Sure enough we have this classic set-up taking place once again here over the Midwest. The jet stream is centered a little farther north and west than you see above and the stronger thunderstorms like to form on the edge of these high upper-level winds. Notice the warmer, more humid weather we have to work with and it likes to collide with our leftover cooler air from what is left of our Spring.
The night before a possible severe weather outbreak is always the toughest part. Am I just supposed to go home and sleep? Yes! But do I....not even close. This all goes back to my childhood when I woke up my brother at all hours of the night to make weather announcements and my parents would here me running around the house turning outdoor lights on looking for weather. This was back before the internet, cable weather, and a 24 hour a day, seven day a week radar you could gain access to. Some things never change. It will be a meteorological Super Bowl here in the Midwest today. But sometimes like the Super Bowl the weather does not quite live up to the hype. It all depends on a potent mesoscale convective complex in Iowa and Wisconsin that is trying to move our way with plenty of clouds and a cooler outflow in the atmosphere. We have to watch how far south this thing actually goes. Thunderstorms love to fire up on the southern edge of where these storm complexes die out the following day. As expected the models tonight are not doing a good job handling these thunderstorms at all and as expected the low-level moisture flow in the atmosphere looks to be less than the models depicted. The new model runs have dewpoints closer to the lower 60s which is why I went with more isolated severe weather chances than the widespread scenario the Storm Prediction Center was forecasting a little earlier today. But last night's sunset tells the story.
It was a beautiful sight but almost bittersweet. These cirrostratus clouds were caused by the tops of 50,000 foot thunderstorms being sheared apart by high upper-level winds. These same upper-level winds could be the driving force behind strong storms here at home today. I have my game face on. For now I will watch, wait, lick my chops, and I am ready to go. Make sure you have that plan B and I will have an update coming your way by later this morning. Sweet dreams!