Saturday, December 31, 2016

Taney County first work week of a New Year!


A cold front will finally shift through southern Missouri on Tuesday, providing a sharp temperature gradient from northwest to southeast. The eastern Ozarks could reach the 50's on Tuesday, while west central Missouri may be capped off in the 30's. Hey! It is winter you know!

There is also a signal for some drizzle or maybe some light rain that occurs with this frontal passage. Any precipitation that falls will remain very light.

Wednesday through Thursday will be unseasonably cold as a Canadian air mass continues to deepen across the Ozarks. Wednesday's high temperatures will only warm into the 20s and lower 30s. Wednesday will be dry, however, late Wednesday night into Thursday, some light snow is not out of the question.

The models have been struggling to adopt a solution for Thursday's snow chances. The ECMWF has been the most stable solution, and suggests that some light snow will spread across the region, and taper off by Thursday night. We won't discuss what the GFS is showing since it's been extremely erratic with it's solutions for Thursday. With the inconsistency in solutions, we have maintained a slight chance for snow accumulations. Confidence in snow accumulations remains very low at this time.


An upper level shortwave will track southeast and into the central and southern Plains late Thursday with snow spreading across Oklahoma and Arkansas. We are expecting most of this activity to remain south of Missouri tonight and no additional snow accumulations are forecast for our area. The main weather story for our area will be the cold temperatures and wind chills. High pressure will continue to build into the area at the surface and with the snow pack in place, we are expecting temperatures to dip into the single digits to around 12 degrees across far southern Missouri. Wind chills will dip into the single digits below zero for a good portion of the area. High temperatures on Friday will only warm into the teens to low 20s once again.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Taney Cty work week 4!

As Monday Approaches: An upper level low will move across the Plains into Minnesota Sunday into Sunday night and send a cold front east across the area. Breezy and gusty southerly winds will occur Sunday ahead of the storm system and front.

Low level moisture will increase across the region with the aid of the strong low level winds. However, instability will remain weak as the better upper level support and height falls remain north of the area. As a result, we do not expect much in the way of any convection ahead of the front. As the front moves into the area from west to east late Sunday afternoon into Sunday night a line of convection, likely fairly narrow in nature, is expected to develop along the front and track east across the area. With the weak instability may not see a lot of lightning, but there may be enough instability for a few rumbles of thunder. Given the strong low level wind fields some stronger wind gusts mixing down to the surface in the line of convection will be possible mainly west of Highway 65 where the Storm Prediction Center has a Marginal Severe Risk in place for Sunday late afternoon/evening. Localized damaging wind risk will be the main risk with this activity.

Monday: Behind this system a more zonal upper air pattern will occur early next week as highs in the 40's to near 50 to occur Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday: An upper level trough will then track east across the Plains during the middle of next week bringing additional rain chances to the region Tuesday night into Thursday. Warmer air will be advecting north into the area so mainly rain will occur Tuesday night and Wednesday with possibly some light snow occurring on the back side of the system Wednesday night into Thursday. At this time no accumulations are expected.

Thursday onward: Other than the aforementioned low end rain chances, a frontal passage Wednesday night should be dry. Cooler and considerably drier air will build into the area on Thursday along with gusty northwest winds. This will yield of the first day of elevated fire weather conditions, as humidity drops to between 30 and 35 percent during the afternoon hours.

An upper level shortwave trough will spread across the southern Plains into the region bringing rain chances to the area, with the better chances across the eastern Ozarks. Highs will warm into the 50s this afternoon then into the 60's on Monday.

An upper level trough will then spread across the northern Plains by the middle of next week bringing much colder conditions to the region.

A couple of weak shortwaves will approach the area over the weekend, resulting in occasional shower chances Saturday and Sunday. The best chances look to be over far south central MO Saturday night into Sunday, though guidance has been pushing precipitation further and further southeast with time, so even this may be in question.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Friday, December 23 weather hazards!

Taney County MO. Normally I leave the guess work as to the weather forecast for the professionals. However, the setup for Friday, December the 23rd has gotten my interest.

