Weather: One day at a time!

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Quad Cities (KWQC) - Weather forecasting is never “easy”, and with certain types of weather come the most challenges. There are degrees of difficulty. You might think that forecasting a winter storm is harder than a summer rain shower. Well, let me fill you in. Winter storms are entities that we can see coming for quite some time. It gives us a chance to discover what the storm could potentially bring. And then it’s just a matter of nailing down the timing and the final location of the storm for the region. In the Quad Cities, summertime can bring even bigger challenges. When we sit in an area of high heat and humidity we are always thinking there’s a chance for thunderstorms. Sometimes with heat higher in the atmosphere we’ll get what we call a “cap”. Warm air aloft can suppress storm development. But, if the upper levels cool off that cap “erodes” and can allow storms to pop. Or, if the edge of the high heat and humidity is near us, storms that form around the periphery of the heat can move so close they can spread into areas that we thought would stay dry. And, storms that form one day might leave remnant boundaries that act like mini fronts in the midst of all the warm and humid air such that with sun the next day storms can develop. If storms and clouds DO develop, then temperature forecasts can suddenly be off by 5 to 10 degrees if not more! The thing is, the toughest forecasts can sometimes be in the summer. This is because of multiple variables that make the forecast for the next day VERY dependent on what happens today. And, the forecast for the day AFTER tomorrow is highly dependent on what happens tomorrow. Problem is, these variable often change within the span of a few hours. Depending on the pattern Summer forecasts can often be a “one day at a time” pursuit! So, if it’s hot and humid and the forecast looks dry remember that a few little occurrences in the atmosphere can change that forecast to a wet one. And, if the forecast looks wet you might expect much of the day to be dry before the rain comes in, if it does at all! This is the nature of weather – and the reason meteorologists earn every gray hair they get!