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Powerful storm is developing
Good Friday evening everyone,
This storm that is now developing is powerful. The pressure is forecast to drop to near 29.05" over Kansas Saturday afternoon, which is about as strong as a category one hurricane. This is impressive. I have a few maps for you to digest on the new NAM model tonight. Look below.
Click to enlarge (this is the 500 mb forecast for noon Saturday, the upper low is in northern Oklahoma)
The above map shows the intense upper level low fully developed just south of the Kansas/Oklahoma border. The below map shows the surface during by evening with an occluded low. The low level warm moist air is about to be shut off from the system and will limit severe potential during the afternoon. We still have to watch this closely as this storm is very strong. Will we have severe weather? Well the Storm Prediction Center has us in a slight risk and I would lean towards the slight part of that slight risk. I am not completely ruling it out though so as I said let's watch it closely.
Click to enlarge (surface forecast valid 6 PM Saturday)
Below you can see the dewpoint forecast by the NAM, which still could be a bit off. But this is such a cold core system and it is late February, so I won't be surprised if the higher dewpoints are lost during the afternoon. Look how wrapped up it is.
Click to enlarge (Surface dewpoints forecast for Saturday afternoon)
One last map tonight. This is the 850 mb forecast map valid Saturday night at midnight. A powerful low at this level (around 5,000 feet up) is near Kansas City. As soon as it passes I am expecting 50 mph wind gusts from the north and some snow. We still need this storm to track a bit further south to have accumulations in Kansas City, but closer to the Iowa border could have blizzard conditions early Sunday morning.
Click to enlarge (850 mb forecast midnight Saturday night....wow)
The NBC Action Weather Team will continue to track this storm over the weekend. This is unique, right on schedule as we thougt there would be a big storm around the 25th. Amazing! The weather pattern continues to be somewhat fascinating after this passes. As we move into March some strange things may continue to happen. Have a great weekend. This storm will have our attention for the next 36 hours!
Gary Lezak, Jeff Penner, Jeremy Nelson, and Brett Anthony
Posted by at February 23, 2007 8:19 PM
I could be wrong, but hasn't every storm that has hit the KC area gone further south than the models?
A few of them have, and I hope this is one of them. But, not all of them.
Posted by: Brian Kirk at February 23, 2007 8:34 PM
Let's say that we have this strong of a storm 40 days from now. How severe could the weather be with this strong of a storm?
If it is in the exact same spot then it could be wild. But, as we go into March, April, and May the storm systems could end up further north. So, we will have to wait and see.
Posted by: ryan mcmillian at February 23, 2007 8:36 PM
Posted by: Jay at February 23, 2007 8:40 PM
I have been monitoring the blog since I watched your winter forecast back in November. You should link some of your blogs about the LRC and your very accurate forecasting for any doubters to take a look. Either way, good call once again on this storm, I remember reading about a storm on the 25th at least two months ago..anyway, I am heading to Springfield MO tomorrow, should I be concerned about severe weather? I am leaving early, just don't want to get caught in something while driving with a toddler in the car. What do you think?
Thanks! Well, there is a chance, but I just don't think it will be that bad.
Posted by: Jay at February 23, 2007 8:44 PM
gary tornado wathes and blizzard warnings inter twined ????? Man TWC said the same thing you did if the sun shines sat afternoon we might get severe ..... Jerry in the northland
Posted by: jerry at February 23, 2007 8:46 PM
Gary - I'm getting married on the 3rd, will all this "severe" weather be out of here by then? Also, a lot of family are coming down from the Chicago area, driving through IA -- will the storm have moved to their area by then, or will it basically blow itself out here? Thanks!
Posted by: TJ at February 23, 2007 8:53 PM
Gary, looks like some beneficail rain from this storm, any chance of flash flooding? Quite a change from our last few winters, which were almost desert like! It will be very interesting to see where the low tracks as far as snowfall potential. Where else in the country could you get so many different types of weather in such a short time frame, not to mention the short distance between all of them. WOW! I love the midwest! Peace, out. Greg
Posted by: Gre at February 23, 2007 8:57 PM
You are awesome! I never go anywhere without checking the Blog first. I'm looking forward to seeing how this storm turns out. I'm ready for spring storms...just not severe ones :)
Keep up the great work!