The setup for problems will begin on Friday, in the predawn hours, as what is known as isentropic upglide develops due to a warm front moving towards us. For those who are not familiar with the term, it refers to the fact that warm air resists undercutting the cold air that will be in place. The warm, less dense air rises gradually in vertically as it overrides the sloping cold dense air (less potential temperature air). It must do this to stay at the same potential temperature (same relative density). This is why warm fronts tend to bring widespread light to moderate precipitation. Please see the diagram below:

So, warm and moist air aloft with colder air at around 30 degree near the surface. Any moisture that falls through such a zone will sometimes turn into snow, sleet or freezing rain depending on just how deep the cold layer is at any given location. Note that this will be more of a probability in higher locations and areas to the east of Hwy 65! Whatever happens, this should be a rather short-lived deal as it should warm up above freezing shortly after sunrise. What area motorists will want to track, however, is the possibility of a few sloping roads and some bridges getting a thin glaze of ice – possibly just enough to pose a hazard to a few early commuters!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Taney County weather for work week #3 in December!

Monday, Dec 19: - After enduring the deep freeze of the previous weekend, southerly winds and the back side of high pressure will start the slow moderation of temperatures on Monday. Highs will try to reach the freezing mark. More seasonable temperatures return by the middle of the week. The weather pattern will be mostly zonal this week and quiet and dry weather. A weak front may try to move across the area Wednesday night into early Thursday but not much associated with it.

Friday, Dec 23rd: A more complex and unsettled weather pattern will evolve later Friday into the Christmas Holiday weekend. Watch out on Friday morning as there could be some freezing rain in the morning hours, before it changes over to all rain later on! A lead minor shortwave trough will eject northeastward toward the Ozarks Friday night and Saturday. A warm air/moisture advection pattern will setup resulting in the development of light precipitation Friday night and Saturday. Precipitation could be a light wintry mix Friday night and early Saturday especially across the eastern Ozarks. However little if any accumulation or impact is expected at this time given that temperatures may only touch the freezing mark. However something to monitor considering we are heading into the Holiday weekend.

Dec 24 & 25: Well, it's officially winter now, and while a snowstorm is now predicted for the northern tier of states, it's likely to be a warm and toasty 60 plus degrees down here in Taney County MO. Scattered showers will likely develop Saturday night into Sunday. The coverage of showers and isolated thunderstorms will increase from the west during the afternoon and evening on Christmas Day as a strong surface low pressure system tracks into the northern Plains and an attendant cold front swings into the Ozarks. The greatest chance for thunderstorms looks to be Sunday night. Merry Christmas all! And, don't forget yer rubbers! Gee! Now I'm wondering if Obama was right about that Global warming stuff! I understand he will be leaving office and then heading for Russia to help Putin with his economy... good luck with that!

Merry Christmas all!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Taney County Mo work week #2!

As we all bid a fond farewell in the rear view mirror to the deep freeze that came to pay a visit us in the first week of December... also, please note that all information presented here is excerpted from news releases from the Springfield office of the National Weather Service.

Weekend- Dec 10 and 11
A general warming trend is expected this weekend as highs warm back into the 40's and even low 50's by Sunday as southerly warm air advection kicks in. Some light precipitation/drizzle is possible early in the day on Sunday, and we all could normally use that. But, watch out! A very brief period of freezing drizzle or a wintry mix is possible as morning lows will be down in the 30s, although the overall potential appears low at this time. How's that for waffling folks?

Rain chances will increase Sunday afternoon, before ending Sunday night as a front swings through the area. Rainfall amounts will be light--generally a tenth of an inch or less.

Monday thru Wednesday - Dec 14...

Things then look quiet until mid to late in the week, when guidance brings another front through the area. It's still way too murky to see clearly what exactly will happen at that point, however. Significant run to run and model to model differences persist with this system, so confidence is quite low with any details. There is a general consensus in another solid shot of cold air, although ensemble temperature solutions range anywhere from near zero to the upper 20's. (Damn those finicky super computers)! Precipitation potential is also all over the map, though it's worth mentioning that anything that DOES fall would likely be wintry in nature.

 Next weekend - Sat, Dec 17...
For the latest, as of late Friday evening, please jump over to

After a rather warm start on Saturday morning, the bottom then looks to fall out during the mid to late morning hours as a very strong cold front sweeps through the area from northwest to southeast. Temperatures will rapidly fall behind the front (likely falling several degrees per hour) through the afternoon hours.

