Weather Blog | Severe weather chances Tuesday, Wednesday

Posted at 12:21 PM, Mar 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-11 13:41:51-04

Good Monday bloggers,

We have warmer air moving into today on south winds 15-25 mph. South winds 15-25 mph on Tuesday will bring up Gulf of Mexico moisture ahead of two storm systems. Could this lead to severe weather?

Let's go through this.

Highs today will be in the 70s with sunshine, low humidity and a south-southwest wind at 15-25 mph. This does elevate the fire danger, especially across Kansas and Nebraska where it is windier and drier. We are not in any Fire Weather Watch/Warning as the nearest Warning is far northeast and into central Kansas. But, it is still dry and windy with low humidity.


The south winds will continue, but they will bring higher humidity air from the Gulf of Mexico. The amount of moisture, the dew point, will be in the 50s. By comparison today the dew point is in the 30s. This means in order for the air to have 100% humidity, the temperature needs to cool to the 30s today and 50s Tuesday. There is more moisture in the air Tuesday. So, when the air cools, condensation, dew, will form when temperatures drop to the 50s as opposed to today. It needs to cool to the 30s to squeeze out any condensation, dew today. This is not an easy thing to explain, I hope it makes some sense.

The bottom line ... the main ingredient for thunderstorms is moisture in the air and for our area that is supplied by the Gulf of Mexico. Dew points in the 50s are just barely high enough for severe weather. If we had a strong storm, it would be sufficient, but these next two systems are not that strong.


The first system will bring a chance of thunderstorms tomorrow after 4 p.m. into Tuesday night after highs reach the low to mid 70s. They will form along and most likely east of I-35.


We are in a level 1 of 5 risk with hail the main threat. This is a low threat due to the system being weak and the dew points in the 50s.


There is still uncertainty here with the second system.

The American model has the severe weather set up with the "triple point." This is where the cold front, warm front and dry line meet up. It shows some showers and thunderstorms from northeast Kansas and northern Missouri, but they look weak. It looks like one of the reasons is that it has an area of low clouds come in from the south across eastern Kansas and western Missouri during the day. If this happens, it will limit the heating, keeping highs 65°-70° which would be a bit too cool for thunderstorms to form given the second system being weaker and the 50s dew pints.


The European model is still more aggressive as it has more instability, less low clouds and it has the warm front along I-70. It also has a stronger second system. These three factors add up to a better chance of thunderstorms that could reach severe limits.


We are in another level 1 of 5 risk, but it is bigger than Tuesday. There are no level 2 of 5 risks due to the uncertainty. We will know more about this tomorrow. Hail and damaging wind are the main threats, but this time a tornado cannot be ruled out if the thunderstorms really get going.


The thunderstorm development will greatly affect the rainfall forecast the next seven days. The American model does get rain and thunderstorms going, but east of here along with other systems tracking well south and east. It leaves our area with not much rain.


The European model has the higher rain totals due to the thunderstorms.


If we miss the thunderstorms Tuesday and Wednesday, when is the next chance of rain?
There is a slight chance that a third system tracks in from the southwest Thursday. If the cold front is still near by, we could have thunderstorms. These would be more heavy rain and less severe as the flow aloft weakens. Most models have this occurring in south and east Missouri. A fourth system comes out this weekend, but most models have that tracking way south and east.

As you know around here...things change fast. We will see what data on Tuesday brings.

Have a great week
Stay healthy.