Cherry Blossom Festival
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival is underway in Washington D.C. (March 20th – April 14th). However, the webcam below from the National Park Service didn’t show any blooms. Thanks to cooler weather this spring, the bloom dates are predicted to be a little later than the average bloom date of April 4th.
2015 Peak Bloom Predication Dates: April 11 – 14, 2015
Average Peak Bloom Date: April 4
Exactly when the buds will open is not easy to predict and it is extremely difficult to give an accurate forecast much more than 10 days before peak bloom. National Park Service horticulturists monitor five distinct stages of bud development and provide timely forecasts and updates.
The Peak Bloom Date is defined as the day on which 70 percent of the blossoms of the Yoshino cherry trees that surround the Tidal Basin are open. This date varies from year to year, depending on weather conditions. The Blooming Period is defined as that period when 20 percent of the blossoms are open until the petals fall and leaves appear. The blooming period starts several days before the peak bloom date and can last as long as 14 days, however, frost or high temperatures combined with wind or rain can shorten this period.
National Weather Outlook
A look at the weather loop below and you’ll notice a lack of any major storm systems moving through the middle part of the country through Tuesday. It appears that March will go out like a lamb this year, but a developing storm system will bring severe thunderstorm and heavy rain chances back into the conversation by the end of the week.
Severe Weather Threats Ahead
The Storm Prediction Center has issued a thunderstorm risk for each day this week!
…EXTREME SRN AL/FL PANHANDLE/SW GA TODAY…
A SHORTWAVE TROUGH OVER THE TN VALLEY WILL PROGRESS ESEWD TO THE SE
ATLANTIC COAST BY ABOUT 21Z…AS A WEAKENING COLD FRONT DRIFTS SWD
ACROSS GA/AL/MS. ONGOING STORMS IN A BAND THIS MORNING FROM E
CENTRAL MS INTO CENTRAL AL AND N GA ARE EXPECTED TO WEAKEN BY MID
MORNING. JUST S OF THE ONGOING STORMS AND ASSOCIATED
OUTFLOW…BOUNDARY LAYER DEWPOINTS WILL INCREASE TO NEAR 60 F IN
CONJUNCTION WITH DAYTIME HEATING…SUCH THAT MLCAPE COULD APPROACH
1000 J/KG BY EARLY AFTERNOON.
THE PRIMARY CONCERN FOR THIS AREA WILL BE SOURCES FOR ASCENT TO
SUPPORT ADDITIONAL THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT FROM 18-21Z. THE
SHORTWAVE TROUGH WILL MOVE E OF NE EDGE OF THE MOIST SECTOR NEAR OR
JUST AFTER 18Z…LEAVING THE REMNANT OUTFLOW/FRONT AS THE ONLY
IDENTIFIABLE FOCUS FOR CONVECTIVE INITIATION. ALSO…LOW-LEVEL FLOW
AND SHEAR WILL WEAKEN SUBSTANTIALLY AFTER MIDLEVEL WAVE
PASSAGE…LEAVING AN ENVIRONMENT WITH POTENTIAL MODERATE BUOYANCY
AND DEEP-LAYER SHEAR…BUT LITTLE HODOGRAPH STRUCTURE IN THE LOW
LEVELS. WILL RETAIN LOW HAIL/WIND PROBABILITIES IN CASE ADDITIONAL
STORMS FORM NEAR OR JUST AFTER MIDDAY ALONG THE RESIDUAL SURFACE
BOUNDARY…BUT COVERAGE SHOULD REMAIN ISOLATED.
30/00Z KDRT/KFWD/KSHV RAOBS SAMPLED MEAN MIXING RATIOS AROUND 8-9
G/KG NEAR THE LEAD FRONT WITH 10-11 G/KG RATIOS ALONG THE WRN/CNTRL
GULF COAST. BOUNDARY-LAYER MOISTURE WILL CONTINUE TO GRADUALLY
MODIFY WITHIN THE WARM SECTOR BENEATH AN INITIALLY PERVASIVE EML
PLUME. BUT GUIDANCE APPEARS LARGELY OVERDONE WITH DEPICTING 12-13
G/KG MEAN MIXING RATIOS ALONG THIS LEAD FRONT ON TUE AFTERNOON.
NEVERTHELESS…STRONG DIABATIC SURFACE HEATING AMIDST RELATIVELY
COLD MID-LEVEL TEMPERATURES SHOULD YIELD A BROAD WEAK TO MODERATELY
UNSTABLE AIR MASS WITH DIMINISHING MLCIN RELATIVE TO PRIOR DAYS.
SPATIAL DETAILS OF WHEN/WHERE CONVECTION WILL FORM APPEAR UNCLEAR
GIVEN SUBTLE FORCING FOR ASCENT. BUT CONVERGENCE ALONG THE DRYLINE
AND THE PAIR OF WEAK FRONTAL BOUNDARIES SHOULD RESULT IN SCATTERED
TSTMS DEVELOPING IN THE AFTERNOON/EVENING.
DEEP-LAYER SHEAR WILL BE STRONG OVER THE MID-SOUTH/TN VALLEY UNDER
THE PERIPHERAL INFLUENCE OF THE NORTHEAST TROUGH. PRIMARY
UNCERTAINTY HERE IS JUST HOW MOIST THE AIR MASS WILL BE ON THE
FRINGE OF GREATER INSTABILITY. FARTHER WEST ALONG THE RED RIVER
AREA…INSTABILITY WILL BE LARGER BUT MID-LEVEL FLOW WILL WEAKEN
WITH WRN EXTENT AS THE HEIGHT GRADIENT RELAXES BETWEEN THE NRN GREAT
PLAINS RIDGE AND RIO GRANDE VALLEY TROUGH. CONFIDENCE IS TOO LOW IN
FAVORABLE OVERLAP OF THERMODYNAMIC/KINEMATIC PARAMETERS TO WARRANT
MESOSCALE UPGRADES TO SLIGHT RISK THIS OUTLOOK.
