Joe’s Weather Blog: Battle Of The Airmasses

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Good morning…another great start to our day here in the KC region with temperatures this AM briefly in the 50-55° range…but now that the sun is out and the air is so dry…we’re rebounding quickly!

Forecast:

Today: Sunny, with pleasant conditions this morning turning increasing toasty though in the afternoon, especially after 2PM. Highs between 85-88°. It will be hotter SW and W of the metro with highs potentially in the 90-95° range…Lawrence westwards and Paola southwards.

Tonight: Clear and cool. A warm evening will cool off and by daybreak we should be near 55°.

Monday: Sunny and mild. Average highs are in the lower 70s…we should be in the upper 70s to near 80°.

Discussion:

An earlier than typical Sunday blog today because I’m on my way later this morning to talk to a church group…although with the fabulous weather I’m not sure how many people want to be inside on a day like today.

Speaking of today…this is a rather significant day in KC weather history as it marks the last time the KC metro was heavily impacted by a strong tornado. On this date in 2003 a F4 tornado packing winds of over 200 MPH moved from the west side of the metro towards the north of downtown KC. 100s were affected and 1000s saw the storm as it churned through parts of the metro. Here is a story we did last year marking the 10 year anniversary…showing the origin of the storm to the west of downtown.

 

More information is available here if you want to take a look back.

I still remember that day vividly…that was really my (our) first day of covering anything that large affecting the KC area live on the air. I always wondered how that would go…and I hope I (we) never go through that again…but the coverage was top notch and between FOX 4 and the other TV stations in KC…I have no doubt that we saved many lives that afternoon. It was well forecasted…we knew it was going to happen…it was just a matter of where would it precisely happen.

Meanwhile…in a weird way…today should be a stormy day. A warm front is just to the south…hotter air is trying to move north…but there is NO surface moisture at all to work with and there are no disturbances aloft to trigger convection. Plus the atmosphere aloft is warm too so we’re capped. Here is the 9AM surface map…

ssfc

That warm front has some hot air to the south of it. It will lift up towards KC this afternoon and the question is how far north does it lift before it retreats south tomorrow AM.

It’s important because we’re talking about 100° heat in the Wichita area, which IF that happens today would be the earliest 100° day in Wichita’s weather history. There record high today is 94°. The record for the earliest 100° day in Wichita is 5/9/2011. The heat is, I feel, going to be at least partially strengthened today by the ongoing drought through the southern Plains area.

So with the frontal location holding the key to the afternoon highs…let me show you some of the short-term guidance…click on the images to make them larger and to get an idea of the hot weather potential later this afternoon….first the HRRR model.

hrrr_t2m_max_kc_11

now the RAP model…

rap_t2m_city_mcentus_9

also notice the cooler air towards the I-80 corridor….

Again we should have thunderstorms in this regime. Dewpoints…in the surface map above the computer forecasts above, are only in the 30s and 40s…it’s just not enough moisture to get things going. Again IF that warm front goes far enough north…we’re in the heat for sure during the afternoon. So if you notice more of a south wind later today…that will be your hint that the heat is trying to move into the area. areas farther north…towards 36 highway north will stay in the less warm air.

Tomorrow the warm front will be pushed south…effectively switching and becoming a cold front…this will allow less warm air to move back into most of the region…as the intense heats backs through OK and W KS for a couple of days. Here is the forecast map for 7PM Monday…

sfc

Again there should be storms…but tomorrow there will also be warm air aloft capping any potential development around the KC area. Then on Tuesday the aforementioned cold front will retreat north as a warm front…and temperatures will get warmer…80-85° followed by the 80s again on Wednesday depending on the cloud cover situation. So this front is going to take many personalities over the next several days.

By Wednesday moisture will slowly start working northwards from the Gulf Of Mexico. dewpoints should rise through the 50s at least…and that will set the stage for thunderstorms by Thursday.

Obviously there are still issues to work out for THU and really I won’t feel anymore confident for our severe weather risk till Tuesday…but it’s something that will need to be monitored. From this far away however, it does seem to be more of a wind/hail threat rather than a tornadic threat. Obviously this can change depending on the amount of instability that develops on Thursday.

The folks from SPC are already highlighting the region for the potential of severe storms…and rightly so.

 

So let’s watch Thursday. On the assumption everything goes according to plan…we should be in great shape for the racing coming up out at KS Speedway. Odds are I’ll be yanking the chance of rain that I have right now in Friday’s forecast…with the assumption that the main show is all on Thursday.

That’s it for today…have a great Sunday and let’s see how hot it gets this afternoon.

Joe

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