March is known for its weather madness here in the Midwest. Gusty winds and fluctuating temperatures are two elements that make regular visits. On the satellite late Wednesday night you can see a disturbance in the northern Plains making a beeline for the region.
This thing will be accompanied by a rapid pressure rises as it passes Thursday that will turn it into a formidable wind machine. Before that happens a few showers are possible in the morning especially north of HWY 30.
Here's the tight pressure gradient between a 1030mb high and a 1006mb surface low that will drive the winds.
The deep and digging trough at 500mb will send two fronts through the area. That's a nice little bowling ball. Scattered showers are also possible with the first front early in the day up north.
The second front really gets the wind machine cranking in the afternoon as strong cold air advection increases mixing and enables gusts of 35-45 mph...possibly even 50 in a few spots.
The NWS put this statement out regarding the potential.
Wind Advisories are out for the SW half of my area and a large portion of Iowa. You can also see a fire weather watch is out for my southern counties in Iowa south of I-80
In southern Iowa relative humidity levels are expected to be as low as 20-30 percent. That along with recent dry weather and dead vegetation will combine with the strong winds to create the fire threat.
Winds will quickly relax Thursday night as the atmosphere decouples around sunset. Then seasonally cool but dry air settles in for Friday. And when I say dry air I mean it with available water vapor only around 0.15".
The winds of change return for the weekend as a stout southwest flow develops That does two things. First and foremost it brings moisture back to the Midwest that increases water vapor levels more than an inch by Monday!
As the moisture levels start growing so do temperatures and the weekend will be a nice one. Readings will go from 55-60 Saturday to 60-65 Sunday. The EURO has this for highs Sunday.
Finally with the warm air and moisture in place a front arrives Monday and so does rain chances. Some places are likely to see the largest precipitation totals in more than a month. This is what the EURO shows for totals. A lot of spots in my area have the potential to see 4 to 5 tenths of an inch. That actually wouldn't be a bad thing.
Behind the system readings will cool a bit for a couple days early next week before the next burst of warm air arrives for next weekend. Some models such as the EURO get the 70 degree line as far north as I-80. Bring it on! If it's not going to snow it might as well be 80. Roll weather...TS
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We are pleased to announce that we are offering a new edition of Weather School called Severe Weather 101 for Saturday April 4th. We have devoted the entire afternoon to the formation of severe storms with a strong emphasis on tornadoes. We'll do some simulations and take you inside several classic historic tornado outbreaks that have impacted Iowa and Illinois. I think you'll be really pleased with the sessions. We hope you can join us for all things severe weather! For all the details click on the banner below or contact Carolynswettston@yahoo.com