Weather Blog - March Weather Madness: Severe Weather Risk Wednesday & Maybe Snowflakes Thursday

Surface Forecast 5 PM Wednesday
Posted at 7:47 AM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 08:56:04-04

Good morning bloggers,

We had a few tornado reports and we can confirm at least a couple of tornado touchdowns. And, hail covered the ground in a few spots as you can see here:

Paul and Kassie Harris hail.jpg
Hail from a March 15, 2021, thunderstorm near 179th Street and South Pflumm Road.

This active weather pattern will continue, and this is right on the LRC schedule. This year's pattern is cycling at close to 46 days. Take a look at our blog from late January:

Blog January 28

The storm approaching now looks amazingly similar to the storm that hit our region in late January. As you can see in the blog entry, we predicted this to return around this week, and it is arriving. There was an EF3 tornado in Jefferson County, Alabama in the last LRC cycle, and there was a weaker tornado in that same county the cycle before that. This area is a target for Wednesday night. The LRC provides enough insight and information to make predictions down to a county, or even more precise than that.

Look at this next forecast map, and compare it to the one I posted from late January. As many people say, "you can't make this up". This is not a coincidence:

Surface Setup Wednesday Morning

So, what does this mean for us in the Kansas City region? As this storm approaches the region tonight, thunderstorms will likely form. The first ones that form are capable of some large hail, which is the main risk in our area. By later Wednesday afternoon the setup becomes much more ominous for southern Missouri, Arkansas, east into Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama.

Surface Forecast 5 PM Wednesday

Severe Weather Risks:

Severe Risks

A Level 4 out of 5 risk is a rare risk level, and this is the Storm Predictions Outlook for tomorrow:

Severe Risk Wednesday

The risk in Kansas City is a level 1 out of 5, which was our risk yesterday. Tornadoes are unlikely in this risk level, but as we experienced yesterday, there was a tornado with just a level 1 risk. It was really unusual with temperatures in the 40s to lower 50s. Tornadoes are extremely rare when it is that cool. We will monitor the developing storm closely as it approaches.

Today will be the calm in between storm systems with cloudy skies and an increasing easterly breeze as this storm develops. Let's look at the 8 AM set up again:

Surface Setup Wednesday Morning

This map, valid at 8 AM, shows the developing surface storm over northwestern Oklahoma. The L shows the center of the lowest pressure. The blue line is a cold front. The red line shows the warm front. And, the brown line shows a developing dry line. Kansas City will again be on the cool side of this storm. As the storm goes by, it may be cold enough for some snow early Thursday morning. Some models have significant accumulations of snow, and others have just a cold rain. The way things have gone this winter, I would say it more likely will be a cold rain, possibly mixed with snow. It is March Weather Madness, however, so let's see how this looks in the next couple of days.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Gabbing With Gary blog. We will be monitoring this storm closely on Wednesday morning. Have a great day!