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Issued at 1043 AM CDT Fri Mar 31 2023

A well-defined lead mid-level wave entering southwest MO will 
continue to muddle the forecast evolution this afternoon. A small 
70kt jet streak associated with this wave has started to show more
coverage of convection, albeit still elevated, between Kansas 
City and Springfield, MO. Timing of the wave and developing 
convection is progged to arrive into our southwest CWA as early as
19Z-20Z. The main questions with this potential round of storms 

1) Does the SW MO convection grow upscale?
2) Will the convection have enough time to become surface-based?

Obs trends combined with recent CAM guidance do support at least 
some upscale growth as impressive mid/upper forcing continue to 
erode an existing EML with northeast extent. A well-organized 
convective complex may struggle to fully materialize, which would 
increase some concern for the potential of more discrete activity 
into our area. This leads to the question of surface-based 
convection potential. In the wake of pre-dawn convection over 
Illinois, the EML has suppressed most mid to upper-level cloud 
cover. Some low-level clearing has been more aggressive than 
initially expected, with surface temps already around 60F. Surface
dew points remain a little more questionable, with mid 50s dew 
points to the southwest requiring at least some assistance with 
mixing down higher mixing ratios in the 800-900hPa layer. With all
that said, there is increasing concern that low-level profiles 
will become more favorable for surface-based convection as far 
north as the Illinois River and possibly into the southern Chicago
metro by 20-21Z/3-4pm. All hazards will remain on the table if 
convection does become surface-based, including supercells capable
of very large hail, strong winds, and possibly a strong tornado. 
OVerall, the concern window is highest 3-5pm.

Assessment continues with the second wave of convection along the
cold front early to mid-evening (6-10pm). The impressive dynamics
will support a significant severe threat owing to rapid 
replenishment of the upstream airmass even in the wake of 
potential convection mid-afternoon.



Issued at 334 AM CDT Fri Mar 31 2023

Through Saturday...

Complex weather scenario playing out over the next 12-18 hours
with an all-hazards severe weather risk (including the potential
for damaging winds (significant severe gusts in excess of 75 mph
are on the table), a few to even several tornadoes, and damaging
hail. However, uncertainty in how things play out, including who
has the locally highest severe risk and ultimate magnitude and 
coverage has gotten a little more nebulous/muddied based on 
overnight guidance. 

In the very near term, elevated showers and thunderstorms will
continue to track east across the region this morning in
association with a lead wing of isentropic ascent acting upon a
plume of steepened mid-level laps rates. Given effective inflow
bases above 1-1.5 km, deep layer shear is pretty limited (less
than 20 kts), so we're not anticipating much of a severe risk with
this activity although have seen depths occasionally increasing
enough to suggest penny to perhaps nickel hail in the most robust
cores. Expecting that coverage will gradually wane through the
morning hours. 

The main change to this afternoon's forecast in overnight guidance
has been to more strongly suggest a lead impulse firing an earlier
round of convection across parts of Missouri before spreading
north and east into our region. Conceptually, this activity looks
like it would be forced on the nose of an intensifying 500 mb jet
streak near 70 kts which is just now spreading east across parts
of Oklahoma. Noting greatly increasing upper divergence into our
region early this afternoon as a result, and this seems like it'll
easily catch up to a renewed reservoir of a pretty much untouched
EML plume characterized by very steep 500-700 mb lapse rates
nearing 9 C/km. Given the intense nature of jet forcing and how
steep the mid-level lapse rate plume is forecast to be, can't
really see how things don't rapidly convect into parts of the 
forecast area early-mid afternoon (although a quieter early-mid 
afternoon solution is still advertised by a handful of hires 
output). Currently, best guess is this initial/lead activity gets 
close to or into our forecast area around 1-2 PM or so before 
developing north and eastward. 

