Joe’s Wx Blog: Recapping An Unfinished Summer

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We’ve talked about this before … but us weatherfolks are a bit weird for numbers. I take that to the next level, as you well know because I find all this stuff fascinating. The calendar says that summer still has a couple of weeks left (9/22) but in the world of weather we’ve closed the books on Summer 2013. Even though it is every bit as hot out there now (and may stay that way for a few more days) I want to recap what has happened for meteorological summer 2013 which started on June 1st and ended on 8/31.

The reason why we do this is that the stats are so much easier to do (I guess) going from 6/1-8/31 plus sometimes depending on the calendar the season isn’t always the same number of days…some are 90 days some are 91 days…so this makes it easy to figure out.

For KC the summer of 2013 will go down as seeing temperatures below average by 1.1° (75.3°). it finished in the bottom third of all our summers in KC weather record history in terms of warmth! Our highest was 99° and the lowest temperature was 46°. We had 24 days with highs 90°+ which is about 3 days below average. Rainfall was not good for many and we averaged 5.81″ below average for the season. (data is for KCI which is “official” for KC)

For the region the rainfall patterns were strange to say the least…even narrowed down to MO/KS the rainfall was weird…either too much or too little. Take a look at maps below showing the 3 month rainfall compared to average…


Basically from NE of KC to N MO rainfall amounts were about 25% of average (if not even less than that)…and from the Lakes region through central KS amounts were almost twice the average (if not more). here is another view…same data


Just brutal from an overall rainfall standpoint. The dryness was more acute in N MO where St Joe was 7.73″ below average. Sedalia fell 5.88″ below average and Olathe was 4.64″ below average.

The weird thing about it was for KC proper everything got really dry…then turned lush for a month and now we’re seeing a flash drought hit the region that is worsening by the day. The dry heat is making things worse by taking moisture from the soil (if there is any left) very easily and days like today with the dewpoints in the 60-65° area and temperatures in the 90s typically take evaporate 1/4-1/3″ of moisture from the soil. So even IF you get 1′ of water on the grass…20-30% will evaporate in a sense.

Our rain prospects aren’t great but there continues to be some indications that at least a few storms may be in the area tomorrow. A front will attempt to reach KC during the day tomorrow. The push to the front though may be VERY weak unless we can get a LOT of storms to form along it, which is doubtful because we’re going to be somewhat capped tomorrow. Here is the hi-res NAM forecast map from Penn State.


You can see the forecasted position of the front by noon tomorrow. You can see the effects of the front with the temperatures…we’re looking at 50s for N MN tomorrow with temperatures closer to 100° in the Plains states…here are the 5PM temps for tomorrow…the model does tend to be too aggressive with hot weather, but even taking off 5°+ from those hot temperatures…still nasty for September. Map is from Penn State.


There is another front like this one due in mid next week and I’m not thrilled with the coverage of storms with that one either. I’ve been harping for awhile that the pattern is a dry one…and unfortunately it may stay that way for another 7-10+ days…

Have a great weekend and stay cool. Remember all your heat safety thoughts so make sure you stay hydrated…



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