© 2019 Terry Swails

LIKE TRAINS ON A TRACK...

March 17, 2020

It's that time of year when the warmth of spring wrestles with the remnants of winter for control of the Midwest's weather. We're usually in the middle and that's often a volatile place with frequent and energetic storms. Such is the case the rest of this month so be aware, the Ides of March are on the loose.

 

The next system has left the station and will arrive with rain Tuesday night and that looks to last into Wednesday afternoon. Once that departs another wave quickly follows bringing rain back to the area later Wednesday night and much of Thursday. 

 

The double barreled disturbances will have lots of moisture and a strong baroclinic boundary to work with.and that's a recipe for healthy rains. Here's the available water vapor (PWAT's) for rainfall.

That's 300-350 percent above normal for mid-March.

You also have a stout thermal boundary draped out near I-80 that creates a long period of forcing and potential rainfall that's capable of producing thunderstorms. Look at the temperature contrast Thursday on the EURO.

The instability is sufficient to produce CAPE, convective available potential energy, a key component of thunderstorm development. It's not extreme but decent for mid-March.

That finally gets us to the nut which is the amount of rain. The EURO has this for totals.

 The EURO is showing a split in the rains with the first system going SE and the second to the NW. 

 The Weather Prediction Center has a broad portion of the Midwest with 1-2" totals for the two systems combined.

There are several more disturbances in the overall SW flow that looks to be around for much of the remainder of March. (trains on a track) That should lead to above normal precipitation and the GFS shows generous amounts the next 16 days.

 Enjoy the relative quiet of Tuesday, the rain machine gets fired up again Tuesday night. Roll weather...TS

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