Beau Dodson's WeatherTalk Blog

March 10, 2018: Update on snow potential.

March 10, 2018
Saturday F
orecast Details
Forecast
:  Mostly cloudy.  Perhaps a few breaks in the clouds.  Dry for the most part.  Isolated showers possible.
Temperatures:  MO ~  55 to 58           IL ~ 54 to 56          KY ~  52 to 58        TN ~  56 to 60
What is the chance of precipitation?  MO ~ 20%      IL ~ 20%       KY ~ 20%          TN ~ 20%
Coverage of precipitation:  Isolated
Winds: East and northeast winds at 5 to 10 mph with gusts to 14 mph.
What impacts are anticipated from the weather? Wet roadways
My confidence in the forecast verifying: High
Is severe weather expected? No
The NWS defines severe weather as 58 mph wind or great, 1″ hail or larger, and/or tornadoes
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? No, but monitor updates and radars.
Sunrise 6:12 AM

 

Saturday  Night Forecast Details:
Clocks spring forward tonight!
Forecast: Mostly cloudy.  A few scattered showers. A chance of an isolated thunderstorm over far southeast Missouri into Kentucky and Tennessee.
Temperatures:  MO ~  36 to 44         IL ~  35 to 42           KY ~  40 to 45         TN ~  43 to 46
What is the chance of precipitationMO ~ 30% before 12 AM.  40% after 12 AM      IL ~ 30% before 12 AM.  40% after 12 AM         KY ~ 30% before 12 AM.  40% after 12 AM           TN ~ 40% before 12 AM.  50% after 12 AM
Coverage of precipitation: Scattered
Winds: East and northeast winds at 6 to 12 mph with gusts to 16 mph.  Gusts above 20 mph possible late tonight.
What impacts are anticipated from the weather? Wet roadways.
My confidence in the forecast verifying:  High
Is severe weather expected? No
The NWS defines severe weather as 58 mph wind or great, 1″ hail or larger, and/or tornadoes
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? Have a plan B and monitor updates.
Sunset  5:57 PM

 

March 11, 2018
Sunday F
orecast Details
Winter Storm Alert
Forecast
:  Cloudy.  Scattered morning showers.  Rain increasing from the northwest during the late morning and afternoon hours.  Becoming breezy. A rumble of thunder possible.  Turning colder northwest to southeast.  Late in the day the rain may mix with or change to heavy wet snow.  Thundersnow possible.
Temperatures:  MO ~  40 to 50  Temperatures may fall into the 30’s late in the day.           IL ~ 40 to 46 Temperatures may fall into the 30’s late in the day.          KY ~ 45 to 54  Turning colder late in the day.        TN ~  48 to 54
What is the chance of precipitationMO ~ 40% before 12 PM and then increasing to 80% during the afternoon      IL ~ 40% before 12 PM and then increasing to 80% during the afternoon       KY ~ 40% before 12 PM and then increasing to 80% during the afternoon        TN ~ 70%
Coverage of precipitation:  Scattered during the morning hours.  Increasing coverage during the afternoon.
Winds: North and northeast 6 to 12 mph with gusts to 30 mph
What impacts are anticipated from the weather? Wet roadways.  Gusty winds.  Lightning.  Monitor snow chances.  Roads are warm.  Monitor snow rates.  If snow rates are high enough to roads would become snow covered.  Bridges freeze first.  Tree branches may break if we have heavy wet snow.
My confidence in the forecast verifying: High confidence there will be precipitation.  Low confidence on snow totals.
Is severe weather expected? No
The NWS defines severe weather as 58 mph wind or great, 1″ hail or larger, and/or tornadoes
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? Have a plan B and monitor updates

 

