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Joe’s Weather Blog: Tracking a cold front and rain (WED-5/10)

I’ve been mentioning and highlighting the fact that from about mid-May to mid June it’s pretty tough to keep things dry in this part of the country. Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico combined with additional heat from the changing seasons and also cold fronts drifting in the area almost always means at least some rain…and typically means thunderstorms…and that is what we’re waiting on today>Thursday. This has been well advertised for quite some time and now it’s a matter of when we get into some rain…how heavy it will be and how long it could last Thursday before moving away and allowing nice weather to move back in for the weekend.


Forecast:

Today: Variable clouds with some scattered showers-t-showers possible during after 2PM. Whatever moves in though would move out in a couple of hours. Warm and somewhat humid with highs into the 80s.

Tonight: Thunderstorm chances increase as the evening and overnight moves along. This will be the time frame that we’re watching a cold front drift southwards. Some locally heavy rains are possible and there is an isolated area risk of severe storms with hail and wind gusts to 60 MPH possible. Lows in the 50s. 12PM Update: The wave coming up to give us some rain this afternoon may mess up the environment tonight…so the overnight chances are still not set in stone.

Thursday: I can’t rule out some leftover rains and storms. The chances would be decreasing though later in the day and into Thursday night. This is somewhat connected though to what happens tonight in the area. It will be a cooler day though with highs mostly in the 60s.

Friday>Sunday: Nicer with highs in the 70s Friday to near 80° this weekend.


Discussion:

Over the next 36 hours…it may be tough at times to make some plans for outdoors, but as I told some folks yeaterday it’s not worth cancelling any outdoor plans at this point. We’re going to be waiting, mainly for a cold front, to move into the area to give us our best chance of storms and rain.

We could use some rain, especially up in N MO where the rains have been lighter compared to other parts of western MO and eastern KS. Right now it appears that the heavier rains would affect areas from KC northwards later today and/or tonight. The grass overall could use a nice drink of water. With it actively growing now and the recently dry conditions…we go through a lot of moisture in very top part of the soil quickly in May and June.

So as far as the front goes…it’s still up towards the north of the KC area…and will not move much today before it starts moving south overnight into Thursday aided in part by thunderstorm development in the heat and instability building later today.

7AM front location

I’ve also contoured in the dew points (60 and 65°). The surface moisture is OK,,not exactly overwhelming imo. The better surface moisture this morning are where the 65°+ dew points are located down towards OK and parts of TX.

There is also a disturbance coming out of the SW Plains this morning…and we can see it rather clearly to start the day by looking at regional radar.

As I type this, there really isn’t anything threatening KC proper at 8AM this morning…BUT there is moisture coming in now…and any little ripple (perhaps from that fading disturbance in the Plains) that comes through the area may very well set off some fast moving shower or thundershowers before the middle of the afternoon. Here is a look at our local radar so you can keep track…

 

12PM Update: This wave coming up from the SW is what’s left of an area of storms in the SW Plains from overnight. These waves can complicate overnight storm chances because there should be some sinking air behind the wave this evening…maybe. Plus this wave may tap into a bit of instability that has built up so far this afternoon and leave less stable air behind it…so the storms overnight locally have less unstable air to work with reducing their severe potential. Some of the model data today doesn’t have a clue that this wave is moving through the area this afternoon. Let’s see how well it holds together through 4PM or so…

Again the main contributor to the storm potential tonight will be that front to the north of the area this morning. as it interacts with the building afternoon warmth…and dew points in the 60s…and a really saturated atmosphere…we should get some good storms going. The Storm Prediction Center will be watching the Plains region for the potential of storms. The most violent weather is likely towards the SW OK area. As of this morning…we are under a “slight” risk for severe storms.

Here is the broader view…

There is a caveat of sorts to what happens today…and that is that disturbance coming out of the SW Plains this morning…I wonder how that muddies up things with clouds as the day moves along and how that impacts our developing instability. Something to watch for this afternoon.

I’m going to add in the HRRR model so you can perhaps get an idea of how that short term model handles things as the day moves along. This model loves convection…so while using it as a guideline is helpful…don’t take it as gospel (via IA State)

To me at least…should we get into the better rains…it would be tonight from 10PM onwards along and near the I-70 corridor region. As usual this will come down to watching where the storms actually form and how the instability aids in their strength.

The front should move through the area overnight and be well south of KC Thursday. That should spark convection well south of KC Thursday but there could be still some lingering rains closer to us.

I still see no reason right now to change my rainfall thoughts of 1/2″-2″ in the area on average…really a matter of how the convection gets the totals going…there could be 2″+ totals out there favoring perhaps the 36 highway corridor region.

Be weather aware tonight especially.

Our feature photo comes from Bailey Ostrom…neat shot!

Joe

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