Dick Faurot's Weather Blog: Active Weather Pattern in the Days Ahead


Friday, April 15th 2016, 8:35 pm
By: News On 6


So far, all indications continue to point to a major storm system settling into the Southern Rockies and setting up shop in the 4 Corners area this weekend, then gradually weakening and drifting on eastward during the coming week.  That will be spreading showers/storms eastward ahead of it and given the slow movement the potential for locally heavy rainfall.  As we have repeatedly stated, W OK is in desperate need of rainfall and this system certainly looks to be a drought breaker for them.  Again, the devil will be in the details regarding the ultimate location of the heaviest rains along with any severe threat.  Notice the 7 day QPF map which has consistently targeted the more western counties with the potential for heavy rainfall over that time frame.

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The slow movement of the storm system aloft also means we will have a very unsettled pattern for much of this forecast cycle as you can see on our forecast page.  SE winds will keep temperatures very mild and the southerly low level flow at the surface and aloft will also keep plenty of moisture on hand so that cloudy to mostly cloudy skies will be the general rule.  As the moisture builds up, we could see a few sprinkles or a light shower or two to start the day Saturday but most of the rain will be west of I-35 through Saturday.  That activity will be spreading on eastward during the day Sunday and likely reaching our side of the state by afternoon, through the overnight hours, and much of the day Monday.

After that, there will be chances of scattered showers or storms for several more days into next week as the system aloft gradually weakens and drifts eastward.  There will also continue to be plenty of moisture available so any storms during that time frame could be locally quite intense.  This is not a favorable set up for severe weather, but this is April so the potential for an isolated severe storm with primarily a wind/hail threat will be present each day next week.

As mentioned in recent blogs, the upper level flow holds the real key and so far the major features aloft have been remarkably consistent.  Notice for example, the position of the storm center aloft as of the Noon hour today where it is digging into the Southern Rockies.  You may recall several days ago it was located in the N Pacific Ocean and there was more uncertainty regarding its ultimate strength, timing, and position given the lack of observational data.

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However, the data runs have maintained considerable consistency as the next map shows the position as of Sunday evening which is remarkably close to the projections of the last several days.  That location places us on the warm and wet eastern side of the main storm center and the slow eastward drift in the following days is why we have a high chance of showers/storms on Monday and at least scattered activity for several days after that.

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By Thursday, the system is projected to have weakened considerably and will have moved further eastward.  However, there will still be plenty of lingering moisture keeping at least a slight chance of showers/storms for late in the week and perhaps even the following weekend.  I have also labeled the potential storm system moving onto the W Coast of the U.S. which may well impact our weather that following week.  In fact, the 8-14 day outlook maintains an unsettled pattern for us going into that last week of April.

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Bottom line is that a very unsettled pattern looks to be the general rule for the rest of the month.  So, stay tuned and check back for updates.  It could get interesting later this weekend into next week.

Dick Faurot