Sunday  Night Forecast Details:
Winter Storm Alert
Forecast: Cloudy.  Breezy, Colder.  Heavy wet snow likely.  Thundersnow possible.  Some areas may remain all rain.  Snow accumulation is possible if the snow rate is high enough.  Falling temperatures.  Snow totals of 2 to 4 inches are possible, but confidence on totals is low.  The guidance indicates the potential of much higher totals, as well.  If banding occurs then 4 to 8+ inches of snow would be possible.  Again, confidence in totals is LOW..
Temperatures:  MO ~  28 to 34         IL ~  28 to 34          KY ~  28 to 34         TN ~  30 to 35
What is the chance of precipitation?  MO ~ 70%      IL ~ 70%       KY ~ 80%          TN ~ 80%
Coverage of precipitation: Numerous the first half of the night.  Ending as the night wears on.
Winds: Becoming north and northwest winds at 8 to 16 mph with gusts to 30 mph
What impacts are anticipated from the weather? Wet roadways.  Icy patches.  Slushy snow accumulation.  Lightning.
My confidence in the forecast verifying: High on the precipitation forecast.  LOW confidence on the snow forecast.
Is severe weather expected? No
The NWS defines severe weather as 58 mph wind or great, 1″ hail or larger, and/or tornadoes
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? Have a plan B and monitor updates.
Sunset  6:58 PM

 

March 12, 2018
Monday F
orecast Details
Forecast
: Mostly sunny with a few passing clouds.  Cooler.  Breezy.
Temperatures:  MO ~  45 to 50           IL ~ 45 to 50          KY ~  46 to 52        TN ~  46 to 52
What is the chance of precipitation?  MO ~ 0%      IL ~ 0%       KY ~ 0%          TN ~ 0%
Coverage of precipitation: None
Winds: North and northwest at 10 to 20 mph
What impacts are anticipated from the weather? None
My confidence in the forecast verifying: Medium
Is severe weather expected? No
The NWS defines severe weather as 58 mph wind or great, 1″ hail or larger, and/or tornadoes
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? No
Sunrise 7:09 AM

 

Monday  Night Forecast Details:
Forecast:  Mostly clear and cool.
Temperatures:  MO ~  28 to 34         IL ~ 28 to 34          KY ~  28 to 34         TN ~  30  to 35
What is the chance of precipitation?  MO ~ 0%      IL ~ 0%       KY ~ 0%          TN ~ 0%
Coverage of precipitation: None
Winds: North and northwest at 6 to 12 mph
What impacts are anticipated from the weather? None
My confidence in the forecast verifying: High
Is severe weather expected? No
The NWS defines severe weather as 58 mph wind or great, 1″ hail or larger, and/or tornadoes
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? No
Sunset  6:58 PM

 

March 13, 2018
Tuesday F
orecast Details
Forecast
: Mostly sunny.
Temperatures:  MO ~  45 to 50           IL ~ 45 to 50          KY ~  46 to 52        TN ~  46 to 52
What is the chance of precipitation?  MO ~ 0%      IL ~ 0%       KY ~ 0%          TN ~ 0%
Coverage of precipitation: None
Winds: North 5 to 10 mph
What impacts are anticipated from the weather? None
My confidence in the forecast verifying: High
Is severe weather expected? No
The NWS defines severe weather as 58 mph wind or great, 1″ hail or larger, and/or tornadoes
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? No
Sunrise 7:08 AM

 

Tuesday  Night Forecast Details:
Forecast:  Mostly clear and cool.
Temperatures:  MO ~  28 to 34         IL ~ 28 to 34          KY ~  28 to 34         TN ~  30  to 35
What is the chance of precipitation?  MO ~ 0%      IL ~ 0%       KY ~ 0%          TN ~ 0%
Coverage of precipitation: None
Winds: North 4 to 8 mph
What impacts are anticipated from the weather? None
My confidence in the forecast verifying: High
Is severe weather expected? No
The NWS defines severe weather as 58 mph wind or great, 1″ hail or larger, and/or tornadoes
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? No
Sunset  6:59 PM

 

March 14, 2018
Wednesday F
orecast Details
Forecast
: Mostly sunny.
Temperatures:  MO ~  46 to 52           IL ~ 46 to 52          KY ~  48 to 54        TN ~  48 to 54
What is the chance of precipitation?  MO ~ 0%      IL ~ 0%       KY ~ 0%          TN ~ 0%
Coverage of precipitation: None
Winds: West 5 to 10 mph
What impacts are anticipated from the weather? None
My confidence in the forecast verifying: High
Is severe weather expected? No
The NWS defines severe weather as 58 mph wind or great, 1″ hail or larger, and/or tornadoes
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? No
Sunrise 7:06 AM

