Improbable Twister

 Posted by at 9:48 pm on July 21, 2013  Storm Review  No Responses »
Jul 212013

Taken from Video Posted on Dan Difranco's Facebook Page

Taken from Video Posted on Dan Difranco’s Facebook Page

Much to the surprise of *everyone*, a small tornado touched down in Springfield this Sunday evening, July 21st!

I first noticed a storm report of wind damage plot on my radar software earlier this evening. The National Weather Service said they would investigate.

Turns out that the damage had a track.  This was verified by video posted on Dan Difranco’s Facebook Page, showing a condensation funnel.

Here’s a link to that video:

Here’s another showing a lowering (trees block lowest portion) on the Instagram page of Joshackworth:

Estimated Tornado Track From Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Estimated Tornado Track From Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Here’ s the report from the Springfield National Weather Service:

“NWS storm survey indicated that an EF-0 tornado touched down near the intersection of east Cairo Street and south Pickwick Avenue. the tornado traveled east along east  Cairo street and lifted at the intersection of east Cairo street and Glenstone Avenue. Estimated wind speeds with this tornado were around 60 mph. this tornado damaged multiple trees and caused minor damage to roofs.”

Susan Jurgensmeyer, who lives 2 blocks east of Glenstone and Cairo describes it: “I heard the wind, the walnut tree in the neighbors yard was really swaying, and the wind sounded really loud and just came on real fast. It was over in a few seconds, it seemed like.”

This tornado was undetectable on radar.  It  occurred under the updraft of a developing storm.  Radar shows no evidence of rotation that can be distinguished from “background noise”   The echo itself does have a sort of broad “hook” on it which is visible post-storm but would have defied detection in real-time.

Hires radar at About the Time of the Twister

Hires radar at About the Time of the Twister

Here’s my radar review. I’ll have more detail on Monday when I receive the high-resolution data:



Jul 202013

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

A front combined with flow out of the northwest will keep the possibility of showers and thunderstorms in the Ozarks for the next several days.

The front won’t make it through the area. But it is close enough to fire showers and storms.  In particular, clusters of storms which develop near the front to our northwest will be watched to see if they can grow legs into the Ozarks.  The first chance for this will be on Sunday.  Another chance or two might show up Monday or even Tuesday.

As for today, more widely scattered shower and storm activity is on tap.  Temperatures have the potential to be as hot as yesterday over the area. I expect more lower to middle nineties.

Sunday’s temperatures are a bit of a wildcard, they could be lowered by clouds, showers and storms traveling over the area. The same can be said for Monday and Tuesday.

Generally speaking, I don’t see a “hot ridge” building into the Ozarks over the next seven days. This will keep the temperatures right around normal which means  near ninety during most of the week.


Hot Then Storms

 Posted by at 7:48 am on July 19, 2013  Daily Weather Blog  No Responses »
Jul 192013

Rain Projection Next Three Days

Rain Projection Next Three Days

While the chance for rain exists this weekend, I’m hoping it will be more widespread on Sunday.

For today, not a whole lot as changed.  I’m still thinking highs in the lower to middle nineties. Still looking at a very slight risk of a downpour or storm.

This weekend, a front drops in from the north.  The front itself won’t move through the Ozarks, rather it will stall for a few days.

This fact will allow better chances for scattered storms.  These might occur on Saturday, Sunday or Monday.  Perhaps more chances into next week.

The rain chance on Sunday will be spiked a bit by the approach of an upper level disturbance from the northwest.  This feature will hopefully focus the rain and produce more widespread totals.



Drought Creeping In

 Posted by at 8:06 am on July 18, 2013  Climate  No Responses »
Jul 182013

Several Inches Shy of Normal Rain Past 30 Days

Several Inches Shy of Normal Rain Past 30 Days

The latest Drought Monitor (July 16th) verifies what we already know, our summertime rain has dropped off.  Drought has come back to a portion of the Ozarks.

Over the past 30 days, the Ozarks have been in the hole with rainfall. The departure of the mean of thirty years is anywhere from 1-3″ below.

The drought monitor for the period ending this past Tuesday puts much of northwest and north-central Arkansas in moderate drought with a few areas into the severe category.

Missouri is fairing slightly better.  Patches of abnormally dry show up in the southwest corner of the state.

It is normal for summertime rain to drop off and be “spotty” in nature.  A perfect example was the isolated but decent rain areas of the past few days.

It appears that a weekend front may spike the chances for rain over a portion of the Ozarks.  Another may be in our future next week.

Drought Monitor - July 16th

Drought Monitor – July 16th



Heat Building, Weekend Relief?

 Posted by at 7:17 am on July 18, 2013  Daily Weather Blog  No Responses »
Jul 182013

Weekend Front Won't Pass the Ozarks!

Weekend Front Won’t Pass the Ozarks!

As temperatures climb, my eyes turn to a weekend front.  But there is good and bad news connected to this summertime front.

