Thursday, September 26, 2013

The "Chili No Beans" Cold Front

Even though we have had a couple cool air masses come and go recently, we haven't had what I call a "Chili No Beans" cold front yet.  Let me explain.  Whenever the first true surge of chilly air rushes out of Canada, it seems like everyone makes a mad dash to the grocery store to buy those chili ingredients.  It's sort of like milk and bread when snow is in the forecast.  What about the "no beans"?  If you have followed me on facebook and/or twitter, you know my staunch stance when it comes to chili.  In my opinion, REAL chili does NOT have beans in it.  If it does have beans, it's simply meat and bean soup.  Just saying. LOL.  The argument will rage on forever and everyone has their opinion.

I have been procrastinating with this blog post over the past few days as I tried to decide whether or not to talk about it.  Each run of the models shows a different twist in the long range.  At one point just few days ago, the usually reliable European model indicated a blast of very cool air this upcoming weekend, but that's not happening.  

Now the data indicates a blast of chilly air late next week.  Should we believe it?  I'm skeptical, but thought I would share with you some of my latest thoughts and show you what the data indicates.  

In just a few days, we're into the first week of October and climatological speaking, it's bound to happen around this time.  The GFS is even hinting at a trough developing over the central United States along with the Euro, but the Euro looks very promising for cool weather lovers.  

With all that said, let's just play the "wait and see" game.  I'm going to show you maps from the European model below and I'll keep you updated with the latest information.  Until then, dig out those chili recipes, you're bound to use it at some point soon.

This is the European model valid Saturday evening October 5th form the website,  If you like reading model data, this is a fantastic site.  This shows 2 meter maximum temperatures over the previous 6 hours ending at 7PM October 7th.  In other words, these are possible high temperatures a week from Saturday.  The reds are 80s and 90s with the blues 40s and 50s.  The sharp contrast is obvious and that's the cold front from west Texas to northwest Arkansas up to near St. Louis, MO.
At 500 mb, (jet stream level), look at the huge trough of low pressure over the central United States. 

This is the surface chart from the European valid at the same time.  Let me explain.  See the black circled line in the Great Lakes labeled "1004"?  That's a surface low and a cold front extends south of that from Indiana to NE Arkansas southward into east Texas.  Lows have air flowing counterclockwise into the low.  That means on the back side of it there are strong northerly winds.  The black lines are isobars which are lines of equal barometric pressure.  The tighter they are packed the higher the winds are.  The greens and yellows are areas of precipitation over the past 6 hours.  There's quite a bit surrounding the front from AR northeastward.
Let me caution you once again that the models have been erratic in the long range so this is likely to change.  I'll keep you updated!

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