Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Tuesday Night - Clear skies, Windy. Low: 11-15

Wednesday -
Clouds increasing throughout day. High 35-39

Wednesday Night - Cloudy. Low: 24-28

Thursday - Mostly Cloudy, Rain/Snow then rain possible. High: 37-41

Friday - Mostly Sunny. High: 46-50

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With the weather we had over the weekend and the brutal cold temperatures yesterday and today, the slow warming trend is what we need and are going to see throughout the forecast period. A high pressure system is sitting around in Central Kansas is responsible for our clear conditions for the rest of the day and into the evening. Low temperatures tonight are expected to drop to the lower teens with minimal cloud cover and snow still on the ground will aid the drop in temperatures. Overnight Tuesday into Wednesday the high pressure system in Kansas will slide down south and east into central Arkansas, shifting our winds to movre of a southerly component. Clouds will increase throughput the day Wednesday due to the southerly winds, and temperatures climb to the mid to upper 30s despite the increasing cloud coverThe next chance of precipitation for Columbia comes during the day Thursday as a low pressure system moves through the region to our south.  On Friday, mostly sunny skies and near normal temperatures for this time of year return to Columbia.
Forecasters: Azzara, Munley, Brown, and Hirsch
Issued: 4:45 p.m., March 4, 2019

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

While we have stepped into spring on meteorological terms, we are far from it with our actual weather, especially with our temperatures today which topped out at about 24 degrees at Sanborn Field. The reason we are so cold is due to the NW flow that a longwave trough is providing, funneling in the cold, dry air from the arctic to flow down through western Canada and then down to our region. This trough will hold on until around 0Z on Wednesday, then it will move to our east and allow us to start to see our temperatures rise and our cloud cover increase as a southwesterly flow takes over. 
Using the GFS20 and looking at 700-mb RH, moisture starts to advect from the Northwest Pacific around 0Z on Wednesday as that trough starts to push off to the east. We will be saturating from the top down as we go towards Thursday and that when we see our first possibility during the week of seeing precipitation. Precipitation looks to start around 16Z Thursday when our temperatures are still below freezing. SREF plums and ensembles are putting out a dominant precipitation type of snow up until 0Z on Friday, however, temperatures are going to warm up into the low 40’s on Thursday so I believe that the light snow will transition over to light rain/drizzle around 18Z rather than extending the snow out until 0Z Friday. Confidence of accumulating snow is very little since there will be temperatures above freeing during the day and any snow that had accumulated would be melted both by temperatures and by the rain that is to follow the snow. 
This system should move out of the area as the column starts to dry from the bottom up with the exception of a shallow layer of moisture at the surface. We will continue on a warming trend through the rest of the week as we remain in the warm sector of the CONUS until the next system moves through in the form of a warm front on Saturday.
Looking ahead to the weekend, future forecasts shifts will be dealing with the possibility of severe thunderstorms on Saturday.

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