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Incredible Temperature Gradient in Southern/Central Plains

By: Christopher C. Burt, 7:34 PM GMT on April 09, 2013

Incredible Temperature Gradient in Southern/Central Plains

A sharp temperature gradient is occurring over the southern and central Great Plains today (Tuesday, April 9th) as a late season arctic cold front sweeps across the region. Temperatures range more than 60°F (33°C) from the eastern portions of Nebraska and Kansas to their respective western portions.



Surface conditions across the southern and central Plains as of 1:43 CST, April 9th. Note the temperature gradient over northern Texas of some 60°! Map from UCAR.

At 1 p.m. CST, April 9th the temperature in Falls City, Nebraska (in the state’s southeastern corner) stood at 75°F (24°C) while in Alliance and Sydney (western Nebraska) the temperature was concurrently 12°F (-11°C). In Kansas the temperatures at 2 P.m. CST ranged from 77°F (25°C) in Winfield to 17° (-8°C) in Goodland. In Oklahoma, the front was just passing through the western portion of the state and, as of 1 p.m. CST, accompanied by a 50°F (28°C) drop of temperature over just an hour or two. It was 34°F (1°C) in Gage while just 100 miles to the southeast in Altus it was 82°F (28°C).



Temperatures across Oklahoma as of 1:30 p.m. CST April 9th ranged from 26°F (-3.3°C) in the panhandle to 82°F (27.8°C) in several southern sites. Map from Oklahoma MESONET.

Amarillo, Texas saw its temperature slide from a record high of 89°F (31.7°C) on Monday afternoon (April 8th) to 37° (2.8°C) by 1 p.m. Tuesday. Some light snowfall may occur later in the day. If the temperature falls to 20°F (-6.7°C) or lower Wednesday morning (April 10th), which is possible, the city will tie or break its record low temperature for the date (set in 1951).

Heavy snow and near blizzard conditions are raging across western Nebraska and eastern Colorado where tornadoes were reported just yesterday evening. At 9 p.m. MST on Monday (April 8th) a tornado was reported on the ground just 6 miles east of Akron, Colorado at the same time the town was reporting a 36°F temperature and snow (with winds gusting to 79 mph at 8 p.m.).



The regional radar observation at 10 p.m. MST on April 8th shows the amazing convective frozen precipitation over the northeastern corner of Colorado just hours after tornadoes had been reported in the region, these then immediately followed by snowfall! Wunderground.com radar.

The temperature in Akron fell from 71°F (21.7°C) at 2 p.m. Monday to 12°F (-11.1°C) by 6 a.m. Tuesday. Denver has seen a similar precipitous drop of temperature with a high of 71°F (21.7°C) on Monday around noon to 14°F (-10.0°C) by 6 a.m. this morning (Tuesday) with 3-7” of snow already accumulating across the metro area so far.

More extreme weather may be expected over the entire eastern two-thirds of the contiguous U.S. over the next two or three days with record warmth in the east, record cold in the west and heavy snow and severe thunderstorms in between.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

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The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Thanks for the blog!

Looks like some more frozen convective precip is occurring today, with a severe thunderstorm warning even occurring earlier in Nebraska where the surface temps are below freezing!



SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HASTINGS NE
157 PM CDT TUE APR 9 2013

NEC121-125-091915-
/O.CON.KGID.SV.W.0036.000000T0000Z-130409T1915Z/
MERRICK NE-NANCE NE-
157 PM CDT TUE APR 9 2013

...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR NANCE AND
CENTRAL MERRICK COUNTIES UNTIL 215 PM CDT...

AT 156 PM CDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED 5 MILES SOUTHWEST
OF FULLERTON...OR 32 MILES NORTHEAST OF GRAND ISLAND...MOVING
NORTHEAST AT 50 MPH.

HAZARD...QUARTER SIZE HAIL.

SOURCE...RADAR INDICATED.

IMPACT...DAMAGE TO VEHICLES AND CROPS IS EXPECTED.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
FULLERTON AND BELGRADE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

FOR YOUR PROTECTION MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
BUILDING.

&&

LAT...LON 4152 9773 4125 9785 4117 9792 4126 9824
4148 9826 4149 9811 4150 9810 4150 9805
4151 9804 4152 9790 4153 9788
TIME...MOT...LOC 1857Z 204DEG 45KT 4133 9805

HAIL...1.00IN
WIND...<50MPH

$$

EWALD

The temp gradient may be even more extreme in Texas, with temps just in the Panhandle alone ranging from 90*F to 29*F!

This forecast is wild.

If the temperature does fall below 32 how cold will it need to get before ice accumulates? The ground and roads must be very warm.
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