First Good Midwest Chase on The Way?

Im sure you have all been watching the BIG pattern change advertised by the models.. Im sure you have also noted the strong trough to develop...

Well... I for one am beginning to get anxious, as I have been watching the models bring a strong springlike early season storm through the midwest. It will be a big weather maker. But the question is... What precip type?? If the low would track far enough north to expose most of us to the warm sector, we could really see a good chase day or two.

Dont want this to be treated a a FCST thread YET.. But I am wondering if anyone has experience with these early season storms.. Also, if anyone has had experience in these type of storms that bring a severe weather threat then transition to heavy snow.. as this system has the potential to do just that... I just want to know how often these storms really produce.


Do think a FCST thread will be needed.. But want to wait a touch. Probable tonight or tommorow sometime. Get 1 or two more runs
 
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I'm probably going to be up north in the western UP of MI during this event... So, either I'll miss a big squall line event down state from MI to the Gulf, or I'll be in the heart of a blizzard or ice storm. It will play out rather simple... If I stay downstate, the SVR will be a bust (shear too high, instability too weak), and if I go up north, the blizzard/ice will be a bust. I can never have my cake and eat it.
 
Look out the window. I wouldn't get my hopes up if you are hoping for a local event Brandon, as you are probably very well aware that most of nothern 2/3rds of the state of Illinois are under upwards of 10-20 inches of snow right now. I don't think there is much chance that is going to melt away in the next week, especially since we aren't forecasted to get much above 40F. With a snowcover on the ground you can pretty much forget about any chance at those advertised 60F temps, and much chance for thunder. Odds are things will be pushed further south by the snow cooled air.

That said, it IS nice to see the patterns changing, and even if we don't see 60 degree temperatures, a warm up of some type will likely occur and we can maybe start putting a dent in the snow pack so we are ready when the real deal comes.

People are too quick to get too excited this time of year. Remember, it's February. This kind of thing happens every year.. you just have to wait it out for the good stuff. That's not to say there won't be severe weather somewhere next weekend with the system, I'm not denying the fact that the system could exist, but expecting something big this far north might be jumping the gun at this point.

That said, if we do somehow see an extended period of 40-50 degree temperatures this week and manage to get rid of most of the snow, I will open my mind to the possibility of a fast moving squall line. Even just seeing a good rain to wash all the salt away will be nice. Might actually be more concerned with a flooding event than severe weather with the melting of the massive snow pack and then the heavy rains with this system. Eh, much to ponder.
 
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The strong warm air advection off the surface might not care a whole hell of a lot about the snow cover. The depth of the cold air could be pretty thin in some areas that still have snow on the ground. I keep wondering what could happen in the southern fringes of that snow cover. Perhaps some fognadoes/snownadoes?
 
It really would be very interesting to see this storm system come flying in over the erroding snowcover and create some sort of severe outbreak. Personally I'm not sure if I've ever seen that happen, but I don't think it's impossible if you have an unusually strong storm system.

With that being said, the latest GFS does trend the surface low a bit further south than previous runs. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues.
 
Guys, please stop destroying my dreams! :)

I have 3-5 days to make a decision as to whether or not I should go up north for one of those "family get-togethers". The GFS isn't helping any by pushing the track around 250 miles with each run... GFS is looking pretty good for the MS Valley and parts of the Great Lakes, but am I willing to stay home while everyone else has fun, just to experience the typical Great Lakes bust? Or should I head north and experience a 980MB low as it passes over with possible blizzard conditions?

There's such a wide range of possibilities; Southern MI could be looking at nothing, a blizzard, an ice storm, a flood event, or an outbreak of severe thunderstorms (non-event/flooding being of a higher probability). If I go north, the choices are; blizzard, ice storm, wind storm, or heavy rain event. Once I commit, I'm stuck.

