Widespread Wind, Rain and Storms on the Docket Wednesday
Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
What a beautiful start to the day at our WNTV studios in Minnesota. An approaching storm system creating this stunning view as the sun rose this morning.
Our Next Storm
Here’s our next storm causing issues for the mid-section of our nation today. An upper level low pressure system, deepening across the High Plains and the Upper Mississippi River Valley will create quite a stir in the winds across a large area over the next few days, kick up thunderstorms in the Mississippi River Valley today and squeeze out some drought denting rains.
Take a look at the 850mb pressure analysis map below. The isobars or lines of equal air pressure (black lines) are packed more tightly around the area of low pressure over the High Plain/Upper Mississippi Valley. The tighter these lines are together, the stronger the winds blow… In this case, the lines of equal air pressure are tightly packed across a large area, which will create a large wind field today.
High Wind Headlines
The National Weather Service has issued HIGH WIND HEADLINES for a number of locations today in the earth-tone shaded counties below. Winds will be a bit higher across the High Plains, where wind gusts could be up near 60mph or even exceed that!
Severe Threat Today
As the cold front pushes east, showers and thunderstorms will develop on its eastern flank. Hail and high winds will be the primary threat along with heavy rain, but an isolated tornado threat cannot be ruled out.
The Storm Prediction Center has also heightened the tornado threat today across the Lower Mississippi Valley. By SPC definition, the 10% or hatched area means there is a “10% or greater probability of EF2 – EF5 tornadoes within 25 miles of a point.”
According to the High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model, thunderstorms will begin to bubble up throughout the Lower Mississippi River Valley (west of the Mississippi River) by 6pm-7pm CDT. By 8pm-9pm CDT, the line of storms will begin to shift east of the Mississippi Valley with damaging winds being the primary threat has individual cells begin to merge into a line.The image below suggests the radar simulation by 9pm CDT Wednesday.
Convective Rainfall Potential
NOAA’s HPC 1 day rainfall suggests a decent amount of rain with this next batch of thunderstorms that will likely develop in the Mississippi River Valley late today/overnight. What ever develops there will slide east through the early morning hours. Some spots could see 1″ to 2″ (with isolated higher amounts).
Rainfall into the Weekend
NOAA’s HPC 5 day rainfall suggests a decent amount of precipitation on the northern lobe of this system as it pinwheels over Minnesota late week. Great news here as these areas are well behind normal precipitation for the year. Other notable spots on the map below are in the Northeast and also the Pacific Northwest as they both could see several inches of rain over the next several days.
Even with some appreciative precipitation amounts over the next several days, it appears that most of this will be liquid. A steady stream of Pacific moisture will run up into the higher elevations out west and bring mountain snow back into the wintry picture out there. So, for the time being, not much wintry precipitation is expected across the nation in the near future.
Arapahoe Basin Opens TODAY!
Congratulations to A-Basin for being the first ski resort in Colorado to open this season! They are the third resort to open this year behind Wild Mountain in Taylors Fall, MN and Killington, VT Ski Resort. A-Basin is boasting an 18″ base with 1 run open at the moment, but it sure looks like it is buzzing with activity!
Thanks for checking in on this Wednesday, have a great rest of your day!
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