Saturday, November 5, 2011

Rapid Moisture Return Spells Warmer Night in TX/OK; Fuel for Upcoming Storms...

The above image (produced by the SimuAWIPS program), shows low level moisture returning into Southern and central Texas from the Gulf of Mexico (surface dew point gradient shown in green).  Strong, Southerly winds are advancing that moisture rapidly Northward toward the Red River and eventually Oklahoma tonight and Sunday.

This returning moisture will do two important things over the coming days.  In the immediate term, it will cause temperatures tonight to average some 10-15 degrees above normal across much of the southern and portions of the central Plains, as shown on the GFS model forecast image below (via Dr. Ryan Maue's website):

Secondly, the returning moisture will contribute to what appears to be an increasing threat of severe weather and locally heavy rainfall across portions of the southern Plains and Mississippi Valley region for the first half of the coming week.  

During this time of the year we often see a mini-severe weather season develop, as the atmosphere transitions from summer/early fall into winter.  Middle and upper-level winds are usually very strong this time of year, which enhances the severe weather potential if other ingredients come into play.  One of the other ingredients that needs to come into play is low-level moisture, which can be hard to come by at times.  It appears that will not be the case early next week, which lends further confidence to my earlier forecast of a potentially significant severe weather threat in certain areas (see the image below and the text of the above post for additional details).

If you live in one of the regions shaded in red or orange on the above image, please pay particular attention to the weather on the indicated days of the upcoming week.  When you set the clocks back before bed tonight, dust off your NOAA Weather Radio and replace its batteries as well, just in case.

"Stay tuned" for additional details on the upcoming severe weather threat over the coming days...

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