

For family and friends in Indiana and Ohio, the SPC has upgraded parts of Indiana and Ohio to a Moderate Risk of severe weather Tuesday. I think the main threat for you will also be damaging wind and a few short lived tornadoes.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Watching the Area

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Mesoscale Discussion for parts of Missouri and Illinois.

Basically, a Mesoscale Discussion just points out an area of specific interest by their meteorologists. Typically, you can get a feel for whether or not they are going to issue a Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Watch from the discussion.

In the discussion they talk about the atmosphere getting a bit more unstable over parts of southeast Missouri. At this time they are watching for clusters of thunderstorms to develop. If they do, then they could issue a watch.

Stay tuned...

Storms Possible Today

It appears that there is a chance for strong to severe storms later today.

The Storm Prediction Center has placed all of southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, northwest Tennessee, and northeast Arkansas in a "Slight Risk" area in their latest Day 1 Outlook. The outlook is valid from now through 7am Monday.

According to the SPC, scattered thunderstorms will be possible later this afternoon. Large hail and localized damaging winds will be the main threats from any storms that fire.

Yesterday I talked about needing to get the atmosphere ready for destabilization. The southerly winds would need to draw up moisture from the south to get fuel in the fuel tank. The wind did the job. Here is a look at observations from airports around the region at 10am CT.

You can see dew points (the numbers in green), the measure of moisture in the air, have climbed from yesterday's 30's to the 50's and even 60 in Poplar Bluff, Mo. I think this is ample to support thunderstorms.

We will need some sunshine to help destabilize things. Looking a the latest satellite imagery this could be one of the big questions.

Last night the models were hinting at sunshine by late morning and early afternoon. Hi-res models this morning are also indicating we should be seeing sunshine by late morning.

Here is a look at a hi-res 4km model's depiction of what the satellite imagery will look like at noon.

Unfortunately, after looking at the real time satellite image from above, I think the models aren't handling the cloud cover well. This could be the big inhibitor of thunderstorms later today. However, if we do get sunshine breaking out we could get some popping up in the afternoon.

The last run of our hi-resolution Precisioncast model (the one we show on television) is keeping the rain north of the area and south of the area. In fact, it develops a line of thunderstorms across central and southern Arkansas and moves them east towards Memphis late tonight. We shall see how things pan out.

I still think the best chance for storms, and maybe some severe storms, will happen early Tuesday morning. For more on Tuesday, watch the video post from yesterday. My thoughts haven't changed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

10:30am Weather Update

Brr! It was chilly this morning. I heard the heater kick on a couple of times overnight. I guess that's what I get for leaving a window or two open.

Official morning lows across the KFVS viewing area:
  • Cape Girardeau, Mo - 37
  • Carbondale, Il - 34
  • Paducah, Ky - 36
  • Poplar Bluff, Mo - 42
I am still looking at chances for rain for the weekend. Looking at the latest run of the European model I think if you have outdoor plans for Saturday, you will stay dry. It looks like the rain will be north of the KFVS viewing area and also to the west. If you are going up to St. Louis there could be some showers during the morning to early afternoon, but late afternoon and evening will be dry.

I think we stand the chance of seeing some scattered showers and thunderstorms across the area Sunday. It doesn't look to be an all day rain.

The Storm Prediction Center is keeping their eyes to the south across Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma, and eastern Texas. Here is the Day 3 Outlook for severe weather. This covers 7am Saturday through 7am Sunday.

SPC does mention that there is a chance, albeit small, of strong storms further north in their "See Text" area.

I just took a glance at the push of cold air for later next week I talked more about yesterday. The European model has significantly backed off the cold air intrusion for Friday. It keeps it bottled up along the Canadian border. However, this is the first run of the model that has kept it that far north. We'll have to wait for another run or two to see if this is a trend or just a single flip-flop of the model. Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Spring to Winter in a Snap

It is nice to have something to finally talk about. The last four to five months have been "yawners" for weather geeks around this area.

