Monday, March 4, 2019

Monday - Clear skies. High: 16-20

Monday Night - Clear skies remain. Breezy. Low: 8-12

Tuesday - Skies becoming partly cloudy in the afternoon. High 24-28

Tuesday Night - Skies becoming cloudy. Low: 10-14

Wednesday - Cloudy skies. High: 36-40

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Meteorological spring may have begun on Friday, but astronomical winter is not letting up anytime this forecast period. Columbia will see persistent clear skies today into tonight. Despite the ample sunlight, temperatures will be bitter, struggling to reach 20 degrees. Winds will pick up this evening and into tonight. Winds could gust over 20-25mph. Partial cloudiness could move in Tuesday morning, but sunlight will still be plentiful until Tuesday night. Skies will become completely overcast, persisting into Wednesday. Wednesday will see a warmup with temperatures reaching into the upper 30s.
Forecasters: Ritter, Travis, and Hirsch
Issued: 10:00 a.m., March 4, 2019

Technical Discussion (The nerdy stuff we are discussing in class!)

On the heels of an active Sunday comes a tranquil, albeit very cold, period to start the schoolweek. As a matter of fact, temperatures below 0F were recorded at both Sanborn field and KCOU. This cold air is largely the result of a large 500 hPa longwave trough digging into the eastern half of the CONUS. This setup has us behind the trough, putting us solidly in NW flow, which has allowed brutally cold arctic air to move well into the central CONUS. This trough will continue to dig in over the next 36-48 hours, keeping us firmly entrenched in NW flow and 20-30F below normal temperatures. 

Specifically for the period through late Tuesday afternoon, we will be largely devoid of any influence from the 250 hPa jet (the core is well to our south). The aforementioned longwave trough at 500 hPa will be in place across the great lakes, putting us in NW flow. Flow at 850 hPa will also be out of the NW, with temperatures in the -12 to 18C range. At the surface, Missouri will be under the influence of a strong high pressure center, with winds out of the NW. Because of this, very little moisture will be present in the column through Tuesday afternoon, so very little cloud cover, if any, can be expected during this period. Temperatures, as mentioned earlier, will be running 20-30F below average, but thankfully this morning's temperatures were the coldest we'll experience over the next few days.

Heading into Tuesday night and Wednesday, a 130-kt 250 hPa jet core will develop to our NE, putting us in the right entrance region of the jet. This will create some areas of divergence aloft. A vort max will be ejecting from the rockies, but will still be over KS/NE by Wednesday. 850 hPa and sfc flow will change from NW to SW, leading to WAA and, consequently, warmer temperatures. GFS skew-T's indicate that a bit more moisture will be present throughout the column Tuesday night into Wednesday as well, meaning that we can expect an increase in cloud cover late Tuesday night into Wednesday, with temperatures becoming much warmer, but still well below average for this time of year.


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