My mind is smoking right now... hopefully I can make the right decision lol
 
Amongst all the talk of severe weather farther south, I think one issue that could be a major player come next weekend in this area is flooding. I know here in E NE we still have decent snow cover, much melting will occur this week however if we were to see much rain in this area I think we could have some major river issues. One, the melting occurring this week will certainly add to river levels also the frozen and saturated ground will allow any rain that falls to run off. Two, the extreme cold over the past month has certainly created some very thick ice on area rivers (most notably the Platte). If one were to combine melting snow with heavy rain and unusually thick ice on a river already extremely prone to ice jams there may be some issues to be had. Only reason I think of this is b/c my grandparents have a house along the platte protected by a dike, I remember when I was younger an ice jam broke the dike and the scene was unbelievable the river on the bottom side of the jam was insane chuncks of ice the size of trailer homes taking out anything in their path the water and ice cleared an entire area of timber and created new channels and even formed a couple of small lakes for those really into photography it is certinly something you would enjoy.
 
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If it makes you feel any better Rob I will probably have to chase the severe side near the sfc low, then chase the blizzard as well. It looks like the two areas around these parts might not be all that far apart. I'd like to be able to beat the snow home if it winds up like it looks now.
 
The strong warm air advection off the surface might not care a whole hell of a lot about the snow cover.

I strongly agree... though I've never witnessed this firsthand to see what really happens in these dramatic cases. Assuming the models have any clue, it should be interesting come Saturday when BL dewpoints in the 40s and 50s Fahrenheit advect northward on the strong LLJ to areas where snowpack is still present. Stranger things have happened. I wonder if there was any snow on the ground in southern WI during the 01/24/67 outbreak.
 
If it makes you feel any better Rob I will probably have to chase the severe side near the sfc low, then chase the blizzard as well. It looks like the two areas around these parts might not be all that far apart. I'd like to be able to beat the snow home if it winds up like it looks now.
Mike, the blizzard might be more interesting. 12Z GFS outputs about 18" of snow across northeast Nebraska. That's a wallop of snow. It's also important to point out, the 12Z GFS ensemble from today has a wide spread among its members. But, there is excellent continuity with the 12Z EC. I'd say this system will certainly get a lot of chat this week.
 
GFS does take the system further south.. but look how negatively tilted this system is!!! it is soo tilted.. that our temp progs are warmer than the 0z run, even with the southern track. wow.. this could be good.. DVN just upped our FCST temps.. so im hoping this snow melts.!!
 
Models are forecasting near 60 deg surface temps by saturday here in marion illinois. If good instibility develops, sups could be the general rule initially. Sounds like it COULD be a great chase day for us from bootheel of Semo-So. Illinois. Still very early but, excited about the early season possibilities.....
Kevin
 
It really would be very interesting to see this storm system come flying in over the erroding snowcover and create some sort of severe outbreak. Personally I'm not sure if I've ever seen that happen, but I don't think it's impossible if you have an unusually strong storm system.

Back on February 11, 1999 we had a severe squall line with 50-60 mph gusts and thunder with a minimal snowpack on the ground. If I recall, the squall line stretched for hundreds of miles. It made it to a ridiculous 58 for a high with the dewpoints reaching 55-57. It was foggy until just before the squall hit. As an aside, every high that February was in the 30's or higher here (11 in the 40's or 50's) except for the massive CAA high of 23 on the 12th. Whereas this February I haven't had a high in the 30's yet. Ah now THAT was a February! :p
 
In regards to the ongoing forecast discussion for the potential severe weather event this coming weekend, I've posted here to adhere to ST rules, as these are simply responses and nothing more to add to the scientific side of the forecast...

Mike Hollinghead wrote:
We had systems to even kick out last year? LOL. They all kicked out the same? Guess I don't get how it can mirror a year as a whole. I guess I never thought of the problem being the speed they were kicking out.

Meaning... almost like the early season systems of last year, and yes, there were a few I recall over the Ohio/TN Valleys and Southeastern US. Speed meaning... the storms racing off so fast, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to chase them. IF this did verify, it looks to me like the storms would have the potential for ground speeds in excess of 50mph!