Most of the precipitation with the above mentioned frontal passage will be along and behind the front, making for a somewhat complicated forecast as very cold air rushes into the region behind the front. Right now, it looks like rain will give way to a very brief period of freezing rain and then sleet, as the post-frontal air mass deepens. Freezing rain/sleet accumulations should be little to none. A more organized band of snow is then expected to sweep south into the area, though it is expected to dissipate as it starts to reach the I-44 corridor. Snow totals are currently expected to be around an inch across the Highway 54 corridor, decreasing to around a half inch along I-44, including Joplin, Rolla, and the Springfield metro. South of US 60, only a dusting is expected. so, we look good to go!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

An arctic outbreak is on the way !

Taney County, MO. – The graphic of temperatures this year versus last is very telling if the forecast for frigid weather bears fruit long about Wednesday, Dec 7th ! Last year, in 2015, we all enjoyed tremendous and balmy weather for most of the month. Not so, for us in 2016! I'd advise everyone to make sure to perform a  winter checklist  on their dwelling to help insure a safe experience when it gets nasty outdoors. That sort of thinking also goes for anyone who has a long commute!

Latest feed from the Springfield weather service office: ' Temperatures will drop into the 20s Tuesday night with wind chills Wednesday morning in the teens. Models bring the arctic air mass into the region through the day Wednesday as moisture moves over the region. This will bring the potential for some light accumulation of snow for the Ozarks. The snow may mix with or change to all rain during the middle of the day before changing to all snow Wednesday night. Snowfall amounts from a few tenths up to 2 inches may occur before the system moves through the region. The best chance for accumulation will generally be along and north of I-44. Along with the snow will come temperatures falling into the teens, breezy winds and wind chills in low single digits to around zero degrees. In general, Thursday is looking to be a raw day.

Global computer runs are in agreement for a pretty cold series of days in the long range and even beyond. GFS has trended even colder and match the ECMWF pretty well at this point for late next week. ECMWF continues to funnel well below average temperatures into our region through next weekend. In fact, it shows many days of below freezing temperatures for our area. GFS isn't far off with the warmest temperatures being next Saturday, and those are only around 40 degrees at best. Regardless, confidence is there for a below average early to mid December.

 Looking down the road: Global models have then trended colder for next work week. This is especially true for the middle and later portions of the week as five wave charts indicate a deepening trough over eastern North America. If this pans out, another cold shot or two may be on the way.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Taney County weather for December work week #1!

Oh boy! A whole new month is here and it's one in which we will begin the start of winter on the 21st! Be still my heart! Note that the average high temp is 46ºF while the low is a cold 24ºF!

Taney County MO. - One thing, for sure, we are hurting in the rainfall department for the year as we are currently about 18 inches behind the average here in Taney County, Missouri. And, it's doubtful that this December (which sees about 3.7 inches on average) will make much of a dent in that. I'd also hazard a guess that any snow could be in short supply! Well, it's still the month of Christmas (you now as in giving), and I want you all to feel free to send me presents or cash or whatever!

Monday, December 5

The upper low is expected to finally move northeast from northern Mexico and TX through the lower MS Valley by late Mon-Mon night with another chance for a rain with highest chances (pops) over the eastern county warning forecast area.

Tuesday - Dec 6

On Tuesday lift will increase on Monday and Tuesday, bringing another round of widespread rainfall to southern Missouri. By late Tuesday this 2nd round of rain will exit to the east.

Wednesday - Dec 7

The coldest air mass of the season so far along with light precipitation will move into the Ozarks During the day Wednesday with the potential for some light snow fall during the and tapering off into Wednesday night. Temperatures will only reach the low to middle 30's for the highs on Wednesday with overnight temperatures into Thursday in the teens with a potential for some light snow accumulation on the ground for Thursday.

 Thursday thru Friday - Dec 8 to 9

Strong northwesterly flow aloft will allow for an arctic air mass to dive as far south as the Texas Gulf Coast and bring Cold temperatures to the region through the end of the work week. Highs on Thursday will likely not climb out of the 20's for most locations and only into the lower 30's on Friday.

The region will see a brief warm up for the weekend as winds turn out of the south again. This will allow temperature to climb into the lower 40s. A cold front then looks to move through the region to start the next work week. The overall pattern remains rather active this week and into next with storm systems moving across the region every 2 to 3 days.

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.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

November 2015 was nice!

As we were finishing up one of the warmest Octobers on record, my attention turned to November 2016 and what sort of stuff we could expect!

The normal range for temps in November is 58ºF for the average high and 34ºF for the low. When you think about it, that's not a very bad range. Shown above, is a graph of the temps I recorded for my Davis weather station in Forsyth Missouri in 2015. That year the averages were 63ºF and 41ºF! Quite a departure from the normal with some folks saying global warming and such things as that.

