As many know I get out and chase storms as time allows. The past couple of days I left the St. Louis, MO area and chased storms in Kansas on Sunday then Oklahoma on Monday. This trip I was by myself and met up with other chasers to help in in navigation during storms.
On 5/20 I left Iola, KS around 8 am headed towards the Tulsa, OK area to evaluate chase plans. To my surprise there was a severe warned storm just 15 minutes from my location. I did what a chaser does, fired up the video stream on ChaserTV and found a good area to view that storm. After 45 minutes or so it was time to move on, messages were coming in from a friend, Dave Toner, who was chasing that day also, I had decided to follow him along with Brian Hurst and Jason Blum, Targeting the Oklahoma City area. As I continued the plan was made to go about 30-40 miles south of the city for storm development, we met up shortly before 2 pm as 3 supercells were already exploding in the area. We were closest to the middle of the 3 storms as we sat just south of Lindsay, OK. We had thoughts of leaving it several times, but this storm kept drawing us back, one minute looking like it was done only to come out from behind trees with a ground scraping wall cloud. Reports starting coming in from the Moore area of complete destruction, even when we stopped for a closer look at our storm I didn’t look for any images, the descriptions people were giving were enough. After about 3 hours of chasing our storm, we were finished, we went our separate ways and I decided to call the chase trip off and start heading back towards home in MO. I stopped for gas and started taking in some of the media online of the Moore area along with numbers of injuries and deaths. This was one of the longest drives home I have ever experienced, I was 8 hours away from home and just wanted to be with my family. There was nothing that could be done to get home any faster and I would just be in the way in Moore. Everything was done right, the tornado warnings were issued 16+ minutes ahead of time, it was up to the people to take the proper precautions. Most obviously did, although the numbers have been reduced 20+ lives lost is still to many.
Please be weather aware people, if you are not in a sturdy building and a warning is issued, get out, make plans ahead of time where you will go. Have alternate plans in case you are not able to access planned shelter, at just 30 mph you can drive 8 miles in warning time given. Please don’t stay in your car or park under overpasses, these are not safe places to be and you will block traffic for those trying to get away from the storm…..
We continued our struggle with the transition into spring this week and at this time appears that the upcoming week will be more of the same, possibly even a shot of winter somewhere in the Midwest…
Our high temperature for the past week was 72° and our low was 35°, we picked up 1.57 inches of rain.
The outlook for the upcoming week brings very warm temperatures in early on, mid 80’s are not out of the question through mid-week. Rain chances pick up after Wednesday, there is some indication that this could bring heavy rain in or near our area. This is a concern as the big rivers have recently crested, heavy rain would likely bring another rise in the already swollen rivers. The temperatures late week will cool back down, the computer models have not come into an agreement on this, so it’s hard to pin down. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some mornings in the low 30’s come late week. I hope I am wrong and we only see 40’s.
Along with the temperature uncertainty, there are indications of a May snowstorm somewhere in the Midwest this week. It will be interesting to watch, I have been laughing all day that somewhere this week someone may have to cut grass and shovel their driveway…. Have a great week everyone!
Temperatures continue the Spring roller coaster, our high for the past week was a warm 85° and our low temperature was 31° with a bit of frost on Saturday morning. We received a total of 2.56 inches of rain this week; areas to our north in the Mark Twain Lake area received 6+ inches of rain. The big rivers are well above flood stage with some areas cresting just 3 feet shy of all time records. Remember the National Weather Service tag “Turn Around don’t Drown”.
Our outlook for the coming week looks mild for Monday with temperatures in the 60’s , then slightly cooler days in the 50’s until late in the week, 60’s look to return late in the week. Showers and storms look likely Tuesday and then Friday into Saturday; at this time I am not expecting any severe weather.
Managed my second storm chase this year this past Wednesday, observing storms in and near California, MO as well as Tipton, MO. Both storms were unique with the first storm near California; MO showing me a nice wall cloud and was tornado warned at times. The second storm also gave me a nice wall cloud for 10-15 minutes before weakening while moving north of the warm front.
Another up and down week for our weather, temperatures varied from 35° to 79, we recorded 1.54 inches of rain. Our thoughts are with those that suffered damage during the storms on Wednesday. We recorded a 39 mph wind gust here in O’Fallon, but another weather station I own at Polestar Marina recorded a 50 mph wind gust.
