The big weather story over the next seven days will be the potential for a big severe weather outbreak for April 3 and April 4. While you cannot always count on the computer models, they are there for a reason and that is to give forecasters guidance as to what to forecast for the future.
The data has been consistently pointing toward a big event in the central plains at the beginning of April. If you read this blog then you are familiar with the weather pattern theory I use to do long range forecasting. It's called the LRC (Lezak Recurring Cycle) and it has been eyeing the first few days of April as a big outbreak since last October.
In a nutshell, the theory says the weather patterns repeat every year. This year's cycle, which set up during the autumn, is around 57 to 60 days. The storm next week can be related to 1. a rainy day in October, 2. a snowstorm in early December and a 3. early February storm that brought some accumulating light snow to parts of Green country.
So I have confidence this storm is going to happen. Now, its too early to pin down specifics but lets go over the setup and talk about what could happen.
The Storm Prediction Center in Norman is already highlighting next Wednesday and Thursday as a potential severe weather day. This long range outlook appeared Friday on the SPC web page.
You will notice that Oklahoma is smack in the middle of the outlook area.
Next Wednesday, a cold front stalls across Oklahoma. At the same time, a low pressure area forms and begins to get stronger over the New Mexico/Texas border.
If we heat up and become more humid, then Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night, numerous showers and thunderstorms will quickly erupt. Heavy rain, lightning, hail and damaging winds could occur in these storms.
Thursday could be the day of a major severe weather outbreak. The frontal boundary remains stalled across the area but during the day. The west Texas low moves into northeastern Oklahoma, dragging a dry line and a cold front into eastern Oklahoma. The dry line is where humid air meets up with drier air. It can be the spark for supercells. Here is a look at Thursday's surface map.
One More Thing
As if the surface set up wasn't enough, the storm next week gets upper level help. Remember the atmosphere is 3-dimensional, so many times storms at the surface will be made stronger by an upper level storm, If you look at a picture of the atmosphere at about 20,000 feet, or about halfway through the atmosphere, you see a powerful upper low. I've posted this snapshot of next Thursday's upper level map below.
At the base of the upper storm is something called a vorticity maximum. It is the strongest part of the storm, most often where the strongest winds can found. As these winds exit the strongest part of the storm, they often, not always, cause the air to rise dramatically.
It would be a factor that would suggest explosive thunderstorm, if not super-cell development. In the past, setups such as these have produced tornado outbreaks.
Can we say there will be one for sure? No, but please take the next few days to get your tornado plan together, your preparedness kit in place and get your safe place or shelter ready. Just in case. If this storm misses us, then you will be ready. Either way, you can't lose.
Have a safe weekend,