Active Pattern Continues.

Saturday, April 23rd 2011, 8:25 pm
By: News On 6

The unsettled period we are currently in will extend well into the coming week and the charts on the right are an attempt to provide some insight into why. The charts represent the forecast winds at the jet stream level for Sunday evening and again on Monday evening. The colors represent the core of the strongest wind fields at that level which is around 40,000 feet.

Notice the pronounced dip in the winds basically centered over Arizona by Sunday evening with very strong winds further west out over the Pacific. By Monday evening, that dip, or disturbance aloft, moves into Oklahoma with an extremely strong jet streak further west. This is a very active pattern for our state assuming we have adequate moisture available. Turns out that is not an issue this time as we also have at the surface a quasi-stationary frontal boundary over extreme SE Ok which will be bouncing around for the next couple of days.

Embedded within this pattern aloft will be occasional weaker disturbances that may not show up very well at any given time. This, together with the surface boundary and the abundant moisture will provide occasional periods of showers and embedded thunderstorms for each of the next several days. This all means a very good chance of rain for our Easter Sunday, although not necessarily a total wash-out as it does not imply rain all day long either. Another concern is that the abundant moisture and the fact that the same general areas may see repeated bouts of showers and storms could result in flash flooding and a flash flood watch is in effect through the day Monday.

A few severe storms will also be possible on Sunday, but the greater chance will likely be on Monday. That is when we expect the surface front to drift far enough north to put most of us back into the warm sector with gusty southerly winds and a more unstable atmosphere creating a more favorable environment for all modes of severe weather.

A cyclonic flow pattern aloft will persist through Wed keeping us with a threat of showers and storms until Thursday when the pattern shifts far enough to the east for us to have clearing skies and a break in this active pattern.

As always, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot