Why so stormy?

May 25, 2016: Scattered showers and thunderstorms do not seem to want to leave the forecast, with chances for rain nearly every day into next week. As we’ve seen, this doesn’t mean rain all day. However, we are seeing spotty thunderstorms become more frequent the later into the week we get.  This trend carries on into next week, meaning you may be dodging raindrops as late as next Wednesday.

So why are we seeing so many chances for rain, and why can’t the forecast be a little more concise on when the rain arrives? Here’s the overall pattern:

WREX 2016The jet stream will be in a similar pattern almost all week and into the weekend.  You can see the jet stream cutting right across the Midwest, which helps direct subtle waves of energy into our region. These waves help trigger storms if conditions are right. We’ll see plenty of these “triggers” slide by, giving us plenty of chances for rain as a result.

The one issue, is that these subtle waves or “triggers” are a little difficult to track when and where they show up, providing a lot of uncertainty to the forecast. That’s why we have broad chances for rain, rather than pinpoint time frames. The forecast does usually get clearer the closer we get to the rain showing up.

WREX 2016 2

Helping fuel the extra rain chances is the much warmer, muggy air that started to set up today.  With humid, warm air, storms are a little more likely to form, plus we have higher chances for heavier rain with the extra moisture in the air.

The good news is that the end of the holiday weekend may be a little quieter, as that broad, unsettled weather pattern begins to break down.

– Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on May 25, 2016

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