|What is left of our blizzard will exit the nation today leaving in its wake a wide swath of deep snow and shivering citizens. I’ve often contemplated why tropical systems are given names, but not strong extratropical cyclones that form blizzards on the mainland. I suppose too much ‘naming’ can be confusing, but we shall call this last system “Ophelia.” Shakespeare fans will enjoy the reference!
Our Radar Center places the center of circulation over northern Minnesota at the time of this writing with a central pressure of 993MB (use ‘fronts’ overlay checkbox on right) and medium strength snows flanking the western edge of the low. Rain extends from the Great Lakes states into the deep south amidst a mishmash of airmass interactions, however many areas of the south can certainly use the precipitation to aid in refilling their reservoirs.
Last Friday we mentioned the next system that is forecast to develop, our “Roswell low.” This morning examining our various products it appears that we may be in for a Triple Shot, perhaps a caramel mocha latte.
Let’s begin as usual with our 3.5 day Forecast Precipitation Type Animation, then compare that to our 7.5 day product.
The initial frames of the animation show Ophelia slinking through northern Minnesota and into Canada with snows lingering in the northern tier through this evening. The rains we briefly discussed above also continue through the Midwest, south and begin entering the eastern states as evening approaches, with the usual precipitation in the PNW and northern Rockies as well.
Now let’s move along to our ‘Roswell Low’ who for the time being I shall christen “Bubba.” Advance along to F042hr valid 8pm EDT on Thursday. Notice the strong pressure gradient we mentioned during previous discussions build as the frames advance. Hefty winds will sling about Colorado and northern New Mexico as this occurs, with the associated snows. At this frame, notice that Bubba is centered around Santa Fe, and at the next frame F045hr 11pm EDT on Thursday, just north of Roswell. Now here is why I call the Low “Bubba.”
Our discussion on Monday showed that Bubba would swing up towards Chicago and deepen to a respectably low central pressure of 980mb, but our shorter range product disagrees with this morning’s 06z run. Advance along a few frames and see what I mean.
Notice how he slides along on a southeasterly course through Texas with snows in the Panhandle through Kansas, with the opportunity for mixed precipitation thrown into the equation, then beings swinging in a north-northeasterly direction with a very mild central pressure of 1000mb on our last valid frame of F084hr Valid 2pm EDT on Saturday March 28. Well, let’s compare this scenario with our 7.5 day Forecast Precipitation Type Animation, which will also allow us to examine the “triple threat” scenario that seems to be developing.
Hit “stop” and “forward one” until you reach F072hr valid 2am EDT on Saturday, March 28 where Bubba is centered over southern Missouri, but in this scenario with a lower central pressure of 992mb. I’m tempted to lean more towards the development scenario for our medium range product for this system.
By F084hr valid 2pm Saturday, Bubba is centered basically over Springfield Illinois with a central pressure of 990mb. Note the distribution of snow and rain, it will be interesting to see how it develops. On F096hr valid 2am EDT Sunday morning, he is centered over Michigan @ 989mb, and note again the distribution of snows, but here someone else starts to enter the picture. Look just north of Montana on the borders of Alberta and Saskatchewan!
So beginning on Sunday morning we have another zippy clip building up and driving along the northern tier, forecast to reach the Great Lakes states by 8am EDT next Tuesday Morning (F150hr), then over the last few frames, say F168, F174, adn F190 ending Wednesday afternoon, we see a Panhandle hook trying to form over Texas. It will certainly be interesting to see how this triple threat develops!
Thunderstorms on the Horizon
We’ve also discussed the potential for thunderstorms over the next few days. Using our Advisory Center, you can view Convective Outlooks for Day One (today), Day Two (tomorrow), and Day Three (the day after tomorrow).
The essence of the threat for the next few days revolves around the deep trough that we have discussed recently with the result being a respectable return flow of moisture in the deep south and favorable shear environment.
While at the moment today’s Convective Outlook has been issued at the ‘slight’ category, I can see the potential for an upgrade later today to a moderate risk, as the possibility for long lived supercells and tornadoes are definitely in the cards along a wide swath from San Antonio through western Alabama, with the northern extent running along the Arkansas, Louisiana border through Tupelo, MS, and the southern extent being the Gulf of Mexico.
This threat will exist at least through the next three days for today’s region and slightly east, so if you live in and around these areas, today would be a day to pay attention to your NWS Radio (or buy one if you do not own one – I can recommend this Midland or this search will yield alternatives).
As always stay tuned to your favorite weather outlet, stay informed, and stay safe!