Depending on how quickly this lead activity develops, parts of it
may remain just a bit elevated (initially), but any southwestward
development, or tardier progression will greatly increase the 
potential for cells to become rooted at the surface as dewpoints 
crawl upwards and MLCINH decreases. Kinematic profiles get very 
concerning very quickly towards mid to late afternoon, 
particularly across the southwestern half of our forecast area 
where, if convection is ongoing, discrete or semi-discrete 
supercells have the potential to become surface based with an 
attendant increasing tornado risk (talking possible sig-tor 
territory given the parameter space) with large, looping 
hodographs noted. All modes of severe weather would be possible, 
seemingly highest in a corridor south and west of Rockford to 
Joliet to Watseka in the vicinity of the surging 60 degree 
isodrosotherm although the tornado risk could very well extend 
farther north and east depending on just how quickly the near- 
surface manages to destabilize (another wild-card present).

If this initial activity materializes, it remains unclear just how
much of a deleterious impact it will have on the thermodynamic and
kinematic profiles ahead of the incoming cold front. Given how
strong the low-level mass response is, there's a possibility that
the airmass recovers just enough in the 2-3 hours between waves to
support a secondary severe window across pretty much all of the
forecast area although a pristine/untouched airmass would not
exist across the full breadth of our CWA. Increasing large scale 
forcing for ascent along the surging front and associated 
occlusion looks to result in fairly quick growth in a line or 
several LEWPS, entering our I-39 locales after about 6-7 PM before
racing north and eastward at about 65 mph. The HRRR is certainly 
aggressively indicating our airmass will have no trouble 
supporting a renewed severe threat with this evening frontal 
convection and is now formally resolving sig-severe wind gusts 
through much of the region. QLCS mesovortexgenesis would also be 
on the table here given incredible low-level shear profiles 
resulting in an attendant embedded tornado threat. 

All of this to say that the table is certainly set for a
potentially significant severe weather episode across parts of 
our area, but lingering uncertainties exist particularly owing to 
the potential for a lead area convection early-mid afternoon. The 
end result of all of this: continue to monitor the forecast today 
for updates!

In addition to the convection potential, a non-thunderstorm wind
potential exists, as early as this afternoon as deeper mixing is 
realized into the core of the robust LLJ. Best chance for more 
widespread strong non-thunderstorm gusts will be in the developing
cold advective regime late tonight as low-level lapse rates 
steepen. Am even seeing a potential for a brief window of 55 mph 
gusts across the entire region initially (up to the WI state 
line), although confidence in this was too low to indicate in the 
grids at this time. Highest confidence for gusts over 45 mph as 
near and south of I-80, and have issued a Wind Advisory to cover 
both the WAA-driven southwesterlies and CAA-driven westerlies 
there for late this afternoon through Saturday morning. Based on
the depth of the mixed layer (up near 850 mb) and incredible
pressure rises (12-15 mb/3 hour advertised), am still somewhat
concerned there may be a brief window for damaging gusts
approaching 60 mph in a brief "pop" late tonight as the main CAA-
push arrives. 

Additional area of precipitation will sweep through the area on
Saturday morning. Profiles are cold enough to support a changeover
to all snow in our far north, although temperatures expected to
remain at or above freezing for the most part limiting impacts. If
things were colder, would be more concerned with a squall/snow
squall potential given the lingering strong winds through the PBL. 



Issued at 235 AM CDT Fri Mar 31 2023

Saturday night through Thursday...

Primary forecast concern is the potential for another period of
severe thunderstorms Tuesday into Wednesday along with another
period of possible wind advisory level winds.

A frontal boundary will become stationary across the southern cwa,
or just south of the area Monday night with chance of showers and 
thunderstorms returning Monday night. This frontal boundary is
expected to lift back north as a warm front on Tuesday as low
pressure deepens moving from the central Plains to the upper
midwest. A strong cold front is expected to move across the area
Tuesday night and this time period would be most favored for the
potential for severe weather as shown in the days 4-8 outlook from
SPC. Strong westerly winds are then possible Wednesday, possibly
into advisory level. cms



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