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Joe’s Weather Blog: Big storms…big damage (SUN-7/23)

Well at least it’s a bit more bearable out there today…that after a feisty mid evening of thunderstorms which produced numerous reports of wind damage in a somewhat west>east fashion north of 435 and south of I-70. Johnson Co>Jackson Co took the brunt but there were other reports in the region as well. I noticed some of the trees that we were showing on the ground this morning looked somewhat diseased but between all the tree limbs that came down…bringing down hundreds of power lines…and all the arcing that happened over well 100,000 customers were without power at one point last night. The numbers are coming down but it may eventually turn into a slower process as the easier to get back online customers are activated and the harder to repair lines take longer to fix.

Forecast:


Tonight: I can’t rule out some spotty storms associated with a secondary front that will be moving into the area this evening. I’m NOT expecting a repeat of last night in the KC area though. This front moving through may send morning lows into the 60s

Monday: Actually a pretty reasonable summer day with highs near 90° and dew points mostly in the 60s for awhile.

Tuesday: Only a 20% chance of a PM storm…a bit hotter with highs back to the 90-95° range. Also dew points back into the 70s so it will be muggy again.


Discussion:

If you were following me on twitter yesterday (@fox4wx) I kept sending out the afternoon current conditions. Watching the heat index soar to 118° (!) in Chillicothe was astounding. At one point their dew point was 83°. I’m not sure I remember a higher dew point in the viewing area since I’ve been in KC (some 20+ years). To say we were ripe for big storms is an understatement.

Add in lots of sunshine and a weak front that was moving/stalling in the area and boom goes the dynamite. It took awhile and initially there was more activity on the KS side…but between the intense heat (near 100°) the 75-80° dew points, the front, and various outflows that were pushing out of the KS side storms…big time thunderstorms popped (at first on the south side) then from I-70 southwards…and then the winds came out of the storms.

Most reports were in the 60 MPH area…but there are a few topping 70-80 mph.

Rainfall was also a big deal with some areas in excess of 3.5″ or so, especially in JOCO, KS.

All that wind led to pictures like this…

Tonight I’ll be watching a secondary push of more comfortable air moving in from N MO. It’s sort of tough to pick out the front on the surface map…I’m more or less looking for the change of dew points from the 70s to the 60s and lower…so with that said…it’s towards the MO/IA border.

Locally it’s still very muggy out there…and dew points will continue to come out the rest of the afternoon I think. So you add in temperatures in the 90s + dew points in the 70s  and we’re seeing high instability build again. We can see that by looking at the CAPE map (this measures instability) and the numbers are soaring in N MO right now…

If you’re looking at this map on Sunday afternoon, 5000+ values are nutty high.

There is a big difference today though compared to last night…there isn’t much “convergence” for the storms to fire up on. In other words the air masses aren’t really colliding together. Winds are from the north ahead of the front and from the north behind the front…so the convergence near and ahead of the front is rather minimal it appears. This SHOULD limit storm formation. With that said I’m respecting the dew point changes from south to north and the rather strong heating happening now and for the rest of the afternoon. Areas in N MO were pretty untouched by the storms last night…so that air should be primed to go, except again for the limited collision of air masses that’s happening.

Should storms form…they may favor the MO side…and move towards the SE…again it’s worth keeping an eye on for the evening especially. I’ll add in radar for you.

Another item for Monday…I noticed on the morning higher quality GOES16 satellite images that there was a decent+ amount of smoke in the atmosphere especially in the Plains NW of the KC area…with the winds tomorrow aloft blowing from the N>S and NW>SE I wouldn’t be surprised if some of that smoke (from western Canada forest fires) drifts through our skies perhaps tinting the blue skies a bit. It may also help in creating some pretty sunrises and sunsets.

Bet you nobody else tells you that! (weather geek moment over)

OK that will do it for the day…it appears we’ll heat up a bit TUE>WED…back to near 95° or so (esp. Wednesday) but a bit more of relief comes in afterwards and hopefully sets the stage for some more comfortable weather heading towards next weekend!

No blogs for awhile…on vacation time starting Monday. I’ll see you again on the 2nd.

Feature photo for today comes from @justJenni of a scene that is being seen quite a bit around KC today.

Joe

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