Pattern Change

June 26, 2015: Relief from the persistent, heavy-at-times rainfall in the forecast may be just a day or so away. Lately, we’ve been stuck in a weather pattern than looks something like this:

JET 1

Click on image to enlarge.

We have a west-to-east oriented jet stream.  This pattern means the waves that move through the jet, which help spark up thunderstorms, roll one after another through our area, leaving us with plenty of chances for rain. In addition, persistent winds at a lower level in the atmosphere provided a rich environment full of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to fuel thunderstorms and heavy rainfall.  Since we had an ignition source and plenty of fuel for storms aligning over our area, we got a ton of rain.

Now, for the change-up:

JET 2

Click on image to enlarge.

This pattern should be taking shape starting today, and lasting into at least next week.  Now, the jet stream is more north-to-south as a trough (the U-shape over the eastern half of the U.S.) settles into the lower 48. Not only will cooler, less humid air start flowing into the Midwest, but we no longer have that rich moisture source from the Gulf of Mexico.  While there are still chances for rain, we won’t be as hot and humid to ramp up the instability in the atmosphere, which should keep the explosive storms away.

So, who’s ready for a little heavy rain relief?  I think we deserve it!

-Alex

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Posted under weather

This post was written by Alex Kirchner on June 26, 2015

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