FOX 4 Weather Team Welcomes ‘New’ Meteorologist — Temporarily

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Don’t be shocked, but, yes, the old Chief Meteorologist can still write a blog, even though the last one I wrote was back in 1983! Joe is probably calling an ambulance right now! Ha!

Actually I begin work on School Day at the K beginning in December each year, and that, combined with the more active weather patterns over the winter and spring months make it tough to find the time to sit down and hack out a coherent essay on a regular basis. But, it’s finally summertime, and life is trying to slow down so I thought I’d give Joe a little break from the daily posts!

FOX 4 Welcomes Meteorologist Mark Geldmeier

First of all, you’ll see a new face helping out with the weather beginning this weekend.  Mark Geldmeier is a meteorologist who works with our sister station, KTVI-FOX2 in St. Louis. Mark has graciously agreed to lend us his expertise on an as-needed basis to plug a few gaps in our summer schedule. Mark loves his job in St. Louis where he and his family reside, so he will not be the new permanent member of our weather team, but we look forward to having him aboard for a summer stint! Mark actually went to college with Joe, so he does have a connection with our team! Mark will begin his KC tour of duty this weekend. Here’s a peek at Mark’s work:

In the weather category, drier air is sweeping in from the southeast. The dewpoint readings have dropped off into the upper 40s and lower 50s.

The better flow of moisture out of the Gulf of Mexico is being re-routed out to the west over the high plains and up north into the Dakotas. The air heading this way is originating from the mid-Mississippi Valley, and as a result, this pattern shuts down any good inflow of moist air into storms that may try to drift this way. That’s one of the concerns I have about the rain chances Sunday night/Monday morning. The good news is that humidity levels will remain relatively low for this time of year, making for comfortable nights…and rapid warmups during the day. Dry air, you may recall, heats and cools at almost twice the speed of humid air, so it can be cooler in the morning…yet heat up significantly in the afternoon, especially when we get a little wind.

The upper level storm storm pattern coming off the Pacific is one that is also looking very dry. This image of the northern hemispheric flow at 500 millibars (about 18,000 feet) shows the expected weather pattern on June 17th. If we miss the rain chances Sunday night….the big dip in the flow over the western U.S. will become the focus of our next rain chance. However, even that system will have nothing to push it over us.  The larger low over the end of the Aleutian Islands will back up (retrograde)…and in doing so allow the storm on the west coast to lift north…well to the west of our area. So that system, too, will be an iffy rain chance, and at that point in the month, we’ll start to look at cracking the top 4 driest Junes on record.  Number one is June 1911, with only 0.33″ of rain for the entire month. The other area to examine is the family of weak low pressure areas anchored over the North Pole with satellite lows east of Hudson’s Bay, and near the United Kingdom.  Those systems will dance around each other, but remain too weak, and too far northeast of here to provide any chance for a true cold front to penetrate the building heat over the plains. Without that, any rain will tend to be spotty at best. It’s a little worrisome, and if this pattern persists through the next two weeks…watch out for July!  It may be a real scorcher!

The U.S. drought monitor shows the drier conditions creeping into northeast Kansas.This creeping drought was on our doorstep at the end of summer last year, and it appears to me that this summer will be a very dry one, based on the pattern that is developing, and the problem is that once we dry out enough, we’ll start to see more consistent hot dry days in the 90s, which will make rainfall even more sparse. It creates a symbiotic cycle that is self-perpetuating, and tough to break. Bottom line, save up some cash for the water bills…or let the lawn go.  I elect the latter!

Kansas City Today:  High 85 at the Downtown Airport  Low: 61 at KCI.  The National High was 108 in Death Valley, California, the National Low was 16 at Charleston, Nevada!

Just for the record, the picture below depicts what I’m aiming for in my lawn care endeavors!  No mowing!!!  Don’t tell my wife!  :-)

Have a great weekend!


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