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Saturday, February 25, 2012

CSW Weather: Heads Up! Leap Year February Could Go Out Like a Bang

I've been seeing on the (four-times) daily weather models since Thursday that a strong low pressure/storm system could be affecting the Central States with a "possible" severe thunderstorm outbreak early next week.

Shown on the images here are screen caps of the GFS models for next Tuesday- February 29 on the "0000 UTC" or 6 p.m. CST model run Friday evening.

These and other weather models can be found HERE.

A bit of a model image tutorial: "L" shows the center of low pressures- "H" are high pressure areas- fronts are not shown.

The solid blue or red lines are forecast temperatures- in Celsius- at the 850 millibar (mb) level- or about 4600 feet above ground level (AGL): 0 is 32°F with 10 being 50°F.

The black lines indicate areas of equal pressures  or "isobars-" and the green areas are precipitation- lightest are light green- then darker green into blues.

The first image (1) shows a depicted onset of precipitation in our area early Tuesday morning (3 a.m.) just north of what should be a developing warm front that will initially be south of Metro Kansas City from southwest Oklahoma into northern Arkansas.

During the day Tuesday- that front moves northward toward the Metro (Images 2-4 follow red line)- with the front very near Kansas City by Image 4 or 12 noon local time.

Between 12 noon and 9 p.m. (Images 4-6) is probably our best time for severe storms.

Wind fields at altitude will be quite favorable as will needed Gulf of Mexico moisture.

The only caveat possibly hindering a more significant severe weather outbreak will be the cloud cover and on-going precipitation that will keep any daytime heating down.

If indeed we clear out- get some sunshine and warm up- a more significant severe weather outbreak- including tornadoes- is possible.

As mentioned earlier- these models run four times daily- and the forecasts can change.

Please keep abreast of the weather forecasts particularly late next Monday and Tuesday (CSW will be on it!) in case the conditions explained in this rather lengthy post do indeed come true.

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