Posted by: Monica at February 23, 2007 9:02 PM
Happy "Friday Night in the Big Town!" LOL!
This is such an exciting storm... a little bit of everything! I know you guys don't like severe weather... but I have been sitting here all afternoon/evening watching the t'storms in TX/OK/KS. Man, I can't wait for Spring!! :)
But I know YOUR eyes are on the potential for snow...
Anyway... it looks like freezing rain for us, but once again we have the line going right through our viewing area in SW OH. The northern 1/2 will likely get some significant icing... while the southern 1/2 will get freezing rain changing to rain. I feel like EVERY storm has been this way for us... the North vs. the South. Last time, a bilzzard in the North... and snow changing to sleet in the South...
In other news, Mags misses Shawnee Mission Dog Park to death! We have nothing like that here... so consider yourselves very lucky! I took her running today, but it has been hard lately, as there is still a lot of snow and ice around. Our house is coming along great... it's a lot of work, but worth it. We have this long list of things we want to do... I know we won't ever get to EVERYTHING on it... but I am a list person, so it just feels good to get it down on paper! :)
Well, I hope you have fun tracking this one! :)
Call me next week. It is nice hearing from you!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: Jamie J at February 23, 2007 9:17 PM
G-Man: I'm sold. My skepticism of the LRC has dissipated. You told us at the blogger meeting to expect a storm on or about Jan 10...sure as heck, it hit right on time. I've been waiting to see what would happen around 2/25...well, what do you know...the biggest storm yet and, again, right on time.
You da man.
I'll be awaiting a major severe storm outbreak on or about Good Friday.
I am so glad you are finally convinced. I have a lot more evidence as this years pattern is easy to show. I can't wait to make a new presentation.
Posted by: Craig at February 23, 2007 9:17 PM
What does that mean when you say some strange things could happen as we move into March? I'm hoping for an active spring!
It is already starting that way!
Posted by: Erin at February 23, 2007 9:44 PM
when you say closer to the iowa line could have blizzard conditions. do you mean, like TRENTON closer to the iowa line.. or like maryville closer to iowa line :-)
I noted the HPC has NWMO in a moderate risk for 4+" and a low risk for 8+" and I'm in the low risk for 4+" .. either way, looking very nasty for sunday morning.
I wish I could have concentrated more on this part of the storm. But, this is really dependent on the track of the upper low which we should have a handle on by Saturday. Keep us updated.
Posted by: Glen Briggs at February 23, 2007 9:56 PM
Helo Mr. Lezak, Leavenworth reporting brief period of heavy rain and strong wings. Gusts possibly just over 30mph.
Posted by: Ben Tracy at February 23, 2007 10:24 PM
Gary, isn't this a beautiful storm? Regardless of what happens, we have been awaiting it like a newborn baby for months. In addition, it is so powerful and a thing of beauty on the map.
That said, why do you all use Mercury readings and not mb readings? I notice the maps use mb...so why convert? As you can tell...I am not a inches/Mercury fan.
Second..how can you tell by the surface map about occlusion? I don't see the cold air overrunning the warm..isn't that occlusion? What am I missing?
Third..it went further south, as noted..and may actually pass over Joplin..as scheduled.
This is fun to watch. We will see some strong storms..just don't think they will be severe.
If this passes over Joplin then guess what happens here. I think it will go north of there, but we will see.
The cold air does take over the warmer air. It is actually in the process of doing so right now. One way to see it is to watch the dewpoints get wiped out during the day on Saturday. By the end of the day the low level moisture is sort of forced up above by the more vertically stacked low at that time. It isn't classic though by any means.
Posted by: Scott at February 23, 2007 10:24 PM
Gary..look at the 00z GFS 24 hr. The 700 shows the exact notch of the surface low. Look where its at. Joplin.
Also, look at the 850 - 24 hr.. Still enough warm air coming in, with a nicely defined warm front slicing through MO. This will be a very windy storm. I see some progged mb around 977-980mb. Strong Cat 1, weak Cat 2.
