Deluge in the Heartland

For the past 36 hours, the cold front of the latest Pacific storm system has stretched across or just south of Columbia, Missouri.  Ahead of the front, Gulf moisture is flowing northward and dew points are rising into the sixties and seventies (F) while, just north and west of the front, they are in the thirties.  In Columbia, the dew point has remained in the fifties while the air temperature has been a few degrees lower.

As a consequence, periods of torrential rain, including hail-producing thunderstorms, have raked central Missouri, triggering a flash flood warning.  Today, as the warm air ahead of the front moves farther north, the precipitation is expected to temporarily abate and afternoon highs are forecast to reach the upper seventies.  Then, as the storm's dry line sweeps in from the west, more severe thunderstorms are likely to develop, some of which may produce large hail and tornadoes.

Meanwhile, behind the cold front, heavy snow is falling across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest and the storm's counterclockwise winds are sweeping an upslope plume of moisture toward the Front Range, bringing April snow to Metro Denver.  Of course, all of this moisture will feed the tide of spring and ensure good crop yields for the growing season ahead; then again, nature's bounty often arrives in intense waves and this week's deluge will exact a price.