Joe’s Weather Blog: 1st T-Storms Of The Year? (THU-3/19)

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I guess it makes sense that with spring coming, officially at least, to KC tomorrow at 5:45 PM…that the title of the blog today reflects something that we watch for every spring season in the Plains…


Tonight: Misty and foggy with damp conditions and steady temperatures in the mid 30s

Tomorrow: Any areas of fog/low clouds will disperse rapidly in the later AM hours…then Mostly sunny skies and highs 65-70°

Saturday: Warmer with highs 75-80°

Sunday: Warm again with highs well into the 70s


Here are some rain totals through 1PM from the system that has affected us for the past 36 hours.

KCI: .34″

Olathe: .60″

Gardner: .59″

Chillicothe: .09″

St Joe: .17″

Topeka: .36″

Lawrence: .37″

Lees Summit: .64″

Whiteman AFB: .62″

Sedalia: .42″

Again these are through 1PM…so we’ll tack on more to that over the next 12 hours or so.

Some areas on the south side are closing in on 3/4″+ especially from central JACO  (Raytown/Lees Summit area) through southern JOCO (south of 175th street)


We’ve talked a bit about the slow start to severe weather season in the Plains and through the USA…especially the deep south. So far this month there has not been an issuance of a Watch (severe t/storm or tornado) which has not happened before for the month of March.

As a matter of fact here is a look at ALL the severe weather reports (wind/hail/tornado) that have been received by the SPC for 2015.


That’s it…156 total through 3PM today including 28 reports of tornadoes and 124 wind reports.

Those are some dramatic numbers…but the number of hail reports of 1″ or larger though blows me away though…4. That’s it…4 reported…through more than 2 1/2 months…amazing!

As mentioned though yesterday, while impressive thus far…it really doesn’t mean a lot overall to me. Now should we be in roughly the same charted waters come late April…well then we have something going. Severe weather is tough to come by 1) when it’s chilly and 2) when there is a lack of moisture in the Plains and finally 3) when there are a lack of strong surface lows and strong upper air features, which seems to be the trend through the 1st 2+ months of the year.

This all can change…and the data over the past couple of days is suggestive of some changes as early as next week…and potentially those changes may be located closer to home.

Here is what’s going on…

Over the weekend a weak front is going to try and sneak our way…if it does make it to KC it will quickly retreat northwards on Sunday, placing us back into the same warm airmass that will be with us on Saturday.

Then another cold front will move into the area from the NW on Sunday night into Monday AM. There is an outside chance that we could get some shower activity with that front…but odds are this front will move through…then stall to our south and retreat northwards on Monday evening. With a retreating front and with a developing low-level jetstream blowing over the front and allowing the atmosphere to get unstable…there will be a chance of storms developing Monday night into Tuesday AM. Whether the storms set up near KC or farther north is tough to say at this point…but at least the EURO depiction of strong 5000′ winds blowing over the retreating front is impressive. The storms would have the potential of generating some hail (perhaps even some severe criteria hail) if things play out.

Then the retreating front (warm front on the weather map) will lift north of the Kc area Tuesday allowing warmer and more humid air to move into the region. This will then set the stage for another cold front to move into the region and into the increasing instability. That’s a potential recipe for a squall line and/or severe storms to form near the region.

Obviously from several+ days out this is a lot of speculation but the data certainly supports the potential and the GFS model is supportive as well…and while there are differences in the hows and whys…at least the end results are somewhat similar. Dewpoints are forecast to be in the 55-60° which is “good enough” for something to get stirred up.

So let’s put Monday night and Tuesday later afternoon/evening into our “pay more attention” to the weather situation.

OK that’s it for today…spring and spring-time weather all ahead over the next 5+ days…and odds are we’ll probably have at least some frost and potentially a freeze later next week (THU AM looks possible-likely right now assuming clear skies) so if you’re a gardener pay attention to the forecasts IF you decide you want to do some planting this weekend in the warmth




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