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KINDER AND GENTLER THANK YOU...

St Patrick's Day 2021 certainly won't be remembered for its fine weather! A thick canopy of clouds was accompanied by drizzle and showers, especially over the southeast half of the area. Toss in a stiff northeast wind and temperatures in the 30s and it was a pretty miserable day. Here's the satellite Wednesday night showing clouds and unsettled weather covering much of the country.

At jet stream level, a vigorous cut-off low known as a bowling ball is plowing across northern Arkansas. That's the energy that created the poor conditions.

It was also responsible for a high risk severe weather outlook in the deep south. High risk days are rare and only issued when severe weather parameters are maxed out.

You can also see this fits severe weather climatology indicating La Nina springs, (such as we're in this year), enhance and increase the number of severe weather events, especially across the south.

In Wednesday's case, violent long tracked tornadoes were anticipated. SPC issued a number of PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) tornado watches. These are also few and far between and are associated with extreme levels of shear and instability. As far as I know, despite 21 reports of tornadoes at the time of this post, so far no deaths and minimal reports of damage. Considering the high potential, that's about as good as you could hope for. Lets hope it stays that way as PDS tornado watches remain in effect well into the night.


My area, on the north fringe of the system will still feel some impacts from it Thursday as it gradually pulls east. Showers, which are still falling in my far southern counties, will gradually end in most areas by mid-morning. If all goes well, the day will end with clearing skies as drier air arrives on brisk NE winds. Speaking of wind, gusts of 35-40 will make for another cool day but highs are expected to reach the 40s, a good 10 degrees above what we saw yesterday. A step in the right direction.


Now for some good news. Slowly but surely the weather pattern will improve as the weekend unfolds. The simple addition of sunshine, (something we have not enjoyed in many days) will warm readings close to 50 Friday. On Saturday, as winds return to the south temperatures are expected to warm further and we should be well into the 50s before going over the 60 degree threshold Sunday! You can see the more seasonal brand of temperatures on the 10 day EURO meteogram below.

As far as storms go, the next one does not arrive until Monday night of next week. That means a decent window to dry out once the showers end in the south later this morning. This is what the EURO shows for rain through next Monday.

So, with nothing more to say I will end this with a special birthday wish to my dad, Arnold "Boo" Swails. Here's a 1972 picture of him working under James Van Allen in the Physics Department at the University of Iowa. (Van Allen is famous for discovering the Earth's radiation belts). Dad worked on many of his space projects assisting in the development of satellites that sent instruments to the Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. He's a humble man of few words who won't say much about his role in these projects, but I know his work was critical to the success of those missions.

Today is year number 92 for dad and that's a fair amount of candles. Even so, he's young at heart and a man I greatly admire, respect, and love. Dad, thanks for setting the bar so high!. Roll weather...TS

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© 2020 Terry Swails