It’s a murky and drizzly Tuesday to start the day in the region. Temperatures will struggle all day today… but it is not likely to be a good day for the sun to set…. a bit of it.
The good news… and we could use some good news… it will be quite a warm weekend and many weeks into the 80s… but that’s about 5 days away.
It can be worse … as I heard about the news last night … on this date in 2013 … it was snowing and the high was 39 °. We had to cancel our School Day program at the K because of the snow that was falling with the colder weather.
Today: Cloudy and cold for early May with highs 50-55 °. Winds will drop off a bit in the afternoon
Tonight: More clouds with some drizzle possible. Lows in the mid to upper 40s
Tomorrow: Mostly later in the day. Highs in the 50s
Thursday: Rainy with some breaks. There is a lot of ifs about Thursday in the discussion of things … but if nothing else … it will be off and on rainy day. We may get into the 60s depending on IF there are breaks in the clouds.
Yeah… nothing pretty about today at all really. Good day for a nap and a 2nd or 3rd or 4th cup of coffee.
Highs today will be struggling. It won’t be the coldest high for May 3rd… but it’s likely to be in the Top 10.
At the end of the day let’s see where we end up being on this chart… showing the coldest highs for 5/3.
Regardless… it’s a chart that I’d rather not show in early May.
The satellite pictures are not encouraging… with the north of the Plains region… the clouds will be tough to break up today.
The morning surface map shows colder air wrapping in. I noticed that today it was only in the 40s north of the region… and that is moving on top of the area today. That’s why I’m pessimistic about getting much above the lower 50s today … assuming the clouds hang tough all day. Add in the wind this morning at least… and it’s miserable.
Tonight won’t be much better and neither will tomorrow as rain comes back into the area in the afternoon at some point.
Our next storm is in the western US this morning.
This will bring rain to the region later tomorrow afternoon into tomorrow evening.
The atmosphere ahead of this storm will be pretty loaded up with moisture. Model data shows 1.5 to 2 times the average humidity in the atmosphere for early May… this means the storm’s dynamics will be able to generate some beefy rains in the area as things get tomorrow night into Thursday.
Let’s remember the storm represents a pocket of cold on aloft. For example, up to about 18,000 feet or so… -17C or around 1 ° F on the top of the later Thursday night.
From the upper air map… we show the storm as it traverses the Plains.
Notice how the upper level thunderstorm comes right along the I-70 corridor aloft. That’s aloft… at the surface of the storm will be just up to the east and southeast of the upper level so that is the last afternoon on Thursday.
Note the location of the various fronts and also a dry line…
This is sort of interesting. Why? Because IF… and this is a big if… we can manage to see breaks in the clouds… temperatures actually have the ability to warming up into the 60s. That’s here on the ground. Aloft… remember that the air will be around -15C or around 5 ° F at close to 18,000 feet or so. What is actually a significant change in temperatures from the ground upwards … and with these other features out there …
So why am I bringing this whole thing up? There is a phenomena that can happen in these types of situations. We refer to these events as “cold core systems”. In the idealized world… these systems can help bring more robust updrafts… and convection. Because the freezing level is about 2 miles up in the atmosphere Thursday afternoon… it doesn’t take much vertical development for clouds to get there … where then
Sometimes… hailstones than fall down to the ground. So that’s item # 1 that I wanted to mention.
Item # 2 though the more interesting part of things, especially for the MO side. In these scenarios and certain scenarios do not have a tendency to want to “spin” upwards. One of my colleagues… He created the idealized weather map for instances where you can get funnels and even brief, and typically weak, tornadoes.
Here is his idealized set-up
Now that you showed above … hmmm.
There are certainly similarities right. BIG thunderstorms… they don’t have to be 50,000 foot tall monsters that are typically in the Plains for the bigger tornadoes … they can be 20,000 footers … and yet if the atmosphere is set up correctly… you can get funnels and tornadoes from the smaller cousins of the larger supercell storms that we typically track through the Plains.
Here is more information from Jon about a case back in 2018.
Most of the time the tornadoes / funnels are short-lived.
Odds are this set-up is more favored for the MO side than the KS side… but IF things can come together…
The key is to get warm… we really need to get some heat up… storms to form… and then the storms will be able to reach any rotation to them… to enable the starting process for funnels to actually even form.
It’s something that caught my eye over the weekend and I mentioned last night on the late newscasts. BUT some data does not show the ingredients that may be present at least on Thursday afternoon.
Matthew Smith with the pretty featured shot of the blog today.
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