Sep 052017
 

Infrared (IR) Image of Irma From Late Sunday

Hurricane Irma is monster and it doesn’t look like much or any loss of strength as it heads WNW.

As with all hurricanes, the forecast track is what everybody is watching closely.  And with all longer-range forecasts, confidence is high in the beginning with uncertainty increasing with time.

It is pretty clear the Irma will continue moving WNW for the next 3 days or so. Nearly ideal conditions at the ocean surface and in the upper level wind structure will keep this storm at either a category 4 or 5 during this time.

The real trick with Irma is how it will interact with an upper-level weather system moving into the eastern U.S. by late week.  Many times, such features will start turning tropical weather systems north or northeast. With Irma, this may happen but there is enough uncertainty in the forecast to consider many possibilities by late in the week.

Forecast Wind Flow Aloft For Friday Afternoon

Irma is a large and dangerous storm!  Coastal areas of Florida should be preparing (as always) for its arrival by late week. It is not entirely out of the realm of possibility that Irma could end up in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Feb 212013
 

Snapshot Around 11:30 a.m.

Areas east of Springfield still have some shots of sleet and ice accumulation possible, a back edge to the worst of it is in sight!

The Storm So Far

We have had reports of up to .25″ of ice (not sleet) on some surfaces.  But a lot of what fell changed into sleet.  The reason for this had to do with the unstable air existing over the cold air at the surface. This lead to more convection (hence the lightning and thunder) which features rapidly rising air. This air cools as it rises, it converts a freezing rain layer into a sleet layer. This cut down on a lot of potential ice accumulation!

Small Hail in Willard (Austin Houp)

To complicate matters, some small hail was also included in some of the thunderstorms!  I enclosed a picture from Willard today of some pea-sized hail.

Hail looks smoother while sleet is more grainy.

Another tenth of on inch of ice accumulation is possible with the band of showers east of Springfield over the next few hours. Sleet will be mixed with much of this.

As for Springfield, stick a fork in it, we’re essentially done with the heavy stuff!

Feb 212013
 

Radar/Temperatures at 7 a.m.

Overnight, a wave of lighter snow and sleet moved north over the Ozarks.

At this hour, convective bands (with some lightning and thunder) are organizing over northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri. This represents heavier precipitation rates and with temperatures in the upper twenties, freezing rain and ice accumulation will continue for a few hours.

There might be sleet in the core of some of the heavier bands, reducing ice accumulations somewhat but overall, expect conditions to worsen through mid-morning, especially north and east of Springfield.

The real question for the day is: how much warming will occur at the surface and where?  My belief is that Springfield will see a recovery to near 32 degrees, still icy but more manageable.

Winter Advisories

The concern all along has been the persistent below freezing situation which will set up for areas of northern Arkansas and perhaps south-central Missouri later this morning and afternoon.  An ice storm warning is still in affect for a portion of that area.

Icy Table/Deck in Lakeview, AR (Erica Schultz)

Feb 202013
 

Possible Precipitation Type at 9 a.m. Thursday

Everything is progressing at about the same pace as this morning’s forecast.

One exception is the development of a light snow band out ahead of the main band expected later this evening.  This has produced some minor accumulations in portions of Barry, McDonald and Stone Counties in Missouri and Boone County in Arkansas.  It will remain light and weaken as it moves northeast.

The main show is still tonight and Thursday. Remember that many, including folks in Springfield, will go through a progression of precipitation types. It will start as snow later this evening, change over to sleet late tonight and then go to freezing rain by Thursday morning.

So waking up in Springfield, there will be several inches of snow/sleet on the ground with a glaze of ice on top of that.  Some icing of trees and wires will occur in Springfield however I don’t believe we will see the worst of it.

The heaviest icing should occur over areas of north-central Arkansas and south-central Missouri. I still feel as if coatings of near .40″ of an inch of ice are possible in these areas by tomorrow afternoon.

Pure snow accumulations will be reserved for areas about an hour north drive from Springfield during this storm.

I will have more updates later today.  This will include my video blog and a live web show at 6 p.m.

 

Feb 202013
 

Main Precipitation Threat Tonight/Thursday

All of the Ozarks are under some short of winter storm warning this morning for later tonight and Thursday. Ice accumulation is still a concern.

A huge amount of humidity is being lifted over a dome of cold air which will result in lots of rain aloft, which will transition to a mess in the Ozarks on the ground in the form of sleet and freezing rain.

Layout of Precipitation

There is an expected transition of precipitation type for many in the Ozarks. When the initial wave comes in tonight, it’s expected to be snow and some sleet.  This will probably stay snow in areas from let’s say Lamar to Camdenton northward.

As for Springfield, snow will give way to sleet and eventually freezing rain (ice) by dawn on Thursday.

Freezing Rain vs. Sleet: What’s the Difference?

 

Areas of northern Arkansas and south-central Missouri will hold on to freezing rain the longest and have the biggest threat of significant ice accumulations.

Totals

I expect Springfield will see several inches of snow/sleet overnight tonight with a glaze of ice on top of that starting sometime in the early morning hours of Thursday.

The snow up north could amount to 1-3″.  This of course will become a major snowstorm north and northwest of the Ozarks.

Ice accumulations will be between .10 and .40″ I think with the higher amounts in the area specified on the graphic.

Information Today/Tonight

I will post a winter storm update after the morning computer model runs come out, right around noon.

I will post a video review/blog by late afternoon.

Also, look for a live web show tonight to discuss the situation. Details coming up later today!

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.

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.

Set-Up

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!

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.

Watching….

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.