More Heavy Rain for the Ozarks

 Posted by at 6:36 am on August 12, 2013  Daily Weather Blog  No Responses »
Aug 122013

Flash Flood Watch Area

Flash Flood Watch Area

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for all of the Ozarks for today and much of Tuesday.

A very active radar screen is evident out over Kansas this morning with lots of rain and storms areas.  This activity is moving southeast and will begin affecting areas of western Missouri by later today.

While everyone will have a chance for rain and storms today, it appears the greatest chance for heavy rain will be in extreme southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas in the area outlined by the Flash Flood Watch.

Latest computer model guidance suggests that a large area of heavy rainfall will develop in the watch area later tonight and early on Tuesday morning.  This will all have to be monitored carefully over the next couple of days to see exactly where the heaviest rain will set up.

Any severe weather with this latest rain-maker should be confined to areas west of the Ozarks in Kansas and Oklahoma.

Rain Projection Through Tuesday

Rain Projection Through Tuesday

By late Tuesday, the rain areas should move on and a weak but effective area of high pressure will push into the Ozarks. This high will hang out for the rest of the week.  This feature will ensure that we keep very cool temperatures for this time of the year in the forecast. I have a few days with highs only in the seventies later this week!

A weak cut-low low aloft is being suggested by some computer models for the weekend. The effect of this would be to keep the cooler weather into the weekend as well!

Springfield is in a run of below normal temperatures.  It started on July 26th and as of yesterday the run of days stands at 19. I expected to add as least 7 more days to this run including today!



Showers, Some Heavier Downpours

 Posted by at 7:31 am on August 9, 2013  Daily Weather Blog  No Responses »
Aug 092013

Radar Snopshot

Radar Snopshot

Showers and patches of heavy rain will continue through today especially and into part of the weekend.

Even though the Ozarks didn’t wake up to flash flooding this morning, it doesn’t mean the threat is reduced!  The atmosphere in the Ozarks is still primed with any showers and rain areas that do develop becoming very efficient at producing lots of rain in a short amount of time.

The overall pattern still features a stalled front with slow moving west to east winds aloft and high humidity through a deep layer of the atmosphere.  This features has slipped south over the past day and this trend will continue over the weekend.  The deep layer of humid air is forecast to ease somewhat over the weekend…good news.

Forecast Surface Map for Thursday

Forecast Surface Map for Thursday

Also good news is what appears to be a stronger flow out of the northwest setting up starting on Wednesday. This would drive a cool front through the Ozarks with a high pressure bubble pushing into the Great Lakes states by late week. This would indeed shut down the “rain train” in the Ozarks!

Whether it has been persistent clouds/rain or cool fronts, we have been cool!  Yesterday was the 16th day straight of below normal temperatures for Springfield.  This streak will likely be extended another seven days starting with

Springfield High/Low Past 16 Days

Springfield High/Low Past 16 Days


Aug 082013

Roaring River Gage Reading at 5:30 a.m.

Roaring River Gage Reading at 5:30 a.m.

The area of heavy flooding rain has shifted south as of the early hours of this Thursday morning.

Flash flood emergencies are in effect for Hollister, Roaring River State Park and other areas of McDonald, Barry and southern Stone Counties. Additional flash flood concerns exists in portions of northern Arkansas including Boone and Carroll Counties.

Just over 6.5″ of rain has been logged at the Branson Airport overnight (still raining).  Much of this fell in a two hour period.  This rush of water flowed north along Turkey Creek into Hollister. The water rose rapidly there, several RV’s were reportedly washed away and the situation is still unfolding.

Meanwhile, the river gage on the Roaring River in the park of the same name in Barry County swelled to 8.31 feet as of 5:30 a,m. and is guaranteed to rise much more as another round of very heavy rain is about to impact that area as of this writing (6:30 am).

Radar and Flash Flood Warnings at 6:30 a.m.

Radar and Flash Flood Warnings at 6:30 a.m.

The heavy rain will continue all day!  Please stay safe. I’ll have more timely updates on Twitter and Facebook throughout the day.


Another Day, More Flooding

 Posted by at 5:06 pm on August 7, 2013  Daily Weather Blog  No Responses »
Aug 072013


Interstate 44 Underwater

More flash flooding struck a portion of the Ozarks overnight.

It’s been wild again in areas northeast of Springfield.  The Little Piney Creek and Gasconade River received the lion’s share of torrential rains late last night and early this morning.

Radar rain estimates and ground measurements verify a large area of 6-8″ of rain over portions of Maries, Miller and Phelps Counties.

