Decent rains on the way for the district Friday

A soaking rain is on tap for all areas of the district beginning late tonight through Friday evening.

Today’s numerical computer weather guidance has maintained the northward shift began yesterday.  Both this morning and this afternoon’s high resolution runs show widespread significant rains.  There seems to be a tendency to split two areas of heavy rain..one from the Arkansas Ozarks to SEMO/W KY and another from NE KS/W MO through central IL.  Although the most current data just in shows a minimum over SEMO/SW IL, that might be an area where the model is under-forecasting the rain amounts.

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As of this writing, the radar/water vapor satellite image shows our next storm over the Southwest with a classic “comma” shape over the four corners area.   The rain over NM/TX is the beginnings of the rain which impact our area well after midnight tonight.

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This map shows the forecast rain amount over the next three days:

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We do need the rain, this map from the drought monitor shows dryness being added back in just west of the district in north central Kansas. With no other decent chance of rain in the foreseeable future, if the currently forecast widespread rains fail to materialize, we could see drought returning to the area this month.

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In the extreme long range, there are some signs of change about mid month.  This is at the very end of the current suite of guidance and as such is subject to change.

In this forecast chart based on the European model centered on next Tuesday, you can see a fast, jet stream level flow of air from the Asian coast all the way to just west of CA/OR/WA.  The warm colors are higher wind speeds (120-180 KTS) at around 40,000 feet. That’s our “flamethrower” Pacific jet stream. That’s the feature that’s chased the cold pattern from November away and will continue to bring seasonable to mild (and even warm at times) conditions for the next week or so.

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By the end of the forecast period, Sunday, December 14th, that fast Pacific “flamethrower” has retreated westward to the far side of the dateline.  It is forecast to extend from the Asian coast to east of Japan.  When that happens, the air flow slowing down as it exits the fastest part of the jet stream begins to buckle.  This can be seen by the wavy pattern from off the west coast through the U.S.  This could be the signs of a new pattern getting ready to become established mid to late month.

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Currently the Canadian model is on board with this scenario, while the U.S. model continues to keep the “flamethrower” going all the way to the Winter Solstice.  We’ll see how this plays out and if the Euro/Canadian models jump on board with the U.S. model or if the U.S. model comes around to the pattern change forecast by the other models.

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