Since we all live, work and play on the surface of the Earth. Thus we focus are forecast sensible weather at ground level. The real action in the weather world is racing around the planet in the jet stream. Here’s the wind field and forecast heights of the 500 millibar level for midday on Saturday. Notice the maximum winds streaking across northern Minnesota a large swath of 80 to 90 mph winds in the southwest portion of the country.
Meteorologists are trained to monitor the model output at all levels in the vertical profile. Jet streams transports energy around the globe. There are both long wave weather patterns and embedded short waves or what we call troughs or ridges moving through the wind maximum fields. Troughs or low pressure are associated with precipitation. Rigdes or high pressure mean air settling and more tranquil.
For the weekend weather forecast we are monitoring the trend of the models with both the long wave and short wave pattern developing in the southwest corner of the Nation. The details on the timing of precipitation, intensity and specific location get sorted out in the dynamic transfer of heat and cold, along with moisture.
This is a long way to go to set up the conundrum the forecasters will have on the prediction of thunderstorms in Minnesota for the weekend. It looks like there will be a convective cluster of thunderstorms near southern Minnesota on Saturday evening. Follow along with Paul’s Updraft blog the rest of the week to see how your weekend plans (perhaps a Twins game) may be impacted by the forces of the jet stream.
Here’s a very busy map from NOAA on the hazards that are lurking for the next few days.
Severe weather season may be right around the corner. Here’s more information on the availability of tone alerted weather warnings twenty-four hours a day.