…UPPER MIDWEST TO CNTRL GREAT PLAINS…
POLEWARD TRANSPORT OF A MODIFIED SRN GREAT PLAINS AIR MASS WILL
STRENGTHEN LATE D2 IN ADVANCE OF THE SHORTWAVE TROUGH REACHING THE
CANADIAN PRAIRIES. ROBUST BOUNDARY LAYER MIXING WITH STRONG DIABATIC
HEATING OVER THE WARM SECTOR SHOULD RESULT IN A PLUME OF 50S SURFACE
DEW POINTS REACHING INTO PARTS OF SRN MN AND THE MID-MO TO MID-MS
VALLEYS BENEATH A PERVASIVE EML. MODERATE SPATIAL DIFFERENCES EXIST
IN GUIDANCE WITH BOTH THE PLACEMENT OF THE COLD FRONT AND DRYLINE ON
WED AFTERNOON…WHICH WILL BE CRUCIAL FOR LOCATION OF SURFACE-BASED
TSTM INITIATION. CONVERGENCE ALONG THESE BOUNDARIES IN CONJUNCTION
WITH DECREASING INHIBITION SHOULD FOSTER SCATTERED TSTM DEVELOPMENT.
RATHER STEEP MID-LEVEL LAPSE RATES AND 30-40 KT EFFECTIVE SHEAR WILL
FOSTER LARGE HAIL AS THE PRIMARY INITIAL RISK. BUT AS MID-LEVEL
HEIGHT FALLS INCREASE AND 700-500 MB SWLYS STRENGTHEN DURING THE
EVENING…THIS SHOULD YIELD A PREDOMINANT LINEAR MODE TO CONVECTION.
LEWP/BOWING SEGMENTS WITH A MIX OF SEVERE WIND/HAIL ARE POSSIBLE. AN
MCS MAY LINGER SEWD WED NIGHT TOWARDS THE LOWER MO VALLEY AS A
STRONG LLJ OFFSETS INCREASING MLCIN.
Thunderstorm Outlook Late Week
ORGANIZED SEVERE STORMS ARE POSSIBLE FROM PARTS OF THE RED RIVER TO
MID-MS VALLEYS ON D4 AND FARTHER S OVER THE LOWER MS VALLEY ON D5.
PREVAILING SWLYS AT 700 MB WITH A PERVASIVE EML SUGGEST
DIURNALLY-DRIVEN D4 CONVECTION WILL LIKELY REMAIN FORCED BY
CONVERGENCE ALONG A SEWD-SAGGING COLD FRONT FROM THE MID-MO VALLEY
TO ITS INTERSECTION WITH THE DRYLINE OVER OK. GUIDANCE HAS LARGELY
TRENDED SLOWER WITH THE EWD EVOLUTION OF A SHORTWAVE TROUGH EXPECTED
TO BE CENTERED NEAR THE GREAT BASIN AT 12Z/THU. SUBSTANTIAL
STRENGTHENING OF MID-LEVEL WLYS OVER THE S-CNTRL CONUS WARM SECTOR
APPEARS DELAYED UNTIL LATE D4 INTO D5. NEVERTHELESS…A CONTINUED
GRADUAL INCREASE IN WARM SECTOR BOUNDARY LAYER DEW POINTS IS
ANTICIPATED THROUGH THIS TIME FRAME…YIELDING POTENTIALLY THE
LARGEST INSTABILITY THIS WEEK NEAR THE TRIPLE-POINT OF THE
DRYLINE/COLD FRONT INTERSECTION IN OK. WITH A RAPID EVENING INCREASE
IN THE LLJ PROGGED AHEAD OF THE WRN TROUGH…SEVERE STORMS COULD
DEVELOP LATE DAY AND BE SUSTAINED INTO THU NIGHT.
CONSENSUS OF GUIDANCE SUGGESTS THAT WEAK CYCLOGENESIS WILL OCCUR
ALONG THE FRONTAL ZONE AS THE WRN TROUGH PROGRESSES INTO THE CNTRL
STATES ON D5. SPATIOTEMPORAL PREDICTABILITY OF THIS PROCESS AND
SUBSEQUENT ACCELERATION OF A COLD FRONT INTO LOWER MS VALLEY IS LOW.
HOWEVER…PROBABLE PRESENCE OF A RICH MOIST BOUNDARY LAYER WITH THE
LAST VESTIGES OF THE EML IN CONJUNCTION WITH AMPLIFYING TROPOSPHERIC
FLOW FIELDS SUGGEST THAT A FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENT FOR SEVERE STORMS
SHOULD EXIST AT SOME POINT ON D5.
BEYOND THESE TIME FRAMES…SEVERE POTENTIAL SHOULD BE LOW THROUGH
THE WEEKEND AS CONTINENTAL POLAR AIR REACHES THE NRN GULF COAST. BUT
THIS SHOULD BE SHORT-LIVED AS RETURN FLOW QUICKLY COMMENCES BENEATH
A BUILDING EML EARLY NEXT WEEK. THIS MAY YIELD AN INCREASE IN SEVERE
STORM ACTIVITY BEYOND THE D8 PERIOD.
5 Day Precipitation Outlook
According to NOAA’s HPC, the 5 day precipitation outlook suggests some of the heaviest precipitation over parts of the Ohio/Tennessee Valley and the Northeast through late this week. 1″ to 2″+ may be possible with some of the showers and thunderstorms.
Thanks for checking in and have a great rest of your week! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX
Florida Severe Threat
The same front that produced severe weather in the Central U.S. earlier this week has now found itself along the East Coast. Residents in Florida may have to keep an eye on the forecast today for the potential of strong to severe thunderstorms. The image below was from a University of Tampa webcam earlier today
Florida Severe Threat
The Storm Prediction Center out of Norman, OK has issued a MARGINAL RISK of severe weather across the central and southern part of Florida. Damaging winds looks to be the main threat today.