The month was also wetter than normal with a recorded rainfall amount of 6.84 inches versus a normal average of 4.9 inches. So, we had us a pretty durn nice month all told!

Another indicator of what is trending is the Arctic Oscillation index or AO. In simple terms, it indicates the degree to which Arctic air penetrates into middle latitudes which is defined by surface atmospheric pressure patterns. When the AO index is positive, surface pressure is low in the polar region. This helps the middle latitude jet stream to blow strongly and consistently from west to east, thus keeping cold Arctic air locked in the polar region. And that's normally a good thing. When the AO index is negative, there tends to be high pressure in the polar region, weaker zonal winds, and greater movement of frigid polar air into middle latitudes. Here's a look at the current graphic:

 Note that the 'trend' line is heading into the negative. That by itself doesn't mean a lot. However, the ENSO or El Niño Southern Oscillation is also trending toward a neutral phase which could bear some watching as it is slightly re-enforcing the trending pattern for a colder than normal winter to come!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

My winter 2016-2017 forecast for Missouri!


Taney County MO – After promulgating for some time, and after looking at some of the very recent changes in global weather data, I'll admit to some confusion. In just the past month or so, the tropical Pacific has changed gears, and now expert forecasters think there’s a 70% chance that La Niña conditions will develop this fall. However, any La Niña that develops is likely to be weak, and forecasters aren’t quite as confident that La Niña conditions will persist long enough to be considered a full-blown episode, giving it a 55% chance through the winter. So... what's that mean exactly for people living in southwest Missouri?

As is often the case in a strong La Niña setup, we would be looking at warmer than normal conditions, at least through the month of December, at which point some more 'interesting' weather may develop at the start of 2017 in the form of sporadic icing types of events! However, this time around we could likely see a weak or barely there La Niña that could even move in the opposite direction towards an equally weak El Niño setup. Blah and balderdash!

Below, the latest graphical summaries for the period Oct thru Dec:

For now, the weather watchers will be eyeing the tropical Pacific closely over the month of October, to see if the 'suggestions' of La Niña that showed up in the second half of September is really here to stay. The current computer model forecasts are predicting a few more three-month-average periods of around half a degree (C) below average in the Niño3.4 region—right at the La Niña threshold. Remembering that a weak La Niña likely means lower confidence impacts on U.S. weather and climate during the winter compared to a stronger event probability. If that sounds a bit wishy washy, so be it!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Taney County MO work week #3!

It would seem that summer just won't go quietly into the night... and that's a good thing! So, it shouldn't be a surprise to see a warming trend occurring Saturday on into Monday, as an upper level ridge builds over the region. High fives all around! But, you can expect some light drizzle on Saturday morning under the low level clouds that will be over the area but otherwise dry conditions will dominate. Highs on Saturday will likely top out in the upper 70's to the low 80's with highs in the lower to middle 80's occurring Sunday. (Got my grill ready)!

The warmest day of the week will occur on Monday as highs in the middle 80's to upper 80's occur. Some record highs may be approached across some of the area on both Sunday and Monday. Breezy southwesterly winds will occur on each afternoon from Saturday through Monday, as wind gusts nearing 30 mph are expected across southeastern KS and western MO.

By mid week, a pesky upper level trough will push across the western United States from Tuesday on into mid week. This front and upper level trough will also bring chances for showers and storms to the area Tuesday night into the middle of next week.

A much cooler air mass will spread into the region behind the front and trough Thursday and Friday. Highs on Thursday will be in the upper 50's to lower 60's with highs in the mid to upper 50's expected Friday. Southerly winds will start to return next weekend with highs in the 60's expected on Saturday and highs in the 70's on Sunday.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Taney County October work week #2!

A slight warming trend will continue Monday, with temperatures warming well into the mid to upper 70's. Monday looks to be somewhat breezy, as the surface pressure gradient tightens between high
pressure on the east coast and a developing surface trough over the High Plains.

Temperatures (and to a lesser degree, dew points) will increase further on Tuesday as a frontal boundary begins to move south toward the region. Thunderstorms look to develop to the northwest of the area Tuesday night, with a decent chance for precipitation on Wednesday as a cold front moves through.

