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Joe’s Weather Blog: Where’s the drought? (FRI-5/12)

Good afternoon…just a spectacular day out there with beautiful blue skies, pleasant temperatures and not to much of a breeze. Doesn’t get much better than this I don’t think. It actually feels like San Diego weather out there today! This weekend will be just about perfect with warmer temperatures on tap…so much so that the A/C’s may start humming a bit on Sunday especially.


Forecast:

Tonight: Clear and pleasant with lows in the 50s (maybe some 40s in the outlying areas)

Saturday: Sunny and mild with highs around 80°

Sunday: Warmer and breezy with sunshine and highs into the 80s. Winds 15-25 MPH


Discussion:

The forecast above was brought to you by folks at KS Speedway…the Royals…all those with Mom’s and every gardening and home store in the KC region. It took about 10 seconds to create.

The will be the 2nd weekend in a row that the weather will be n cruise control around these parts. Warm afternoons and pleasant evenings are on tap. It will get even warmer on Monday though, and we may actually have the warmest day so fart his year then. Believe it or not…the warmest day so far in 2017 was back on March 19th…when we hit a record high of 87°.

The air mass that will be with us into early next week will be getting progressively warmer and warmer. Temperatures aloft (about 3000′ up) will go from about 57° this morning to 63° Sunday morning to 70° Monday morning. The warmer air aloft will be mixed down to the surface more and more thanks to increasing south and southwest winds Sunday into Monday. So much so that highs should pop well into the 80s on Sunday and some areas may challenge 90° on Monday. I’m always a bit hesitant to go tooooooo high during this time of the year because of the green terrain and the soil moisture effects…but certainly 85-90° as a forecast for Monday is well within reason at this point. The only concern would be IF the high clouds are too thick.

The dry weather will continue into Tuesday with an outside chance of some rain in the evening.

As we do get towards TUE>the end of next week…things may start to get more active in the Plains. Actually they will for sure…it’s a matter of will the KC area be more on the eastern side of the worst of the weather in terms of thunderstorms etc. This will be due to a rather decent upper level storm system that will be dropping towards Las Vegas. Then it will move towards CO on Thursday and into the western Plains on Friday. This will open up the entire region to a prolonged flow of gulf and upper level moisture that will help to saturate the air through the Plains states. One way to show this is by looking that the precipitable water product…off the GFS model. Basically this product helps us see how much moisture is available in the atmosphere at a given time. The loop starts at 7AM Monday and goes into NEXT weekend…notice the flow of moisture coming up from the south…it seems more or less continuous…and is indicative to the mostly SW>NNE and S>N flow of the winds above us for most of next week. The yellows and orange colors show the real soupy stuff. May is a soupy month to begin with for atmospheric moisture (typically) and some of the values forecast off our other model (the EURO model) show amounts exceeding 150-175% for various times.

With all that moisture around…any little ripple will help set off areas of storms (some severe). Whether it be here or in the western and southern Plains. Upon developing most (not all) of the tracks would be towards the NE or NNE…so we’ll be tracking what happens towards the SW and SSW of the area for a good part of next week.

In terms of the severe weather risk…it will be there but again there will be so many variables concerning how things form…where stuff ends up going…and how clouds influence potential instability in areas of the Plains. Obviously too early to get too specific on the details.

Meanwhile the title of the blog…where’s the drought? I looked at the drought monitor report yesterday and I think that in the latest update…less than 5% of the country is considered under an extreme drought. Which is really amazing for the whole of the US. The last time drought levels were this low was back in July of 2010.

As a matter of fact, since we all remember the terrible drought locally in 2012…that broke over Labor Day weekend I think that year thanks to the remnants of a hurricane…look at how things have changed.

Right now there is still significant drought ongoing…but it’s down in the SE part of the country, especially southern GA and most of FL.

What’s interesting to note is that with the drought, mainly in central FL away from the coastlines…the dew points have been rather low by their standards. Typically their dew points are in the 70s during this time of the year…but notice the 4PM (EDT) dew points there today.

Look at all the 50s showing up…this can indicate that the ground has sort of “baked” out and there isn’t a lot of soil moisture to evaporate in the tropical sunshine. Take a look at some of the rainfall totals in 2017 down there.

Naples, FL: 4.13″ (-5.45″)

Tampa: 5.04″ (-5.64″)

Orlando: 3.18″ (-8.82″) !!!!

Jacksonville: 7.98″ (-5.83″)

That Orlando stat is crazy…granted inland Florida typically gets less rain overall compared to other parts of the state…but 3″ when the average for the year is closer to 50-55″…means they need to do a LOT of catching up.

So there’s your drought…

Have a great weekend. No blog coming Saturday…it’s too nice and I have a lot of stuff to do right after the morning show and before I get back for the evening shows. Have a great weekend and I should update the blog again on Sunday.

Our feature photo today is a stunner of a sunrise from @TwistedSkiesWx

Joe

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