…CENTRAL/S FL TODAY…
THE REMNANTS OF OVERNIGHT CONVECTION HAVE MOVED SEWD TO NEAR LAKE
OKEECHOBEE…WITH TEMPERATURES AND DEWPOINTS 5-8 F LOWER ACROSS
CENTRAL FL…TO THE N OF THE WEAKENING CONVECTIVE BAND. SOME
RECOVERY OF THE BOUNDARY LAYER IS EXPECTED TODAY SINCE SURFACE WINDS
ARE FROM THE S ACROSS THE PENINSULA AND THERE WILL BE SOME CLOUD
BREAKS TO ALLOW SURFACE HEATING. ASCENT IN ADVANCE OF THE LOWER MS
VALLEY SHORTWAVE TROUGH WILL CONTRIBUTE TO AN INCREASE IN CONVECTION
ACROSS THE E/NE GULF TODAY…WITH CONVECTION EXPECTED TO REACH THE
FL W COAST BY MIDDAY OR EARLY AFTERNOON. SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS IN
CLUSTERS/LINE SEGMENTS WILL SUBSEQUENTLY SPREAD EWD OVER THE
CENTRAL/SRN PENINSULA THROUGH THE AFTERNOON. THOUGH LAPSE RATES
WILL NOT BE PARTICULARLY STEEP…MLCAPE WILL RANGE FROM 1000-1500
J/KG IN AN ENVIRONMENT WITH SUFFICIENT DEEP-LAYER SHEAR FOR
ORGANIZED STORMS. THE STRONGEST STORMS WILL BE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING
ISOLATED STRONG/DAMAGING OUTFLOW GUSTS THIS AFTERNOON.
National Weather Outlook
The elongated system will also have roots in parts of the Northeast with lingering snow showers through Saturday. Meanwhile, another system will slide out of the Pacific Northwest and bring a round or rain/snow mix to the Midwest PM Saturday/Sunday. Minor snow accumulations will be possible across the far north, while strong winds and slightly cooler temperatures will bring up the rear Sunday/Monday.
Snow potential through PM Sunday looks fairly minimal across the northern tier of the nation. A few areas from the Midwest to the Great Lakes and Northeast may see a light slushy coating through PM Sunday. The nice thing about this time of the year is that whatever falls, typically doesn’t stick around too long due to warmer/more intense sunshine.
According to NOAA’s HPC, the 5 day precipitation forecast shows at least a little something across much of the nation with the exception of the Southwest… Of course, the Southwest has been dealing with mostly dry and warm conditions for quite some time now. Drought conditions in parts of the Western U.S. remain in the Extreme to Exceptional category, so moisture is much needed!
High Amplitude Weather Pattern
Take a look at the temperature extremes across the nation. The Western U.S. is dealing with a large ridge of high pressure allowing mostly dry and warm conditions to persist, while the eastern U.S. is dealing with a large trough of low pressure allowing unsettled and much colder than average conditions to persist.
Highs From Average
It’s interesting to see how divided the nation will be today; it’ll be near -10° to -20° below average weather in the Eastern U.S. and near +10° to +20° above average weather in the Western U.S.! In fact, some of the Plains States will actually be split right down the middle!
Thanks for checking in and have a great rest of your week/weekend ahead! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX
Severe Weather Wednesday
Severe weather struck the Central and Southern Plains during the afternoon and evening hours Wednesday, accumulating in over 160 reports of severe weather.
Unfortunately, that did come with eight reports of tornadoes. The most talked about tornadoes have been in Moore, OK and in Sand Springs, OK (right outside of Tulsa). Sadly, in Sand Springs there was one fatality from the storm. School was cancelled today in Tulsa, Sand Springs, and Moore.
Here is the preliminary information from NWS Norman on the tornado that went through Moore, OK. Crews are out surveying the damage today to find out how strong the tornado was that hit.This isn’t the first tornado to hit the Moore, OK area – two E/F5 tornadoes have hit the area in the past, one in May of 1999, another in May of 2013, plus they have seen a lot of other weaker tornadoes as well. NWS Norman has a list of all the tornadoes in the records that have hit the area.
Now, the United States has been in a bit of a severe weather and tornado drought so far this year. However, they aren’t the only ones. Until the tornadoes yesterday, only 19 tornadoes have touched down in Oklahoma since May 31, 2013 – the day of the El Reno tornado. Only 16 touched down all of last year. The average number of tornadoes per year in the Sooner State is 55.
The good news is that many areas that got hit yesterday will get a break in the weather today to recover, though temperatures will be cooler than they were Wednesday across the region.
While we will be still tracking the threat of severe weather today and tomorrow, the threat is much less than it was yesterday. Today the threat for severe weather exists from the Outer Banks up into parts of the Delmarva Peninsula as well as parts of the Florida panhandle. Friday the threat shifts over the Florida peninsula. Both days the biggest threat will be strong winds.
[Track Storms: Interactive Radar]
Rest of the Country
Looking at the rest of the country, we are first watching the chance of snow over the next few days in the Northeast. Some areas could pick up 2-4″ of snow by Friday from Erie, PA, to Maine.
Meanwhile, record heat will be the story out west from today into the weekend. Here are some areas that have the potential of breaking record highs later today.
Tuesday, March 24th
March is no stranger to severe weather and tornadoes, but this year has been a bit different. The lack of severe weather has actually been quite staggering. In fact, we have set a new record for the latest 1st tornado in March since 1950. The image below shows the number of severe weather reports we’ve seen across the nation so far this month (through March 17th).
Severe Threat Tuesday
Severe thunderstorms will be possible today across the Central U.S. with the biggest threat being hail and high winds, however an isolated tornado can’t be ruled out.
…E CNTRL PLNS TO LWR OH VLY TODAY/TNGT…
WIND PROFILES WILL BECOME INCREASINGLY FAVORABLE FOR POTENTIALLY
STRONG SUPERCELLS LATER TODAY INTO TNGT…ESPECIALLY FROM NE OK/NW
AR NEWD INTO THE MO OZARKS…WHERE POTENT 60+ KT WLY 500 MB JET
STREAK OF LEAD UPR IMPULSE WILL OVERSPREAD 40+ KT SSWLY LOW-LVL
FLOW. AT THE SAME TIME…BROAD/DEEP EML SPREADING E WITH THE UPR
IMPULSE WILL MAINTAIN NEARLY DRY ADIABATIC MID-LVL LAPSE RATES
ACROSS REGION. CURRENT SFC…GPS…AND SATELLITE
DATA…HOWEVER…SUGGEST THAT MOISTURE WILL REMAIN SOMEWHAT LIMITED
THROUGH THE PERIOD…ESPECIALLY IN MO…WHERE SFC DEWPOINTS SHOULD
REMAIN AOB 55F.