Chase terrain. Since when is KS bad chase terrain?

Never said KS was bad chase terrain, never said that at all. I just wouldn't count on KS as the primary target for THIS event. I'd say more along the lines of MO/AR/LA/MS/TN/AL.

It's going to be nocturnal? I thought it was too far out? To me it looks like it has much more potential to be an early event(like noon).

Still thinking along the lines of stratus keeping daytime heating at a minimum, until LLJ kicks in later in the event. And I'm also thinking that ongoing convection from late Friday will just keep going through much of the day Saturday, limiting the potential for "isolated" activity. The way I'm thinking now, I would think the potential for more isolated and at least some slower-moving activity might be confined to the LA/MS/AL coast.

The gulf may have had a recent frontal passage but you have a decent tropical connection there, in advance of the system.

On this, we agree. Except my point is, with that type of screaming moisture over-running dormant vegetation and still somewhat cool/moist surface (ground), status formation is always an issue to consider. To make it even more complex, this could also lead to an extensive area of dense fog which may take some time to erode.

There's no issue on this as to whether or not I'd like to see it happen, it's only my difference of opinion on the forecast, nothing more. While I will say, I certainly do not wish for an outbreak of devastation and tragedy! It's forecasts like this that make me miss being back in Oklahoma, but it's still fun to watch the event unfold and anxiously await everyone's reports! It's not intended in any ill manner towards those who are hoping to chase at all. My wishes are that everyone has a safe and enjoyable early chase. But in my humble opinion, my thoughts are leaning towards a much more conservative approach with this forecast at this time. Come Thursday, that could all change. These are just a few things I wanted to point out that are strictly just my opinion, nothing more.
 
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It just seems some that can't chase can come up with nothing but negative crap, even when most of what the current models indicate is positive. While it can be the opposite the other way around too, it seems at least those that are overly positive often will include the negative aspects, if they are there.

It sure as hell looks like crap now on the latest gfs lol...and fast and in crappy territory.

My guess, come the actual day...it will be in central KS.
 
Actually it doesn't have to look like crap moving that far east..and maybe the territory doesn't have to suck....and it could still be early enough. Hope is slowly coming back. If only IL would get rid of the darn snow.
 
I can recall growing up in Kentucky, when all the storms were in Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska, and now after living in Oklahoma the past 15 years, then it seemed like outbreaks were hard to come by in the southern plains.

It sure would be nice if things would return to their "normals," whatever that is anymore? If this does verify, it will be a WHALE of a way to kick off the 2007 storm season! It figures, I move to WA and now look out central and southern plains! (sigh)
 
The strong warm air advection off the surface might not care a whole hell of a lot about the snow cover. The depth of the cold air could be pretty thin in some areas that still have snow on the ground. I keep wondering what could happen in the southern fringes of that snow cover. Perhaps some fognadoes/snownadoes?

When strong warm air advection hits a snowfield a couple of changes occur. First, fog and very low stratus clouds.....also the wind tends to back (become more easterly and generally slows. Although that might not happen in this case because it's so close to a strong surface low. On occasion when the jet flow is aligned close to the pattern of the snow it can produce a warm frontal boundary. Additionally, very cold and damp ground where snow had recently melted will act about the same as snow covered ground. As for snownadoes - if you photograph one you won't be the first. One was captured at Perryton TX in the 1940's as the funnel moved across a snow field and turned white. I saw the old black and white image of the tornado published in a weather book, although it was dark at the time of the shot.....might be in Significant-Tornadoes also.

I like the second system that follows although this first one quickly gains winter characteristics and that may mess up number two coming across Oklahoma.

Gene Moore
 
Sometimes stratus is not a bad thing. Many outbreaks I've noticed thick cloudcover over the warm sector. Perhaps this keeps winds backed and prevents the dewpoints from mixing out. Now, if rather than stratus, it was junk convection blocking moisture transport further north, then I agree, it would be detrimental to severe wx possibilities.

