If every spring day could be like yesterday....sign me up! Yesterday's weather was absolutely wonderful with highs in the mid-70s and light south winds. Today the afternoon temperatures should be a few degrees warmer along with gusty south winds at 15 to 25 mph in advance of the next system arriving Thursday evening into Friday. Model data remains somewhat consistent regarding the timing of the system impacting the region but is offering varying solutions regarding how long the storm system will linger near the region.
The boundary should move across the state early Friday morning with a slight chance of prefrontal thunderstorms late Thursday evening. The higher likelihood for rain and storm activity will remain behind the front into early Friday morning. This will limit the severe weather potential to mainly some hail or wind with the stronger storms. Surface based CAPE is moderate Thursday afternoon across the western half of the state, but a layer of warm air aloft will more than likely suppress updraft growth into mature storms. Most of the model data supports post frontal activity with the GFS hinting at a small MCS to develop and move across northern OK and southern Kansas during the predawn Friday hours. A wind threat could be possible if a cold pool develops aloft with this system, but it's impossible to make that call at this point in the forecast cycle.
EURO data seems to suggest the h5 low may cut off and provide some overrunning precipitation chances Friday and Friday evening across the eastern part of the state while keeping clouds and north breezes for the day. The last run of the EURO was somewhat more progressive and we basically move the precip out of the area by Friday midday. We undercut the MOS numbers about 3 days ago regarding Friday afternoon highs and will not change our high of 61 for this cycle.
Ensemble data supports a highly amplified upper air flow with two powerhouse troughs on each coast and a mid-level ridge in the middle part of the nation. This pattern resembles the Greek letter Omega, and is commonly referenced as an Omega block. The west coast trough will not be able to move eastward until the ridge breaks down or moves eastward. But the upper air flow over the central plains will be from the northwest on the top side of the ridge. This flow can bring disturbances into the southern plains including a few storms, but model data suggest this probability will more than likely not occur next week despite the upper air flow. Our best shot at pattern recognition would lead me to suggest the pattern will change and allow another major system to influence our area by the last day or two of April or early May.
The number of US tornado fatalities stands at 67 for the year with 46 of those directly related to mobile homes. Four of the six deaths attributed to the Woodward tornado were residents in mobile homes. Mobile homes are wonderful places to live. There is absolutely nothing wrong with living in a mobile home. But because of their mobile nature, they cannot withstand even a weak tornado. I have seen many mobile homes destroyed in severe storms producing 7o mph wind gusts. If you reside in a mobile home, please make plans now to seek shelter in a sturdy structure during the possibility of severe weather. This pre planning may very well save your life and the lives of your family.