Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Week Ahead; Weekend Storm?

I've been looking over weather data today and there are some hints that we could see some "interesting" weather for the weekend.

Before I get too far ahead, I should mention what we're going to see at the beginning of the week. The jet stream is flattening out and becoming zonal. This will allow temperatures to climb on southwesterly winds. Highs will be in to the 60's for parts of the Midwest Monday, Tuesday and maybe Wednesday.

As you can see from the above graphic, temperatures are going to be 15 to 30 degrees above normal. A weak cold front will eventually come through late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning that will drop temperatures 10 degrees. Also, ahead of the front we could see showers and a few thunderstorms develop in Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana. At this point I am not expecting severe weather, but whenever you have temperatures in the 60's and strong southwesterly winds at the surface you always need to keep an eye on it.

Interesting that we are going to see mild if not warm weather for a couple of days. Our neighbors to the north are seeing the flip-side. Take a look at this picture taken around 11:00am this morning in Fairbanks, Alaska.

The picture was taken by my college meteorology professor, Dr. David Arnold. He said the overnight low was -51 degrees. It appears we may get a chunk of that colder air coming down for the lower 48 later this week or early next week. However, long range data is indicating the cold air will continue to pool over Alaska and temperatures will go back up for the lower 48 through the beginning of February.

Now back to what I was talking about off the top of this post. There are some hints that we could see a surface low develop and move up through the Mississippi Valley this weekend. I should say that not all computer models are agreeing with this. However, the European forecast agency's model and the Canadian forecast agency's computer model are suggesting this.

Here's a look at the Canadian model's output for 6am CT Saturday, February 4. The image shows surface pressure and precipitation.

(Click the image to see a larger version.)

Both models bring the surface low over the confluence of the Mississippi River and Ohio River. Models are also suggesting cold air diving south on the north side of the storm. If these models are correct (that remains to be seen), the big question will be how much cold air will be at the surface.

Potentially, this could bring snow to places like St. Louis to Effingham, IL to Indianapolis. Of course, the actual storm track will be key to determining who sees what and who sees how much. As I like to say, "Stay tuned..."


jody williams said...

hi john this is jody williams i like that you are posting info on the chaging weather COD do you know when we will have iney snow for the cape area thanks

Chad Smith said...

Hey John,

We have not met however we share Dr. David Arnold as our meteorology/climatology professor during our college years. I have been sending Dave eMails but none have been returned. I was wondering if you had heard from him. Last i heard he was in AK somewhere. That Denali Bank pic suggests I am right. Any info would be appreciated.

Chad Smith
Frostburg State

Chad Smith said...