Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Marching Into Some Warm Weather

Last week we told you here first about a cold miserable rain Monday followed by a HUGE warm up.  Now that we have the cold weather out of the way, let's talk about those warm temperatures and storm chances.

High pressure will move east of the state and a front with an area of low pressure will develop to our west.  The flow will bring in a strong southwesterly flow by Thursday with temperatures well into the 70s to near 80 degrees.  It's even possible to bring readings into the 80s especially for western Arkansas. 

00Z GFS 850 mb flow valid Thursday PM.  The warm colors indicate quite a bit of warm air advection from the southwest boosting surface temperatures well into the 70s and maybe even 80s.
A front enters the state and we'll have small and brief chance for rain Saturday.  The front will put its breaks on and retreat to the north as a warm front.  Now we're off to the races for more warm and HUMID weather. 

I have been looking at the 850 mb flow (roughly 5000 feet).  I really like looking at this level when forecasting.  It shows a LONG fetch of southerly winds developing around a ridge of high pressure located across the eastern United States.   This will transport moisture across the Gulf of Mexico into the central United States setting the stage for some rain and thunderstorm activity with another storm system which will arrive Tuesday. 

00Z GFS valid late next Monday.  Notice the high off the coast of South Carolina and a front through MN to NE to KS into OK.  The pressure difference between these two features will bring a strong southerly flow transporting warm and moist air off the Gulf
The surface map shows the front really slowing down here in the mid south and producing rain and a few storms.  This is in the long range, so a lot of this can and will change.  But I just wanted to show you how the front gets hung up in our region of the country as the ridge located east of the state will slow anything down moving into it.  The main energy heads well north of the state leaving moisture and the front behind.  IF THIS HAPPENS, it could lead to some heavy rain.

00Z GFS valid late next Tuesday.  This shows the surface low well into Canada with a front drapped across the state and areas of rain.
Let's go even beyond this time period and talk about the next system.  While there are timing and strength differences, there appears to be another wave of low pressure which will bring another chance for rain and storms into the state the following weekend.  THAT'S WAYYYYY OFF into the future so we'll watch that. 

We need the rain (not all at one time though) as most of the southern half of the state is in an extreme to severe drought according to the NWS's drought monitor.  As we get deeper into our severe weather season, it's very typical to bring in these large amounts of moisture and warm air as storm systems progress from west to east across the country. 

1 comment:

Amy said...

Joe Bastardi, on weatherbell.com, is predicting another surge of cold air late March into April. Do you agree, Todd?? Thanks for the great update!