Monday, April 23, 2018

4/23/18 update

In the post I did on the 17th (read it by clicking here) the main weather maker expected was out across the Pacific at the time and it appeared that it would track farther south (abnormal for this past six months).  It did indeed track farther south and slower, but it ended up farther north than what was expected.  Still, there was widespread precipitation across the central part of the U.S..  Here is a map of precipitation the past 7 days....

Looking at today's satellite image...

The X1 will impact the central plains late Tuesday into early Wednesday. There should be quite a bit precipitation, but in general it will be on the light side.  There will be pockets of heavier amounts, but on average probably 1/4 to 1/3 inch will be the rule.  Here is the latest outlook from the Weather Prediction Center through this upcoming weekend (most will fall with this first system).

In the past few posts I referenced the "cold" soil temperatures.  As of this morning the 2 inch soil temperature across Kansas was abnormally cold.  The following map is available on the K-State weather page:

In the previous posting I did on the 17th I mentioned that the last week of April would be abnormally cool.  This first system that will bring the scattered precipitation late Tuesday/Wednesday will keep temperatures cooler than average with scattered freezing morning lows across the high plains for mid-week.  But if you look back on the satellite image, the X2 out across the Pacific will first bring a  yet another shot of cooler air by Friday (with the coldest across the midwest).   With warmer temperatures by the end of the weekend, soil temperatures will come back up, but probably still below "normal".

Beyond that system, it looks like a typical spring-like pattern will bring warmer weather next week.  There should also be an increased chance for showers and thunderstorms that first week of May.

More on that later - I'll try and update late this week.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

April 17, 2018

Slight changes may mean the high plains benefits!  In the post I did on the 11th of April (you can read it by clicking here), I mentioned additional weather systems for the remainder of the month, the first as early as the 20th.  That system is there and on track!  Early indications was for "some" precipitation for the high plains but not a lot.  Minor changes in the hemispheric forcing (perhaps from a somewhat active MJO and the decreasing affects from a very strong Stratospheric Warming Event that occurred over a moth ago) could actually benefit the high plains.

Looking at this mornings satellite image...

The red X across Nevada and Utah is another in a series of upper level systems.  Very similar to the systems this winter and spring, the storm system will pass too far north for the high plains to benefit.  All we will get, as usual, is strong winds after the passage of the associated cold front.  Fire danger will continue to be extreme! The storm will produce MORE snow across the midwest and into the Great Lakes!  The system will also drop more cold air into the high plains....BUT it will only be very brief as the next (and hopeful system approaches later in the week).

Back to the satellite image...the other red X just south of the Gulf of Alaska is projected to move southeast during the next few days.  Here is the change....this time it looks like the track will be a more southerly one - plus it should be slightly slower!  Although Gulf of Mexico moisture has been hammered from these frequent fronts lately, the moisture will be making a recovery this week and will take a trajectory up across the Rio Grande and eventually west Texas.  This is a change!

So as the storm system approaches late in the week, boundary layer moisture will be available that should result in widespread precipitation and even across much of Texas and Oklahoma!  There is still a lot of uncertainty on amounts and locations of the heavier rains.  I think at this point I would say everyone across the high plains gets at least a 1/2 an inch of rain.  A lot can happen before Friday/Saturday, but I won't be surprised to see a lot of observations of 1 to 1 1/2 inches with a few spots over 2 inches!  Again, details of where the heaviest amounts will fall is uncertain since the upper system is still way out in the Pacific and the track is unknown.

Here is the first guess from the Weather Prediction Center through the first of next week...

Don't take the amounts literally at this point or the bullseye of heaviest rains.  But, this should give a sense of how widespread the rains could be.  This is similar to the mid-March system only much farther west and south!

Also in the previous post I discussed the cold for the last week of April that is highly probable.  This also seems to be on track with an additional chance for moisture!  By May 1st, soil temperatures should continue to be colder than normal - or at least much colder than the previous few years.  The Corn Belt - how late will planting be this year?  Someone better start thinking about that!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Update 4/16/18

Give me another day or so - I plan on updating tomorrow or Wednesday (18th) by the latest.  In the posting I did on the 11th, I mentioned April 20th as the date for the next significant weather maker.  As of today it's almost looking like a slam dunk for that very day.  I need to have some time to gather details and more info....

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Update 04/11/18

In the updated post I did on the 25th of March I discussed briefly about the COLD that I expected for at least the first 10 days of April.  Obviously it occurred, with record low temperatures observed at many locations this past weekend.  Way back in the fall I posted several times of the likelihood of a late (later than normal) spring freeze. More about that below.

This past week and a half of cold has really pushed back the green-up (and combined with the dryness).   Unfortunately that will extend the wildfire threat, especially given that more wind is expected with low relative humidity.  There may be a day or two through the 21st of lighter winds, but the majority of the days will have pretty windy conditions, whether that be a north of south wind.

One thing I've talked about for months is that opportunities for precipitation would be fewer than normal, but that as we get later into spring that moisture would become more available to work with.  During this past couple of weeks there have been a least a few systems producing some rain (and snow).  Here is a map of precipitation that occurred between March 28 and April 11...

So now what?  Looking at this mornings satellite image.....

The next weather maker for the plains was out across the Pacific as a small disturbance in the jetstream marked by the red X straight west of California.  It's not much at the current time but it will intensify as it moves into the Rockies and eventually into the plains early this weekend.  As usual, the eventual path it takes (and it's intensity as it moves out) will determine the amount and location of precipitation.  At this point, it appears it will move out too far north to bring much precipitation to the high plains, initially.  Severe weather and thunderstorms will most likely develop across the far eastern Kansas and Oklahoma, and on to the east and south. But there is some indication that as the eventual storm wraps up, rain and snow will develop on the back side, probably most likely Saturday.  There won't be a LOT of moisture and unfortunately it will be accompanied by 40 to 60 MPH winds.

Here is the precipitation outlook through mid-week from the Weather Prediction Center (through Wednesday morning the 18th)....

In addition, temperatures will be back well below freezing, especially by Sunday morning across the high plains.  Even with very warm temperatures today through Friday of this week (90s on Friday), the cold this weekend will knock 2 inch soil temperatures back into the low 50s by the first of next week.

Going on into the remainder of April...there will be additional weather systems (as early as the 20th) and at least one of those should bring "some" precipitation to the high plains, but not a lot.  Unfortunately there will be many more windy days keeping the fire threat elevated.  Plus, ups and downs with temperatures.  The pattern does support more cold air by the last few days of the month - and likely a frost or freeze again.

Going into May we will not be completely out of the woods for very cold air!  I would not be surprised to have near freezing or at least frost around mid-month.  More on that as we get closer to May.

I'll attempt to post again in about a week.