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Joe’s Weather Blog: Worst of the heat/humidity ends Saturday (FRI-7/21)

Another steam bath out there today. Morning lows were in the 70s to around 80° but with the dew points remaining in the low-mid 70s…it felt miserable to start and it feels worse now with temperatures between 95-100° in the area. Another scorcher tomorrow with potentially some storms in the evening…then a bit of a break for Sunday into Monday. It won’t be a huge break but at least it should be 5-10 degrees less hot. Keep in mind though that we’re going to be pushing 100° again Saturday so the break takes us to 90-95° assuming we get enough sunshine.


Forecast:

Saturday: Mostly sunny and a scorcher. Highs around 100° with a heat index near 110°. Evening/overnight storms are possible with locally heavy rain and potentially near severe level wind gusts…

Sunday: Variable clouds…and somewhat more manageable temperatures. I’m still concerned that unless we have a big blow up of storms on top of the area Saturday night…that it still may be pretty toasty during the day. Highs in the upper 80s to lower 90s. Dew points may come down a bit…so not as overly oppressive…still toasty though.


Discussion:

At one point yesterday afternoon the dew point in St Joseph popped into the lower 80s. With temperatures there in the mid 90s…the heat index spiked to around 117°! That’s as bad as it gets in the area. As I type this…we are running 1° hotter as of 2PM compared to yesterday at this time. Odds are KCI should max out at 98° while Downtown nears 99° for afternoon highs.

Tomorrow has been the target of the most extreme heat (we’re really just vacillating about 1-2° though I think. Essentially the same air mass is present tomorrow as what’s on top of the area right now. The reason Saturday may be a pinch hotter is that we’ll be ahead of a front and sometimes there is what we call “compressional” heating just ahead of cold front. The timing of the front is towards the evening…so that is ideal for the “hottest” weather possible. We also may have a bit more of a SW wind component which could allow the dew points to drop a bit…meaning a pinch of “drier” but not really drier air, could allow a 1-2° higher temperature. As I mentioned yesterday though…regardless of whether it’s 99…100…102° it’s still nasty hot out there.

The storm chances will need to be dealt with and could potentially impact outdoor activities tomorrow evening. It depends how fast the front will get toward the I-70 corridor. The closer it is towards 10PM…the stronger the storm chances locally in terms of the heavier rains and potential isolated 60 mph wind potential. Much after that though…and perhaps the storm chances will be a bit more scattered in nature. Regardless just be aware that there may be some storms in the area.

Some of our model data is rather bullish on this potential. For example take a look at this hi-res model showing the evolution of storms between roughly 5PM and 8PM Saturday. My thought is that the chances will linger through at least 12AM Sunday if not a bit longer than that…so the timing may be somewhat slower, by a few hours compared to the maps shown

That’s a quick blow up of storms and a quick falling apart of said storms. Again though it could mess up evening activities out there so be aware of the potential.

Any relief into Tuesday will be fleeting…although let’s be alert for the potential of some storms/rain as the hotter/moist air may return towards mid week. That transition may allow for the formation of storms in the region later Monday night into Tuesday. There is also a small wave forecast to come through Idaho on Sunday that may make a bit of a presence into the Plains Monday then locally towards Monday night into Tuesday AM. Something that bears watching.

After that we should get at least a few more days of more heat and humidity.

On a different and more astronomical note…we’re now 1 month away from something pretty amazing for the country. A total solar eclipse that will encompass a small part of the country from border to border (OR to SC)

It’s an interesting map because it shows “average” sky conditions through the country that week (as a whole).

That “thin” gray swipe is the part of the country that will see (clouds permitting) a TOTAL eclipse of the sun. Notice how the bottom part of the swipe includes the downtown KC vicinity then it goes north from there. Interestingly the longest lasting part of the eclipse will be from near St Joseph, MO and towards the SE.

For areas that experience “totality” it will go something like this image below.

The middle image is the “nirvana” part for eclipse watchers. It’s the ONLY part of the eclipse that you can watch safely WITHOUT special glasses/filters (more on all that down the road). It will only be visible in the the “grayed” area in the next map.

 

Areas south and north of the grayed area should NOT view the eclipse without special glasses that are widely available and either free or VERY cheap. Notice how the KC metro is bisected by this. Areas to the south of I-70 in JOCO/Douglas CO/and most of JACO do NOT get 100% totality (still 99+% of the sun will be blocked by the moon).

More on all this down the road. I’ve started making special graphics highlighting various eclipse start/middle/end times/totality percentages and other things that will be debuting over the weekend so look forward to that.

Also another note…after 1 or 2 blog updates this weekend…I’ll be taking another week off. When Karli had her baby to start 2017 and with certain months block out because of ratings and with other vacation schedules to compensate for…it’s tricky to get all the vacation time in. So I’ll be gone again next week.

Our feature photo comes from Kemberly Creager (@chiefsdiva69) of a sunset down towards 43rd and Blue Ridge from a couple of nights ago.

Have a great weekend and stay cool!

Joe

 

 

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