Monday, February 22, 2021


 Current Conditions at Sanborn Field

Monday Night: Mostly clear. Low: 30-34

Tuesday: Sunny. High: 60-64.

Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy. Breezy, with stray sprinkles or showers possible. Low: 32-26

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High: 44-48. 

Thursday: Partly cloudy. High: 42-46.

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The warming trend will continue into Tuesday as southwesterly winds and sunshine boost temperatures. A cold front is slated to move through Tuesday night, making for breezy conditions and a slight chance of showers as it passes through. The second half of the week will be cooler, though the air behind the cold front will not be extremely cold. Thus, we should remain near average temperature-wise. A more active pattern is possible by Friday and the weekend.
Forecaster: Vanderpool
Issued: 5:00 PM CST 22 February 2021
Technical Discussion (The nerdy stuff we are discussing in class):

Overall, it's a fairly quiet pattern across the CONUS. A small trough in the upper levels extended down from Ohio to northeastern Texas, which was validated at the surface by a cold front extending down through the far southeastern corner of the United States. Northwesterly flow aloft pairs nicely with surface southwesterly flow at COU, leading to a nice WAA signature on RAP-derived soundings. Plentiful sun, along with the decent WAA, have propelled mid-MO temperatures into the lower 50s for Monday afternoon.

Models used for this forecast were the RAP and HRRR (short range) as well as the 12z GFS and GEFS. 

Overnight, expect mostly clear skies to continue. Visible satellite does show a few high, thin clouds overspreading mid-MO as of ~3:30 PM, but these shouldn't contribute much to sensible weather at the surface. Given the dry air and clear skies, temperatures will be allowed to fall overnight into the low 30s. GFS/GEFS solutions cluster around 32-34 degrees, which is right in line with the RAP and HRRR. Winds should remain somewhat breezy throughout the night, helping to prevent temperatures from falling too far.

For Tuesday, all attention turns to the big warmup. Models are in agreement that we will have sunny skies and southwesterly winds. However, the GEFS/GFS only produce highs in the middle 50s, whereas the HRRR would have COU at 70 degrees by tomorrow afternoon. With Monday afternoon's temperatures, the 18z extended HRRR has been spot-on with readings in the 50s, whereas the GEFS is running about 5-10 degrees too cool. Thus, the HRRR solution has been preferred in this forecast, but it's doubtful that Columbia reaches 70 - the lower to middle 60s are a more likely bet simply due to patchy snow cover and climate norms. Another factor in Tuesday's weather will be the wind, which - if the HRRR solution is correct - would be gusting to nearly 25 kt. This is probably quite overdone, but mid-MO should still have a light to moderate breeze thanks to strong solar heating and a decently-tight PGF. 

Tuesday night into Wednesday looks to bring a cold front through mid-MO, with the most likely time for FROPA in the late evening to early morning. Precipitation chances look limited, with the GFS showing very little moisture in the column. Never the less, there may be a few sprinkles or light showers - the GEFS has the probability of precipitation at 20%. 

For Wednesday and Thursday, temperatures look to be a bit lower. However, Tuesday night's front will have very little in the way of deep cold air behind it. Thus, there will not be an arctic blast like what the area experienced last week. High and mid-level clouds look more likely for Wednesday and Thursday, however, which - combined with modest CAA - will shave 15-20 degrees off of where readings will get on Tuesday. GFS guidance shows a positively-tilted trof approaching from the west on Thursday, setting the stage for a more active pattern late-week.

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