Joe’s Weather Blog: Some rain but not a lot for KC (SUN-4/17)

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Good afternoon. Wanted to start today’s blog with a programming note. Starting next Saturday (23rd) FOX 4 News Saturday morning will start 1 hour earlier and run from 6am to 8am. This will ONLY impact the Saturday morning newscasts. Sunday morning newscasts will continue from 7am to 9am.

Meanwhile on the weather front…today is similar to yesterday. Breezy and mild conditions out there with a lot of clouds in the area and some sunshine. Temperatures are near 70° as of this writing and will warm up another 5+° during the afternoon.


Tonight: Scattered showers possible but many won’t see a drop of rain overnight. Aside from that variable clouds and lows in the upper 50s

Monday: Off and on showers. Not all day and rainfall amounts may not be too generous. The better chances of rain will be from KC westwards. See the discussion for additional details. Highs should be well into the 60s. SE winds at 15 MPH will shift towards the west at 10 MPH later in the day. IF areas east of KC can heat up enough, there may be some scattered late afternoon storms firing up. So the rain chances are there for most of the day.

Tuesday: Partly sunny with only a 20% chance of a shower or thundershower. Highs in the lower 70s.


I think I want to start this by lowering expectations about the amount of rain in the KC area with this next system on Monday at least. I do think we’ll have showers on radar to track for you, but the data today isn’t that great with how this comes together and the rainfall amounts, which weren’t that great to begin with, look a bit less today. So at this point we should consider ourselves lucky to get more than 1/2″ of rain out of this tomorrow and many probably won’t especially on the MO side. Areas in NE KS and perhaps far NW MO may see a bit more…but it’s becoming clear that the system to our west which has created huge rains and snows in the western Plains and the Rockies is going to whimper through the area over the next couple of days.

Over the past 24 hours…the rains have been plentiful out there…


24 hours precipitation through 7AM Sunday

The highest total on the KS Mesonet was out in Hayes with over 3″ of rain…


via Kansas Mesonet

Regional radar shows the rain still falling…as of this writing nothing in the KC area despite the “threatening” look to the clouds. I wouldn’t be shocked if maybe there is a stray shower this afternoon out there somewhere closer to home today

The upper level storm responsible for this is spinning around in Colorado as you can see on the water vapor loop.


The best fetch of moisture is to the west of the KC area right now. we should be more “into it” tomorrow but the issue may be that there won’t be any great triggers for additional rains to fall on Monday. We go into the better moisture feed in the AM Monday and then it leaves later tomorrow evening as it pushes eastwards.


This graphic shows the moisture through the atmosphere at 10AM Monday. It’s actually pretty decent in the AM


Then notice how it’s mostly east of here by later Monday night (1AM Tuesday)

So we need to “make hay” somehow in the AM through afternoon on Monday it appears.

The best lift for the moisture is to the west in the AM…and what develops will move from the south to the north…then the better left sort of fades away later in the day. So in a weird way things don’t come together all that well for us along and east of the state line.

The end result of all this is that we’re almost seeing a “rain shadow” effect from KC eastwards. Here is the forecast rain totals off the NAM model.


24 hours rain totals ending Monday at 7PM

The hi-res NAM is next…


Hi-res NAM totals through 7PM Monday

Finally the GFS…


GFS total through Monday at 7PM. Some of those totals in eastern KS seem overdone to me,,,especially those totals over 3″

Again I wasn’t expecting a lot of rain from this to begin with…I’m hopeful we can get 1/4-3/4″ of rain as I’ve said on the air, but these models would certainly argue for the much lower end of that scale and for areas east of KC…even less moisture. Sedalia is 5.03″ (including today) below average for the year. That is a LOT through the middle of April. Average is slightly more than 8″.

Here is how the upper level storm is forecast to move and evolve over the next few days…

The RED areas represent vorticity or the tendency of the air to spin broadly in this case. Those areas typically have lift in the atmosphere (ahead of the vorticity) and there is still potential for us to get more rain than what the models show. It would take the right lift down towards Tulsa to create a broad area of rain tomorrow that would then move up the state line. Then on Tuesday the best moisture is shoved east…so whatever comes through may only be able to generate scattered activity.

There will be another chance though on Wednesday as we warm up a bit and what’s left of the upper system is nearby creating lift in the atmosphere. Coupled with the surface temperatures in the 60s and the cooler air aloft associated with the upper level storm and once again a juicy atmospheric profile. The instability won’t be too good though, so hopefully there will be some sort of wave coming through to help create some lift in the atmosphere and generate some rain in the region. Again I wouldn’t be shocked if many areas are under 1/2″ rain total through Wednesday, especially from KC and eastwards unless we can get some thunderstorms to help the cause locally.

Beyond this system…not much is expected through the next weekend. Warmer weather though as highs may climb into the 80s next weekend.

So it goes…




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