The bad news is, unlike the last front, this front will not move through the Ozarks. Trends are for it to now stall/wash out over central Missouri.  This means only slight temperatures relief and no break in humidity (it may actually rise a tad!)

The good news is shower and storms will form on or near this front.  Any rain chance is welcome in the middle of summer and we have been running on a rain deficit for a number of weeks now.

After the front moves back north, more summer heat and humidity will come back for early next week.

There might be another chance for a stalling front in the area by the middle and end of next week. More potential good news for temperatures and rain chances.


Jul 172013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The temperatures have been inching up slowly, slowed by daytime pop-up storms this week. The storm threat is slowly fading and the temperatures will dial up through Friday.

I’m looking at lower nineties becoming common today and especially on Thursday and Friday.

An isolated threat for showers and storms must be kept in the forecast for today. Heat, humidity and old boundaries from yesterday’s storms will keep the rain chance in play.

A cool front will arrive toward Saturday morning.  The computer models and slowed this feature a tad so the rain threat for Saturday has risen a bit.  In fact, there are some indications of scattered showers/storms on Sunday too.

Front On Saturday

Front On Saturday

The front will bring in slightly cooler air. However, I have doubts that the humidity will drop very much this weekend.

Jul 162013

Radar Rain Estimates

Radar Rain Estimates

The upper level low which passed east to west over the Ozarks the past few days may supply one or two more scattered showers today before summer heat builds into the area later this week.

Some lucky individuals got some much-needed short-term rain yesterday. The radar rain estimate “snail trails” from last night show the paths of these rain cells. Some decent rain fell in portions of Christian, Stone and Taney Counties. Other nice rain swathes crossed McDonald, Newton and Pulaski Counties.

The same might happen today although I think the chances of rain are lower.  It will still be locally heavy rain where it does form and coming out of the southeast today.

Gradually, summer heat will build back into the area this week.  I expected solid nineties for Thursday and Friday.

By late Friday, a cool front should fire a line of rain and storms to our north which might slip through late Friday night.  This activity would tend to hangout in northern Arkansas on Saturday as well.

Heat Spreading West

Heat Spreading West

As is typical for summer cool fronts, this one won’t move that far to the south.  It should be enough to knock the weekend temperatures down a smidge. 


Jul 152013


Low Continues Moving West

The westward-traveling low in the upper atmosphere is now over Oklahoma.  Increased humidity flow around this low will spread a few showers or storms into the area later today.

The chance for rain is the best it has been for a while but it’s not a guarantee for everyone today.  The probability is around 40%.  Any rain that does develop has a chance at some pretty good downpours.

This is occurring as the low is now pumping up higher and deeper humidity into the area from the southeast.

As for temperatures, still at or slightly below what is typical in July for today and tomorrow, mainly upper eighties.

By later in the week, readings will climb a bit to the point where lower nineties become common.  In all, nothing too out of ordinary is expected.

I’d say the hottest air will build in by Thursday and Friday when some middle nineties are possible in the area.

Computer Model Temperature Trends

Computer Model Temperature Trends

It looks like a weak cool front will be around the area by late Friday and Saturday, shaving temperatures a bit and perhaps firing some showers and storms at that time.


Jul 122013

Forecast at 500 mb Saturday Evening

Forecast at 500 mb Saturday Evening

Today through early next week, we will be treated to cooler mornings and warm afternoons in the Ozarks.

The cooler air continues to flow in from the northeast courtesy of high pressure over the Great Lakes.  This caused temperatures to dip into the fifties over the eastern portion of the Ozarks this morning.  It will keep our highs in the eighties over much of the area today.

This weekend, an interesting upper level low will travel westward over the Ozarks, helping to keep temperatures cool and eventually causing a few showers to pop up, perhaps on Sunday and into Monday. The overall coverage and totals look pretty low at this point.

Once this feature moves away, it appears we’ll get the heat cranked back up by the end of the week.



Nice Few Days Ahead

 Posted by at 7:10 am on July 11, 2013  Daily Weather Blog  No Responses »
Jul 112013

Forecast Weather Map for Friday Morning

Forecast Weather Map for Friday Morning

A summer cool front is passing through the Ozarks and will it will cool us down slightly and drop the humidity as well.

In the summer, cooler areas of high pressure will usually track to the northeast of Springfield (when they come!) and this one will do the same, shown centered over Michigam tomorrow morning.  This will push the cool front south and west of the area.

While some areas of showers and storms will be close to the front, it appears to be far enough away to keep the threat of rain out of the forecast for several days.

This weekend will be quite nice for the middle of summer with high temperatures near ninety.

Upper Level Features Sunday Bight

Upper Level Features Sunday Night

I’m still watching a curious feature for next week: a upper low which will be traveling westward and pass either south of or very near the Ozarks.  This will serve to keep excessive heat from building into the area and also provide the next focus for some scattered showers and storms.