As I have been talking about the last several days, I am keeping an eye on a pattern shift for later this week that will bring the increased chance for thunderstorms across the central U.S.

The Storm Prediction Center has a "Slight Risk" for severe weather in their Day 3 Outlook.

The outlook covers 7am Satuday through 7am Sunday.

The trend in all of the computer models over the last couple of days is to slow the weather systems down. Initially, we thought we could be seeing rain in the area for Saturday. That now appears to not be the case. There could be rain in St. Louis but probably not in southeast Missouri.

Here is a look at the European forecast agency's computer model for 1pm CT Saturday.

In the above map isobars, moisture, and 500mb (approx 17,000 feet) heights.

The surface low is over southeast Nebraska and moving northeast. This is taking more of a northerly track taking the rain north and west.

I still think we will see some rain across the area Sunday and maybe on Monday. However, the atmosphere is becoming a little out of phase for when we would normally see severe weather. The models are hinting at more rain during the morning hours as opposed to the late afternoon evening. This will limit any severe weather threat around the KFVS viewing area.

Let's skip ahead to Wednesday... Here is a look at the European model's depiction of 1pm CT Wednesday, October 27.

Interesting to note, the Euro never fully brings the front from the weekend/early week through the area. It stalls it out and lifts it slightly north of the area. Look at the gray blobs that extends from Kansas to New York. That is the front that is stalled out.

Look at the low developing over the panhandle of Texas and Oklahoma. Woo-eee! That is a pretty good storm! If this pans out, someone is going to get some snow dumped on them over eastern Colorado and maybe western Kansas. Now we know that this storm has to move east at some point. Right?

Next up... 1am CT Thursday, October 28.

The storm indeed is moving east and northeast. The low is deepening over north-central Missouri. It is winding up pretty good. The Euro is keeping the majority of the moisture on the backside of the storm. However, ahead of the storm we will be warm with southerly winds. In fact, we should be able to moisten up the atmosphere as the winds should be drawing up moisture from the Gulf. I have to believe with a setup like this, we will see thunderstorms popping up somewhere in the "warm sector" of the storm.

Again, I said earlier, the timing of the storm isn't the best for the KFVS viewing area to see severe weather. This would be moving through during the morning hours. However, at this point we are splitting hairs on the back of a donkey that is a thousand miles away. This means trying to nail down a 12 hours period at something that is 174 hours away is impossible, but I'll keep looking at the trends.

Now at some point this storm has to pass the area. Any guesses on what will happen on the backside of the storm?

Here is a look at 7am CT Friday, October 29.

The cold front has swept through and is headed towards the east coast. In it's wake, cold air will ride down on northerly winds. Look at the 500mb heights (dashed lines). They drop like a rock! The 540mb height is a rough gauge of where snow could form in snow storms. We aren't talking about a snow storm here, but the air will be cold! That would equate to highs in the 40's. We'll see...

Again, this is a long time out, but it is fun to look at. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Outlook for Storms

1:15pm Weather Update

As mentioned in the video above here is a look at the Eurpoean computer model projection for 7am CT Friday, October 29.

The model is bringing in a shot of cold air leading in to the Halloween weekend. The 540 line (blue line) is often used as a quick judge if there is going to be snow for snowstorm forecasting. Don't worry, there isn't any moisture in place and plus it's too early for snow. However, it does look quite a bit colder for the end of next weekend.

Keep in mind that this is just a computer model projection. It isn't set in stone. Also, the look above is out at the edge of how far the model projects so there is usually a higher level of error at the stage.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Storms Looking Better for Weekend

Storms are looking better for the weekend. A closer look at what one of the long range computer models is showing for the upcoming weekend.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

7:00pm Weather Update

Here is the 7:00pm weather update.

7:30am Weather Update

I apologize for the lack of updates on the blog in recent weeks. I've been extremely busy at the station getting everything ready for an upgrade to the computer systems and weather graphics. You might have noticed things looking a little different on-air lately.

One of the cool things we can do with the system is provide video weather updates right out of the computer so I will be able to put those on the blog more often.