Yesterday was a perfect example of how convection plays an important role in enhancing precipitation in weak systems.
My caveat yesterday was that if the precipitation started too late and did not coincide with the convection, the effects would be greatly diminished. The system kept slowing during the day. When it finally showed up we got to see the true colors of the system. The convection started tanking, the jet had already shifted out of position and the system itself was weak, disorganized and dry. This was supposed to be a storm, but yet, the prior two convective events that we had a few days back produced more precipitation and were never referred to as storms before they hit us.
This brings up a whole other topic that I have delved into over the last couple of years. When is a storm, a storm? What makes it a storm? You may remember a time when I kept saying “Sometimes it just snows”.
I started down that path yesterday morning again but edited it out because it really is a case of semantics, Weather Philosophy. So I tried once again to substitute words like “system” and “piece of energy” and “area of weak low pressure”. Anything but the word storm.
How did we get that way? At the end of the day, I think the answer lies with the weather media. Have we started naming thunderstorms yet? When will that happen? How many boxes of Tide Pods will they sell when Thunderstorm Vesuvius is bearing down on Coffeyville, Kansas? As long as they also run hashtag ads for the Red Cross at the same time and give us a rundown of all the heartwarming Twitter posts from people, I guess it makes it ok…
If you have followed for a while you’ll remember a couple of years ago I started classifying weather events as ” A Storm” and “Not a Storm” storms… It got confusing. So I dropped that and pretty much caved in. The Ski media totally gave in because it is easy to understand, and the readers prefer it. So now you see headlines like “9 Storms Headed This Way This Week!!” So it is an issue I think about. What to do about it? I am not sure. More crap to dwell on in the middle of the night again.
Later today I will dive into the next system and why I think yesterday’s event and the Thursday/Friday event are weaker (except for Wolf Creek).
Thanks for following and supporting the site. Next Update Tuesday afternoon.
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