Joe’s Weather Blog: Drought Update & Storms

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Well at least some got some decent rainfall this morning…others got a few drops and many got nothing at all aside from a wind shift and drier air moving into region today.


This evening: The storms that were west of KC heading eastbound have weakened and now the rain is even falling apart. Light showers/sprinkles still possible for the next 2  hours or so this evening (through 8PM). More on that in the discussion with up to date radar information. Temperatures dropping into the 70s. Humidity levels should be OK for this evening. The cooler weather may actually weaken some of the convection to the west (in addition to the lower humidity as it moves towards the area).

Tomorrow: The chances will still be there but perhaps even less coverage. Temperatures should rebound back into the 80-85° or so depending on the amount of clouds and east winds blowing at 10-15 MPH.

Saturday: Suggestions of more widespread storminess are there tied to a potential wave that may be moving through the region. It appears(?) that IF there is a day this weekend where we’re fighting extra rain chances from a coverage standpoint it may be on Saturday. At this point none of the 3 holiday weekend days appear to be washouts. Highs may only be in the 70s.


New day same story…talked about for days now and odds heavily favor us talking about the same scenarios playing out for another week!

Boundaries/outflows…fronts languishing and falling apart and a pesky upper level low all will conspire to again create off/on rain opportunities with locally heavy downpours and slim prospects of any severe weather (perhaps some marginal hail and a wind gust to 60 MPH).

At 2PM the surface map is sort of messy with a couple of boundries out there and a “bubble high” generated from the morning convection that moved through N MO (near 60° in Kirksville). The main boundary is closer to the I-44 corridor. There appears to be another one across N MO at the surface helping to fire off some weak convection in small areas up there.


There is also a very weak wave in the mid levels moving through eastern KS between Emporia and Salina…and that is helping sustain a bit more robust convection in E KS as of this writing.


So a variety of things out there which combined with surface temperatures approaching 80° and no real capping present the forecast is still very tricky in terms of the actual coverage of storms through tomorrow.

The clouds that are in place are, in a sense, not helping those who want some widespread rainfall., because while we’re mostly uncapped or weakly capped it appears that we’re still having a tough time getting some upward motion to the air because of a lack of focusing mechanisms around us and also the “drier” (lower dewpoint) air in place from the bubble high in NE MO.

Rainfall amounts earlier this morning mostly favored N MO.


Metro amounts were rather paltry and certainly didn’t help the slowly expanding drought in parts of the region. The latest drought monitor has come out and “moderate” drought conditions are slowly expanding NEwards…here is the KS side map…


Now the MO side map…



Areas from Downtown NEwards are still considered to be “abnormally” dry right now…but this could change in the next 10 days as we keep missing our chances. Hopefully that will change for the better by the end of next week.

NEXLAB shows us the other factor in the forecast over the next 5-7 days and that is the cut-off upper level storm that is parked in the SW part of the country and will slowly come out into the Plains through the weekend then meander and move away at some point later next week.


With the low in the SW…ripples of vorticity or broad rotation in the atmosphere will move up into the Plains from convection firing in the southern Plains over the next couple of days. One is forecast for SAT AM and hence the timeframe where, in terms of coverage, that may be our best shot of something.

Take a look at the GFS forecast for the 500 mb level or about 18,000′ up in the atmosphere…


Notice how it moves into the Plains then drifts towards Dixie by WED. The EURO model keeps it around the area through THU and the Canadian keeps it around through at least WED before moving it off towards the east.

That’s the reason for the long-term rain chances that I hate forecasting for…

Check out the GFS forecast for total rainfall over the next few days…with maps added on all the way through the end of next week.

Use the arrows on the sides of the images to click through the totals.  Granted this is just 1 run of a model and this model in particular has been beefy with it’s totals lately…but at least through NEXT Friday it cranks out anywhere from 1/3″ near Marshall, MO to about 1″ towards Topeka. Our EURO model has roughly 1-2″ through next FRI AM.

This is what the Canadian model portrays through next Friday as well…


Click on all those images to make them larger.

Keep in mind that over the next 10 days we average about 1 3/4″ of rainfall!

The bottom line is that there continues to be all sorts of potential in this for locally heavy rainfall but there also major questions about the coverage of the rainfall which for those wanting the rain (most of us)…is tough to watch from a radar standpoint.

That’s it for now…tomorrow we’ll tackle the tropics a bit and hopefully have some better news on the rainfall situation.



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