Joe’s Weather Blog: Trying to herd cats (or storms) (TUE-5/16)

Good morning…skies are pretty bright and sunny to start the day in the KC region. There are some t/showers towards far NE KS and NW MO but those will miss the heart of the KC area today. Really I’m not seeing a lot right now in terms of rain in the KC metro through the evening hours at least…although areas towards NE KS and NW MO may have storm issues later this evening.


Forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny, windy and warm. Highs into the mid-upper 80s again. Dew points will make it feel a few degrees hotter. Winds will gust to around 35 MPH or so.

Tonight: A little trickier but I’m not sold on the rain/storm chances locally right now. Odds favor areas across far NE KS and NW MO for the better storm chances. I’ll put about a 20% chance for the more immediate KC metro area tonight. Lows in the 60s

Wednesday: There may well be some storms/rain in the area before noon. Some of those storms could produce some hail and wind to near severe levels. The timing for that isn’t the greatest but it’s still worth mentioning. We should be drier in the afternoon with some clearing. Highs in the 70s to near 80°, assuming we have cloud issues for awhile Wednesday.

Thursday: Mostly dry I think with highs back into the low-mid 80s with clouds/sun


Discussion:

Yesterday I was anticipating the warmest day of 2017 and that’s what happened. We popped to 88° in the afternoon with 90° in downtown KC. I was surprised though in the afternoon when the dew points increased into the upper 60s…that was a summer type day.

The same thing, or close to it could happen again today assuming we don’t have too many cloud issues.

The focus for the weather today will be a cold front and developing dry line out across the western Plains and the southern Plains region. Later this afternoon storms should fire (with severe weather) across parts of SW KS into the TX panhandle region.

They will form in a favorable area where there will be a rather stout dry line setting up. The dry line separates the drier air that typically forms or exists already in the SW and the moist gulf air that is flowing northwards. You can get big thunderstorms there and that’s what we expect today. Notice in the map above we’re starting to see it develop. We see this by looking at the dew points and the wind direction. Notice where the orange line is. Notice the dew points in green ahead and behind that line. You go from the mid 60s (humid) to the low 30s (dry). That is the dry line.

This line and the cold front itself won’t move a lot today but it will come out to the east a little. This, combined with developing surface low pressure area in SE CO is a good set-up for at least some tornadic activity. The storms out there should form between 3-6PM or so. They’re movement though will be more towards the ENE and then NE. Assuming that holds…into the overnight hours, when the storms may start weakening with the loss of the sun’s heat, they “mostly” should pass towards NE KS and NW MO. It’s always possible that they could throw some sort of outflow or something closer to the metro to spark off some new activity (hence my 30% chance before 12AM locally).

What I’m a bit more intrigued about is what happens very late tonight towards central and western OK where a new area of storms should form and race towards the NE. Those, if they form, and IF they hold together are our chances more towards KC tomorrow morning. There will be instability above the surface tomorrow and as I’ve written about already there will be some strong winds above the surface tomorrow AM through lunch as well. So should there be any convection in the area…we could see some gusty winds with that.

After that wave moves through (on the assumption it’s there to begin with) we should settle down for the rest of the day Wednesday.

The upper level storm creating this is now in the SW US. It will come out quickly tomorrow and pass towards the NW of the region. You can see it spinning if you look closely at the water vapor loop. See it towards Las Vegas? There is also a leading wave moving through AZ this morning as well.

We should be sort of “in-between” systems on Thursday. Now look at the images looping above again. Notice what’s happening in the Pacific NW. That’s another chunk of energy dropping into the flow that will also create an upper level storm in CO (it may be snowing across the mountains of central and western CO!). The core of that upper level low is near WA right now…and will drop towards Salt Lake Thursday morning then get into CO heading towards the weekend. As all this happens the front that I started the blog with, will be languishing around the Plains towards the west of the area into the end of the work week. This next upper level storm will, on occasion, send out little ripples that will be moving towards the front in the Plains triggering off additional rounds of storms. The front will be approaching the area on Friday into at least early Saturday and that to me is the best chance of area wide rain and storms. With the front well west of here over the next couple of days and the flow aloft being more SSW>NNW or even S>N…what activity develops would mainly track towards the west or NW of the KC metro.

Right now it appears that IF we’re going to have weather issues over the weekend it might be on Saturday. A lot can change with all this because we’re trying to predict things that don’t exist and won’t for several more days then we’re trying to figure out where the things that don’t exist are going to move several days down the road.

There is still a decent+ chance of locally heavy rains will all this. Perhaps in the big scheme of things favoring NW MO and NE KS. An area that actually could use some extra rains compared to other areas around and south of the KC metro vicinity. Rainfall amounts in excess of 3″ are most likely towards the N/NW of KC at this point between tonight and Sunday morning.

Like I said with all these chances and all the various ways things may or may not move…it’s like herding cats!

Our feature photo was taken by Elizabeth Tuttle on her morning run. Anytime you have weather picture you want included on the blog…you can send it to me on twitter @fox4wx or on FB at Joe Lauria Fox 4 Meteorologist. Love to get them on.

 

Have a great day and remember to stay hydrated if you’re really exerting yourself outside today.

Joe

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