Tuesday Morning Update

Tuesday, August 21st 2012, 6:21 am
By: Alan Crone

Expect some clouds this morning followed by mostly sunny sky with highs in the lower 90s.  A slight chance of showers and storms will remain for Thursday and Friday, but increasing rain and storm chances will be included for the weekend forecast cycle.  

A weak upper level disturbance is brushing the western half of the state this morning and is producing a few scattered showers and storms to our west.  It's very unlikely this activity will slide in our direction and we'll keep the mention of the storms out of the forecast.  It's worth mentioning that last Thursday and Friday the data suggested this upper air wave would be dropping across central and eastern OK, but over the weekend the data converged on a more western solution.   

Speaking of model data and solutions:  the GFS and EURO both continue to suggest some increasing rain and storm chances through the weekend, but the GFS is more northward with the short wave compared with the stronger and more southward EURO.  This creates a big difference in the forecast potential.  The EURO would offer a big bulls-eye of precip across central Kansas while the GFS would keep a decent chance along the OK-Kansas state line.  My inclination is to increase the probabilities this morning into the likely category, but as the previously posted paragraph above proves, the data can flip and flop a few more times before converging on a consistent course of action. Therefore, I'll resist the urge to increase the pops and keep a 30% across the board for Saturday and Sunday.  This probability may increase quite a bit in the next forecast cycle.  

The temperatures today and tomorrow should warm to near normal averages with afternoon highs around 93 both days.  Southeast winds in the 7 to 10 mph range will be likely today and the fire danger remains despite some recent rainfall this past weekend.  Wind speeds will increase Thursday with south winds from 10 to 20 mph.  

Yesterday I wrote about the tropical wave east of the Lesser Antilles.  Today the extended operational and experimental models continue to suggest this system will grow to hurricane status and may reach the southern portion of the U.S. by the early part of next week.  The current cluster of model tracks would place the system near Cuba by Friday and then turning northward into the Southeastern U.S. early next week. The GFS ensembles are faster and the EURO is slower.  The early intensity guidance also suggests the potential for a strong to near major hurricane within the next 3 days.  I must remind all (including myself) that intensity forecasts can change quite a bit with daily model runs and track adjustments and positioning of any tropical cyclone should not focus on the center of the system.   I will use my facebook page to post graphics regarding this system and I'll make those posts by 6AM this morning.  

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