Clouds Bubble Up…Heat Blasts In

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One look at the satellite picture this afternoon and it’s got that summer appearance to it as clouds have started to percolate across the region, which is very typical of and summer day across the area. The heating (we’re approaching 90°) combined with some moisture in the air creates lift in the atmosphere and hence the cumulus clouds that are developing. The question for the rest of the afternoon is whether or not the clouds will develop more vertically and turn into cumulonimbus clouds, which are thunderstorm clouds.

Here is a satellite picture showing the clouds developing. The clouds do look a bit thicker towards the N/E of the area and that may be a spot where there is a slightly better chance of seeing some isolated convection bubble up in a few more hours. We are not strongly capped so with temperatures slated to go up another few more degrees, there may be a few isolated cells trying to form.


If you click on that picture I’ve also highlighted an area that can be detected associated with the MO River. If you remember last year at about this time, when NW MO and SW IA was swamped with flood waters, I showed you how the flood waters were influencing the clouds. The air above the flooded areas was not as hot as the air above the land areas because the water was absorbing some of the sun’s energy. It was pretty neat then and it is again! In this case the MO River is doing the same thing and helping to temporarily stifle cloud development immediately over the river and potentially a few miles downstream of the river area. It’s really though not unusual to witness this occurring. It happens frequently over bodies of water like larger lakes and oceans. Anyway, I thought it was neat to see. If you animate that image above, you can see it even more clearly.

Assuming nothing of consequence happens today (and I’m running my sprinkler again this afternoon) our next opportunity will be associated with a weak(!) front that will enter N MO and NE KS later WED into THU. Until then it’s 95-90° over the next few days with the low side of that scale by WED.

We should see highs back off on THU into the 80s and may be in the 80s again on FRI as the cooler air circulates through the upper midwest. There continue to be pretty good indications that we should heat back up again over the weekend with highs once again well into the 90s.

Did you notice the storms yesterday. They fired up on the SE side of the metro and also towards the N/NE part of MO. They did produce some heavy rain and even some reports of golfball hail into Livingston County, MO. Farther south the storms were training across the Lakes area. I showed this AM the heavier rains in NE Vernon County towards the NE of Nevada. Nevada picked up about 1 1/4″ of rain, while some of our radar calculations showed close to 7″ in NE Vernon Co. The NWS posted this image of the rainfall all around the KC area.

Some good totals were as close to us as the Sedalia area, and also up towards the IA border.

On the subject of rainfall, or the lack thereof…I grabbed these images from the NWS showing the percentage compared to normal of rainfall over the last 30 days…the RED patches show areas that are nearly 75% below average…again we’re now leaving the wettest time of the year, from a climatological standpoint. Click on these images to make them larger.

Now take a look over the past 60 days…

Notice a large swath of areas from Platte-Leavenworth-Jefferson counties and westward showing rainfall less than 50-% of average.

I wish I had better news in terms of the rainfall prospects. Unless something really comes together later WED with that next front, I’m not really that excited about heavy rainfall for us anytime soon. For what it’s worth the GFS gives us about 7/10″ of rain for the next 16 days.

The NWS in Pleasant Hill put out a statement on Friday showing just how little we’ve had from a rain gauge standpoint.

This is the 4th driest 4/1-6/16 period in KC weather history!

Joe

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