DESPITE LIMITED MOISTURE…POTENT COMBINATION OF SFC HEATING WITH
STEEP MID-LVL LAPSE RATES…STRONG FORCING FOR ASCENT IN EXIT REGION
OF MID-LVL JET…AND LOW-LVL UPLIFT SHOULD SUPPORT RAPID TSTM
DEVELOPMENT LATE THIS AFTN NEAR SFC LOW IN WRN/CNTRL MO …SWWD
ALONG TRAILING SFC TROUGH THROUGH SE KS INTO NE OK. ADDITIONAL
DEVELOPMENT MAY OCCUR A BIT LATER THIS EVE SWD ALONG TROUGH TO NEAR
THE RED RVR.
ALTHOUGH MOIST AXIS WILL BE RELATIVELY NARROW IN MO…A WINDOW OF
OPPORTUNITY WILL EXIST FOR DISCRETE SUPERCELLS WITH LARGE
HAIL…LOCALLY DMGG WIND…AND POSSIBLY A COUPLE TORNADOES. SOMEWHAT
WIDER MOIST AXIS /WITH DEWPOINTS IN THE UPR 50S-LWR 60S F/ AND
SLOWER STORM MOTIONS COULD OFFSET WEAKER FORCING FOR ASCENT TO YIELD
SIMILAR SVR THREATS INTO THE NGT SWD ACROSS NW AR AND ERN OK.
RAPID ENE MOVEMENT OF LEAD UPR IMPULSE WILL OUTPACE LOW-LVL MOISTURE
RETURN IN THE LWR OH VLY…ESPECIALLY ONCE ANVIL PRECIP FROM MO
STORMS…AND THAT FROM ANY ELEVATED WAA CONVECTION FARTHER
E…SPREADS DOWNSHEAR INTO COOL/DRY LOW-LVL AIR NOW PRESENT OVER
REGION. BUT GIVEN STRENGTH OF UPR IMPULSE…AND TIGHTENING LOW-LVL
PRESSURE GRADIENT ALREADY MENTIONED…A CONDITIONAL RISK FOR ISOLD
SVR GUSTS WILL EXIST WITH ANY SFC OR NEAR SFC-BASED STORMS THAT DO
PERSIST EWD ACROSS IL AND IND.
Tuesday Hail Threat
While damaging winds and an isolated tornado threat may be possible today, large hail appears to be the main concerns in the red colored area below.
Severe Threat Wednesday
…SRN PLAINS TO MID MS VALLEY…
STRONG MID-LEVEL SPEED MAX/SHORT-WAVE TROUGH WILL EJECT ACROSS THE
GREAT LAKES WEDNESDAY. IN THE WAKE OF THIS FEATURE…SECONDARY
SIGNIFICANT SHORT WAVE WILL DIG SEWD ACROSS THE CNTRL ROCKIES INTO
MEAN LONG WAVE TROUGH OVER THE CNTRL/SRN HIGH PLAINS BY EARLY
WEDNESDAY EVENING. IN RESPONSE…SFC ANTICYCLONE WILL BUILD ACROSS
THE PLAINS FORCING A STRONG POLAR FRONT ACROSS MUCH OF KS INTO THE
NRN TX PANHANDLE BY 25/18Z. THIS BOUNDARY WILL SURGE TO A POSITION
NEAR THE I-44 CORRIDOR ACROSS OK/MO BY EARLY EVENING.
LATEST SHORT-RANGE GUIDANCE CONTINUES TO SUGGEST AT LEAST 60F SFC
DEW POINTS WILL EXTEND ACROSS THE WARM SECTOR PRIOR TO CONVECTIVE
DEVELOPMENT. OBSERVATIONAL DATA LATE THIS EVENING SEEMS SUPPORTIVE
OF THIS SCENARIO AS 60F DEW POINTS HAVE ALREADY ADVANCED INLAND TO
NEAR THE BALCONES ESCARPMENT. THIS AIR MASS SHOULD EASILY LIFT NWD
INTO OK AHEAD OF DRY LINE/COLD FRONT. ADDITIONALLY…STRONG HEATING
IS EXPECTED ACROSS NWRN TX INTO CNTRL OK WHERE SFC-3KM LAPSE RATES
WILL RANGE FROM 8-9C/KM. WITH COLD MID-LEVEL TEMPERATURES…ROUGHLY
MINUS 18C AT 500MB…AND SFC TEMPERATURES RISING INTO THE LOWER 80S
ACROSS SWRN OK…MODERATE INSTABILITY WILL BE IN PLACE FOR ROBUST
UPDRAFTS. LATEST THINKING IS CONVECTIVE INITIATION WILL OCCUR
AROUND 22-23Z AS CAP ERODES JUST AFTER PEAK HEATING. INITIAL STORMS
MAY BE DISCRETE…ESPECIALLY ALONG THE DRY LINE AHEAD OF WEAK SFC
LOW. HOWEVER…FRONTAL FORCING SHOULD QUICKLY ENCOURAGE AN
ORGANIZED BAND OF SEVERE CONVECTION ALONG THE I-44 CORRIDOR THAT
WILL PROPAGATE SEWD. HAIL…POSSIBLY IN EXCESS OF 2 INCHES…WILL
BE THE GREATEST THREAT WITH THIS ACTIVITY AND DAMAGING WINDS COULD
BE NOTED WITH STRONGER DOWNDRAFTS. ISOLATED SEVERE STORMS MAY
EXTEND NEWD ALONG THE POLAR FRONT ACROSS SRN MO…PERHAPS SPREADING
INTO SRN IL IF SUFFICIENT MOISTURE/INSTABILITY CAN RETURN TO THE
LOWER OH VALLEY BEFORE FRONTAL PASSAGE.
