From t-storms to colder temperatures Tuesday – Nick

Good Monday evening, everyone. This was not your typical late February day. Despite increasing clouds throughout the day, our south wind took us from the lower 50s into the lower 70s for afternoon highs today. That strong south wind kept going ahead of our approaching cold front from the northwest.

As the front approaches, a low-level jet just above the surface will kick in with extra lift and moisture during the overnight. Take all of that and combine it with a quick upper-level wave coming out of New Mexico and Colorado, this is our setup for showers and t-storms through the overnight and for early Tuesday morning. After this current system clears out, the upper-level low coming out of Idaho will be the next system to watch for the middle of the week.

For the first system passing through and giving us overnight rain and t-storm chances, there is a low severe threat. Latest indications want to keep the bulk of the severe weather to the south of the region. However, through the overnight, we’ll keep an eye on strong to low-end severe t-storms mainly capable of some high wind gusts, some large hail and some heavy rainfall. There is a low (emphasis on low) tornado threat, but that likelihood will stay to the south of the region.

T-storms developing to our south and southwest will start sneaking into our southern counties after 11 o’clock and continue through 3 AM on the Future Track below. You can see how the Future Track has the right idea that the worst of the t-storms will stay south and east of the region. We’ll still have to keep an eye on some strong to severe t-storms clipping a good portion of the area through the overnight. These rain chances, by the way, will be able to leave behind a quarter of an inch to about an inch of rainfall.

By the start of the morning drive Tuesday, the cold front will push the vast majority of the showers and t-storms off to the east. While we can’t rule out a few showers, the passing cold front will definitely arrive with colder air behind it and temperatures still in the 50s ahead of it at 6 AM.

As the front continues to pass through, temperatures will keep trending downward throughout the rest of our Tuesday. By 3 o’clock in the afternoon, Joplin will be near 40° while areas northwest will be in the 30s and lower 40s will be prevalent along and south of I-44.

We’ll enjoy a quiet Tuesday afternoon, Tuesday evening and start to our Wednesday before our next system coming out of Idaho starts working in. Temperatures will be cold at the surface with some pockets of warm air aloft across the area. As moisture comes on in the system, that will give us snow and sleet chances (with some freezing rain at times) late Wednesday morning and certainly for Wednesday afternoon.

Going into Wednesday night and Thursday, the predominant precipitation type should be sleet with our northern counties seeing some snow mixing in. This will keep most of us in the 20s for Thursday before we clear this system out by Thursday evening.

Given this setup, the latest indications show a good portion of the area along and north of I-44 possibly picking up a tenth to a quarter of an inch of ice. That’s lower since this area will see more in the way of sleet and snow. Once you get south and east of I-44 in our far southeastern counties, ice accumulations could range between a quarter and half an inch. That’s something we’ll continue to watch very closely.

As far as sleet and snow potential amounts go, they’ll be a little higher for areas that won’t see much in terms of freezing rain. Most areas north of I-44 could see 1 to 2 inches of sleet and snow before everything clears out Thursday night. Once you hop south of I-44, those areas will pick up to an inch of sleet and snow.

We’ll stay cold but quiet with partly sunny skies returning for Friday with highs back near 30°. Doug’s pattern still has a chance for a few snow showers late Saturday afternoon and into Saturday evening. Other than that, plan on mostly cloudy skies and highs in the middle 30s for Saturday. Next Sunday and Monday look dry with temperatures pushing back into the upper 30s and some spots near 40°. Doug has you covered with the rest of the long range forecast through the middle of March down below. Have a good night and a great Tuesday!


March 1st-March 5th:  Staying cool and dry for Tuesday.  Next system in Wednesday and Thursday with pretty good chances for rain and snow again.

March 6th-12th:  Rain and snow chances on Sunday and Monday.  Then much colder the rest of the week.  Rain or snow chances returning by Friday.

March 13th-19th:  A cool start but most of the week will be mild.  Thunderstorms chances increasing by the weekend.

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