Saturday, April 5, 2008

Severe Weather This Week?

The models continue to show the possibility of several severe weather episodes across the midwest and the southern plains for the week of April 6-12th. Most noteworthy in the Mississippi Valley are Tuesday and Thursday. While Thursday is still some distance off and the models could change considerably between now and then, the strong system has been on the models the entire time, and has not changed much run to run so I'm starting to buy into a possible severe weather outbreak scenario on the 10th. Tuesday is much closer, but hasn't been quite as concrete on the models. However, it is also much closer and has shown stability over the past few runs.

The GFS has been consistent in swinging an approx. 998-1002 mb low through Illinois during the day on Tuesday. Airmass recovery ahead of the system will be key in determining if we see robust convection or a heavy rain event. At this point, areas that seem most likely to destabilize sufficiently for severe weather lie across southeastern Missouri into the southern half of Illinois.

Thursday is a little harder to pinpoint as it seems it could be a much more widespread event. However, at this time anyone in eastern Iowa or Missouri, all over Illinois and parts of the lower Ohio River Valley should be keeping an eye on this one. ECMWF now wanting to deepen a 988 mb low over Minnesota and Iowa on Thursday with a wide open Gulf of Mexico creating a widespread severe weather scenario.

As stated though earlier, this event is still a good 5 days out so I'm not sold. The consistency has me concerned though. For now, I'm keeping my attention on Tuesday as it looks like our best bet for severe weather since the early January outbreak this year. (feels weird to reference January as the most recent severe weather outbreak locally)

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