National Weather Outlook
This is a fairly typical storm system for March/Spring. Strong to severe thunderstorms on the warmer, more unstable side, while snow will be possible on it’s colder, northern side.
The image below shows snow potential through PM Thursday. Note that heavier snow will be possible across the higher elevations of the central and northern Rockies, while another round of sloppy snow accumulations will be possible across the Upper Midwest.
Thanks for checking in and have a great rest of your week! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX
The view from the University of Oklahoma today looked pretty serene this morning, but could be an area of strong to severe weather by midweek. In fact, parts of Oklahoma may be under the gun today, tomorrow and Wednesday as a developing storm system rolls out of the Pacific Northwest.
National Weather Outlook
The loop below shows our next developing storm system rolling out of the Pacific Northwest. As the storm slides east, showers/storms and snow will be possible. This is a pretty typical storm for the month of March… something that we haven’t seen much of this year.
Monday Severe Threat
…CNTRL PLNS LATE THIS AFTN THROUGH TNGT…
CURRENT SFC AND 925-850 MB DATA SUGGEST THAT MOISTURE WILL REMAIN
SPARSE /PW AOB 0.75 INCH/ OVER THE SRN AND CNTRL PLNS TODAY E OF
STRENGTHENING HI PLNS LEE TROUGH/DRY LINE…AND INVOF STALLING
FRONT. LOW- TO MID-LVL LAPSE RATES WILL…HOWEVER…BE QUITE STEEP
GIVEN PERSISTENT WSWLY 700 MB FLOW OFF THE SRN RCKYS/PLATEAU.
LOW-LVL UPLIFT ALONG LEE TROUGH/DRY LINE…ESPECIALLY NEAR TRIPLE
POINT OVER THE ERN OK PANHANDLE AND SW KS…ALONG WITH
FAVORABLY-TIMED ARRIVAL OF LEAD UPR IMPULSE…SUGGEST A CONDITIONAL
POTENTIAL FOR ISOLD LATE DAY/EARLY EVE STORMS AS EML CIN IS
BREACHED. WITH AMPLE SHEAR FOR SUSTAINED UPDRAFTS…SOME RISK WILL
EXIST FOR SVR HAIL. STORM COVERAGE MAY INCREASE LATER IN THE EVE
THROUGH EARLY TUE FARTHER NE ACROSS NRN AND ERN KS…WHERE LOW-LVL
WAA WILL STRENGTHEN ATOP DEVELOPING WARM FRONT IN RESPONSE TO
INTENSIFYING /50 KT/ SWLY LLJ. WHILE SPARSE MOISTURE WILL ONCE AGAIN
LIMIT THREAT…COMBINATION OF STEEP MID-LVL LAPSE RATES AND
APPRECIABLE /40+ KT/ CLOUD-LAYER SHEAR COULD POSE A RISK FOR A FEW
STORMS WITH SVR HAIL.
Tuesday Severe Threat
…MO TO NORTHEAST TX…
STRONG SHORT-WAVE TROUGH WILL EJECT ACROSS THE CNTRL ROCKIES INTO
THE CNTRL PLAINS BY 24/18Z. THIS FEATURE SHOULD PROGRESS INTO THE
MID MS VALLEY BY EARLY EVENING WITH MARKED DIFLUENT HIGH LEVEL FLOW
AND FOCUSED ASCENT EXPECTED NORTH OF WARM FRONT. SUBSTANTIAL
CLOUDS/PRECIPITATION WILL BE NOTED WITHIN THE STRONGLY FORCED AIR
MASS FROM NEB INTO IA/NRN IL. HOWEVER…INSTABILITY SHOULD PROVE
INSUFFICIENT FOR ORGANIZED SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE COOL
SECTOR. OF MORE CONCERN IS THE GRADUALLY MOISTENING WARM SECTOR
AHEAD OF COLD FRONT/DRY LINE. LATEST GUIDANCE SUPPORTS EARLIER
MODELS WITH 50S SFC DEW POINTS ADVANCING NEWD INTO MO…SOUTH OF THE
WARM FRONT WITH PERHAPS A NARROW CORRIDOR OF 60F DEW POINTS EXPECTED
OVER ERN OK BY 25/00Z. STRONG CAPPING AND VEERED LOW LEVEL FLOW
SHOULD DELAY CONVECTIVE INITIATION OVER THE PLAINS…BUT TSTMS ARE
EXPECTED TO DEVELOP ALONG THE BOUNDARY FROM WRN MO…SWWD ACROSS ERN
OK BETWEEN 22-23Z. ENVIRONMENTAL SHEAR FAVORS DISCRETE SUPERCELL
STRUCTURES WITH SFC-6KM BULK SHEAR ON THE ORDER OF 40-50KT. IT/S
NOT CLEAR HOW FAR SW CONVECTION WILL DEVELOP BUT THERE IS SOME
CHANCE TSTMS EVOLVE OVER EXTREME NE TX DURING THE EVENING HOURS
BEFORE DRY LINE STALLS ACROSS THIS REGION. LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING
WINDS SHOULD BE THE PRIMARY THREATS…ALTHOUGH AN ISOLATED TORNADO
CANNOT BE RULED OUT. THUNDERSTORMS SHOULD WEAKEN BY LATE EVENING AS
THEY ENCOUNTER LESS FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENT OVER SERN MO/ERN AR AND
DUE TO THE LLJ/FORCING SHIFTING WELL NORTH OF THIS REGION ACROSS NRN
Wednesday Severe Threat
…SRN PLAINS TO LOWER OH VALLEY…
SECONDARY SHORT-WAVE TROUGH…WITHIN NWLY FLOW…WILL DIG ACROSS THE
CNTRL ROCKIES INTO THE HIGH PLAINS FROM WRN KS INTO THE TX PANHANDLE
BY 26/00Z. WITH TIME…FLOW WILL STRENGTHEN ON DOWNSTREAM SIDE OF
THIS FEATURE AND UPPER TROUGH SHOULD MIGRATE EAST TOWARD THE MS
VALLEY. IN THE WAKE OF THIS DIGGING SHORT WAVE…SFC HIGH WILL
BUILD SWD ACROSS THE HIGH PLAINS FORCING A COLD FRONT THROUGH MUCH
OF KS INTO THE NRN TX PANHANDLE BY PEAK HEATING.
