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Pre-Holiday Storm Threat

5:59 am in Forecast Discussion, Severe Storms, The Ozarks by Ted Keller

Dew Points at 5 am

Here’s the latest on the severe weather expected over the area later today.

A large storm at the jet stream level is progressing into the area today.  Upper level winds have increased and the surface winds are quite strong too.  This is a strong wind shear environment and is supportive of severe storms in the Ozarks.

As is typical in “cool season” set-ups like this, the amount of unstable air is in question.  But experience has shown that as long as the proportions of shear and instability are correct, severe storms can flurish.

At this point, it looks like storms will slowly develop over the Ozarks starting around 4 pm. Those with the greatest potential be become severe early on should be in the vicinity of the MO/KS/AR/OK borders where instability will be maximized.  This is also the area where the storms will start out isolated (discrete, non-linear)

Eventually, the storms will begin to form lines and progress eastward over the Ozarks.  With such strong winds near the surface, an isolated tornado threat is real with any supercell storms.

Tornado Probability Within a 25 mi Circle

Everyone should monitor the weather carefully today as small-scale changes in the timing of features and the development of pockets of unstable air could alter the intensity of these storms.

The strong cold front that everyone is aware of will begin to speed up this evening and slide through the Ozarks after the midnight hour.  I will have a separate post regarding this front and what it will do to our Thanksgiving Day weather!

Severe Storms Today?

9:52 am in Extreme Weather, Severe Storms, The Ozarks by Ted Keller

The Storm Prediction Center has put a portion of the Ozarks in a risk for severe thunderstorms today. There is a measureable tornado risk.

The threat area is mainly north of the yellow slight risk line shown on the enclosed map. This map also shows the higher (5%) tornado risk in purple. Ongoing storms and flash flood warnings as of 10:35 am are also indicated.

The current storms will continue to track east with locally heavy rain totals the main calling card. They are expected to weaken somewhat.

Later this afternoon, more storms will build in the same area as the heat and instability build.  The current area of storms will leave behind cooler and stable air but also a boundary for which future storms can interact.  This area would also be subject to the return of more unstable air later this afternoon and evening.

Today’s Severe Weather Risk

10:47 am in Extreme Weather, Forecast Discussion, Severe Storms, The Ozarks by Ted Keller

An approaching upper level storms will drive a front through the Ozarks early Saturday. Out ahead of this feature, the air is humid and unstable and this will lead to thunderstorm development. Some storms will produce severe weather including a slight tornado risk.

The initial severe weather threat will be out in Kansas.  This is the best chance for supercell storms and a possible tornado by late afternoon.

Later, the storms will begin to merge a bit and damaging winds will become a factor.

Also, rainfall between 1 and 2 inches will be possible over areas of western Missouri back into eastern Kansas.

There will likely be a few scattered storms by late afternoon in the area.  They may produce isolated severe weather but will probably remain multicell due to weak wind shear in the area.  A line of storms will then form to our northwest in Kansas and do the typical slide into our area during the late evening.

I will have the latest on developing thunderstorms on KOLR news at 5 o’clock!

Approaching Front

5:10 pm in Forecast Discussion, Severe Storms by Ted Keller

A cool front will be appraoching the area by Saturday.

Ahead of this front, temperatures will recover on Friday to near normal while humidity will run a tad high. For this reason and the overall strength of the upper level winds, severe weather is forecast for much of eastern Kansas and western and northwestern Missouri for Friday. The northwest portion of the Ozarks are included in this slight risk area. The timing is such that the storms should be weakening as they come in from the west Friday evening.

There is an area over west-central Missouri along a WNW-ESE  stationary front which I’ll watch.  It is in an area of backed surface winds but on the edge of the best bulk shear and instability. Hmm…

On Saturday, the line of storms may add an additional 1.5″ to rain totals to the northwest of Springfield.

Severe Storms Tonight?

9:54 am in Forecast Discussion, Severe Storms by Ted Keller


Severe Storms for Friday

The jet stream is increasing out over the Great Plains and this will help to drive organized severe storms eastward today from Kansas into Missouri.  Some of these storms could be severe by the time they reach the Ozarks later tonight.

The SPC has a slight risk of severe storms in an area just northwest and north of Springfield. 

The overall wind shear is favorable for supercell thunderstorms out west in Kansas.  While a warm air cap is always a concern, the forcing involved with the front and jet stream should be enough to overcome the cap in at least a few areas. 

The storms east of Springfield in Howell, Shannon and Dent Counties will continue to move east.  Meanwhile, showers and storms are developing near the approaching system in Kansas and this will continue to grow into the slight risk area today.

The rain bulls-eye will occur over northern and central Missouri.  Storms should show a tendency to fill back to the southwest later this evening and these will be the heaviest the Ozarks see this evening and overnight.

The jet stream is marginal for supercells but a few could develop.  Hail is not a large threat due to high freezing levels but damaging winds are a real possibility with some storms in the risk area.  Tornadoes are not a huge risk but any supercell that does develop will have to be watched.  The greatest risk would be near the Kansas City area and eastern Kansas early this evening.

Minnesota Tornado Throws a Pickup Truck One Half Mile!

2:16 pm in Extreme Weather, In the News, Severe Storms by Ted Keller

Storm Reports of Saturday, August 7, 2010

The National Weather Service has confirmed that the tornado which touched down in North Dakota and traveled east into Wilken County, Minnesota on Saturday was rated a low end EF4.  This means the storm had estimated peak winds of  170-175 mph.

The link to the National Weather Service assessment of the damage.

This was one of several tornadoes which touched down in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin on Saturday evening.

This area was slammed by a violent tornado outbreak on June 17th of this year.  A complete report on that outbreak can be found here.

One tornado on Saturday was caught on tape by a storm chaser crossing a road and then destroying a building.  According to the National Weather Service, about 14 buildings were destroyed by this twister.

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