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Storm potential ahead: winter/possible severe weather
After nearly two months of quiet weather in the lower Midwest, the fall season looks to become very active in the coming week as multiple strong upper troughs cross the country's midsection. These storms will bring significant winter precipitation on their cold sides and the potential for severe storms in their warm sectors. The first of these waves is already in progress, with blizzard conditions imminent for Colorado, accumulating snow as far as eastern Kansas, and a snow mix possible to as far east as western Missouri. Thunderstorms and heavy rain should be in store for the St. Louis area on Sunday through Tuesday.
Despite the power of the upper level winds with these systems, we will be missing the important ingredient of a good low-level environment (moisture and instability) supportive of severe storms. The second wave will bring better moisture, but likely extensive cloud cover. Nonetheless, this is not the type of system that you write off as a storm observer - with those upper dynamics, if any unexpected instability can be realized in the right places, a few tornadoes will be possible. I'm keeping Sunday, Monday and Tuesday on standby as potential expedition days - stay tuned!
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