AT THE SFC…IT APPEARS A WEAK LEE CYCLONE WILL EVOLVE AHEAD OF THE
SURGING COLD FRONT OVER THE TX PANHANDLE…THEN SHIFT INTO EXTREME
SWRN OK JUST PRIOR TO CONVECTIVE DEVELOPMENT. LATEST MODEL GUIDANCE
SUGGESTS STRONG HEATING WILL DEVELOP ACROSS THE SRN HIGH
PLAINS…EXTENDING NEWD AHEAD OF THE COLD FRONT INTO CNTRL OK. SFC
TEMPERATURES WILL LIKELY SOAR WELL INTO THE 80S ACROSS PARTS OF NWRN
TX WITH SLIGHTLY COOLER READINGS EXPECTED AHEAD OF WIND SHIFT ACROSS
OK INTO SWRN MO. MODELS ARE IN GENERAL AGREEMENT THAT CONVECTION
WILL EVOLVE ALONG THE COLD FRONT BETWEEN 21-00Z WITHIN A STRONGLY
SHEARED ENVIRONMENT SUPPORTIVE OF ROTATING UPDRAFTS. WHILE DISCRETE
SUPERCELLS ARE POSSIBLE…ESPECIALLY EARLY IN THE CONVECTIVE
CYCLE…IT APPEARS FRONTAL FORCING COULD LEAD TO AN ELONGATED BAND
OF ORGANIZED SEVERE STORMS ALONG THE ADVANCING COLD FRONT. LESS
CERTAINTY EXISTS ALONG THE DRY LINE ACROSS NWRN TX. IN ALL
LIKELIHOOD CONVECTION WILL REMAIN SOMEWHAT ISOLATED SOUTH OF THE RED
RIVER…THOUGH STRONGLY SHEARED STORMS SHOULD EXHIBIT SUPERCELL
CHARACTERISTICS. LARGE HAIL IS EXPECTED WITH CONVECTION ALONG WITH
DAMAGING WINDS. ACTIVITY SHOULD SPREAD INTO SRN IL/IND DURING THE
LATE EVENING HOURS…AND SOUTH OF THE RED RIVER AS THE COLD FRONT
DRIVES DEEP INTO TX.
Lack of Severe Weather
To date, the number of severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings across the country only add up to 173! This is the lowest number of severe warnings issued within the data listed below. The average number of warnings issued from 2003-2014 through March 23rd is ~1,636. Needless to say, this has been an extremely quiet start to the severe weather season.
Lack of Tornadoes
The image below shows our PRELIMINARY tornado count through March 22nd across the country. Note that so far this year, we’ve only had 28! The 2005-2014 average through March 22nd is 186!
Days Since Last Tornado Warning by NWS Office
This is an interesting image. It shows the number of days we’ve had since our last tornado warning by specific NWS offices. Note that it’s been nearly 100 to 200+ days since our last tornado warning across some of the areas that typically are a little more active at this time of the year.
Average Tornadoes for March
Interestingly, there has yet to be a tornado this March across the country. If we can make it to tomorrow, we will set a record for the latest first March tornado! The current record for latest first March tornado is March 23rd, 1969. The average number of tornadoes by state for March is listed below.
Days Since Last Severe Thunderstorm Warning by NWS Office
Last week was some of the first severe weather we’ve since late last year across parts of New Mexico and the Deep South. Note that there are a few NWS office areas that are in single digits below, while most other locations haven’t seen a severe thunderstorm warning in nearly 100 to 200 days!
Thanks for checking in and have a great week ahead! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX
The brown grass in St. Paul, MN will soon be covered with snow as winter makes a return to the Twin Cities!
After a taste of summer last week across the Midwest, winter is rearing its head once again. An area of low pressure is set to bring accumulating snowfall to parts of southern Minnesota, northern Iowa, and southwestern Wisconsin later this afternoon. A Winter Weather Advisory (purple) is in effect for 3-6″ of snow, snowfall rates between 1-2″ per hour, and limited visibility. Driving will become treacherous this evening as the heaviest bands of snow push through.
South-central Minnesota could see some of the highest snow totals. The Minneapolis/St. Paul area is expected to pick up between 3-6″ with some localized 6″+ amounts likely. Precipitation will start as rain in the afternoon, change over to a rain/snow mix by this evening, and eventually turn to all snow by later tonight.
A stubborn, slow-moving cold front along the Gulf Coast will continue to bring heavy rain both today and tomorrow. A few strong storms are possible in the Gulf states with the biggest threat being gusty winds. A weak tornado or two can’t be ruled out.
Later this week, some areas in the central U.S. could see their first severe weather of the Spring. The biggest threats with Monday’s storms will be dime to quarter size hail. On Tuesday, stronger storms could produce large hail and damaging winds.
Today’s NASCAR race will be held at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. Temperatures will reach the upper 70s this afternoon. Skies will be mostly clear and winds will be light out of the southwest.
Have a great week!
-Meteorologist Ashley O’Connor
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Severe Weather Thursday
The severe weather season has been a little dull so far this year (not exactly a bad thing) so forgive me for giving the top billing spot to a graphic that shows two 1″ hail reports yesterday across the south. However, there is some very interesting stats to talk about with the limited severe weather that occurred yesterday.
Here were the severe thunderstorm warnings (the yellow polygons) that were issued across New Mexico and Texas yesterday. The white outline is the boundaries of National Weather Services across the south. Overall, eight warnings combined were issued on storms the exhibited the potential of large hail and strong winds by NWS offices in Norman (Oklahoma City), Dallas and Albuquerque.
Those severe thunderstorm warnings were the first ones issued in a long time for those offices! The last time NWS Norman had issued a severe thunderstorm warning was back on December 14th – the last one in the Albuquerque domain was October 9th!
Taking a look at all the warnings issued by National Weather Service offices across the nation as a whole also tells the story of a quiet year. Through March 20th, only 166 warnings (severe thunderstorm and tornado combined) have been issued. Using the data on the graph going back to 2004, the previous low through March 20th had been 604 warnings. Last year we already had had 657 warnings to date. The average over the 12 years in the graph (not including this year) is 1,504 warnings to date.