 

Wednesday  Night Forecast Details:
Forecast:  Mostly clear and cool.
Temperatures:  MO ~  32 to 36         IL ~ 30 to 35          KY ~  33 to 36        TN ~  34 to 38
What is the chance of precipitation?  MO ~ 0%      IL ~ 0%       KY ~ 0%          TN ~ 0%
Coverage of precipitation: None
Winds: West 5 mph
What impacts are anticipated from the weather? None
My confidence in the forecast verifying: High
Is severe weather expected? No
The NWS defines severe weather as 58 mph wind or great, 1″ hail or larger, and/or tornadoes
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? No
Sunset  7:00 PM

 

March 15, 2018
Thursday F
orecast Details
Forecast
:  Mostly sunny.  Mild.
Temperatures:  MO ~  56 t0 62           IL ~ 56 to 62          KY ~  56 to 62        TN ~  56 to 62
What is the chance of precipitation?  MO ~ 0%      IL ~ 0%       KY ~ 0%          TN ~ 0%
Coverage of precipitation: None
Winds:  West 5 to 10 mph
What impacts are anticipated from the weather? None
My confidence in the forecast verifying: High
Is severe weather expected? No
The NWS defines severe weather as 58 mph wind or great, 1″ hail or larger, and/or tornadoes
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? No
Sunrise 7:05 AM

 

Thursday  Night Forecast Details:
Forecast:  Mostly clear and cool.
Temperatures:  MO ~  35 to 40         IL ~ 35 to 40          KY ~  35 to 40          TN ~  35 to 40
What is the chance of precipitation?  MO ~ 0%      IL ~ 0%       KY ~ 0%          TN ~ 0%
Coverage of precipitation: None
Winds:  West 5 mph
What impacts are anticipated from the weather? None
My confidence in the forecast verifying: High
Is severe weather expected? No
The NWS defines severe weather as 58 mph wind or great, 1″ hail or larger, and/or tornadoes
Should I cancel my outdoor plans? No
Sunset  7:01 PM

 

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You may email me at beaudodson@usawx.com

The National Weather Service defines a severe thunderstorm as one that produces quarter size hail or larger, 58 mph winds or greater, and/or a  tornado.

 

Today and tonight:  Severe weather is not anticipated.  I can’t rule out a few reports of lightning tonight.

Sunday through Thursday:  Severe weather is not anticipated.  I can’t rule out lightning on Sunday.

 

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WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS

  1.  Rain chances increase tonight into Sunday night.
  2.  Rain may change to wet snow Sunday afternoon (late) or Sunday night.  I can’t rule out slushy accumulation.  This will need to be closely monitored and is likely a now-cast event (short-term forecast event).
  3.  Cool temperatures begin the new work week.  A slow warming trend as we move towards the middle/end of the week.
  4.  Flooding will continue to be an issue in some areas.  Avoid flooded roadways.
  5.  In case you missed it!  Here is the Facebook thread with some exciting new announcements concerning Weather Talk.  Click here to read that.

Highlights

What has changed over the last 24 hours?

Weather Hazards.

 

First, Monday through Thursday should be dry and cool.  A slow warming trend as we moved towards the middle and end of the week.

I continue to monitor thunderstorm chances as we move towards next week and then the following two weeks.  We may have several chances of rain and storms.  Monitor updates.

 

The focus of this update centers around rain and snow chances.

A complicated forecast.  Models are not all that useful in these situations.

Historically, in our local region, these type of events are poorly forecast.  I can remember several examples over the years.  The problem centers around the track of an upper-level low.  This upper level low will bring colder temperatures aloft and at the surface.

If the rain is heavy enough it can drag colder air downward.  This can change the rain to heavy wet snow.

 

 

 

Interactive live weather radar page.  Choose the city nearest your location. If one of the cities does not work then try a nearby one.  Click here.

Don’t forget you can turn on winter precipitation mode.  This is on the local city-view radars.