The river rain gage at Jerome for the Gasconade River reached a record level late this morning.  As of late this afternoon, it sits at 31.81 feet. This surpasses the previous record established in December of 1982 and is higher than the historic flood of 2008.  Also, almost a year to this date, the river at this location was near historic lows, more than 31 feet lower than it is now!

River Gage at Jerome, MO

River Gage at Jerome, MO

The Little Piney Creek in Newburg went crazy this morning too.  It peaked at 15.22 feet, causing evacuations in Newburg.

All of this water caused the Gasconade to flow over Interstate 44 today causing massive back-ups.

The real question is: how much more will we get?  Well the forecast is not encouraging!

The latest rainfall projection from the Weather Prediction Center calls for widespread, average totals exceeding 3″ over much of southwest Missouri over the next three days.

A front dropping south into Missouri will help to perpetuate the rain chances by stalling and allowing more rain areas to form and spread from west to east over the next few days.

Weather Prediction Center Rain Forecast

Weather Prediction Center Rain Forecast

With the front around on Thursday and a slight increase in jet stream winds, there is a possibility of some severe storms.  This will be controlled largely by how rain and storm areas evolve later tonight.

Also, today marks the 15th day in a row of below normal temperatures in Springfield.  That run should continue for quite a few more days.







Flash Flooding Threat Continues

 Posted by at 7:20 am on August 6, 2013  Daily Weather Blog  No Responses »
Aug 062013

Radar Rain Estimation and Flooding Highlights

Radar Rain Estimation and Flooding Highlights

Major flash flooding occurred in portions of Pulaski and Texas Counties (and some nearby areas) when at least 4-6″ of rain fell quickly overnight. I have inserted a video tour of what happen (recorded around 6:30 a.m.) below. NOTE: I-44 is now re-opened!

The major area of rain is still impacting areas east of Springfield. It is mostly moving out but areas of along east highway 60 out of Springfield will experience another expansion of rain over the next few hours.

Projected Rainfall from the Weather Prediction Center

Projected Rainfall from the Weather Prediction Center

The rain isn’t over!  Several more rounds are expected over the next few days.  These have been mostly nocturnal systems but not all of them!  Since the ground is now saturated in many areas, less rain will be required to cause flash flooding.  I’ll report what’s coming!

Rain, Rain

 Posted by at 3:55 am on August 5, 2013  Daily Weather Blog  No Responses »
Aug 052013

Daily Rain in Springfield, 7/26-8/4

Daily Rain in Springfield, 7/26-8/4

Rain will continue to be a large portion of the forecast for the rest of the week.

From the period of July 26th through August 4th, Springfield’s rain total is 7.67″ as measured at the airport.

Of course, it’s still raining in Springfield with more waves of rain expected later today and for the next few days!

The pattern is basically unchanged.  We sit on the edge of hot air with disturbances in the upper atmosphere riding around that edge.  We also have high rain efficiency with these rain and storm areas.

The result will be the potential for a few inches of rain in only a few hours time for those that get under some of these rain clusters for the next few days.

A front will drop into Missouri on Wednesday.  It doesn’t look like it will make it through however. What it will do is help to focus even more showers and storms!

The presence of a few fronts as well as continued cloud cover and rain has kept our temperatures below seasonal norms.  We haven’t had an above normal day since July 23rd.  It looks like the remainder of the week will stay below normal as well.

CPC 8-14 Day Temperature Outlook

CPC 8-14 Day Temperature Outlook

Longer range precipitation and temperatures outlooks by the Climate Prediction Center show this trend lasting into the middle of August.



Heavy Rain Developing/Moving In

 Posted by at 8:40 am on August 4, 2013  Daily Weather Blog  No Responses »
Aug 042013

Radar at 8:05 a.m.

Radar at 8:05 a.m.

This morning, more heavy rain was developing and moving out of Kansas.

The new development is popping up along the I-49 corridor.  These areas of rain and storms will be capable of producing flash flooding especially as they move into areas that got excessive rain a few days ago.  A flash flood watch is in effect for all of southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas.

This pattern is locked in for a least a few more days.  The rain today will last into the evening and overnight  hours.

More rain is expected to develop again 24 hours later mostly Monday evening and early Tuesday.

Overall, several more inches of rain will fall over the area on average with locally higher amounts.

Rain Projection Next 3 Days

Rain Projection Next 3 Days

Still more organized rain areas are expected as a cool front drops in from the north on Wednesday.

The front will ensure that we keep cooler-than-normal temperatures around through the late week.

Jun 162013

Radar Estimate of Rain Late Saturday Morning, 6/15/2013

Radar Estimate of Rain Late Saturday Morning, 6/15/2013

A very small area of southern Springfield received 9″+ of rain in only a few hours during the late morning hours of Saturday, June 15, 2013. This caused extreme flash flooding.

