Frost and freeze conditions expected several nights this week
Multiple windy days this week (it’s the windy month!)
No severe storms expected this week at this time
Note: A few items are missing in today’s blog. I’m tired. (ha!)
Daily Forecast Summary
Today: Skies gradually clear, becoming sunny by afternoon. Breezy.
Monday: Mostly sunny and pleasant.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with some clouds by evening. Breezy.
Wednesday: Shower and thunderstorms.
Thursday: Mostly sunny and breezy. Much cooler.
48-Hour Precip Forecast
Meteorologist Mark’s 5-Day Wx Concerns
Meteorologist Mark’s Wx Discussion
This week is looking much quieter than last week. The storms on Wednesday are not expected to be strong or severe. Let’s hope that stays true. The big news this week will be the freezing cold nights coming at the end of the week.
On This Day in Wx History
1920 – The worst tornado disaster of record occurred in Chicago, Illinois. The violent tornado killed 28 people and caused three million dollars damage.
A Year Ago (New!)
Yesterday’s National Temperature Extremes
High: 102° at Zapata, Texas
Low: -10° at Peter Sinks, Utah
Today’s National Wx Hazards
Severe weather pushes east, with all severe hazards possible. To the northwest, a wildfire danger can be found across much of eastern Montana, while snow falls in the mountains to the west.
Tomorrow’s National Wx Hazards
Aside from accumulating snow in the northern Rockies, and a wildfire danger across southeast Colorado and the Panhandle regions of Texas and Oklahoma, it’s a quiet day.
The Sunday Story is a reprint of the weekly articles I write for the Fentress Courier and Livingston Enterprise. See the story there first by subscribing to their papers!
When a thunderstorm acquires rotation, it is then called a supercell. In other words, a supercell is a storm with a rotating updraft.
All storms have updrafts and downdrafts. In fact, a storm begins as an updraft, as warm air rises into the colder atmosphere above. An updraft is basically a column of rising air.
As the clouds grow with the updraft, the raindrops become too numerous for the cloud to support and they begin to fall. As the raindrops fall, they drag rain-cooled air down to the surface of the Earth. That is a downdraft. A downdraft is basically sinking air that falls with the rain.
To understand how storms may rotate, we must understand how winds behave in our atmosphere. For instance, the winds above us often move more swiftly than the air here at the surface. Friction from trees, buildings, and other obstacles slows the flow of air here at the surface. This causes the air to develop a rolling motion, with faster winds atop slower winds.
When a thunderstorm’s updraft ingests this horizontally rolling air, it may stand the horizontal tube of rolling air up vertically, leading to a rotating updraft. Most of the time, that updraft rotates without causing any problems. But sometimes that rotation tightens up and extends toward the ground.
Even after decades of tornado research, we’re still not sure why most storms don’t produce tornadoes while others do.
Thankfully, tornado detection has improved by leaps and bounds. Doppler radar can “see” the winds inside a storm, revealing whether they are spinning or blowing in a straight line. Better tornado detection has saved countless lives.
Let’s hope the Doppler gets to rest this spring and not have any spinning winds to detect!