Friday, March 02, 2012

Friday Severe Storms to Sunday Snow!

We haven't had much of a winter so our awareness of early spring warmth and storms doesn't seems as heightened. This is the time of year where we see huge day to day variations--often times hour to hour--as the winter time jet stream is weakening at the same time the southern jet stream is pushing north.  The southern branch--abnormally strong this winter--is still flexing its muscle with early season severe weather. As the angle of the sunshine shifts north across the Northern Hemisphere as the seasons change, the temperatures differences along warm and cold fronts becomes greater. Even in a mild winter like this year, the southern jet--a bigger player this winter--becomes the focal point for even more atmospheric energy. All of this means severe weather outbreaks will get more numerous.

Here is the current Ohio Valley radar...Ohio Valley Radar

Speaking of severe weather. another outbreak is likely later today as another strong spring-like system will push through Kentucky and Ohio. This system will be stronger than the Wednesday's. Here is the setup:

The warm front will push northeast later this afternoon...

Moisture will increase...the humidity will be noticably higher by mid-afternoon

Air become easier to lift higher in the sky resulting in rapidly building thunderstorms. This is called "The Lifted Index"
The speed at which the air is moving up into the atmosphere will be great at the mid-levels (12,000 feet)
The jet energy as mentioned before is high with the left-front quadrant of the jet moving into western Ohio
Temps rise along the warm front...then drop quickly behind it later tonight...
60+ degree temps late this afternoon
30s late this evening behind the cold front
The composite radars of three computer projections show rain/storms mid to late your eye on northeastern Ohio to get a reference point.

All of these factors have resulted in the Storm Prediction Center placing Ohio under a decent risk for severe weather later today. High wind watch tonight and Saturday with gusts to 50+ followed by snow late Saturday night into Sunday! A little bit of everything over the next 48 hours!

I'll update you through noon. Angelica and Dick will update you later this afternoon and evening!

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