I see. The amazing thing about this storm on the latest data is that it is south of Wichita, KS by noon, but for some reason every models takes it north to northeast. If it would just move northeast like most storm systems do then we are in great shape for a snowstorm. No one is predicting it, but you know how I leave that door open.
Posted by: Scott at February 23, 2007 11:03 PM
Good Evening Weather Team!!! Sitting at about 55 with gusty south winds-very late Aprilish type evening out tonight!!!! I hope you got some rest the last couple of days..good luck with this incredible (in all facets of the word) storm that is now getting its act together!!! There is no doubt who will have the best analysis and forecasts!!!!
Man-where do you start-looking at the NWS site map: tornado watches and Blizzard watches in the smae place-blizzard warnings in western Kansas-Winter Storm Watches just to the NW of Topeka-the water vapor satelite is just blowing up over central Kansas-we have a dew point of 28 here-in central Kansas the dew point is 58-Goodland Kansas is already sitting in the upper 30's and surface observations show the cold air comming down behind the surface low-and the 0z GFS took the 850 low south of us and gives us a lttle more snow potential (I think???)-wow wow wow-what a powerhouse-I think the satelite pick of this will be used in text books when all is said and done-this will be quite the visual tomorrow afternoon on satelite-man what a storm!!!
Have a great night and again good luck and I hope each of you can get some kind of rest tonight-This is for sure a big one for the plains-I hope folks in western Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa have made preperations. Still holding out hope we luck into one decent band of snow on Sunday-0z GFS is kind of encouraging... (hopefully no severe weather-one tornado and a microburst both in 3 years span of time is enough severe weather for me!!!) Have a great night!!
Bill in awe of mother nature as always in Lawrence
Yes, this will be impressive on Satellite movies as it spins like a top on Saturday and Sunday. Will spring or winter win out in this battle?
Posted by: Bill Gollier at February 23, 2007 11:34 PM
Do you think theres any chance of the low moving far enough south for us to get alot of snow? I want to get 1 more big snowstorm before winter is over.
It is close. So, a bit further south and we could be in the snow late Saturday night. We may have a better idea on Saturday morning.
Posted by: John at February 23, 2007 11:35 PM
Gary, I'm in Central Kansas and saw something that is one of the crazier things I've ever seen in weather this time of year and I've seen alot of strange weather over my life. I was watching the weather out here and we had tornado warnings for around Dodge City going on at the same time as a Blizzard warning! I think that is truly incredible and its why I love the midwest and our crazy weather!
This is a rare storm. Amazing how I was able to show the Blizzard and Tornado watches in the same counties.
Posted by: Jon at February 23, 2007 11:46 PM
Jamie! Nice to hear from her.
This is how I remember KS weather. Unpredictable. No offense to you all. Good times. I'm an airmchair meteorologist, but I'm thinking less severe weather and more snow out of this deal.
Posted by: hank at February 23, 2007 11:50 PM
First lightning bolt of the year seen here at 115th and Holmes Rd in South KC, MO 10 til 1 AM. No thunder yet but I bet its coming soon as i'm watching the radar. It's amazing that the temperature is about 50 degrees but the dewpoints are in the 20s and still we are seeing storms! I'm reved up for this one weather team!
The first round of storms came through this morning as you know. We should see more by late morning or into the afternoon.
Posted by: Jonathan Katz at February 24, 2007 12:58 AM
We had pea sized hail with a thunderstorm 12:45 am in leavenworth
Great name! Anyways, thanks for reporting the storm and conditions!
Posted by: Jeremy McWhirt at February 24, 2007 1:06 AM
A quick update. It's just after 1:00am here in Leavenworth. We were awoken by a strong thunderstorm with pea size hail. Not much wind with this one. We'll definately be keeping watch for more today.
Thanks for the report. All of the storms this morning has been below severe levels...by a lot!
Just some good rains and thunder.
Posted by: Janine at February 24, 2007 1:22 AM
Gary and the Weather Team:
Good rainy morning to all of you!!! I hope you got some rest last night!!! Sitting at about 44 degrees with moderate rain-it is a great rain-we needed it bad here in Douglas County-it ran somewhat so we should get some water in the lakes and ponds which is very good news!!!!
