Friday, March 19, 2010

3/19 - 10:15am - First Day of Spring is Tomorrow!

It's been an enjoyable spring break back home in Louisville and the weather up here is just gorgeous! With fairly strong high pressure in place, I could see it easily getting to 70 degrees or higher today around here.

The next big system to impact the eastern half of the nation is making its way through the Plains as we speak. Winter Storm Watches have been issued from Oklahoma to Missouri and some places could pick up nearly a foot of snow. Below is the highlighted risk for four or more inches of snow tomorrow:

All this talk of snow and the first day of spring is tomorrow? In a period of El Nino (warm sea temperatures just west of South America) like the one we've been experiencing this winter, coupled with a very negative Arctic Oscillation as we've seen, it's quite typical for winter storms to track further south and it seems that El Nino will stick around for the spring as it ever so slowly weakens.

What effect will El Nino have on the spring severe weather season you ask? Based on historical El Nino data, the spring after a fairly strong El Nino winter features more tornadoes and severe weather. This year will be similar to 1995, 1998, 2003, and 2007. We all remember 2007... when a deadly EF5 tornado destroyed Greensburg, Kansas. This is not to say that we're guaranteed to see another EF5 this year, but the potential is higher than last year for sure.

With spring in the air and El Nino sticking around, it's almost time for my annual storm chasing trip in the Great Plains! I'll be out there from May 8th to June 5th and I'm sure it's going to be a great month out there. I'll have blog posts, HD video clips, Twitter/Facebook updates, a live video stream from and more as we continue on our quest to find severe weather.

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