May 2, 2013
The Storm Report Blog For April 29 – May 3, 2013
The below image is just one weather model that is used when we look at making forecast; this model that you see above is called the GFS. The green color on this map is precipitation. To help us determine the type of precipitation, we need to look at that closed dashed blue circle around Iowa and Missouri; that is called a thickness line. That 540 thickness line is just one rule used when looking at weather forecasting of precipitation, but the 540 thickness line tells us that the air above is cold enough for snow usually if away from a coastal city.
So, there is a rumor flying around the streets this morning and it has been for about three days now. Let’s take a look at what this rumor is about. As you drive around in the northern part of the United States, you will probably see signs that say “snow for sale” after this late week storm passes through the area.
It’s SNOW!! There is a powerful low pressure area that is going to come out of Texas and Oklahoma later this week and get stuck. This low pressure will then become a cut off low. Once the low becomes cut off it means that it will get stuck. The reason this low is going to get stuck is a very strong area of high pressure is going to setup over the east coast and act like a road block to this storm.
What does that mean? Well, in simple terms, there are going to be multiple impacts felt from snow on the west side of the low, to very heavy rainfall along the eastern side of the low. There will also be some severe weather towards the Gulf of Mexico.
How much snow is the question of the day. There will be places in eastern Iowa that could see upwards to six inches or more. But it’s very important to remember that now is May, so most of this snow will melt once it hits the ground. Right now there is even the chance of seeing some snow as far south as Tennessee and Oklahoma; that would be rare for May. There will also be snow up around the Great Lakes region and possibly as far west as the eastern Dakota’s.
Rain will also accompany this storm and places in Ohio and Indiana, along with parts of Kentucky and the Mid-Atlantic region, could see upwards to one to two inches of rainfall. This will lead to flooding issues, especially in Ohio and Indiana.
Did you say severe weather? Yes, that is right severe weather will also be with this storm. There could be some tornadoes in the south along the Gulf Coast states and wind damage will be present with these storms that pass through the area.
So, if you live in Iowa, go ahead and pull out the snow blower again and make sure it’s ready to roll as you will need it.
2013 will go down in the record books as a very interesting spring. Now speculation is out there that this is just another part of the “Cold Cycle” of our climate that is setting up and we may have only begun to see this type of weather. This next winter may be just as rough, depending on the ENSO cycle.
I will have the winter outlook later this summer, once I see what the ENSO cycle is going to do.
Featured Image Credit: Photos.com