Severe Weather

Feb 012013

Two EF1 Tornadoes Tuesday Morning

The day will be best remembered for the extremely generous rainfall which was so desperately needed in the area!  We also had two confirmed tornadoes and several tornado warnings along with some wind damage in the Ozarks.

The two EF1 tornado reports north of Springfield are connected to a rapidly-moving bowing thunderstorm segment which traveled from southeast Kansas to Morgan County during the morning hours.  The first EF1 tornado occurred around 11 am just N of Cedar Springs in Cedar County. A second EF1 tornado happened about 20 minutes later in St. Clair County about 4 miles NE of Gerster.

Path pf Northern Bowing Segment

The bowing segment also produced wind damage at various points along the path.

Another bowing line segment came out of northwestern Arkansas late in the afternoon.  The rotating portion of this segment passed through extreme southeastern Stone County and southwestern Taney County.  It was responsible for a tornado warning for those areas during the 4 o’clock hour.  Several areas of rotation occurred with this line segment and wind damage was reported but thus far no tornadoes have been identified with this system.

The rain was the other big story.  I included the latest drought summary for the Ozarks which doesn’t include the rain of Tuesday.  The drought is considered moderate over much of Missouri and more critical over portions of northwest Arkansas.  By the time the report comes out next Thursday, the generous rains of Tuesday will be included and it will be interesting to compare.

Nearly all areas of the Ozarks received at least one inch of rain.  Many got more than two inches or even three inch plus totals.

Radar Rain Estimate from Late Tuesday Night

Drought Index 1/31/13

Bowing Line Segment With Rotation Indicators in Taney County

Jan 292013

Severe Threat Today

Here’s the latest on the severe weather potential today.

This morning, some storms can be seen firing over western Missouri.  These are not the main event but could pose a slight risk of some damaging winds and hail over the next few hours.

Later today, a fast-moving squall line should move in from Oklahoma and Kansas.  I would put the main line of storms in Springfield around 1 p.m. and it will be organizing as it moves through.

It’s a typical winter severe situation for the Ozarks in that the instability will be on the weak side while the overall jet stream wind shear is off the charts.  This will support a squall line capable of straight-line wind damage. This threat will be enhanced in surging/bowing segments of the line of storms.  These are also areas which will need to be watched for isolated tornado potential.

Tornado Probability within 25 Miles of a Point

I don’t see a strong signal for isolated storm development ahead of the main line but these types of storms need to be watched for as they have a higher severe weather incidence connected to them.

The line of storms will progress eastward quickly, entering areas of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas by around dinner-time.

The cold front itself will keep scattered showers and storms in play behind the line but I don’t think these pose a large severe threat at this time.

Jan 282013

Severe Storm Outlook for Tuesday

Here is a forecast for the chance for severe weather and heavy rain in the Ozarks on Tuesday.

First for tonight, storms developing over Oklahoma and Kansas may reach severe limits. It doesn’t appear that these will remain at this strength level as they approach the western portion of Missouri by late tonight.  Additional strong storms may also fire in western Missouri. Again, these are expected to stay below severe limits.

It looks like the greatest threat for severe storms in Springfield on Tuesday is between noon and 3 pm.  This would take the form of a developing line of thunderstorms which should start right along the Kansas/Missouri border just before noon.  The main threat continues to be straight line damaging winds with this line.  There doesn’t appear to be a signal for isolated storms out ahead of the line but if these do form, they would pose a greater threat for damaging winds and tornadoes.

The line of storms should become better organized as it heads east during the late afternoon and early evening.  It looks like the low level winds will become more favorable for tornadoes in south central Missouri and northern Arkansas.  This squall line will continue through the night well to our southeast in central Arkansas and points southeast.

As a cold front moves in from the northwest Tuesday night, a few storms may form northwest of Springfield and sweep southeast. These are expected to stay below severe limits.

Simulated Radar Forecast for 3 p.m. Tuesday

As for the rain, this looks pretty good.  Lines like this with a great supply of moisture typically expand a produce a huge band of heavy rain behind the leading severe edge.  This would translate to the heaviest rains from Springfield southeast.  I’ll put Springfield close to 1.5″ while West Plains and Mtn. Home Arkansas will likely top 2″ of rain.

Dec 192012

Tornado Probabilities for This Evening

An intense low pressure system will be developing and moving from Kansas into western Missouri tonight. A few thunderstorms will be developing this evening and the issue is how many might be severe.


Overall, scattered storms will transition quickly to a line of storms later this evening across most of the Ozarks.  Wind shear is very favorable for stronger storms capable of supporting strong surface wind gusts with the heavier storms.  This set-up might support an isolated tornado.

Tornado Watch Likely

One overall negative factor is the low instability. Having stated this, the highest instability will set up later this evening in northwest Arkansas, extreme southern Missouri and then north central Arkansas.  Low level instability with a very high humidity surface air mass will likely make the most of any long-lived updraft in a storm.

The SPC outlooks looks reasonable with regard to severe weather.

I’ll be watching this area carefully tonight.  Remember, wind chills in the teens and snow flurries flying in about 12 hours! That’s why I love the weather!

Dec 192012

Simulated Radar at 3 am

Hang on, we’ll have some “weather moments” over the next week or so!

This Evening

A line of showers and storm is forecast to develop this evening over the Ozarks. With regard to severe weather, the wind shear will be favorable for severe storms. The main question will be the degree of instability available during this time.  It’s something to watch for a few storms developing wind damage potential.  Folks in south central Missouri and north central Arkansas should especially be on watch for this activity by late evening.


