WeatherNation Blog

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Hello and happy Thursday everyone, hope all is well on this 29th of March. Nice Thursday sunrise picture here from the Twin Cities. Enjoy the sun early because weather conditions will sour through the day, showers and thunderstorms will be possible later.

National Forecast

Two weather stories today include the mess in the west and also the severe weather threat today in the central part of the country.

Severe Weather Threat

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a SLIGHT RISK of severe weather for areas in orange. Hail, high winds and isolated tornadoes will be possible in these areas late today.

Heavy Rain Forecast

Thunderstorms in the Kansas City, MO area could potentially bring up to 1″+ or rainfall through early tomorrow morning. The other notable area to check out is the West Coast where several inches of rain and flooding will be possible through the weekend.

A Taste of Winter

Some folks will be cold enough for snow tonight and Friday!

5 Day Forecast

Heavy rain continues to fall in the West with nearly a foot of liquid possible through early next week.

West Coast Headlines

The National Weather Service continues to show heavy snow potential in the high elevations and heavy coastal rains.

See more HERE

Clouds in Vegas

US National Weather Service Las Vegas Nevada

“ Yesterday evening between 5 and 5:30 lenticular clouds could be seen in the sky over Las Vegas. Lenticular clouds are lens shaped clouds that form at the crest of air flowing over mountains. They are usually associated with strong flow over mountains, which is then forced downward upon encountering a stable layer. As the air ascends, it cools and reaches its dew point temperature. The water vapor in the air condenses, forming a cloud. The stable layer then forces it to descend – often warming it enough for the condensed water to evaporate back to vapor putting a break in the cloud. When a strong enough wave exists, lenticular clouds can ebb and flow continuously.”

Thanks for checking in and have a great rest of you week!

-Meteorologist Todd Nelson-

Get me to the Beach!

Wednesday, March 27th, 2012

Thanks to Doug Nichols for this picture of a spring Sunset in southern IN along with an apple tree that is blooming. Looks like your buds have escaped the recent frost Doug, hope we can stay frost free through the rest of the spring!

Hello and happy Wednesday everyone, hope all is well on this 27th of March. It was another mild day yesterday, especially across the Plains, where reading were nearly 10° to 20°+ above normal.

National Forecast

There are two main areas of focus today. The West Coast and also the front draped across the Ohio Valley.

Severe Risk Today

The severe risk today shows a SLIGHT RISK across the Ohio Valley and parts of the Central Plains. Hail and high winds look to be the primary threat if storms get going. One of the limiting factors to the storm potential is the limited moisture as surface dew points are quite low.

5 Day Precipitation Forecast

The 5 day precipitation forecast shows decent moisture through the middle part of the country, but the Pacific Northwest takes that cake with amounts nearing 6″ to 10″ through early Monday

Colorado Fire Update

This is the latest on the Colorado fire from the Jefferson County Sheriff blogspot page

Beach Weather

Ahhh… that beach looks like the place to be! Spring Breakers continue to jam local beaches, hoping to get the perfect tan before heading back home. This was the view from Clearwater Beach, FL… see more HERE

Thanks for checking in and have a great Wednesday!

-Meteorologist Todd Nelson-

Not as Summery, but Still Springy

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Hello and happy Monday everyone, hope all is well on this last full week of March 2012. We are still talking about warm temperatures across the eastern two-thirds of the nation, but it’s not going to be quite as warm as it was the last couple of weeks.

Highs Today

These are the high temperatures expected across the nation today. Note, the mild bubble of air stretching up through the Dakotas and also note the cooler air across the Great Lakes Region. Along this boundary is where some showers and thunderstorm activity will be developing through the day.

Severe Weather Threat Monday

This is the severe weather outlook for today. There is a SLIGHT Risk in yellow across the Dakotas for late today. Hail and high winds looks to be the primary threat with a low tornado potential.

Thunderstorm Potential

This is the simulated radar reflectivity late tonight, which shows a stormy scenario across parts of the the Dakotas and Minnesota.

Heavy Precipitation Forecast

This is the 5 Day precipitation forecast across the nation, note the heaviest precipitation forecast across the Pacific Northwest. Some of this moisture will sneak down into the northern California with snow begin the main precipitation type across the higher elevations.

Winter Storm

Winter Weather Headlines have been issued by the National Weather Service for the higher elevations of northern California from Tuesday into Wednesday for the potential of 10″ to 20″ of snow above 6000ft.

Alright, that’s all for now… thanks for checking in! Have a great rest of your week.

-Meteorologist Todd Nelson-

A Future Freeze

Early Signs of Spring in Des Moines, IA from Jason Parkin


So much excitement in the air with flowers blooming much earlier than usual and signs of green growth all across the northern tier of the nation.  All of this is happening over a month ahead of what is usually expected.  Even though it is unlikely that a winter storm would develop bringing in a significant snowfall to these areas, it is still very likely that temperatures will drop below freezing.  Models suggest that these above average temperatures will continue for the near future.  However, many of the areas that are experiencing this exceptional warmth are still several weeks away from their average last freeze date.  Many farmers and growers and concerned that this early growth may be affected by a future hard freeze.

The National Weather Service Office in Chicago has posted a chart showing likelihood of a freeze after several upcoming dates:

Chicago , IL
Probability of Exceedance
Date of Last Spring Freeze (32° or colder)
Date of Last Spring Hard Freeze (28° or colder)
March 16th
March 4th 
April 5th
March 24th
April 12th
March 31st
April 18th
April 7th
April 24th
April 11th
May 7th
April 20th
May 25th
May 10th

For example, according to this chart, there is still a 90% chance that temperatures will drop below freezing up until that date.

From Le Mars Daily Sentinel:

“The potential for frost or a killing freeze exists for another four to six weeks, said Mike Gillispie, hydrologist, National Weather Service, Sioux Falls, S.D.

In Le Mars the average date for the season’s final freeze is May 1 and the date of the last killing freeze is April 24, Gillispie said.

Along with damaging alfalfa, cold temperatures could stunt or reduce fruit production because blossoms or buds have already begun to form, DeJong said.

“When we’ve got plants as active as we are and we get a really cold snap, we could see some premature plant death in the process or certainly reduce a lot of our fruit production from those that flower this early in the season,” he explained.

Norm Koch, of Le Mars, owner of Koch Orchard, said that is a definite possibility if frost hits when his apples are in full blossom.

He expects this weekend’s warm weather to push his fruit crop into the cluster bud or flower stage — ahead of schedule.”

Weekly Wrap Up and a Look Ahead

Looking back after a ridiculously warm week across the nation…over 500 new high temperature records!

Record Events Summary for The Past Week
Total Records:1537
High Temp:436
Low Temp:29
Low Max Temp:130
High Min Temp:555

Although, records won’t be as numerous today, high temperatures will still be considerably above average.  Just have to keep in mind it is still March!

A sneak peak at the extended outlook showing temperatures will continue to remain above the seasonal norms for the next several days.

The Pacific Northwest will be getting the next dose of moisture as a system rolls in the from the west.   Expecting wet weather stretching from Northern California down to San Francisco and even down to San Diego into this upcoming weekend.