All Watches Cancelled
Well at least some of you got some rain, the heaviest activity was out to the west of the metro. There was some hail and even some rotation around Topeka that prompted a Tornado Warning. There were some reports of golf ball sized hail out west, but closer into the metro there severe weather reports were non-existent. Here are the reports received so far.
Rainfall looks to be in the area of nothing to close to 1/4″ or so. Really not enough to help the cause all that much.
That’ll do it for the night. JL
The Storm Predication Center has issued a Tornado Watch for areas off towards the W of the KC metro area. This Watch runs till 9PM and DOES NOT include the KC or St Joseph metro area. The Watch is essentially from Lawrence and Topeka westwards. Here is the outline.
+++++++5:30 PM Update++++++
Well this thing really is just a mess in terms of how it’s going to affect the KC Metro region. The storm continues to suck in a LOT of dry air from the east of the area. At the same time moisture is moving into the heart of the storm from the southern plains, but is in the process of getting pinched off by the dry line that’s surging eastwards. Here is the 5PM map…
Dewpoints are near 10° in parts of IL/IA…that is insanely dry for this time of the year. Meanwhile dewpoints are near 60° around Emporia. I continue to watch and really see nothing that is going to threaten the KC Metro area for the next several hours. Our risk of any severe weather will be ties to whether or not any activity develops across an area from Emporia to Butler, MO. Right now there is nothing that excites me about that prospect. Should things pop there, the cells would move NNE at 40 MPH. The southern extent of the storm coverage is IFFY at best at this point and is having a tough time getting together and developing. That area is going to be the key to what happens here from 7PM-11PM or so. MT will be watching the situation carefully this evening for you. Right now IF you have evening plans you should be OK through 8PM at least. There has been a brief tornado reported near Aurora, KS by a storm spotter.
As of 2PM here is what’s going on…
Our surface storm is out across west central KS and will be moving towards the East for the next 12 hours or so. The warm front, that is shown by the RED line towards the S/SW of KC marks the leading edge of the thicker moisture. We continue to be influenced by a strong E to ESE flow of air that is bringing in dry air at the surface.
As the area of low pressure moved towards NW MO this evening, the warm front to our south will be forced to the north. That means the dewpoints will surge this evening into the 60-65° range. You can clearly see how the surface storm is sucking in moisture from the southern plains states. The shaded areas on this next map show some of the thicker air.
The sun is now breaking through out there and the instability is increasing especially around the Wichita area. This next map shows the CAPES that are increasing. CAPE stands for Convective Available Potential Energy and is a measure, in a sense, of the buoyancy of the air. The larger the CAPE the greater the potential speed of the updrafts are. Notice the bulls-eye area closer to the Wichita region
CAPES above 2500 indicate VERY unstable air…the blue shading on this map represents the CAP and it’s strength. The areas that we look for for the potential of bigger storms is where there is decent CAPE and no CAP. Should other parameters be there, i.e. other energy in the atmosphere (upper level lows, jet stream winds etc) then those regions are our focus.
So far this afternoon there has been no change in my forecast thinking. See the previous blog for information on that.
Storms are now firing from Mankato, KS southwards to the Wichita area. The storms are moving towards the NNE and this evening will move more towards the NE. With this in mind and assuming no activity fires in advance of this initial line, that would place the KC metro area under the risk for T/storms between 7-11 tonight. The main threat for the KC metro area continues to be some hail I think, with the tornadic threat higher in the region talked about this AM…50-100 mi. S/SW of the downtown area. Again this is a fluid situation and we’ll be watching how this line forms and whether or not it holds together and maintains it’s strength as it moves farther into Eastern KS.
More updates will be coming as the late afternoon moves along.
Finally, I didn’t get a chance to mention this earlier bit today is the anniversary of the devastating outbreak of tornadoes that affected the SE part of the country last year on 4/27.
I could write more about the outbreak, but when I see something comprehensive already done, I defer to something a lot better. Head on over to ustornadoes.com for videos and a map illustrating where the tornadoes touched down. Additional information is located on the NWS web site from Birmingham, AL. as well as information from the NWS in Huntsville, AL