I am expecting that Jefferson county will be placed in a Tornado Watch between 4-6 pm today. Current thoughts are that we will see a surge of warm moist air entering the County this afternoon ahead of a significant cold front. To give a reference on this we should see around a 40 degree temperature swing from our afternoon high to our evening low. It appears that we will have all the necessary elements to generate supercell thunderstorms in place in and around Jefferson County. Think about your tornado safety plans today and pay very close attention to the weather this afternoon.
Below is the current NWS weather story.
The Storm Prediction Center has placed us in a moderate risk area for this afternoon.
This is the tornado risk graphic.
This is the large hail risk graphic.
Below is the graphic from a software package that I’m currently testing. It is designed to identify severe and tornadic thunderstorms for storm spotters.
This is the model run for 7pm tonight. The lines in the back ground are the surface air temperatures. The green and tan areas are the dewpoint. The brighter bulls eyes are basically suspected areas of severe weather. What I’m looking for here is the increased threat of supercells near the frontal boundary as indicated by the wind barbs. This software is giving all indications that the primary area of severe weather around 7pm will be right around Jefferson County.
All signs are pointing to dangerous weather in Jefferson County this evening. Be Prepared!
The NWS has placed Jefferson County in a Tornado Watch until 9pm. Below is the current graphic from the Storm Prediction Center.
We are still looking at the potential for strong thunderstorms to develop in the area later this afternoon. The red shaded area of the graphic is where I am expecting the cells to develop. Once the cells develop they should move to the Northeast rapidly. Large hail and damaging winds are still the greatest threats, but with the winds, there is a chance that the cells could become tornadic.
Below is the current hail probability graphic.
Here is the current damaging wind probability graphic.
There is a slight chance for severe weather to develop in Jefferson county this afternoon. I’m expecting thunderstorms to develop between 3pm and 8pm in and around the County. Wind and hail will be the primary threats associated with these storms.
In addition the fire danger index is in the high category. This combined with the weather system and wind direction change forecasted, open burning is highly discourage this afternoon in the County.
The first severe weather threat for Jefferson County is upon us. This afternoon we should see a warm front surge northward towards Jefferson County. It appears that the warm front will not advance to Jefferson County. I’m expecting storms to initiate south of us around the Wichita – Emporia area and carry into Jefferson County. There is abundant moisture in place to fuel these storms, but the colder temperatures in the County should limit most of the severe potential here. The colder temperatures may add to the potential of significant hail though and I see that as the primary threat to the County from this system. I still feel that we are on the outside looking in on this threat, but the potential is there and I need to pass it on.
Below is the current weather story graphic from the Pleasant Hill (KC) National Weather Service Office.
Here is the current weather story graphic from the Topeka NWS office.
Below is the hail probability graphic from the Storm Prediction Center. The significant hail threat is dangerously close to the county.
Here is a snapshot from one of the composite models to give an idea of what this system is expected to look like around 6pm.
We will need to watch the end of this system closely as there is a potential for freezing rain and snow on the backside of this, which may impact us early Monday morning.
The snow has been falling steady all evening in Jefferson County. I measured here at the office at 8:30pm and we had 6.5″ of snow. Here is a picture of the measurement.It looks like we will see one more heavy band of snow in the County before it finally tapers off. Final snowfall amounts will far exceed initial forecasts.This can be primarily contributed to the convective (thundersnow) nature of this system. The easiest way to explain this is to compare rainfall amounts and rates between a normal rain and a thunderstorm rain. This same type of effect basically caused extreme snowfall rates in the 2 inch per hour range.
The primary line of this system is passing through Jefferson County now. We should start transitioning to a snow event as the backside of the system passes through the County. The current thought is that the snow bands should fill in as the afternoon progresses.
The mixed precipitation falling in Jefferson County has created a situation where roads are extremely slick and travel is becoming hazardous in the County. Multiple automobile accidents are currently being responded to in Jefferson County.
I have been watching the weather develop all morning here in Jefferson County and it looks like the conditions are going to continue to deteriorate. The current surface temperatures are hovering just above freezing and should drop through out the rest of the day. Roads are getting slushy as of now and will start to freeze solid this afternoon. Precipitation looks to continue to be mixed until later in the day today. Snow fall projections will be very spotty depending on precipitation type and I expect to see a significant swing in amounts from the North to the South with the Northern part of the county receiving more snow than the South.
The weather talk scheduled in McLouth on February 24th, 2011 has been postponed due to the weather forecast.
It has been rescheduled to March 31st at 7pm. The class will still be at the McLouth High School. Sorry for the inconvenience.
It looks like we have the potential for more winter weather in Jefferson County on Thursday, February 24th.
We should see a gradual warming ahead of a cold front that is expected to arrive in Jefferson County later in the day on Thursday.We should have moisture in place ahead of the cold front and we should see rain transition to freezing rain and then it should change over to snow. Snow accumulations look to only be around 1 inch or so and that doesn’t concern me. My primary concern at this time, on this system, is the freezing rain potential during the commute home. I don’t think the freezing rain will last too long before transitioning to snow, it is mainly just the timing of the freezing rain that has my attention.
Pay attention to the weather forecasts for Thursday and adjust your schedule accordingly.