Our outlook looks very familiar this week; rain/storms are possible through Thursday at this time. Severe weather is once again possible, my thoughts at this time are Monday and Wednesday will be the days that need to be watched, as always, this is subject to change. Late week brings more cool air to the region with low’s possibly dipping into the 30′s.
I did get out on my first storm chase for 2013 this past Wednesday. I headed into Illinois to track the discrete thunderstorms that were forming in front of the main line. I was able to intercept one storm near Prairie de Rocher, IL. The image with this article is from the storm.. This storm looked to have a funnel cloud or two, but never put down a tornado. I produced a time-lapse video of this storm that shows the storm’s motion at just over 10X normal speed. The video can be viewed below. This storm rapidly fell apart soon after the video, I then tracked another storm until just north of Mt. Vernon, IL. This storm was eventually tornado warned, but no confirmed tornadoes were reported. I returned home just in time for the main line to move through the O’Fallon area.
The past week brought another wild swing in our local weather, officially in O’Fallon we picked up 14 inches of snow last Sunday.Here is the storm report from the NWS office in St. Louis. The temperature spread for the week went from 21° on Wednesday morning to 61° on Friday. We received 74/100 of an inch of precipitation over the week.
The upcoming week looks to have a similar temperature spread. Easter Sunday looks to be gorgeous with a high in the mid 60’s, we will cool down for a few days before temperatures start to recover mid/late week, look for 60’s to return on Thursday or Friday. We do have a chance for some light rain and snow on Monday, I’m really not looking for much of anything from this, if it does happen I would look for under an inch of snow.
Last week I did a time lapse of our snowfall, the video was seen locally on channel 2 and 11, as well as The Weather Channel, ABC World News and I was told Fox News broadcast it as well. I even received a request from overseas.
Looks like Winter will continue to grip our area at the beginning of this week.
Snow will start to fall early Sunday morning and continue throughout the day.
Areas near and north of Interstate 70 can expect the possibility of 10+ inches of snow. Some areas could be effected by thunder snow, these areas could see higher accumulations. Areas to the south should receive less with Farmington highlighted for 2-4 inches.
Please prepare, stay off the roads and do not park your cars in the street. For those that remember 1982, we had cars stuck on the highways for days.
Near normal temperatures of mid 50′s will not return until late in the week.
Forecast snow total image is courtesy of the St. Louis National Weather Service Office.
Winter just won’t leave us behind, it appears we will receive another round of snowfall for Sunday. The general consensus is for a general 1-4 inches of snow over the St. Louis region.
Following our late Winter snow will be below normal temperatures for what appears to be the rest of the week, highs look to hang in the low/mid 40′s.
Our summary for the past week includes a high of 71° on Friday and a low of 27° on Thursday morning. We recorded a total of 1.17″ of rain. The area is now clear of drought conditions.
Wednesday evening I went in search of the Pan-Starrs comet. I got lucky and was able to capture it with my camera from here in St. Charles County. The comet is pictured with this article. The comet should be visible for the next week to 10 days within an hour after sunset in the western sky.
This past week brought the sign of Spring most of us have been waiting for with a high of 68° on Saturday, of course we did have to deal with a low of 15° last Sunday morning. We recorded just under a half inch of rain for the week, drought conditions for the region have nearly been wiped out, dating back to last summer. Missouri Drought Monitor
Looking forward….A slight cool down for the beginning of the week, Spring will quickly take hold with highs in the upper 40′s by midweek and back into the 50′s and 60′s the rest of the week. Still a bit early, but rain may return in the Friday/Saturday timeframe.
Our high temperature this week was 44°, the low was 16° and we recorded 1.44 inches of precipitation. There is still some snow left on the ground here in the NW corner of O’Fallon.
Looks like Winter will keep its hold early in the week and give way to Spring later in the week. Highs early in the week will be in the 30’s and 40’s, with rain/snow expected in the Monday/Tuesday timeframe. Later in the week looks to bring a nice warm-up, 50’s may sneak in Thursday, if not 50’s are forecast for Friday and Saturday, we may even flirt with 60.
This week begins Missouri’s Severe Weather Awareness Week, please take time to plan now; it’s too late to plan when action is needed.