Mother Nature Has A “Seasonal Disorder”
OK, the planet may not be going all hay-wired and having crazy eruptions of storms all over the world, but Mother Nature has been giving portions of the United States some odd, and out of place, weather. Cold temps continue to linger in the northern plains where a thick snow pack has yet to melt, which could be a big problem for the plain states and down stream. In fact, much of the nation, about 2/3rds, have seen big temperature swings so far this Spring season.
The midwest is under the gun for strong to severe storms, as well as some heavy wet snow. States from the Dakotas and Montana, down into Oklahoma, will be impacted by a storm system that will tap into that cold, Canadian air, and clash it with the warm, and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico. The severe potential is not exceptionally strong, but nonetheless, thunderstorms early on in the week could produce hail, damaging winds and you can’t rule out an isolated tornado or two.
The set up for early on in the work week, has the jet stream dipping down into the central plains, and chilly air will be on the move towards the south. Down there, the air has been relatively warm, and moisture has flown freely across portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and throughout the Lower Mississippi River Valley.
Here comes the next, and latest, burst of cold air. That area in the BLUE from Montana to Minnesota and down to the Panhandle has been seeing mainly temps trending below normal, especially up in the Dakotas and Minnesota. The warm air has been in the southwest and will attempt to make a move into the plains, but the cold air will dominate this time around. It is in the middle, across Oklahoma and Kansas, where the temperatures will be battling it out, and the clashing of the air masses results in severe storms.
The risk zone for Monday, includes portions of northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas. The major roads of I-35, from Oklahoma City to Wichita, and I-44, from Oklahoma City to Tulsa, are heavily traveled and could see storms roll through.
On Tuesday, the general area for strong to severe storms is around the Mid-Mississippi River Valley and includes cities such as Little Rock and Memphis. Over 3 million people could see large hail and damaging winds over 50 MPH.
Those storms do more than just bring severe elements like hail and strong wind gusts. There is also the heavy rain, and a good stream of rain could move over the upper Midwest and the central plains. About 1-2″ could fall across states such as Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Kansas, to name a few.
Here is another look, from the National Weather Service, where the band of 1-2″ (isolated areas could see 3″) will fall from Nebraska to Michigan in the western Great Lakes. In fact, there is a chance of excessive rainfall and the area below is highlighted for you.
That is bad news for most of Illinois, southern Wisconsin and eastern Iowa, because there are already some big flooding concerns in that area.
Check out all the green-colored boxes above. Those all pertain to flooding issues and will start to come down as the rivers’ waters begin to recede but that will take some time. With all the rain expected to fall early on this week, the Mississippi, Ohio, and Wabash River will see a lot of water flowing through them from the small streams up stream.
Those rivers are all apart of the massive Mississippi River Watershed (aka, drainage basin) is one of the largest in the world. Nearly 40% of the continental United States is covered by the basin and it spans nearly 1.25 million square miles. 32 states and 2 Canadian Provinces reside in it and as the water flows through the smaller streams and major rivers, it eventually makes its way to the mouth of the Mississippi River, which empties into the Gulf of Mexico. It takes a long time to move so much water over such a vast area. That is why flooding is rarely ever a single day but often lasts for a while.
The northern plains and mountainous areas of Montana and Wyoming will see a decent amount of snow coming early on in the week, at least 3-10″ of it. The snow there will eventually melt into the Missouri or Arkansas River, which will also flow downstream, into the Lower Mississippi River Valley.
And there is plenty of snow that still has yet to melt across the upper midwest and Rockies. About a 1/4″ to nearly 8″ of water is sitting in the snow pack, waiting for the warmer temperatures to arrive and melt it. All that water will contribute to the possibility of flooding. But is there a warm up in sight that could melt all that snow?
As you can see, temperatures in that region with the deeper snow pack, will trend below seasonal levels through the middle of the week. The problem with the northern plains being cold for so long is that the snow pack contributes to the temperatures trending below normal, as it absorbs the incoming solar radiation first, instead of the ground, and thus melts and doesn’t let the ground heat up, which in turn, would help in warming up the temperatures. Long term, temperatures will eventually get to seasonal levels, and maybe even beyond that, but the models that far out don’t show it happening until the end of the month, sorry folks.
As you get ready to start your work week, here is the forecast conditions for Monday. If you are in the northern plains and upper midwest, I suggest doing some vacationing if you can; the southwest looks so warm and inviting!
Have a wonderful week ahead and enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Meteorologist Addison Green (Twitter: @agreenWNTV)