[READ MORE: “Uncharted Territory With Respect To Lack Of Severe Weather” (written Wednesday, March 19th, 2015)]
Another sign of a quiet year so far – many areas of the country haven’t had to issue a severe thunderstorm warning in over 80 days!
Here’s the map of when the last tornado warning was issued by NWS office. Dallas hasn’t issued a tornado warning in 280 days (June 12th of last year)! It’s been 95 days in the NWS Norman area, which was on December 14th.
It’s been 117 days since the NWS Brownsville office has had to issue a severe thunderstorm warning, and there’s the potential they may have to on Saturday. A Marginal Risk of Severe Weather has been hoisted for extreme southern Texas – with gusty winds and large hail the main threats.
Taking a look at the nation as a whole, we’re watching snow move through the Northeast this morning, as well as rain across the South and Northwest this weekend. As we work into Sunday, our eyes will start to turn to a new system across the upper Midwest.
[Track The Precipitation: Interactive Radar]
Heavy rains are possible across portions of the South and Southeast as we work through the next few days, as well as the Northwest. Some of these areas really don’t need the rain with parts of Texas already receiving over 5″ of rain this month so far.
[READ MORE: Heavy March Rains (written Thursday, March 19th, 2015)]
Flooding will be a huge concern due to the amount of rain they’ve already seen recently along with the additional 2-4″ possible later today through Sunday morning. Flood Watches are already in effect through the weekend for the potential of flooding.
Meanwhile, it’s not going to feel like the first day of spring in the Northeast as snow will continue to accumulate today, with some locations potentially picking up a half foot by the time the snow tapers off.
TGIF – and happy first day of spring!
Heavy March Precipitation
Seems like March has been the month of heavy precipitation across portions of the nation. Here were some one day rain totals from yesterday across Texas – Alice picked up almost 2.50″ of rain! The 1.83″ in Corpus Christi brought the monthly total up to 5.35″, making this March the second wettest on record. Number one is 7.69″ back in 1903.
Here are some of the totals from the coastal bend of Texas up through the Ohio Valley. There are a few 6 and 7 inch totals in this area, but you can kind of see how quickly the precipitation tapers off on both sides. Note: one reason we keep saying precipitation is because some of this fell as snow, so the melted liquid from that snow is included in these totals.
And putting the precipitation this month so far across the nation on a map as dots, you can quickly pinpoint where the precipitation seems to continue to fall – from the coastal bend of Texas all the way up toward the Boston area in a nice little stripe.
Meanwhile, some of these totals are FAR above average for this time of year. Paducah, KY, is sitting at 7.95″ of precipitation so far this month – a good 5.78″ above average for this time of the month! Yikes!
You can tell what parts of the nation has been excessively wet when you plot the departure from average on a map. All those green dots represent places that have seen above average precipitation so far this month. Meanwhile, besides that stripe from Texas to near Boston, most of the rest of the nation has been relatively dry.
Here is expected liquid precipitation values over the next five days across the lower 48. Parts of Texas will continue to receive heavy rain, meanwhile some of the heaviest will actually shift southward from where that main band has been this month. We are also expecting the potential of heavy precipitation across portions of the Pacific Northwest.
[Track The Precipitation: Interactive Radar]
More Northeast Snow
Some of that moisture from the south will stream north over the next 24-48 hours, and we will likely see snow for parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast – coming in just in time for the commutes on Friday across these areas.
Here are projected snow totals from NWS offices across the Northeast. A band of 2-4″ is possible from Pennsylvania into Massachusetts. Philadelphia and Boston could pick up between 1-3″ of snow, while New York City could see 2-4″ of snow.
We’ll keep an eye on the rain and snow chance over the next few days here at Aeris Weather!
Meteorologist D.J. Kayser
Quiet Start to the 2015 Severe Weather Season
Thanks to colder than average weather in the eastern half of the country, severe weather has been fairly limited/non-existent so far this year.
(Image courtesy: NSSL)
2015 PRELIMINARY Tornado Count
WOW! Take a look at how few tornadoes we’ve seen across the nation so far this year (through March 17th). In fact, through the data listed (2005), this is the lowest number of tornadoes through March 17th; the closest was 56 in 2005. Interestingly, the 2005-2014 average is 173!
Cooler Than Average So Far in 2015
Take a look at the year temperature departure from average across North America and note how the continent looks to be divided with cooler than average temps to the east, while warmer than average temperatures are found to the west. We’ve been in a fairly persistent pattern over the past couple/few months, which has kept the severe weather threat pretty low in the heart of the severe country, which typically sits east of the Rockies, closer to the Gulf Coast Region.
(Image courtesy: WeatherBell)
Severe Watches So Far This March
Here’s some interesting info from NOAA’s SPC about the lack of severe weather this year so far. Interestingly, in a month that averages nearly 80 tornadoes nationally, we have yet to see even a tornado watch this March!
Latest from the SPC WCM page.
NORMAN, Okla. During a month when severe weather typically strikes, this March has been unusually quiet, with no tornado or severe thunderstorm watches issued by NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center so far. And, National Weather Service forecasters see no sign of dramatic change for the next week at least.
“We are in uncharted territory with respect to lack of severe weather”, said Greg Carbin, SPC’s warning coordination meteorologist. “This has never happened in the record of SPC watches dating back to 1970.”
Since the beginning of 2015, the SPC has issued only four tornado watches and no severe thunderstorm watches, which is less than 10 percent of the typical number of 52 tornado watches issued by mid-March. The approximately 20 tornadoes reported since January 1 is well below the 10-year average of 130 for that time period.
There is no one clear reason to explain the lack of tornadoes, Carbin said. “We’re in a persistent pattern that suppresses severe weather, and the right ingredients — moisture, instability, and lift — have not been brought together in any consistent way so far this year.”
Forecasters expect a change soon, however. April and May are typically the busiest months for severe weather and tornadoes. Patterns can change in a few days, Carbin said, and it’s important to be prepared for severe weather when it occurs.
