A day much like yesterday is expected in the Ozarks today as readings approach seventy degrees.
A few higher clouds will visit our skies today but they won’t stop temperatures from reaching the upper sixties to near seventy later today.
The clouds are in advance of a cold front expected to arrive late tonight. A few showers and even a thunderstorm may form along this front but the majority of rain will fall behind it later tonight and into Tuesday.
Rainfall totals should range from .30 to 1.00″ inches over the area with heavier totals expected closer to the Kansas/Missouri border.
Tuesday won’t be as warm. In fact, it will be much colder later in the afternoon than in the early morning hours. Our high on Tuesday will be in the fifties in the morning and drop well down into the forties by dinnertime.
We’ll flirt with the frost point again be Wednesday morning! High pressure will settle overhead by this time allowing temperatures to drop to around freezing.
Rain appears back in the picture by late in the week. Generally, the Ozarks will be in a warming trend through the weekend and into early next week.
I thought some of you would like to see what happens during a typical storm chase.
I know there are some people who probably think this is a highly dangerous thing to do. In reality, it isn’t, at least not with me!
The idea that all storm chasing is on the far extreme likely comes from the exposure of tornado intercept vehicles on television shows and the internet over the last few years. These chasers do indeed drive into tornadoes! Of course, they have an armored vehicle designed to do just that so the risk of injury to passengers is greatly (but certainly not totally!) reduced. I have a glimpse of the TIV (Tornado Intercept Vehicle) at the end of the video below.
My tours are all about getting to know and understand storms better. This is done through discussion and draws upon my years of practical experience as a forecaster, instructor, storm tracker and storm chaser. Why are storms popping up here? Why do these storms have a better chance of producing tornadoes? What are the overall parameters which go into a severe storm outbreak? What are some of the practical driving decisions which have to be made during a storm chase? These are just a few of the dozens of question which can be not just answered but demonstrated in the real world during a storm chase.
The video is a explanation of my thought process during a chase on April 17th, 2013. I was after two supercell storms in Oklahoma. Both ended up tornado-warned. Neither produced a tornado that I am aware of.
Two additional notes about the video. One, it simply can’t capture the total excitement or the complete visual experience of intercepting a severe thunderstorm! Second, I released this on Saturday but came to find out the audio and video didn’t match up correctly on YouTube. If you watched that video, it wasn’t complete! Check this out instead!:
After a pretty good Saturday, today looks even better!
Temperatures are not starting out nearly as cold as the past few mornings. A milder day all around is in my forecast as the high goes right back to yesterday’s levels which were solid sixties across the Ozarks.
The same can be said for Monday when I think a seventy or two is in the works!
On Monday, a cold front will make it into Missouri. This front will move through the Ozarks early on Tuesday. Before it does, it might set off a shower or two but much of the rain will hold off until Tuesday.
Precipitation Departure from Normal since January 20th
The rain on Tuesday looks healthy and continues our trend of a moderately wet Spring through much of the Ozarks. The map included shows nearly all of the Ozarks have had above to much above normal precipitation over the last 90 days. The only exception is a small portion of northern Arkansas. This trend has also eaten away at the drought slowly and steadily so that much of the Ozarks is out of it for the present.
Tuesday’s rain may deliver another .30 to .75″ over the Ozarks with perhaps some higher totals.
A cool area of high pressure will bring us a nice stretch of weather from Wednesday through Thursday and into the first portion of Friday.
The next rain system looks like it will affect the area by late Friday and early Saturday.
It was an awesome storm chase which ended on two tornado-warned supercell thunderstorms. As is often the case, most of the action was in the last hour before sunset!
The chase took place in a moderate risk of severe storms as issued by the Storm Prediction Center. Tornado parameters were 15% with a fairly large hatched area of possible significant tornado occurrence.
I knew I would eventually end up in southwestern Oklahoma. Along the way, I figured I had time to stop and check out some other possibilities. It was kind of like the local bus instead of the express!
As I was leaving Missouri, the warm front surged northwest through the Ozarks. Parameters for tornadoes quickly came into place in areas of western and northern Missouri. I decided I had some time to hang out closer to home to see what developed. The area included southeastern Kansas and western Missouri between the state line and I-49. This area is fairly flat and pretty chase-able. I knew the storms would have to get going fast in that their movement northeast would quickly take them into unchase-able lake and hill country!
I waited as storms tried to fire. It was a good time to try out the “First Person Initiative” device which attaches a smartphone to your forehead, effectively recording everything I look at. During this portion of the chase, I lost Verizon and AT&T data (still not sure this wasn’t a problem with my Hotspot modem/router) which means I couldn’t see radar for about 45 minutes. Visual observations and the clock made be depart this portion of the chase and start heading for Oklahoma.
I also took a gamble on a portion of the front moving north of Oklahoma City. I figured it one of those storms could form and outrun the advancing cold air, it would move into a highly favorable air mass for severe storms and tornadoes in northeastern Oklahoma. Storms fired back on the cold side only and didn’t prevail, I pressed on!
Rotation was in there somewhere. Poor back lighting!
West of Sterling, OK
Getting dark but condensation clouds rolling south into wall cloud
Mid-level rotation on Chickasha storm
Rear Flank Downdraft
Cloud structure on southern end of storm
Near Sterling OK
Wall cloud trying to form!
I finally ended up on a supercell as in approached Chickasha, OK. As I set up just south of town it went tornado-warned! I saw some amazing cloud structures and some crazy cross winds. This storm didn’t produce a tornado to my knowledge but it was close!
It what I anticipated was a daisy-chain sort of effect, I continued the chase south and a bit southwest. I ended up near Sterling, OK and once again, awesome in flow, a lowering, mid-level rotation and another tornado warning issued while on the storm!
