Saturday, January 28, 2012

Preliminary Severe Weather Forecast for Spring 2012

"This will be one to remember."
Last Spring, we saw the absolutely horrible April super outbreak of tornadoes, and this year, it looks like a similar situation may be setting up.
Let's start with the Gulf of Mexico.

Caribbean Temperature Anomalies
The Gulf of Mexico is at least 1 degree above normal in many spots. While that may seem like nothing, it actually may have huge implications. You see, the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is supposed to cool down over the winter from Arctic Air coming south. However, as we have seen, this winter has been very warm. We have already seen tornadoes with fatalities this year. I see that as a very bad precursor indication.
If the GOM, by some chance, is somehow able to stay as warm as it is (which is unlikely given my FEB-MAR outlook posted today at 12:00 PM CST on the day of this post's publishing), the situation could get worse. But if we start seeing some more cold and snow, the GOM may cool down a bit. I think it is too late for the GOM to cool down to normal levels for this time of year given how far we are into 'winter'. With this added GOM warmth, expect to see more moisture and instability associated with storms drawing energy from the Gulf this spring. Additional warmth may also be present, making for a bigger temperature gradient between the cold fronts that produce severe storms in the country this spring, therefore making the storms stronger.

Typical Jet Stream in the Spring
The jet stream in the spring usually factors out to hot weather in the South, wet weather in the Northwest, and cooler weather in the northern tier of the country. The area where the severe storms usually form is in the Plains through the Midwest. As the arrows show the warm, moist air being drawn up, this is the problem I mentioned earlier with more moisture and instability that could make for more severe weather. That added moisture/instability being slammed by the cold, dry air would certainly make for a very robust situation if everything went 'good' for severe storms.
Here's our very preliminary forecast. Keep in mind this is not set in stone at all and has a lot of changes that will need to be made in the long term.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I also agree with this its going to be a bad one over missouri i believe it will it will be more to the east