That front looks to make it down to roughly I-40 before stalling Thursday, and lifting back north into the area on Friday. After a brief period of cooler and dry weather Thursday, this will bring a renewed chance for showers and thunderstorms to end the workweek.

For now, the tail end of the forecast looks quite warm, with upper level ridging holding strong over the southern CONUS, and the main storm track remaining across the northern Plains and Great Lakes.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Hurricane Matthew to slam Haiti!

WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected to reach Jamaica and Haiti tonight, and eastern Cuba Tuesday. Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach Jamaica and Haiti later today and eastern Cuba tonight, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. Tropical storm conditions are expected along the
southern coast of the Dominican Republic within the warning area beginning today. Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach the southeastern Bahamas early Tuesday with hurricane conditions expected by late Tuesday.

Hurricane conditions are possible in the hurricane watch areas by Tuesday night with tropical storm conditions possible on Tuesday. Tropical storm conditions are also possible in the tropical storm watch area in the Dominican Republic by late today.

RAINFALL: Matthew is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 15 to 25 inches across southern Haiti and the southwestern portion of the Dominican Republic, with possible isolated amounts of 40 inches. Across eastern Cuba and western Haiti, total rain accumulations of 8 to 12 inches are expected with possible isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches. Across eastern Jamaica, total rainfall of 5 to 10 inches is expected, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches possible. This rainfall will likely produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Taney County work week 1 for October

Temps this week will generally be warmer than last week. A strong southerly flow will increase through the mid week ahead of our next system. Temperatures early on should be a few degrees
above average for both daytime highs and overnight lows.

An upper level trough or front will begin to move eastward with time across the western states and into the plains by Wednesday. This trough is forecast to slow as it nears our area, which should position our region under a southwesterly flow aloft from Wednesday through perhaps Friday. A series of impulses are forecast to develop and ride northeastward within this flow. A cold frontal boundary is also forecast to push eastward toward our area by midweek, however, this front stalls within the SW to NE flow regime. With each impulse there will be a wave of showers and T`storms develop and move through the region. The better rain chances will reside across southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri.

As for strong storm potential, there may be a low chance of a stronger storm or two west of the interstate 49 corridor early Wednesday, however, timing doesn't support anything more than a marginal threat. On Wednesday, the atmosphere looks rather capped with height rises behind the earlier shortwave. The better shot at storms will likely occur north of our area in closer proximity to the surface frontal boundary.

Finally, a strong shortwave is expected to push the cold front through the region late Friday. The orientation and evolution of the trough is still in question with some differences among the global computer runs with the ECMWF being a bit flatter, which causes a slower progression with the front.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Work week #4 for the Taney County area!

Beginning with Sunday, September 25, a weird little swirl of a disturbance, (aka a trough) will lift out into the Upper Midwest coming towards the Taney County area.. and will then split in two! One part will close off and head over to to northern Mexico where it will begin to move westward! The other portion of energy aloft will from a frontal boundary and will slam on through the area by by early Sunday morning. This will trigger some shower activity both in front of and after the passage overhead. Expect some showers to linger through Monday morning. On a good note, the passage of the front will herald in much cooler and drier air into the region. Both Tuesday and Wednesday look to be the coolest days with morning lows approaching the mid 40's in some spots!

Then, you guessed it, by Thursday another high pressure ridge will re-establish itself with temps back in the 80's by weeks end!

The dry and mild pattern will continue through the weekend as the upper level low out east produces a northerly or northwesterly flow through Sunday. As the low exits stage right, an upper level ridge will begin to build in allowing for temperatures to warm slightly into the upper 70s to near 80 degrees.

Globals are in somewhat better agreement in terms of what is expected with the approaching cold front and parent upper level trough next week. Both GFS and ECMWF agree on the more progressive pattern, which should limit rainfall. This package has rainfall amounts a bit lower than previous forecasts. Only subtle differences in timing exist with ECMWF bringing the front through early Thursday vs GFS, which brings the front through Wednesday afternoon.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Taney County work week #3!

A large ridge of high pressure will build across the nation's midsection through most of the work week. This will bring an extended period of warm and dry weather. Look for temperatures to warm well into the 80's on an afternoon basis through Friday. Overnight lows in the 60's will be common.

It's possible rain chances will finally increase next weekend. The GFS and ECMWF suggest a long wave trough impacting the central conus. These two solutions are different regarding the positioning
of this system, but very similar in suggesting a closed off low structure.

