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Joe’s Weather Blog: Storms around + dicey Eclipse clouds? (FRI-8/18)

Good morning…earlier blog than usual today because I’m trying to get out of work a few hours early…it’s already been a busy week and next Monday will be nuts so trying to get some breaks when I can right now from talking about the weather and the eclipse. The whole thing is so exciting but so hinged on the potential of clouds. I remain optimistic but there are concerns as I’ve mentioned for quite some time.


Forecast: 

This afternoon: More sunshine breaking through the clouds with seasonable temperatures. Highs 85-90°. Dew points won’t be oppressive but it will be muggy out there.

Tonight: The t/storm risk will be increasing through the evening hours till early morning Saturday. While the main focus of the storms may be on the MO side…there will be a chance from about KC southwards tonight. These storms will be monitored for the potential of some gusty winds.

Saturday: Not too bad..actually a good pool day with highs near 90°

Sunday: There is a chance of some morning storms in the region..then partly cloudy and seasonable with highs again near 90°

Monday: See below


Discussion:

Let’s deal with today 1st. Late this morning there is a cold front moving into the Plains region. The front is rather weak and the air behind it not that cool at all (which is typical for mid August really) but the front will be moving in the region later today and tonight.

This front will run into some decent instability later today and this evening and should generate at least some scattered storms moving through parts of the area. I don’t think there will be 100% coverage of storms/rain but it’s certainly worth keeping in the forecast. The odds may favor areas on the MO side as opposed to farther west on the KS side but a few stranglers on the KS side can’t be ruled out either. With the instability in the area…some of the storms that form may be strong to severe in isolated instances. The set-up isn’t the greatest BUT it’s worth monitoring. It seems to me that 1″ hail and/or 60+ mph winds would be the main risk for any of the storms that really get going. The SPC has placed at least part of the area under a “slight” risk of severe storms.

I want to put radar in the blog…so you can keep up to date…this will auto-update as the day/night progresses.

Now let’s look at the HRRR model that shows a possible scenario for later today and tonight.

To me at least the main threat of stronger storms is after 6-7PM tonight.

Tomorrow is fine…

Sunday will present another opportunity for scattered storms in the area…

Eclipse thoughts:

Still somewhat dicey but I remain optimistic. I’ve written numerous times about the nuttiness of forecasting the coverage and thickness of clouds from many days away. Now that we’re getting closer though at least we may be able to narrow down the type(s) of clouds that may be an issue and to me right now…it seems the main issue might be the extent and thickness of the cirrus clouds especially.

A concern that I have is showing itself…already, down towards Mexico. There is a lot of sub-tropical moisture down there…can you see it on the water vapor imagery?

That moisture is forecast to gradually come up into the Plains over the weekend…one of the keys about Monday is how where that moisture meanders towards and how thick it is as it comes up into the Plains…typically there is a thinning process to these clouds…which keeps me optimistic. With that said there will be winners and losers that day…and for that window of time of the Eclipse and one hopes that our area will be a winner.

Another note…Monday will be a very hot day. Odds are IF we don’t get to 90° over the weekend…we will on Monday. In addition to that…the dew points will be in the 70s…sending the heat index values above 100° (in the shade) in the afternoon. For those NOT used to that heat it could be an issue, especially over the pavement areas. I highly recommend in addition to the other 90 things you’ve been told and reminded of…to have some sunscreen (is that ironic) and also to stay hydrated!!!!!

So the bottom line is I’m still optimistic about the forecast for Monday. I’m removing the storm chances in the mid-day outlook. I really think we should stay dry…

Have a great weekend…no promises on a weather blog over the weekend…I will be away from a computer for most of the weekend…I may cobble something short and sweet on Sunday night!

Our feature photo comes from Tammy Grimmett out towards LaCygne, KS…from the other night…she thought it may have been the best sunset of the year!

Have a great weekend!

Joe

 

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