3/16 – The Chief’s “Warming Trend” Thursday Morning Forecast

Today will be warmer with southerly return flow developing and slightly higher heights aloft. Mostly sunny skies early will give way to partly to mostly cloudy skies from west to east as moisture begins to increase. Eyes begin to shift upstream as a strong upper level disturbance starts to amplify. Ahead, warmer moist air will continue to surge into the region keeping our overnight lows tonight very mild.

A cold front will move into the region early Friday and should move from west to east across the region. The upper level trough will begin to slow, which may slow the front down just a bit when compared to forward motion. The front convective band looks to move over the I55 mid to late morning and may begin to increase in intensity as it moves into a gradually improving environment with insolation occurring across the eastern half of the area. I think SPC`s delineation of the Marginal and Slight Categories highlight this fairly well.

As the line of storms begins to slow as it tries to outrun the upper support, locations across the western area may pick up a quick 1-2″ or locally higher. Timing of this feature will also depend on mesoscale features such as cold pool characteristics which may help push the front along a bit faster than forecast…which would have implications on the heavier rainfall amounts.

Going into the weekend the previous front will move downstream over Florida and the Gulf and stall. A dry secondary front will try to move southward from the MO Ozarks and Mid MS River Valley during the day Saturday. The region will remain under an active southwesterly flow aloft through the weekend and into the next workweek.

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