The rain storm caused the Springfield National Weather Service office to issue its first Flash Flood Emergency for the city. This is a special category above and beyond the Flash Flood Warning, reserved for times when a combination of extreme flooding and a major population areas overlap.

The enclosed map indicates the distribution of the rain fairly well but is off on the rain totals. This is not surprising given the intensity of the event.

In the hours leading up to this rain “event”, I remember commenting on the random nature of expected rain and thunder areas expected and that somewhat heavier rain might be expected.  It was a hard forecast to nail down because unlike the approach of a front which has a definite structure and somewhat more predictable movement, the features controlling the rain burst on Saturday were much more subtle.

One of those features was what is called an outflow boundary, a mini cool front of sorts which is produced by the cool air rushing out of a thunderstorm or storms.  On Saturday morning, such a outflow was traveling south over southern Missouri and eventually passed just south of Springfield during the late morning hours.

Some outflow areas are good at providing a sort of gentle push up in the atmosphere and can actively generate rain and/or storms behind them. I commented on this during Saturday mornings’ “One Minute Weather” discussion!

On Saturday morning, this lifting of the air persisted.  At my house, I heard of lot of thunder and witnessed cloud-to-ground bolts. Since I had just developed a new lightning image feature on this web site, I was actively warning outdoor folks about the lightning and encouraging them to check the map.

Flooding Near Weaver Road (Jason Harlow)

Flooding Near Weaver Road (Jason Harlow)

It rained, the rain got heavier but it was all within what I thought was possible on that morning.

There were other contributing factors for heavier than normal rain on this morning. The jet stream winds or overall steering currents were on the slow side. This meant that storms were going to move slowly on this day. All else remaining equal, a slow moving storm will always dump heavier rain. It simply has more time to do so over any given spot!

Also, the humidity over a deep layer of the atmosphere was high in a “plume” which arced from Texas , over the Ozarks and on up into the Midwest.  These “plumes” of higher humidity lead to rain and storms which have higher rain efficiency.

Finally, the ultimate slow moving storm is one which doesn’t move at all!  This is what happened on the south side of Springfield as a storm with a high rainfall rate parked over one location. As a result, the rain totals went through the roof! (literally and figuratively)

By the way, stationary movement is more likely during the summer months when upper level winds are much slower. It becomes possible for a balance between these weak winds and the development of new storm cells to be reached so that the net propagation of a storm is nearly zero. It doesn’t move!

This leads me to the next point and a question, “Will a weather forecaster ever think that 9″ of rain is possible in only a few hours time?” Answer: possible, maybe. Forecast? Probably not.

Near Cardinal Toward Woodhaven (Linden Mueller)

Near Cardinal Toward Woodhaven (Linden Mueller)

This is because events like this occur in very small scales of space and time.  They are controlled by smaller scale features that are either missed or under-forecast.  The computer models we so often reference are not always going to see these features.  Even if the models were capable, we don’t have enough detailed observations often enough. The models would also have to be run over a smaller area to pick up the details needed.  All of this is possible but we’re not there yet!




May 192013

Probability of a Tornado Within 25 mi of a Point for Later Today

Probability of a Tornado Within 25 mi of a Point for Later Today

Starting with later this evening, the Ozarks will experience several bouts of severe thunderstorms and heavy flooding rain potential.

This morning, a band of showers is drifting into extreme western Missouri. This is left-over activity from severe weather in the Kansas last night. It is behind a cool air outflow and may pose a small hail or wind threat during the morning hours.

Most of the day will warm, humid and breezy.

Supercell thunderstorms are expected to develop in central/eastern Kansas and Oklahoma by late afternoon and spread eastward, affecting areas of western Missouri and northwest Arkansas by evening.  Large hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes are expected with this batch storm storms.

The Storm Prediction Center has upgraded all of western Missouri to a 15% tornado probability.  This is a percentage chance of a tornado within 25 miles of where you live.

As is typical, the storms are expected to form more of a line by later in the evening and move deeper into the Ozarks. The line will still be severe at this point with the same threats.  Into the overnight hours, it will tend to weaken much as last night’s activity is weakening this morning.

Springfield will see a threat for severe storms in the 10 pm to 1 am time frame.

A large heavy rain area will set up behind the line during the evening hours. 1-2 inch rain totals are possible with this activity later tonight.

On Monday, this will all repeat itself, perhaps more centered over the Ozarks.  A moderate risk for severe storms exists for this day.

This will be a period where I strongly  encourage you to watch for the latest developments!  I’ll continue to update the situation.


Apr 172013

Flash Flood Watch for Later Today, Tonight and Thursday

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.

The Front

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.

Bigger Show

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

Rain Projection Today Through Thursday

Heavy Rain

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.