Joe’s Weather Blog: T/Storm Timing + Colder Plunge

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Many things to talk about today as my forecast from last weekend is playing out very nicely. Our cold front is still well west of the KC metro area…and won’t arrive till later tonight. With that front comes the plunge in temperatures, that while impressive is certainly not unusual for this time of the year. Going from the 80s tot he 50s the next day is not unusual in my opinion for October.

With that said, the HUGE snows that are in the process of falling in the western Plains is unusual for so early in October. This is a very dynamic storm that is producing the exact right mix of significant moisture, cold air being drawn in from Canada and thundersnows…and as we all know from late last winter…that’s when you pile the snow up quickly. then there is the matter of the 50-70 MPH winds blowing this all over the place up there…it’s impressive for any month of the year.

So let’s take a look at the storm from a surface map perspective…


Remember on the map above the REDS are the temperatures. So on this map KC is 78° as of noon while western SD is in the 34° range…so the snow that’s falling up there is wet and heavy…leading to all sorts of tree damage and power issues for them. I checked the SD DOT and basically there advising for NO travel in most of western SD. Here is a traffic cam from Ellsworth, SD along I-90

Lead, SD is reporting 22″ already…with more to come! Sturgis, SD has had 2 FEET of snow already! Check out some of the snow amounts in WY…impressive indeed!

Here is a look at the storm from a radar perspective from Penn State. Interestingly the pressure of the storm in SD is actually lower than the pressure of the tropical storm in the Gulf!

On the warm side of the storm…with the moisture streaming northwards and the surface low heading into S MN…concerns are therefor severe weather, maybe even a few more tornadoes in IA and NE.

If you notice…KC is in the SLIGHT risk for severe storms. This will be tied to the cold front…and there are still questions about the severity of the storms when they finally arrive in the KC area later this evening. In the next couple of hours a Tornado Watch will likely be issued for parts of NE KS and NW MO...odds are it will be NW of the KC Metro.

Closer to home a severe T/Storm Watch is in effect for most of NE KS and NW MO till 10PM.

As of 4PM…storms had fired as expected well west of the KC area…

So here is what’s going to happen for the KC Metro. The cold front to the west right now will be moving our way this evening. It should move through between 8PM-12AM from the west to the east. Storms will fire well west of the metro before that with the front out to the west of here…these storms will then move NE or ENE while the whole line moves to the east. IF these storms form so far west of us, there tendency would be to be severe in places out there..then as the storms all organize to become “less severe” as they move through our area. With that said the potential for heavy rain (brief flash flooding in spots) and also winds of near severe strength (50-60 MPH) would be the highest threats for the KC area.

So with the front approaching the area between 8-10PM…storms should be orientated something like at around 8PM. Here is a look at the HRRR model’s depiction of future radar…from IA State

Then the storms should rumble through the region. There also will be some rain on the backside of the initial line of storms…this will be because aloft, the winds will be out of the SW and that will help to “blow” some of the rain to the NE…so that would be when the soaking part of the rains move through…the potential is there for 1/2″-2″ of rain with this set-up. You can get a better idea of the moisture flow through the atmosphere my looking at the RAP model indicating the amount of moisture in the atmosphere (precipitable water [PW]). You can see the moisture streaming into the storms center in SD.


So here is my expected timeline for the situation into the weekend…

Now through 8PM: Partly cloudy windy and warm…temperatures in the 80s with south winds gusting to 30+ MPH. There may be a brief line of showers move through…this is NOT the main show!

8PM-11PM: Thunderstorms out west move through the area…locally heavy rain is possible along with some stronger wind gusts. Most storms may stay below severe levels but an initial wind gust is possible.

11PM-3AM Saturday: More of a soaking rain with the heaviest storms on the MO side towards the east and SE of the KC area

3AM Saturday-7AM Saturday: Lighter rains move away from KC…clouds remain through as the blowoff from the storms to our south bring clouds up the I-35 corridor.

7AM Saturday-Noon: Thinning clouds and clearing skies. Blustery with winds 15-25 MPH. It will feel colder than the 45-50° readings in the AM.

Noon-9PM Saturday: Skies should be mostly clear. Winds will be west at 20-30 MPH and temperatures will be around 60° (feels cooler)

After 9PM Saturday into Sunday: There are indications that wrap-around clouds will spill back into the region, especially from KC northwards. Should this occur we will not have to worry about any patchy frost SUN AM…but by the same token highs on Sunday will only be around 55° or so. Winds NW 10-20 MPH with some higher gusts…so blustery would be a good descriptor of the weather for race weekend.

On another note…there is Karen in the Gulf. If you look at the following animation, and we still have daylight you can really see the true definition of a sheared system…hence it’s struggling to intensify. Notice, you can see the center of the storm, but all the thick dense clouds are “sheared” tot he E or NE of the center.

Look carefully for the pinwheeling center. There are still concerns that should the thunderstorms wrap around the center, then we could see some intensification to hurricane or near hurricane status.  Here is the latest track forecast for the storm.

Obviously when it comes ashore…a lot of rain will be falling.

I love the changing seasons!


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