Either way, it appears as though much cooler temperatures and rain chances are on the way in the extended periods, which should continue into the following work week (8 to 10 days from now).

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Is an Ice Age on our doorstep?

During a period in the World's history known as the 'Little Ice Age', the European continent experienced a roughly 500 year long period of wildly unstable weather. Starting around 1300 AD and ending in the early 1800's, a series of droughts, flooding rains, hot summers followed by intensely cold winters played havoc on hundreds of thousands of peasants who lived on the brink of starvation even in the best of times! It was during that period of time that early astronomers noticed that the sun was going through a very long period of time with few if any sunspots visible. The term Maunder Minimum, also known as the "prolonged sunspot minimum", was coined for the period starting in about 1645 and continuing to about 1715 when sunspots became exceedingly rare. And while the records from that time are scattered, some scientists such as Professor V. Zharkova of Northumbria University believe that such extended periods of inactivity, similar to the more recent 'Dalton Minimum', that come as part of a long term solar cycle may be happening again! Dr. Zharkova has even gone as far as to predict another 'ice age' starting as early as 2020!

While many scoff at such a zany prediction, others are taking her thinking more seriously. They point to the fact that the warmth of recent centuries form just a brief respite in the larger scope of a planet that has been more often frozen than not. They also point to the fact that the sun has been acting very strangely for a number of years now; exhibiting behavior that is way outside of the norm! As of this post, we are currently more than seven years into Solar Cycle 24 and it appears the solar maximum of this cycle was reached in April 2014 during a spike in activity. Going back to 1755, there have been only a few solar cycles in the previous 23 that have had a lower number of sunspots during its maximum phase.whether that is truly significant, only time will tell.

In any case, weather watchers will be keeping a close eye on how things shake out starting with the coming winter of 2017-18!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Taney County work week #2!

After a benign start to the second work week of September 2016, convective chances will continue on Wednesday/Wednesday night as weak energy pushes through the region and the weak front remains
positioned across the region. A more pronounced shortwave will move into the area on Thursday and we should have a much better chance of showers and thunderstorms across the entire area. Severe
storm chances look weak at this point with weak instability and shear in the mix.

A stronger cold front will begin to push into the area on Saturday with the best convective chances on Friday into Friday night ahead of the front. Another cooler/drier air mass will work into the area then for Saturday night into Sunday.

This air mass will be more short-lived than the previous one which moved into the region last weekend as the southwest flow aloft quickly reestablishes itself across the region.

It's going to be a great weekend over extreme southeast Kansas and the Missouri Ozarks. Temperatures today and Sunday afternoons will warm into the low 80's, under a mix of sun and clouds.

The rainfall for the most part is over, however, cyclonic flow aloft will continue bringing a rogue chance for a shower or two somewhere. Therefore we will keep pops on the low side through the weekend. Overnight lows will drop into the 60s.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Taney County September work week one!

Look for increasing clouds...
The start of the first work week in September will begin with southwesterly upper level flow around a high pressure area that should remain centered to our south. Global forecasts are pinging a shear axis developing from the four corners region into the central plains by late week. This will help develop several rounds of showers and thunderstorms across the region from mid to late week. Also, we'll have to watch moisture from then remnant Hurricane Newton that will likely get caught in the southwestern flow from the Desert Southwest region.

A cold frontal boundary will eventually drop southward out of Canada by this weekend and push through the region by late Saturday or early Sunday. We'll need to watch out ahead of this front and parent trough as 0-6km shear and instability begin to increase later in the day Friday. This may be enough for at least a conditional severe weather threat.

In addition to the possibility of severe weather, rainfall amounts look to be around 1-3 inches with the higher values along and north of the I44 corridor. This may present at least a limited flooding threat, especially for those locations that receive multiple rounds of storms. Temperatures during this time will be warm, however, with increasing rain chances, temps will be kept down a bit more each day as we progress through the week. Posted for!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Wx for the first full work week in September!

Taney County MO - A rather boring slug of weather coming our way, but sort of nice also. Look for southerly surface winds and warmer temperatures from Monday, (Labor Day) on into the middle of next week. There will exist some small chances for rain during this time due to a broad weak southwest upper level flow pattern, but for now we are only prognosticating somewhat higher chances for rain for Wednesday. Afternoon heat index values in the mid 90's will be possible for some areas Mon-Wed. So, get out and enjoy! Things will be going pretty much down hill from here on out! Created especially for