Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Will drought in Missouri become the norm?

Forsyth Missouri rainfall by month
Forsyth MO. - I've watched, with some concern, the rainfall deficit that piled up in my southwest corner of Missouri over all of 2016. And, as other parts of the US were in even sadder shape, it gave me pause to wonder. Was I seeing evidence of enhanced global climate change? Or, was the lack of rainfall just another in a series of  'normal' atmospheric cycles?

The graphic above displays the 'average' rainfall amounts by month compared to what I actually recorded. I noticed that only the month of July saw rainfall in excess of the average! as a matter of fact, by the end of November, my area was about fifteen inches behind the average for the year! In other parts of the country, things were much much worst!

In the graphic at right, those red areas are not good news. Southern California has been in sad shape going on for some years and is facing a dire future! Over in the southeast, the drought there has only recently developed to the point of being 'exceptional' in some areas. It does make one wonder as to what is going on.

What is for sure, will be the negative impact on the price of some crops as we enter into 2017.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Taney County weather week 4 of November!

Da Weekend

Saturday - A tranquil and quiet start to an otherwise interesting long range forecast this weekend. Upper level ridging will occur yet again (a little less subtle than today), which should warm us back into the upper 50's and lower 60's. Dry conditions can be expected at least through Saturday night and early Sunday.

Winds will likely increase on Sunday as pressure gradient tightens from a deepening surface low over Nebraska. Strong warm air advection will occur across the region, which should push temperatures into the upper 50's east and into the lower 60's across southeast Kansas. With the strong warm air advection, some scattered shower activity may be possible by Sunday afternoon. Going into Sunday night, the low occludes over the northern plains and the associated surface boundary slides as far south and east as eastern Kansas before it begins to slow down as it lines up with the upper level southwesterly flow.

Monday - Tuesday frame rainfall possible

The ECMWF (European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts ) is certainly more progressive with the aforementioned system and pushes the frontal boundary through by late Monday. The GFS (Global Forecast System) is more bullish with rainfall as it keeps the front back across the Ozarks through the day Tuesday with a shear axis right over the region. This scenario would bring numerous rounds of showers and perhaps a thunderstorm or two. Needless to say, confidence is there that a system will push through early next week, however, exact details (e.g. true rainfall amounts) are still somewhat murky.

As for severe weather, given the aforementioned uncertainties, those chances for now at least are low, however, not zero. Shear will certainly be there, but as of now the primary limiting factor is the lackluster instability. We'll need to monitor this potential through the weekend, especially boundary layer moisture quality.


Upper low will continue to wobble around the northern plains into midweek leaving the region within a dry and seasonably cool southwest flow. Cooler air will descend into the region on the backside of the system Wednesday keeping temperatures below normal into next weekend.

Weekend Snow? No way!

Where there is agreement, at least for over the weekend, is that it does look like some moisture will be thrown northeastward into our area in a broad area of isentropic lift south of a surface high pressure over the Midwest and Ohio Valley. A quick look at the GFS thermal profile for KSGF indicates mostly rain but it`s close to some wet snow if the freezing level can drop a bit more than prognosticated. In either case, unless larger scale synoptic guidance takes another turn/changes (i.e. closer to the ECMWF), we are not
looking at much if any impact right now. The air mass expected to be in place is not overly cold. Right now the grids are a mixed bag of rain and snow Sat night into early Sunday depending on the surface and low level temperatures. Expected precipitation amounts (qpf) are not all that much, in general just a few hundredths to around a tenth of an inch over the weekend.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Wx for Taney County week 3! Back to the fifties!

A slight cool down is in store for week three as upper level ridging will start to build east towards our area late Sunday and then over the region early next week. This will allow the temperatures to warm into the 50's on Sunday and into the 60's on Monday and Tuesday. Another system will then race through the region Tuesday night and may bring another quick hit of some light rain to the area. Slightly cooler conditions will occur behind the front for the second half of next week, but highs will remain in the 50's each afternoon. All in all not too shabby a start to the third week in November!

An upper level trough and front will approach from the west and spread across the region Tuesday and Tuesday night. Rain will start to push east into the area from the west Tuesday morning but the better coverage in rain will occur during the afternoon and evening hours. Instability will be on the weak side across the area so no severe weather is expected. There should be enough instability for a few embedded storms Tuesday afternoon and evening with the front. Occasional cloud to ground lightning will be the expected storm hazard. Showers may linger into the overnight hours with the passage of the trough. Overall rainfall amounts of a tenth to one half of an inch is expected with the heaviest amounts expected east of Highway 65. We can sure use any water that falls...

Temperatures will drop off into the 30s again behind the frontal boundary early Thursday. Afternoon highs will moderate a bit on Thanksgiving as a subtle upper level ridge builds into the region, though this will be short lived as another upper level wave moves through the lower Missouri River Valley by Friday when a very weak system/dry cold frontal boundary will continue to push eastward through the region in the early going. Winds will likely shift to a more northerly direction with some increased cloudiness expected at that time. Some fog may be possible, especially across far southern and central Missouri through around mid morning.
Nov 25 - 7:30 AM - 40 degrees

Weekend to be nice! 

The coming weekend (Nov 26-27) looks to be seasonably mild with temperatures mostly in the upper 50's to near 60 area wide. Overnight lows will only manage to drop into the upper 30's and lower 40's. Another shortwave will eject north and eastward from the four corners region early next week. There are discrepancies among the global computer runs with this system early next week in terms of placement and timing. Although the exact details are sketchy, thinking is that beyond midweek this time frame will likely be our next shot at rain.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

December 2015 blew my mind! Now, what about 2016?

Forsyth MO - As my home is located down in the southwest corner of Missouri, our winters cane be relatively mild as compared to some of the states to the north. Yes, I have to admit that the December of 2015 was exceptional by any measure you might want to make!

In the graphic above, the daily highs and lows for each day are depicted in red and blue. They represent the rather astounding weather we had. Note all the days that either touched or surpassed the seventy degree mark! Wow. For contrast, 2014 is represented by the green and violet lines. And yes, 2014 was also considered to be rather mild when compared to the average high of 46F with a chilly low of 24F! So, what's happening and can we expect the same sort of nice treatment in 2016? 

As I reported in an earlier post, the trending seems to be headed for a slightly warmer and dryer winter. Now, that sort of forecast all by itself, doesn't mean much. But, when one looks at what was happening in November, you might be inclined to agree that the weather does seem a tinsy bit warmer than normal. I also noted that for my immediate area, our rainfall only exceeded the average one time during the course of the year and that was in July!

So, yes, it does look as though we might catch a break again this year which would translate into cheaper heating bills for all.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Taney County weather for week #2!

First the carrot!

Sunday, Nov 13 - We will begin to see southerly winds return on Sunday and a slow moderation of temperatures. A weak wind shift will move across the area on Monday but temperatures will not be affected by this weak surface trough. Temperatures will warm up above average (58F) by early next week.

Upper level ridging will take place across the Central U.S. Very warm weather is expected by middle of next week with temperatures in the lower to possibly middle 70's. We may be approaching record highs again by Wednesday or Thursday. Mostly clear and dry weather is expected through Thursday.

Then the stick!

Friday, Nov 18 -  All guidance indicates a trough developing across the central and eastern U.S. by the end of next week. The GFS is more significant with the trough than the EURO which is more progressive. We may see our next chance of rain...maybe storms by the end of the week and much colder weather following next weekend.

Even though we are only about a week or so into November, it's easy to see that the averages are higher than normal for this year and back in 2015!

Down the Road: 

Highs will only be in the 40's on Saturday the 19th as a cold air mass slides over the region with highs then in the lower 50's for Sunday.

The pattern will then bring another chance of precipitation next week along with mild temperatures. Wo wo!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Early winter 2016-17 weather trends!

Lots and lots of talk by all sorts of folks concerning the kind of weather we could expect for the winter months of 2016-17. I enjoy reading what all the amateur prognosticators feel will transpire. And, while I have zero credentials in the area of meteorology, that doesn't stop me from joining into the fray. So, here goes with a screen grab from the NWS:

So, what's that mean? Here's the general rule: La Niña causes mostly the opposite effects of El Niño (which has been the rule over North America for some time), with above-average precipitation across the northern Midwest, the northern Rockies, Northern California, and the Pacific Northwest's southern and eastern regions. Meanwhile, precipitation in the southwestern and southeastern states is below average (that be us here in Taney County, Missouri). This type of pattern also allows for the development of many stronger-than-average hurricanes in the Atlantic and fewer in the Pacific.Perhaps not such a good thing for the East Coast!

And, here is the latest computer generated graphic projections for both precipitation and temperatures trends:

Please click on the above graphic to more clarity.
For us, who are living in southwest Missouri, the trends would seem to indicate a slightly dryer and slightly warmer winter period. Now, does that mean that we will cruise through such a time with no worries? Not really. Mother Nature is known to throw curve balls into even the most tranquil game plan! And remember, the author of this post might just not be completely right in his head!

Lastly, and while this graphic of actual rainfall versus average rainfall for Taney County is circumstantial, it's still interesting to note that the lack of rainfall has been consistent for the past number of months! We averaged higher than normal in July and the jury's still out for November, but it's plain to see that we are in a bit of a dry spell...

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Taney County work week 2 - warmth to continue!

I don't want to appear that I'm complaining, but hey, it is November! Seems to me like we're stuck in spring! That said, Sunday and most of Monday look to be generally pleasant. South winds will be increasing by Monday as a surface high pushes off to the east. Enough moisture should return to western portions of the region to result in renewed shower chances by Monday night, though the bulk of that activity still looks to remain just to our west.

A passing shortwave will then push a front through the area Tuesday, though mediocre moisture and less-than-ideal upper level structure/support will limit PoPs with this feature.

From Wednesday onward, upper level ridging will remain centered over the Central Plains through at least the end of day 7, with a series of shortwave expected to dig across New England and the Mid
Atlantic. This upper level pattern would likely continually reinforce surface high pressure across the region, suggesting dry conditions and temperatures at or above average. And, since 60F is about average....

Morning lows on Thursday will be a bit of a concern as many of us will drop into the middle 30's. This may be enough to produce widespread frost, especially across our eastern counties. A slight moderation in temperatures is expected before a dry cold front pushes through by early this weekend. Again, as mentioned, the coldest temperatures will be east of our region, however, more frost may be possible for at the very least the eastern Ozarks this weekend.

Coming up mid next week!  There is fairly good agreement with large scale features early/mid next week. The upper pattern will open up and become more progressive but it will still be fairly high amplitude. A strong storm will move into the U.S. West Coast by Wed (Nov 16) with a downstream upper ridge building into our area Tue-Wed with warm temperatures. As low pressure moves out into the High Plains Thu, south to SSW winds will increase. Deep moisture return ahead of the system is questionable at this point so we are not carrying rain/tstm chances for Thu. There is still some spread in the GFS ensembles in timing and location of the upper system. Bears some watching but the frontal passage for us looks to be just after this forecast period.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Taney County MO November work week 1!

What can I say, other than that the warm conditions will continue, at least through Wednesday.

Then, a somewhat complicated scenario will unfold across the region for Wednesday and Wednesday night. An upper level trough will progress east across the northern and central Plains before beginning to dig southeast towards the Ohio Valley by Thursday morning. This trough will drive a cold front south through the Missouri Ozarks from Wednesday evening into the overnight period. Confidence remains high that most of the area will see a round of showers and thunderstorms along and behind that front Wednesday night.

Another feature of note is a short wave trough that is forecast to move northeast through northern Arkansas or southern Missouri from Wednesday morning into perhaps early Wednesday afternoon. This feature could provide a trigger for earlier convection. This will especially be true if that wave arrives a bit slower (during peak heating) than models are advertising. Otherwise, Wednesday may largely be dry for the majority of the Missouri Ozarks.

There may be a window of opportunity for some stronger storms from southeastern Kansas into west-central Missouri where current model forecasts indicate a decent likelihood for MLCAPEs of 1000-1500 J/kg and effective deep layer shear around 30 knots Wednesday afternoon and early Wednesday evening. The key will be whether or not storms can push into this region before instability begins to wane due to the loss of daytime heating.

That digging wave will then drive that front down into the northern Gulf of Mexico by Friday morning. After another mild Wednesday, cooler temperatures are expected to end the work week. Highs will be in the upper 60's to around 70 degrees with lows in the 40s.

The upcoming weekend then looks very pleasant as a sprawling area of surface high pressure slowly makes its way southeast across the Middle Mississippi Valley region. High temperatures will remain in the upper 60's to lower 70s.

There are some signals for a system passing through the region sometime in the Monday night through Wednesday time frame. However, global models really seem to be struggling with the large scale pattern. Thus, confidence is very low regarding what will transpire early next week.