Chance of Storms Friday.

Thursday, March 3rd 2011, 9:04 pm
By: News On 6

Work schedule has kept me from being able to do a blog so far this week, so pardon the tardy attempt at writing something up. After a warm, windy day today, a cool front will be arriving Friday and will be followed by much cooler conditions for the weekend. This front will be moving from the NW to the SE and should be moving through the I-44 corridor around noon give or take an hour or so. Gusty southerly winds and mostly cloudy skies will precede the front which will keep temperatures from cooling much for the night tonight.

In fact, for the more northern counties, the day may very well start off warmer than it will end as temperatures should steady out if not rise somewhat by morning. Then the front will arrive during the day Friday followed by northerly winds and a gradual cool-down. Do not expect a sudden drop in temperatures but cooler conditions will be spreading over the state by late afternoon and especially during the overnight hours.

We should be near the freezing mark by Saturday morning and certainly below freezing to start the day on Sunday. Clearing skies on Saturday and a brisk northerly wind will be followed by a return to a more SE wind on Sunday and then very strong southerly winds for early next week.

Before getting around to that system, need to mention that there will also be a chance of storms Friday afternoon into the early night time hours as the cool front moves through. Quite frankly, the system does not look all that impressive on Friday as we will have a rather strong capping inversion prior to frontal passage, moisture appears to be a limiting factor, and the better lift looks to take place behind the front late in the day or overnight. Even so, any storms that can fire up along or ahead of the front will pose a severe threat with wind/hail the primary risks and only a marginal risk at that. The extreme E and SE counties look to have the better parameters for any severe storms, although there is at least a decent shot at some shower activity and possibly some thunder for about the eastern third of the state.

The system that will be cranking up early next week at this time frame looks much more impressive. Very strong southerly winds on Monday and Tuesday in advance of the system should provide ample moisture and the upper level features look to be more organized. That is still far enough out that significant changes in the forecast may yet occur, but so far there is good temporal and spatial agreement among the longer range guidance. Enough to suggest that Tuesday of next week could become quite interesting.

In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot