Will We See Some Sunshine Today?

Saturday, February 26th 2011, 8:37 am
By: News On 6

The chart to the right shows the winds as measured by a wind profiler network across the Southern Plains at 4 different elevations. The upper left hand panel shows the winds at the lowest elevation above the ground which is about 1600 feet up and the other panels are progressively higher in elevation. The point is that our winds just above the surface are blowing from the south whereas our surface winds are blowing from a more E to NE direction. It is this combination which has thrown a monkey wrench into the forecast as it has trapped moisture near ground level which is why we were overcast and dreary yesterday and to start the day today.

That combination should become less of a factor during the day today as a warm front is expected to surge northward shifting the surface winds to a more southerly direction as well. That, in turn, will provide at least some afternoon sunshine before stratus clouds from the Gulf of Mexico return for the overnight hours. At any rate, it is still a tough temperature forecast as the amount of afternoon sunshine is still expected to be very limited for the more northern counties where temperatures will likely only rebound into the 50s whereas the more southern counties should make it well into the 60s.

Temperatures will not cool off much tonight and may in fact even rise a bit towards morning with overnight lows in the 50s to start the day on Sunday. Sunday will also have a low overcast and possibly some light showers or drizzle to start the day and mostly cloudy skies throughout the day. Gusty southerly winds and at least some afternoon sunshine should push us into the lower 70s during the day which will create an enhanced fire danger situation.

A cold front will be arriving Sunday night accompanied by showers and storms, some of which will likely be severe. This is a situation which will be closely monitored as the upper level system is quite strong and will be accompanied by strong dynamics. A limiting factor though will be the widespread cloud cover preceding the cold front which should act to limit the instability and thus the energy available for vertical development. Even so, recommend keeping a close eye on the sky for storms Sunday night as the strong dynamics could result in some real trouble makers.

The cold front will then be followed by clearing skies and cooler conditions for Monday and most of the following week looks pretty quiet.

As always, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot