1/20 – The Chief’s “Heavy Rain Threat Ahead” Friday Morning Forecast
Areas of upper level low pressure over the Great Lakes and near Las Vegas early this morning, with the local area in southwesterly upper flow, which shows moisture streaming toward the area from the tropical East Pacific Ocean. At the surface, the Wednesday night cold front was well out into the central Gulf of Mexico, with high pressure extending from Wyoming to near Texarkana. Upper level clouds are already streaming back toward the area.
The upper system near Las Vegas this morning lifts northeastward to Kansas Saturday afternoon. Moisture returning to the area will begin to saturate from the top down later today. Clouds will thicken and lower during the day, but little, if any, precipitation is expected to reach the surface through the daylight hours into the evening, as the airmass will not really moisten up until near or after midnight tonight. In eastern areas, measurable precipitation may even hold off until after sunrise Saturday.
Saturday looks to be a rather gloomy and damp day for much of the area, as it’s uncertain how much, if any progress inland the warm sector makes before low pressure passes to the east. At this point, it looks like the warmer air may stay primarily south of Interstate 10 with a more showery character to the precipitation there, and more stratiform rain to the north. May be enough elevated instability for a few rumbles of thunder by Saturday afternoon.
Rain continues Saturday night into Sunday. Model solutions indicate a dry slot moves across the area on Sunday, cutting off rainfall after much of the area receives a 24-36 hour total of 1 to 2 inches. We may even see a bit of sunshine by late in the day on Sunday. Monday will probably be the one nice day of the next 7, albeit slightly on the cool side.