Sunday, June 9, 2013

'Ring of Fire' Pattern Ramps Up Severe Weather Threat

The upcoming weather pattern will signal the start of summer with the Ring of Fire pattern evolving over the Plains, leading to increased chances of severe weather over parts of the nation.

Over the next 10 or more days, we should see development of high pressure over the Plains, leading to that high pressure system settling in over the region and permitting the development of the Ring of Fire. In the Ring of Fire pattern, high pressure fills much of the Plains and sits there for a prolonged period. In response, multiple mesoscale convective systems (MCS's) will form on the edge of this high pressure system (usually the north and east sides of the ridge). It is these MCS's that put the 'fire' in the Ring of Fire. Short range models already have over three MCS's hitting Iowa and Illinois in the next 84 hours, which could lead to over 2 inches of rain in some spots.

The Ring of Fire pattern is considered one of the better patterns for severe weather. It's not a convective system every few days- we're talking instances of possibly more than once MCS each day. No guarantees on if that will happen this time around, but the potential is certainly there.



Eric said...

Nice post Andrew, another thing to be concerned about is derechos, as these types of set-ups where we see large heat ridges developing, (especially farther to the south and west as a consequence of a departing upward MJO pulse, this enforces large-scale warm air advection, which will help to only further enhance any thunderstorms that may develop) are notorious for long-lived thunderstorm complexes, that through their own processes allow for enough low pressure to build and with enough instability around, even during the overnight hours, these storms can become self-sustaining, which makes them much more dangerous than the average thunderstorm that decays from diurnal heating.

Andrew said...

Eric: Completely agree, I've been discussing the derecho potential on the Facebook page in the last hour or two. Multiple NWS offices and Dr. Forbes agree in the idea of a derecho potential, I plan to

Andrew said...

(Last comment got cut off) I plan to make a post on the derecho threat tomorrow.

Sarah said...

Hi Andrew- I am in Battle Creek, MI, right along I-94. I am hosting an outdoor event tomorrow at 7 PM and I really would like for it not to get rained out. NWS and the Weather Channel both seem to think this derecho has a shot at hitting us, while you and Accuweather look to forecasting for it to pass south of the border. Can you tell me what to expect?

Andrew said...

You are right on the line, Sarah. It looks like you should miss the worst of it, but be prepared for some weaker showers and embedded thunderstorms. These showers and storms should not last longer than a few hours, and may be rather scattered.