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Watching Snow Melt, Thinking Stormy Thoughts

Friday's overachieving snow should mostly melt away in the next 48 hours. I took the dog for a walk as the sun came up this morning to intentionally enjoy the winter landscape one last time before it transitions to mud. Snowbirds might find it in poor taste to be dusting my hands of winter with a couple of weeks left in meteorological winter, and a month left before the calendar declares it springtime in the Northern Hemisphere.

It's just a feeling, okay.

My busy work travel season which generally has me bopping around the U.S. & Canada speaking on disruptive, high-impact weather at winter ag meetings from December to February concludes with a rather big one this week. On Monday I'll fly out to Pullman, Washington and then drive across the border to Moscow, Idaho to present there on Tuesday morning. On Wednesday I fly back to the Midwest, and aside from a few virtual presentations done from the comfort of my home office I'm hanging it up for the season. It's my first trip to the Pacific Northwest, so while I'm objectively gassed from a busy few months on the road & in the air, I'm excited for the experience.

Snow is melting outside and I can see the light at the end of my winter work season, so it's time to start thinking stormy springtime thoughts.

It looks like a couple of disturbances will traverse the Plains and Midwest this week bringing the chance for showers and thunderstorms, but my eyes have been drawn to a period in Week 2 that could have some of the first organized severe weather opportunities of the season somewhere across portions of the Central & Southern U.S.

There's nothing to be gained from peering out this far with respect to specifics, but global ensembles and deterministic models are all starting to show the early combination of flow + juice ahead of a western U.S. trough during the week of February 26 - March 1.

The 12z Sunday GFS deterministic run offers the most reckless opportunity to have some fun, depicting a classic severe weather day from the Midwest into the Mid-South on February 28th. Please, please focus on the fact that we're being reckless for the sake of being reckless here.

Worth a little bit more weight here is early agreement from the EPS and GEFS global ensembles that we'll see a period of strong southwesterly jet stream flow leading to lee cyclogenesis and an open Gulf of Mexico delivering deep moisture. This tells me that this period in Week 2 bares watching for early season severe weather potential... somewhere between the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes sometime between February 26 - March 1.

Breaking it down and looking at individual ensemble members, we can again see general agreement in "yes, instability" coupled with "but who knows where" member to member differences in location + date of the best overlap.

I'm sure this will amount to me streaming tornado & storm chasing video content on both out and back flights while anticipation for the spring storm observation season builds.


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