Monday, February 22, 2016

A Storm's a-brewin'!

Good evening! I am sure most have enjoyed these above average temperatures that have been dominating the Commonwealth of the past few days. However, there are big changes coming later on this week.

Before we jump ahead to this week's storm system, let's take a look at what is happening around the area currently. Today and into tonight we expect conditions to remain dry, as a storm system passes to our south bringing us some plenty of cloud cover. Overall temperatures will remain slightly above average for this time of year, with lows dropping down to around 40 this evening. Tomorrow will still have a great deal of cloudiness, and temperatures will be slightly warmer than today, approaching the mid 50's. With the incoming storm system, the air will feel quite sticky as the region will begin to experience the first effects of the storm. Becuase of this, a strong 60+ knots low-level jet will set up over the area causing the rain chances to increase on Tuesday as the day progresses. So be sure to keep your umbrella handy. Then things will get interesting tomorrow night and into the day Wednesday.

Current weather map. Courtesy of NOAA. 

Latest models consensus has continued to be in good agreement with the placement and track of the abnormally intense storm. A strong area of vorticity will dig through Texas tomorrow which will result in a rapidly deepening surface low. The center of the storm will swing from just east of Dallas tomorrow afternoon, then eventually into South Central Kentucky by Wednesday afternoon. Both the NAM and GFS have the system bombing out over Texas and actually brings the center of the low pressure directly over Bowling Green, with a sea surface pressure as low as 990mb. Pretty rare for these parts.

18z GFS shows impressive 500 mb vorticity anomaly digging into Texas causing the storm system to deepen rapidly. Courtesy Pivotal Weather. 

With that being said let's discuss the impacts of the storm system. Since the placement and track of the storm will put most of South Central Kentucky in the warm sector of the storm, most of the precipitation will be in the liquid form through most of the event. Tuesday night and into Wednesday will bring quite a bit of rain and maybe a few rumbles of thunder (not expecting a severe weather threat) along with strong winds to go around. Latest qpf from the 18z GFS bring in almost 2+ inches for many portions of the state, so localized flooding is a concern. Coupled with an extremely low barometric pressure and tight pressure gradients, the wind will be extremely gusty during the duration of the event. Winds could gust as high as 45 mph during the day on Wednesday and again into the early morning hours on Thursday morning.

As the system continues to scoot quickly to the northeast, expect the low pressure to usher in some cold northwesterly air back behind it. This could yield a changeover to some light snow late Wednesday night and into the day Thursday. However, with the warm weather we have been having the ground is extremely warm, so no significant accumulations are expected at this time.

18z NAM total QPF. Note the swath of 1-2 inches over the western portions of the state. Courtesy of Pivotal Weather. 

18z NAM simulated reflectivity during the afternoon on Wedsdnsay. Note the how the 991 low is situated almost entirely over Bowling Green during the afternoon. Also not the incredible pressure gradients just to the west in Illinois and Missouri. It is going to be a windy one! Courtesy Pivotal Weather.  

Expect cooler, more average temperatures to dominate the forecast once again Thursday and into the weekend. Stay tuned to the WKU Stormtoppers Network for the latest update on this incoming storm!

This Afternoon: Partly sunny, with a high near 55. Northeast wind around 7 mph.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 40. Northeast wind around 6 mph.

Tuesday: A 50 percent chance of showers, mainly after 2pm. Cloudy, with a high near 57. Northeast wind 5 to 9 mph. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Tuesday Night: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Low around 53. East wind 9 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.

Wednesday: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 59. East wind 11 to 17 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Wednesday Night: Rain likely before 4am, then rain and snow likely. Cloudy, with a low around 34. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Thursday: A chance of snow before noon, then a chance of rain and snow between noon and 1pm, then a chance of rain after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 28.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 43.

Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 28.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 55.

Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 38.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 63.

Have a great night! 
Forecaster: Alex Antoshak

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