It appears to me that if you take the 0z and 06z models together, that this storm is beginning to trend further south-the 06Z NAM is much further south with the ULL and the 06Z GFS is further south but now has the 850 going back over the top of us back North compared to the 0z. The RUC on the 21Z Data had the ULL in central Oklahoma-it looks like all the models show it digging into oklahoma and makeing to central Oklahoma before heading North North East-GFS much more North than the NAM. Surface observations show the surface low over Colby? with cold air filtering down-behind-satelite shows the dry slot in central Kansas and I think the ULL is just now froming in New Mexico??
Both NAM and GFS look to increase the back side qpf here-it looks to me (and again, I am just a Hobbyist so many caveats here) like this stormm is about to throw us a twist and that later tonight into early tomorrow morning could be interesting. There are big difference between the GFS and NAM currently (I think??)-this is going to be quite fascinating to watch develop and see where it eventually goes. No matter what, the strom is here-we have recieved very beneficial rain-more to the point: the LRC Rocks!!!!!
Bill canoeing down my street in Lawrence!!
Thanks for checking in! This is a crazy storm. Blizzard conditions possible in central Kansas and a small threat of severe weather in eastern Kansas. If you have a barometer the pressure will be close to 29.00" this evening!
Posted by: Bill Gollier at February 24, 2007 6:22 AM
Sorry, but I just saw the NWS warnings and wow-a blizzard warning as close as Concordia and Clay Center-closest I have ever seen a blizzard warning!!! I wonder when was the last time the NWS out of Topeka issued a blizzard warning?? I asked them once and never heard back-oh well, just kind of interesting to have one that close-man are we close...
Bill if I ever had a blizzard warning just lock me in a room in Lawrence
The 6Z data has the storm just a bit farther south. If you are looking for snow this is slightly better news. I'm still looking for around a slushy inch in the metro area. Probably 2-5" north of St. Joe where there are Snow & Blowing Snow Advisories.
Posted by: Bill Gollier at February 24, 2007 6:34 AM
Wow, woke up early this morning with some the nice sound of thunder and lightning that lit up the room.. ahhh, I can't wait for spring now.. :)
Some nice rains this morning and a few rumbles of thunder to give everyone hope spring is close!
Posted by: Dave C. at February 24, 2007 6:46 AM
Gary, I really like the watch and warning part of ESP. It will really come in useful as we get further into the severe weather season. Mark
Look for more new things with ESP as we head into severe weather season!
Posted by: Mark at February 24, 2007 7:35 AM
Had a nice THUNDERSTORM late last night and now it is raining with strong SE winds. The Storm is here!!!
Nick in (rainwhipped) St. Joe!!
Thanks for the update. If you have a rain total pass that along later today.
More wind and rain are in your future...followed by snow!
Posted by: Nick Rau at February 24, 2007 7:58 AM
Good morning. I noticed that the SPC has us in a five-percent chance for tornadoes today. However, it seems like it is an isolated area. Is that because of the potential dry slot? Is the SPC expecting the air to heat up today?
The SPC is counting on us seeing some sunshine today. As Gary mentioned in the blog the latest high resolution computer model keeps it cloudy in the metro area today. Areas around Emporia(SW of KC) may see some sun and there will also be a warm front near them. This would lead to a higher likelihood of severe storms. So our thinking still remains that the chance of severe wx remains very small in the metro.
Posted by: Matt P at February 24, 2007 8:19 AM
You won't need a lot of sunshine today. With a cold core coming over the top, you'll have impressive lapse rates as is. The narrow tongue of moisture that is wrapping around is enough to have some low topped supercells form in a highly sheared environment. I wouldn't write off the severe weather yet. And when it does happen, it will be funny to see how you guys "got it right."
Yes, you will need sunshine. Thunderstorms have formed in the sunshine to our southwest and we have to watch them closely. As they approach Kansas City they will have to fall apart as we are just too cool. But, to the southwest they may produce some severe weather. This is where we thought there was a slight chance.
Posted by: Chaser at February 24, 2007 11:55 AM
1/8" hail in Bonner Springs at 4:55pm. Lasted about 1min.
Posted by: Jeff Cole at February 24, 2007 5:01 PM