Weather

Dec 222017
 

Radar at 3:30 pm

A band of rain is sliding up into the Ozarks late this afternoon.

As temperatures begin to fall near the surface, the rain is expected to make a transition over to snow during the evening hours.

Accumulations will range between barely measurable to maybe as much as 2″. With a warm ground and temperatures above freezing, travel won’t be bad at first.

By later tonight as temperatures drop below freezing, roads make become slick in spots.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for most of the area tonight.

 

Dec 212017
 

Precipitation Type Saturday at 6 am (NAM model from COD)

A White Christmas in the Ozarks still on the table!

As I’ve been watching the computer models this week, a new possibility for snow has overshadowed the original possibility.

A shield of rain will be spread north out of Arkansas late Friday. Because of the arrival of some colder air and because this will occur at night and on early Saturday, snow is possible on the northern end of the rain.

Accumulations will probably stay under one inch although a few inches are possible in some locations.  With a warm ground, not much of this will stick or stick around for long.  But perhaps some will remain for Christmas Eve.

A small band of light snow will drift over Missouri on Sunday too. This has always been a glorified dusting and its position has moved anywhere from northern Missouri to northern Arkansas as each model run has come out this week.

So chances are there!  Statistically, it’s a long shot most of the time so I’ll personally hold on to any chance!

 

Dec 192017
 

GFS Model Precipitation Type Sunday Morning (Image from COD)

It’s a hot topic for something cold!

Over the weekend, I hinted at the possibility of snow on Christmas Eve in the Ozarks. The chance for snow remains!

The funny thing about longer range forecasting is one looks for the general ingredients first: cold air and a disturbance.  Both of these continue to show up for Sunday but the details are still fuzzy.

It looks like light snow, not a major winter storms which is really the best kind for all concerned in that it looks nice without causing a travel problem.

Also, generally speaking, the last week of December and early January become more active meaning more precipitation chances and enough cold air to make winter precipitation a possibility.

Dec 172017
 

Sunday Morning Radar

What’s that sound?  Yes, it’s raining!

Welcome rain visited the Ozarks overnight and continues early today.

As of 7 am Sunday morning, Springfield picked up about a half inch of rain.  Morning radar shows showers in the Springfield area with the majority of the rain now northeast of the city.  The rain will end in the Ozarks early today.

The week heading into Christmas will be a mild one. Expect high temperatures in the fifties and even sixties!

However, a slam of arctic air will arrive on Friday.  Much colder air will be in place next weekend with highs in the forties and even thirties.

This leads me to a White Christmas comment.  The first ingredient is of course it has to be cold enough to snow which appears likely.

The second condition is a trigger for precipitation. Almost as exciting as Santa coming (a certainty!),  there has been a consistent signal for snow in or close to the Ozarks on Sunday.

A White Christmas is usually defined as snow on the ground not necessary snow on Christmas Eve so this could be an exciting development.  It will keep me watching the charts this week.

GFS Model of Precipitation Type Noon on Christmas Eve

More updates of course this week!

 

Dec 142017
 

One model’s idea for a white Christmas

Here are a few interesting Tweets during this week.

We are getting close to being able to take a stab at the probability of a White Christmas in the Ozarks.

I’ll put my forecast out early next week…

 

 

 

 

 Posted by at 6:26 pm
Dec 112017
 

The danger of large outdoor grass fires is real today!

If you have heard the phrase “Red Flag Warning”, it is the National Weather Service’s alert for this condition.

All outdoor fire risk is associated with these three conditions: dry air, dry fuels and excessive wind.  Warmer temperatures are also a factor.

All of these conditions exist in the Ozarks today.

Burning outside is not advised as the risk of this fire spreading to nearby grasses is high.  It can get out of control quickly.

While it may seem like a great day to burn leaves or brush, don’t do it!

 

 Posted by at 8:49 am
Dec 102017
 

Lake Effect on December 10th, 2017

I’ve watching lake-effect snow bands set up on the eastern end of Lake Erie today.

Lake-effect snow is the product of a warm lake and cold air. Because water cools more slowly than the air, this condition sets up starting in late fall and early winter.

It is essentially a very unstable set-up: the air in contact with the lake picks up a tremendous amount of heat energy and humidity below a winter-cold mass of air above.

The result, assuming temperatures support snow, is narrow and extremely efficient band of snow.

 Posted by at 7:26 pm
Sep 192017
 

It is going to be a horrible night on the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Croix.

Category five hurricane Maria has maximum sustained winds of 175 mph late this Tuesday evening.

It is on track to pass just south and west or possibly over of the island of St. Croix overnight.  This puts the island on the forward right quadrant of the storm, the most dangerous portion where the winds are strongest and the water surge will be highest.

Maria is not forecast to change intensity in any meaningful way tonight or early tomorrow.  It will landfall Puerto Rico on Wednesday. Both islands will experience storm surge from 6 to 9 feet, Winds will likely range in the 155-175 range. Wind gusts could be higher in the mountainous areas of Puerto Rico.  Rain totals will exceed 20 inches in many areas.

 

Sep 192017
 

Another category five hurricane in the Atlantic.  Maria ramped up quickly yesterday and has re-intensified early today.

Maria went from a category one storm to a five in a day yesterday. Overnight, it slammed into Dominica with 160 mph winds. After weakening slightly, the hurricane has regained its strength still the strongest ranked storm possible.

This storm posses a great threat to the Virgin Islands today and to Puerto Rico on Wednesday.  All indications are Maria will be a category 4 or 5 storm when in reaches the island Wednesday afternoon.

From there, strong computer model consensus exists for a turn to the north over the open Atlantic.

Is it unusual for two storms of this strength to form in one year?  Not really.  Like notable tornado outbreaks, when the exact conditions line up you will get more than one violent storm.  For hurricanes in this region, the warm water is present like it is most years.  Weak wind shear (wind shear is a notable change in wind speed and or direction with height) and a parade of disturbances needed to “kick off” development is all that is needed.

Sep 182017
 

Hurricane Maria is strengthening in the Atlantic and has its eyes set on Puerto Rico.

This storm is in warm water and a favorable upper air pattern to develop.  It is presently a category 2 storm with 110 mph winds.  It should increase today to a category 3 storm.

It is not following the slightly cooler, up-welled waters left behind by the track of Irma or Jose but will cross that path later this week.

As for whether Maria will affect the mainland U.S., the computer models are somewhat up in the air (which is typical) but do lean more toward an open ocean track by late in the week.