O.K. big changes will occur for Thursday. As the heavy snow band stays well north of Springfield and the Ozarks, there will be flurries flying around the area tomorrow morning!  Some of this might stick in grassy areas. FYI, if you are travelling to Kansas City, they may see 1-3″ of snow in that area by Thursday afternoon.

The wind will be incredibly gusty behind a deepening low.  Wind gusts over 30 mph will be common in the area on Thursday creating a very blustery condition.

Temperatures will barely clear freezing and wind chills will be in the upper teens at times tomorrow morning.

Calm Weekend

Eventually, high pressure will settle in this weekend providing a calm and seasonal cool pattern for us Friday through Sunday.

Surface Map Forecasts for Christmas Eve

Unsettled Christmas Holiday

Lot of interesting developments are in the works next week. Several systems coming ashore out west will produce rain and maybe snow in the Ozarks.

The details keep changing with these systems which is typical this many days out.

The latest output suggests a rain system will affect the area late Sunday and early Christmas Eve.  Then, another low is forecast to crank up late on Christmas Day. This one may bring snow to the Ozarks Christmas night!


I’ll have lots of updates on my personal web site and on social media over these next few days as new developments come in on these various storm systems.  Be sure to check in often!



Oct 172012

Radar and Severe Threat a 1 pm

Storms are firing to the west of Springfield at this writing at 1 pm. A watch may be issued to the area shown on the inserted map.

A cold front is racing southeast toward our area this afternoon.  The air out ahead of it is only weakly unstable thus far with persistent cloud cover buitting the brakes on increasing the instability.

The front and developing storms will continue to move on through this afternoon and will need until late this afternoon in areas east of Springfield to mature into anything significant.   Having  stated this, Springfield may be included in a watch. The line of storms will approach Springfield by about 2:30 pm.


Oct 172012

SPC Severe Threat Area

A fast moving cold front may produce some severe storms later today in areas mostly east of Springfield.

It will be a race between moist unstable air which will be drawn quickly northward out ahead of the front and the timing of the front itself.  The front looks like it will pass through Springfield around 4 pm.

This front will be on its way out of the Ozarks by 6-7 pm. This would leave a window of opportunity for severe storms in let’s say Phelps, Dent, Pulaski, Wright, Howell, Shannon, Oregon and the eastern portions of Douglas and Ozark Counties in Missouri and Marion, Baxter, Fulton, Searcy Stone and Izard Counties in northern Arkansas.  This would be in the 4  to 7 pm time frame.

Oct 132012

Radar and Warnings

The quasi-severe, bowing line of storms is just entering Missouri at 7:15 as I type this.

This line has produced a few wind gusts over 70 mph when it was in Oklahoma.  Warnings for severe wind gusts have been issued out ahead of the line.

The wind field and instability still make a weak, isolated tornado possible as this line progresses eastward during the evening. Otherwise, some severe wind gusts are possible.

ETA in Springfield about 9-9:30 pm. Note rain and some thunder will move into the metro area as part of a non-severe batch of storms prior to that time frame.

Oct 132012

All's Quiet Now, Storms Out West

Here’s an update for our severe weather situation this evening and overnight.  This update was put together around 4:45 pm on Saturday.

In the short term, a cluster of storms southwest of Tulsa will spend the next several hours moving northeast. It would ride along a minimal area of slightly more unstable air as it comes up roughly just north of I-44.  This could be the first severe storm warnings of the evening, affecting areas from Joplin north.

The main show will continue to lag behind a few hours.  The upper level system is still a way out.  This is good news in terms of keeping the severe threat as low as possible but it is not zero.

Short-range computer models put a squall line with embedded bow echoes from roughly Springfield south-southwest by around 11 pm, give or take an hour or so.  This tends to match up well with ongoing thunderstorm development and with my personal “pattern matching”,  having watched these types of set-ups in the past.

Straight-line winds continue to be the main concern although all bowing segments will need to be watched for weak, short-lived tornado development and/or enhanced wind damage.

Oct 132012

Severe Storm Outlook for Today/Tonight

The ongoing forecast for some severe thunderstorms in the Ozarks is still valid for later today and tonight.

Overall, the threat for damaging winds with the main line of storms later in the evening and the large area of heavy rain expected to develop behind this line are the two main weather features.

A band of showers and storms will continue to grow early this afternoon out to our west, moving in our direction.  While this band is generally not a severe threat to the Ozarks, it will northeast into central Missouri during the afternoon hours into an area of developing instability.

Tornado Probabilities

This band of showers and storms will have a stabilizing effect on the atmosphere in their wake.  Having said that, the upper level storm is fairly dynamic and the ability of the atmosphere to recover in the wake of the first band of rain shouldn’t be underestimated, especially with a gap of about 6 hours between the two primary rain and storm bands.

The second round of storms should start firing during the late afternoon and early evening hours out in Kansas and Oklahoma. These storms possess the greatest threat for severe weather.  What I’m hoping will happen  is that the southern half of this eventually squall line, say from Oklahoma southward takes over as the main producer of severe weather overnight.

Rain Projection

However, the line of storms will pass through the Ozarks most likely after 10 pm and there should be enough instability and wind shear to support severe weather. As much as I’d like to, I can’t rule out an isolated tornado, very much will depend on the evolution of the various shower and storm bands through the day and into the overnight hours.

The rain looks generous. The latest HPC forecast calls for 1-2″ of rain over the Ozarks which is of course welcome.