In strong, dynamic wintertime setups such as this one, moisture and dynamics are far more important than instability. Not saying instability isn't important, but extensive cloudcover could be an advantage, as long as it breaks off right before the main show begins.

I still believe this has serious potential for a major outbreak. Plains late on the 23rd, Miss. R. Valley on the 24th.

As for a possible second system, I strongly believe that tonight's GFS run is flawed and the second system will remain weak, suppressed by the first system.
 
Guys, please stop destroying my dreams! :)

I have 3-5 days to make a decision as to whether or not I should go up north for one of those "family get-togethers". The GFS isn't helping any by pushing the track around 250 miles with each run... GFS is looking pretty good for the MS Valley and parts of the Great Lakes, but am I willing to stay home while everyone else has fun, just to experience the typical Great Lakes bust? Or should I head north and experience a 980MB low as it passes over with possible blizzard conditions?

There's such a wide range of possibilities; Southern MI could be looking at nothing, a blizzard, an ice storm, a flood event, or an outbreak of severe thunderstorms (non-event/flooding being of a higher probability). If I go north, the choices are; blizzard, ice storm, wind storm, or heavy rain event. Once I commit, I'm stuck.

My mind is smoking right now... hopefully I can make the right decision lol

I say stick with the GL bust, at least you know you are going to bust so it will not be all that bad. :D
 
I like the second system that follows although this first one quickly gains winter characteristics and that may mess up number two coming across Oklahoma.

Gene Moore

I think what Gene says here is important. Looking out into wonderland on the GFS shows another pacific trough setting up directly behind this weekend's potential. While it's so far out right now........glancing at the GFS screams one thing to me - just look at those 70+Tds hanging out in the central Gulf - just waiting for us. Perhaps one of these early spring systems can tap that real, deep moisture - then it'd be look out Midwest!

Seriosuly though - I think all of this optimistic forecasting for the first semi-chaseable genuine severe event of the year is perfectly normal. People WANT to forecast for something exciting as much as they want to chase it. Let's just all get along and try and understand that everybody's just more than a little bit excited about this upcoming system - after all, it heralds spring!! :)

For me.......it's time to go to work. But I'll be looking out lens tissue in the evenings, dusting off my SLR and thawing out some film. It's what the beginning of the season's all about!!! :D

KL
 
It'll be interesting to see the reaction in the forecast thread when GFS pulls the maneuver it's been pulling since last spring, of the system dropping off the map almost entirely on the morning run 3 days out! ;)

(This is one I'd be glad to be wrong about...and there does appear to be some pretty good agreement with other models -- still, if GFS plays true to form, the reaction will be interesting to see..)
 
A slight threadjack to speak of the southern end of this system, as posited here: I will be leaving north Alabama on Saturday, the day the system is progged to arrive here, to work outdoors at New Smyrna Beach, Florida on Sunday, the day the system is due to arrive there. Besides the potential of being put out of a job on Sunday, all my chase opportunity for this system will be of a chance-intercept nature. Frustrating...
 
I'm loving that 18z gfs today. I hope that is the end of its slowing, if it settles into something like it shows now.
 
As a friendly reminder, members are encouraged to post in the relevant FCST threads when making forecasts. Specific forecasts are not allowed in Weather and Chasing, but we do allow "long-term" forecasts (generally >7 days) since details and specifics are often impossible to determine at that timeframe (i.e. we allow the "pattern change coming in a couple of weeks?"-type of thread). Casual conversation about the general pattern change is okay in the medium and long term, but all are encouraged to post their forecast thoughts in the relevant FCST thread. :)

2/23/07 FCST: OK / TX
[URL="http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/showthread.php?t=11081"]2/24/07 FCST: OH/KY/TN/IA/KS/MO/TX/LA/OK/IL/AR[/url]
 
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