Example

 

 

Let’s take a look upstairs.  These maps are the 850 mb maps for Sunday evening.  The 850 mb level is a couple of thousand feet above the surface.  These maps are important because there must be cold air aloft if you are forecasting snow.

The NAM guidance shows temperatures at or below freezing.  That is a signal that rain could change to snow.

These numbers are Celcius.

4 PM Sunday 850 MB temperatures (several thousand feet aloft)

 

 

7 PM Sunday

 

 

10 PM Sunday

 

 

Now let’s look at lift.  Lift helps produce precipitation.

A strong vort max (area of lift) pushes through our region Sunday afternoon and night.  This will enhance precipitation rates.  A burst of heavier precipitation should occur as the upper-level system develops over our region and moves east/southeast.

That burst of heavier precipitation is what could drag colder air downward.  That would change the rain to wet snow.

Those bright colors represent strong vertical motion. Lightning?  Possible.

 

 

As we move higher in the atmosphere the 700 mb map shows strong vertical motion, as well.

 

 

Let’s look at the 700 mb low.  During the winter this is where one would look for snow to develop.

See that small white L over west Kentucky?  It is among the bright colors.

The NAM guidance shows that low directly over our region.

 

 

Let’s track the 850 mb low.  The track of the 850 mb low, during the winter months, is key to where snow will fall.

The snow normally falls to the west/northwest and north of the 850 mb low.

At 1 PM Sunday you can see the white L over our region.  Colder air is being drawn southward.  Snow?  Certainly possible.

 

 

Here is the placement of the 850 mb low at 4 PM Sunday

It is located over northwest Tennessee.

 

 

Then, at  7 PM Sunday, the low is to our southeast.  That places us in the snow potential region.

 

 

Let’s look at the NAM guidance future-cast radar.  This takes us through Sunday night.

The snow portion of the forecast is risky.  Lower than normal confidence in the potential of snow.

We should have some rain showers in the region Sunday morning.  As we move into Sunday afternoon, additional rain would then move into the region from northwest to southeast.   It is this second system that would produce the snow.

Timestamp upper left.

Green represents rain.  Blue represents snow.

Do not get caught up in where this model shows green or blue.  It won’t be exact and there remain a lot of questions about where the greatest potential of snow would be.  Take the general idea from these maps.   What is the general idea?   That some wet snow is possible late Sunday into Sunday night.

 

 

Here is the GFS model (different model).  Future-cast radar.

Again, green is rain and blue would be snow.

Timestamp upper left.

 

 

How much snow could accumulate?

Difficult to say.  Surface temperatures will initially be above freezing.  Road and ground temperatures are well above freezing.

It would have to snow at a heavy pace in order to overcome these obstacles.  Is it possible?  Yes, absolutely possible.  Will it occur?  Well, that is the million dollar forecast question.  A possibility of a wet snow event late Sunday afternoon and night is certainly on the table.

Temperatures, Sunday night into Monday morning, may drop into the upper 20’s and lower 30’s.  If that occurs, then there could be some issues.  This is especially true if heavy wet snow does indeed develop.

I am not going to give accumulation numbers, because of the above negative factors.

I can’t rule out slushy wet snow accumulation late Sunday afternoon and especially Sunday night.  It is possible a band of heavy wet snow develops in the region.

Monitor updated forecasts.

 

Weather Brains is a weekly podcast/video for those who love weather and want more!

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t’s a full house for this episode of WeatherBrains with representatives from a number of weather-related podcasts. Joining us are Becky DePodwin, Ice Station Housman, Scotty Powell from Carolina Weather Gang, Castle Williams,

WeatherHype

, Mark Jelinek, What is it About the Weather, and Phil Johnson of Storm Front Freaks Podcast. This show marks National Weather Podcast Month.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 98 at Rio Grande Village, TX, and -7 at Cut Bank, MT
  • The creative outlet that is podcasts and how they have changed over time
  • The importance of providing good content in podcasting
  • 25th Anniversary of Blizzard of 1993
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
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During the winter months, you can track snow and ice by clicking the winterize button on the local city view interactive radars.

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