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Joe’s Weather Blog: Where We’ve Been

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You do realize one year ago some area kids were making snowmen right? Even have some picture to prove it that I showed on the newscast this morning!

Forecast:

Tonight: After a great afternoon with highs well into the 70s tonight will be mostly clear and very pleasant with lows dropping into the 50-55° range for most of the area. There were 40s earlier today in the outlying regions and with such light winds I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened again in parts of the viewing area.

Tomorrow (updated): Much like today but with warmer temperatures. Highs may pop into the 85+° range with mostly sunny skies. Some of you south of the metro may see highs near or above 90! As I mentioned yesterday there will be a front edging into the region but between the warm air aloft (the cap) and the lack of moisture at the surface…it will be tough for any convection to form…so we’ll play the forecast dry.

Monday: Front eases through as the winds shift towards the NE and NNE. This should allow some slightly cooler air to move into the area. I’m shooting for highs to be around 75°…although there is potential for it to be a bit cooler…perhaps closer to 70°. Overall though assuming we don’t see any weird clouds form behind the front it should be another great day!

Discussion:

The bigger picture has the next chance of rain coming our way either later Wednesday evening or more than likely on Thursday. I blogged about that yesterday and will write more about that tomorrow.

Today I thought it might be a good opportunity to sort of see where we’re been over the past 4 months…now that about a third of 2014 is done with the region. Let’s see how we’re doing.

Let’s start at the beginning of the new year and take our data through 4/30…and I think we know how this is going to go…and it’s going to be chilly. We’ve had a lot of months with below average temperatures…and the 1st 4 months of the year have been chilly for sure!

As a matter of fact a check of the weather data indicates that the 1st 4 months of the year were the 7th chilliest since weather records have been kept for the KC area.

ScreenHunter_01 May. 03 12.54

 

Now I can hear those wheels spinning in your minds…and you’re probably wondering whether or not there is any correlation to the cooler start to the year and the upcoming summer season…and there just might be (weak connection perhaps). I also looked at all our meteorological summers (defined by June-August) to see how the top 10 years above stacked up. Here is what I came up with (125 possible summers in the overall record)…

The summer of 1979 was the 15th coolest
The summer of 1978 was the 59th coolest
The summer of 1912 was the 36th coolest
The summer of 1982 was the 13th coolest
The summer of 1899 was the 57th coolest
The summer of 1940 was the 76th coolest
The summer of 1893 was the 16th coolest
The summer of 1993 was the 43rd coolest
The summer of 1936 was the 2nd HOTTEST

 

So all but two were in the top half of the cooler summers…3 were in the top 20 and the summer of 1936 stands out as an outlier in the listings above. Just by looking at the numbers one could reasonably think that while there would be a question of how cool it really would be this summer…one could potentially surmise that the summer overall would be cooler than average.

What about from a moisture standpoint? Well that one falls more to the middle of the pack…we ranked 41st driest out of 126 records…to me that is sort of in nowhere land. Though when it comes to forecasting summer rainfall…sometimes it’s helpful to look around you for clues…and we sort of did this yesterday by observing the drought situation through parts of the Plains states.

The following map takes into account the precipitation data through 5/2…but I think you get an idea…these are the anomalies…and where ever you see RED that is not a good thing.

 

That’s a lot of RED and the news is not good even farther to the south…

 

I wrote yesterday about the connection between droughts and heat…this is a well known connection…so today I thought I’d look at the CFS2 model which is one of our LONG-term models that looks at the weather over the course of about 12 months or so. It’s track record is at best so-so and at worst really bad…and in a way it’s better to look not just at the latest model run…but to look at a combination and average of many runs over the course of a few weeks to eliminate some of the noise that the models generates. Take a look at the forecasted temperatures through the country with this model over the past 21 days of runs…

cfs_anom3_t2m_noram_201406_84

Click on the image above to make it larger. Interesting to me 1) the coolness over the Great Lakes region…keep in mind there is still a lot of Lakes real estate up to the north under ice…record late ice cover for early May…that ice means cooler lake waters and a cooling effect through the UP of MI…and the model picks up on that. 2) notice the heat through the southern Plains region along the I-35 corridor and also down through AR/LA. This is somewhat concerning to me because of the connection to the drought regions above. The same model does give us about average amounts of rainfall so that is interesting although the last week of runs of the CFS2 model is starting to dry things out. In the KC area we average about 13.5+” of rainfall over the June-August span.

I don’t have a feel for the summer in terms of temps or rainfall at this point. Stats wise you can really make a argument for a “cooler” summer…and I’m leaning in that direction. One reason why is that the same northern Pacific warm water regime is still in place. If you remember I identified that for you last fall as, to me at least, a critical component to a winter forecast that worked out well (for a change for me). Well it’s still there and going strong. What is changing though is a developing El Nino in the equatorial Pacific area. That should predominate over the summer season into the fall at least. I’m not sure how the two warm bodies of water will interact with each other and what it means for us…but I’m leaning towards riding the horse that brought me this far for the summer at least in terms of temperatures. Click on the image below.

 

globe_cdas1_anom

I’d feel a LOT better about my forecast for the summer IF that darn drought wasn’t a persistent bugger through the southern/western Plains region. In some ways if we see a larger anticyclone (high pressure) build in that region aloft…it’s conceivable that we could be placed into a NW flow which may allow some of those overnight t/storm clusters to move through the region periodically. We’ve missed many of those over the past few years. PURE speculation on my part though and I’m probably trying to connect two dots that are really too far apart.

Anyway there you go and have a great weekend!

Joe

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2 comments

  • Jason Summa

    As bad as this may sound, maybe west Texas and Oklahoma needs a tropical storm or weak hurricane to sit on top for a day or two to help ease the drought. It would help with the moisture count but at same time lead to flooding. If the El Nino does develop, how would it affect the tropical systems in Pacific and Atlantic?

  • Michelle Bogowith

    Jason…yes to the folks in W TX…an El Nino typically is associated with more wind shear through the tropical Atlantic…especially from the Carribean eastwards…that + the cooler water off the African coast leads me to believe fewer storms. Also notice the warmer waters compared to avg off the SE coast…perhaps stronger close in to the US development. ^JL