Analysis of the ten lowest and ten highest watch count years through the middle of March reveals little correlation to the subsequent number of tornadoes through the end of June. For example, early 2012 was particularly active with 77 watches issued through mid-March. The subsequent period through the end of June was unusually quiet for tornadoes with about 130 fewer EF1 and stronger tornadoes occurring than what would normally be expected. On the other hand, 1984, with a relatively low watch count of 28 through mid-March, became more active and by late June had about 100 EF1 and stronger tornadoes above the long-term mean of 285.
Average Tornadoes In March
According to NOAA’s SPC, the 1989-2013 national average tornado county is around 80 for the month of March. As you can see, the biggest tornado producing states (on average for March) are located in the Southern Plains and the Gulf Coast States with Texas at the top with an average of 11.
Last Active March?
If you can recall back to March 2012, it was a VERY warm month. Most of the eastern half of the country was WELL above average in the temperature department. The weather pattern was very active too, which allowed for nearly 2,000 severe weather reports; 225 of which were tornado reports!
Upcoming Severe Threat
According to NOAA’s SPC, there is a MARGINAL SEVERE THREAT on Thursday across parts of the Southern Plains. Here’s more from the SPC:
…SWRN OK THROUGH NWRN TX…
EAST OF A LEE LOW OVER WRN TX…A WARM FRONT WILL LIFT NWD INTO SRN
OK THURSDAY AFTERNOON. SOUTH OF THIS BOUNDARY…PARTIALLY MODIFIED
GULF AIR /LOW 60S F NEAR-SFC DEWPOINTS/ WILL ADVECT THROUGH THE WARM
SECTOR. STEEPER /6.5 C/KM 850-500 MB/ LAPSE RATES WILL SPREAD EWD
ABOVE WRN FRINGE OF MOIST AXIS WHERE AT LEAST MODEST DIABATIC
WARMING SHOULD CONTRIBUTE TO AN AXIS OF 400-800 J/KG MLCAPE. WEAK
SHORTWAVE RIDGING WILL PERSIST OVER THIS REGION DURING THE DAY WHICH
/ALONG WITH A MODEST CAPPING INVERSION ALOFT/ SHOULD LIMIT
THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT IN WARM SECTOR. HOWEVER…ASCENT ALONG THE
ADVANCING COLD FRONT MAY BE SUFFICIENT TO INITIATE THUNDERSTORMS AS
IT INTERCEPTS THE MOIST AXIS. DEEP-LAYER SHEAR FROM 35-45 KT WILL
SUPPORT POTENTIAL FOR A FEW ORGANIZED STORMS…BUT THERE MAY BE A
TENDENCY FOR ACTIVITY TO BE UNDERCUT BY THE SWD MOVING FRONT. A FEW
OF THE STRONGER STORMS MIGHT BECOME CAPABLE OF PRODUCING HAIL AND
GUSTY WINDS THROUGH EARLY EVENING.
National Weather Outlook
While temperatures have cooled rather dramatically across the northern half of the country since earlier this week, weather across the southern half of the country remains quite active. The loop below shows wet conditions unfolding from the Four Corners Region to the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast through AM Friday. Note that some of this precipitation looks to turn into more of a wintry mess in the Northeast by late week.
Heavy Precipitation Potential
According to NOAA’s HPC, the 5 day precipitation outlook shows nearly 2″ to 3″+ rain possible from parts of Texas to Georgia/South Carolina. Some of this heavy rain could lead to additional flooding through the end of the week.
Thanks for checking in and have a great rest of your week! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX
NCAA Tournament Starts Today
For some, the most wonderful time of the year begins today – the NCAA Basketball Tournament. And while the games are played inside, we can still have some fun with it!
If you are heading out to Dayton, OH, for the first round, you might want to grab a jacket. Highs today will be set early, then drop with strong north winds gusting to 30 mph. Tomorrow will be a little bit sunnier around town, but with highs only in the mid 40s.
This is how I am going to put my own spin on the games – take a look at the weather back home for the teams traveling to Dayton. Here are the forecasts for the home town of teams that play later today. If the Rebels, Cougars, or Pirates were back home, they would be basking in sunshine with temps in the mid 70s. The only town with a chance of showers would be New York, home of the Jaspers, as well as coolish temperatures.
Taking a look at games tomorrow, all these teams would see sunshine back at home… wait a minute, the Dayton Flyers get to play in Dayton – even at their home arena! Could that be an advantage? We aren’t a sports blog, so I couldn’t tell you. However, both the Ospreys and Broncos would much rather be playing at their home court where temperatures would be a lot warmer.
Record Breaking Heat
If you were in the Central Plains yesterday, chances are you had to turn on the air conditioner! At 20 locations across Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa, highs made it up into the 90s Monday. Above is a map of the warmest location by state. Hill City, KS, made it up to 94 during the afternoon. That, however, was not the warmest spot in the nation – it made it to 99 in Death Valley, CA.
Here were just some of the record highs set yesterday across the nation. Denver saw their earliest 80 on record Monday.
Luckily the need for an air conditioner is short lived as cooler weather has filtered in. Check out the forecast for Sioux City, IA – 90 yesterday, 50 today! And they dropped to 30 this morning – a 60 degree drop in about 17 hours! How’s that for March Madness?
Precipitation Next Few Days
We’re watching for more precipitation over the Northeast and Northwest over the next five days, but some of the heaviest rain will occur over parts of the Deep South and Southeast. There is the potential that places from Texas into Mississippi could see 2-3″ over the next five days. You may remember that some of these areas have already seen heavy rain earlier this month, and this will not help any ongoing river flooding.
Meanwhile, some of that precipitation expected in the Northeast will once again fall as some snow, and it appears some areas of Maine could see a half a foot or more through Thursday evening.
St. Patrick’s Day Highs
Here are your highs across the country for this St. Patrick’s Day! Lots of greens from the northern Rockies into the northeast, while golds paint the central part of the nation.
Have a great Tuesday and St. Patrick’s Day! Go (whatever team you are rooting for in the NCAA tournament)!
Meteorologist D.J. Kayser