Identifying Warm, Moist Flow for the Ongoing Severe Weather Threat. (credit: UW-Madison CIMSS MIMIC)
DISCUSSION: As the Central United States continues to be under a larger-scale severe weather threat overnight tonight and into the day on Wednesday and Thursday, there is also a substantial threat for flooding and even potential flash flooding. The reason for this is due to the fact that the moisture track which is ending up northward into the southern and central Mississippi River Valley is tracking out of the Gulf of Mexico. This can be seen in the CIMSS-MIMIC Total Precipitable Water imagery courtesy of the University of Wisconsin animated imagery attached above. Whenever there are situations characterized by warm, moist flow emerging out of the Gulf of Mexico, this greatly favors heavier rainfall events due to the fact there is also substantial persistence to these moisture plumes.
The core of this particular moisture plume can be identified via the yellow to orange shaded colors emerging from the Gulf of Mexico. This yellow to orange coloring represents the core of the deepest moisture within this particular Gulf of Mexico moisture plume which was coming ashore during the overnight hours from Monday night (04/30/2018) to Tuesday morning (05/01/2018). Thus, per the track of this moisture plume via the animated CIMSS-MIMIC imagery attached above, the core of this moisture plume was ideally oriented for heavy rainfall across the southern to central Mississippi River valley. Hence, it is always critical to respect the potential for heavy rainfall events coincident with severe weather events during the Spring to Summer time-frame across the Central United States.
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