I think that both storms were being undercut by the advancing cold front. They both had more than enough going up upstairs but the key low level circulations necessary for a tornado never came together!
Saw some penny-sized hail while heading back north on I-44 along with the TIV which passed me on the way!
Here’s a nice video review especially if you are wondering exactly what happens:
Another video using the “First Person Initiative” device:
Generous Spring rains (too generous in some spots!) continue today. Some may still get a severe storm this morning.
My apologies for a late post, I got in very late after a successful storm chase into Oklahoma yesterday. Chase blog, video and pictures coming later today.
Rain and Storms
The rain and storm band continues its slow movement through the Ozarks. The air is still unstable out ahead of the line and this instability will increase somewhat into the late morning hours. There is also good wind shear in place. This severe storms are still a threat to anyone out ahead of the line (insert)
Rains were also delivered nicely to the area albeit too fast to some spots. The latest heavy rain band tracked through the areas colored red on the map from northwest Arkansas and up into Missouri. Flash flood warnings are still in effect in some of those areas.
As you know, we’re going to see our temperatures drop again. Temperatures will be flirting with the freezing mark again on Friday and Saturday morning.
A moderation in temperature will kick in however by the weekend!
Flash Flood Watch for Later Today, Tonight and Thursday
Our situation in the Ozarks includes scattered storms, some severe storms and heavy rain later today, tonight and into Thursday.
A cool front which provided 40° plus temperature differences over the area on Tuesday will be lifting back north across the Ozarks today.
As it does, a return to seventies and eighties is in store for all of the area.
We will see more scattered areas of showers and storm develop north of this front today.
A large storm is heading for the central U.S. This will bring severe weather to the Great Plains today.
For the Ozarks, severe storms are possible with this system. The main event will be later tonight as storms organize out west and approach the area.
The warm front will have to be watched carefully today for any renegade storms which fire. I don’t think this possibility is very high.
Severe Storm Risk Areas
Western Missouri is close to a moderate risk area for severe storms at this writing (6 a.m.). Depending on how and where some of these storms form out west, this area may be affected by storms a little earlier. I’ll monitor this throughout the day.
Hail and strong winds are the main concern with the storms later tonight. An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.
Rain Projection Today Through Thursday
Much of the area is under a flash flood watch for tonight and Thursday. The line of storms is forecast to become a wider band of heavy rain late tonight as it makes it mostly into the western portion of the Ozarks.
Reformation of more storms on Thursday will form another post-storm area of rain which will add more the the totals, especially east of Springfield.
The pattern is shaping up for an exciting storm chase over Oklahoma and perhaps even a portion of northwestern Texas on Wednesday!
I believe there are two portions to a chase tomorrow in the Great Plains. First, I’m going to be on the lookout for possible severe convection occurring earlier than conventional wisdom would suggest. I believe severe storms will be possible as early as Noon to 1 pm over portions of central Oklahoma or where ever the warm front eventually sets up. Some of these storms might closely follow the front, hence, there is always the potential for boundary enhancement of low level helicity. This would perhaps be more favorable to tornado production. I’d want to be in the Oklahoma City area no later than noon/1 p.m. for this possibility.
Now all of this above is based on believing the NAM model. Given the current position of the front, I think this is a more plausible frontal position than the GFS, which is still surging the front well into Kansas by late Wednesday afternoon on the 12z run.
Whichever model ends up right (something in the middle?), there is a dry line chase possible by late afternoon/early evening. Therefore, the tour will continue on down the road into southwest Oklahoma and maybe into Texas to catch this thunderstorm action.
If you are interested in a chase tour, the rate for tomorrow is $399 for single occupancy. There are advantages to finding travel partners to room with in that the hotel fee would be split among you. Two in a room would bring the cost down to something around $350. Like with the announcement of new “Quick Shot” tours, I will work on a refund structure for this chase based on the number of people in the chase van.
I accept credit cards through PayPal, check and cash. You can pay up until tomorrow morning.
As of now, the tour van leaves Springfield on Wednesday at 9 a.m. sharp!
Pan/Zoom Radar Snapshot at 6:35 a.m. (click for current map)
A cool front continued to slip south through the Ozarks overnight. The effects of the cooling will be felt more to the north of Springfield today.
On the Cooler Side
Scattered storms producing hail occurred overnight. One inch hail was dropped in Cedar County overnight. Showers continue north of the cool front early this morning.
Another day with a wide range of temperatures is expected in the Ozarks. While its 45° at Lake Ozark at 6 a.m., the temperature in Mtn. Home, AR is 62°! Highs will probably stay in the fifties about an hour north of Springfield. Meanwhile maximum temperatures will reach near eighty in portions of northern Arkansas.
If enough sun can peek through in Springfield, we should get to seventy today.
The trend will be to keep showers and occasional thunderstorms in play on the cool side of the front this morning. They will probably move on by afternoon. Much of the Ozarks will then be dry later this afternoon with thinning clouds in spots.
Wednesday will feature a return to toastier readings over all of the Ozarks. Most areas will approach or top eighty degrees.
A big storm in the upper atmosphere will affect us tomorrow night. An area of severe storms is expected to develop out over Oklahoma and portions of Kansas (my chasing tour leaves tomorrow morning!) and this activity will approach the area tomorrow night.
Projection Rainfall Through Thursday
Like last week’s system, the passing of this storm will be a two day process. Thursday is a divided day with thunderstorms (some severe) possible again on the “warm side” east of Springfield.
Also like last week, a couple of mornings right around freezing are expected Friday and Saturday. More frost or freezing is possible!