Joe’s Weather Blog: Rain chances for KC + Matthew update


Good morning. Another fabulous weather day in the area with bright sunshine…a few clouds and warm temperatures. We should be warmer over the next few days…into Thursday it appears…then we’ll see a rather sharp downturn in the temperatures into the weekend…although I’m not sure how cool reality will turn out to be.


Today: Mostly sunny skies and warmer with highs well into the 70s.

Tonight: Breezy and mild with lows near 60°

Tuesday: Increasing clouds and windy. Warm as well with highs approaching 80°. Rain chances arrive in the evening and overnight into early Wednesday morning. Winds will gust to near 30 MPH as well tomorrow.

Wednesday: Any rain ends quickly near daybreak. Warm with clearing skies and highs again near 80°


We’re starting to dry out around the region. It’s a short term thing really and basically just involves the grass and bushes. we’ve had so much moisture through the summer and into September that everything else is good and in reality this is pretty typical for us into the fall season. We can have some dry times around these parts…and typically the weather connected to those times is pretty darn good! It’s really only been about a week or so of dry conditions. The low humidity in the afternoon has helped to dry out the topsoil however.

Things on that front will probably be changing over the next 4 days. Rain chances will be increasing and there should be some thunderstorms mixed in so some areas may get some decent moisture by later Thursday evening. You may already be feeling the beginning of the change as the dew points are creeping into the upper 50s this late morning. We have a SE wind now…but eventually that wind will switch towards the south bringing in somewhat higher dew points into the area for the next few days.

So there are multiple things happening with the rain chances around here. Let’s take a look at the water vapor image…showing 1) an upper level low moving in the Rockies (now near Salt Lake City) Rockies…that’s heading towards southern Canada. 2) another wave digging into the Pacific NW coastal area. That will help to carve out the trof (or deeper “U”) in the jetstream over the next few days.

Notice how the black lines in the above map are “spreading out” in the Plains. That is what we call diffluence. Air that is spreading out above us…allows the air below it to rise to replace the “spreading out” air. This creates rising motion and with moisture in the atmosphere…clouds as you can see on the morning satellite picture. Notice the clouds, more or less focused where the air is “spreading out”. There may be a few light showers from those clouds too.

Eventually as the upper level low near Salt Lake moves towards the NE part of Montana…a weak front will move into the Plains tomorrow. With enough energy available aloft + building instability storms are likely to form out towards the west and SW of the KC area…more towards Concordia, KS to NE of Wichita towards central and eastern OK tomorrow afternoon/evening. These storms will then move towards the NNE while the area moves NE. My feeling is with the arrival of the activity into the evening the severe weather risk is reduced locally. One note to that is the the winds above the surface will be chugging along at 50-60 MPH and the individual storms will be moving at close to 40+ MPH…so IF they can hold together more than I think…I guess there could be an isolated near severe wind gust with the storms in the evening Tuesday. I’m not even expecting a ton of rain (perhaps some fast downpours though) because things will be moving along quickly. The instability will be maximized farther west of KC overall…hence the better severe weather threat out there and the instability will be waning tomorrow evening towards far eastern KS into western Missouri.

Wednesday overall will be dry I think during the daytime hours at least. Whatever boundary that the storms push near us will fall apart and in reality may not even change the winds that much. The reason why this is happening is that the is another decent wave aloft that will be digging into the southern Rockies. You can see the evolution beginning off the coast of British Columbia.  Can you see that little curl moving off the NW US coast in the NE Pacific. Also note the twisting motion in the water vapor loop SE of Salt Lake.


That secondary wave…in the NE Pacific is going to be key to what happens here on Thursday. Moisture will still be in the region…and potentially the dew points may be higher on Thursday. So there is a better set-up for something a bit more vigorous…especially with more instability present. A low level jet stream will start the activity perhaps later Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Should there be thunderstorms around…some hail would be possible in that scenario and perhaps a 60 MPH wind gust. That would be into the AM Thursday.

Then the front itself would be the trigger for storms sometime later Thursday. Timing that front could be a player in whether or not we have to worry about severe weather locally. So with instability…moisture…warmth…etc…Thursday would be the better chance of something a bit more significant and bears watching.

The air may be chilly behind this. The GFS is really persistent in knocking lows down to near 40°  (upper 30s) SAT AM. This would bring up the potential for some frost in the area. The EURO model is NOT nearly as aggressive with the lows…and drop us into the 45-50° range. Clouds on the EURO may be playing a role in this as well. It’s something to monitor.

Meanwhile there is Matthew which is moving northwards now and is packing winds of 140 MPH.

Hurricane warnings are in effect for the areas in RED…with watches now up (to be converted to warnings soon) for the SE Bahamas.

Matthew may deteriorate some as it makes it’s journey through eastern Cuba and western Haiti. The circulation of the storm will be encountering mountains and rougher terrain which can be an unpleasant situation for storms like this…let alone for the people involved. Haiti is always worrisome because the people there have so little to begin with and building standards are very poor and they are so vulnerable.

Then the concern in the Bahamas is how the Islands are just above sea level in many areas. The storm surge with a storm like this can be 10-20 feet in areas…that would be virtual inundation for some of these islands. There are many of the 700 island though that have no population on them. It’s something to monitor.

Here is the satellite images of the day so far. The blue line is the longitude line (75W) which is where the eye is. Notice it’s almost due north movement. At this rate it appears that the worst of the storm will pass east of Jamaica although some heavy rains, helped along by mountain influences, may create some landslides there. Haiti though will have the bigger issue. They will be closer and perhaps east of the storms center…and that is where the storm maxes out it’s power.

There are still questions about potential US impacts later this week or next weekend (or both). Track errors are typically hundreds of miles past 4-5 days on average. With that said folks from FL northwards are vulnerable and especially NC. Something that will become a big news story down the road potentially.

IF you watched my weekend newscasts I made a special graphic showing the location of a buoy that was going to be in the path of the hurricane. It took nearly or an actual direct hit. Winds maxed out at close to 90 MPH (80 knots) and the central pressure tanked to 27.85″ or so. Pretty cool to see. The wave heights last night were already approaching 30′ with Matthew still approaching.

Down the road a concern is that as Matthew gets closer to the US shoreline…perhaps NC…there is still a TON of warm water to proved the gas for the hurricane engine to run on.

Lots to track this week! Our feature photo this week is from Bobbi Jones Burkett out in rural Leavenworth Co


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