In the previous discussion with many of you about that 21st/22nd period when I made that prediction back in February - I had my reasons of timing and pattern recognition. At that time I thought that if everything panned out, then with the expected weather pattern for the time period in April, there should be severe weather (blizzard in the cold sector). But as it turned out, deep boundary layer moisture for this storm was hard to come by (given the really cold regime around Easter that shut everything down into the gulf). There was severe weather, but south of Kansas. Here are the reports from yesterday morning through this morning....
If deeper and richer gulf moisture had been in place, I feel strongly that we'd be talking about very widespread severe reports in addition to flooding rains.
So why did long range models even 7 days out fail to pick up on this storm? It's because there are so many variables that models just can't accurately account for everything in the atmosphere. Plus, there is too much feedback in the atmosphere that an accurate forecast from a model is often not possible. Even on a very short times scale, computer forecast models are not that accurate, many times. As an example, the next 3 images show various short range computer models and their quantitative precipitation forecast for Dodge City. The models were run less than 6 hours apart in time.
Forecast number 1
Forecast number 2
Forecast number 3
For several days they had shown 1.2 to 3.0 inches of rain in Dodge. We got only ~ 1/2 of an inch. But, south of here only 20 miles it was closer to 1.5 to 2 inches. So, a shift of the small of a distance was the difference. If a short term high resolution model can't get it right at a specific point, how in the heck can we trust long range models many days to weeks in advance? For me, it's showing trends and hedging what direction to go (precipitation and temperature anomalies).
Looking at the satellite image from earlier today
The main system was moving out of the area. In the flow aloft, there was a weak disturbance observed across Oregon. That could help bring widely scattered showers or storms tomorrow (Thursday).
But, based on the pattern that developed during the early fall, the area should go through a relatively dry spell - but warmer too! Vegetation should really start to take off!
Here is the outlook from the Weather Prediction Center for possible precipitation through early next Wednesday (29th) which should include what falls (Thursday-early Friday)….
I did mention in the previous post that if any frost or freeze were to occur again for this spring, it would be between May 1 and May 6 (and a light freeze or frost). But I gave that a very slim chance (5-10 percent). I still see that possibility, especially farther west near the Kansas/Colorado border and into western Nebraska. Pinpointing more specifically it looks like May 5-6. In addition, around that May 5-6 period will probably be the next chance for widespread precipitation (but probably severe thunderstorms before the brief colder weather makes a brief appearance).
At this time, I'm looking at the period from around May 10th through the 28th to be particularly active. More on that later.
Finally, I'll leave this date to ponder. June 18-19. Mark it on your calendar.