Joe’s Weather Blog: Rain chances are back in the forecast (THU-4/13)

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It’s really feeling like spring out there today. Dew points are near 60°…temperatures are in the 70s and it feels like it wants to rain soon. We have a few chances coming up over the next several days heading towards and through the holiday weekend. Meanwhile, after a fast start to severe weather season, things have really calmed down quite a bit lately…and aside from a chance over the weekend up the I-35 corridor…which for us may be tricky due to storm timing…there really isn’t a lot of active weather happening for the time being.


Forecast:

Tonight: Variable clouds and mild with lows in the 60s

Friday: Cloudy with rain in the area through lunch. Temperatures may stay cool during the morning with the rain in the area but then pop into the 70s during the afternoon. We should be a little drier in the afternoon compared to the morning

Saturday: Warm and windy with storm chances increasing again in the evening and overnight. There is a risk of some severe weather in the area, especially towards N MO and NE KS. Highs well into the 70s

Sunday (Easter): We should be drier with variable clouds. Somewhat cooler with highs closer to 65-70°


Discussion:

I thought we’d start the discussion with severe weather…and while things got rocking and rolling earlier in the spring…lately it’s been rather quiet. Just to show how active it was…look at the number of tornado reports that have occurred so far in 2017…over 500!

That’s still the most since 2008 (621) through 4/12. Last year (103) and the year before that (100) it was a fraction of where we are right now. So we started the year big…but at least over the last couple of weeks things have settled down.

On average through mid April we have had just over 300 reports…so this year is still well above that trend…

There have been 3 regions which seem to have had the most reports so far in 2017…

The MS River Valley area…the deep south and GA…nice clustering in 2017.

For MO…we’re up to 60 reports in 2017. That is well above average for the year, if the year ended today! On the KS side…interestingly things have been rather slow in central and western KS. Also note what’s happening (or not happening) in OK. There have only been a couple of touchdowns. That is unusual for that state.

Obviously things can change quickly with one good outbreak. Right now though there aren’t any big outbreaks coming it appears for awhile at least. Sometimes there is a correlation between slow stretches of severe weather and colder temperatures overall..but that really isn’t the case this year. Locally we’re running over 3° above average so far in April.

Interestingly though…when it comes to looking strictly at the high temperatures (which are more helpful in building instability to create the storms to begin with) there is a noted cooler than average regime from KC through the southern Plains region.

Perhaps part of the explanation about why central KS through OK is a bit slow this year when it comes to tornado touchdowns.

So far in 2017…GA leads the US with over 100 reports of tornadoes…TX is 2nd with close to 70 while MO is 3rd with 60 reports.

Let’s talk about Friday’s non-severe rain chances first. There is a wave down in OK that will be moving towards the NE tonight and Friday. With that wave interacting with the moisture moving through the area today…it should be enough to at least get some rain going and move through the area during the 1st part of Friday. While not all will get the rain…the best chances appear to be from KC west and northwestwards. That disturbance is showing up in the radar data.

It’s NOT the greatest set-up though…and in reality this thing is going to split into a few pieces as it moves towards the NE but with a trailing area of moisture just sort of “hanging around” the region it won’t take a lot to get at least some rain to move through.

Beyond that the next chance is the risk later Saturday.

It appears that after the risk on Saturday…the next chance for something in the Plains may be next Wednesday afternoon/night.

Saturday’s chance concerns a cold front that will be sagging southwards. There should be some instability building up as the day moves along…the timing of the front appears to be later Saturday evening which isn’t the greatest for storms. There is a slight risk of severe storms though according to the SPC.

Odds are some hail and winds from the storms may be the main threats…and that chance may diminish IF we’re waiting till after 12AM for the storms to arrive. Right now I think the timing is more towards 6PM-10PM Saturday. So I do think at least the chance of severe weather will be with us in that time frame.

Here is the forecast weather map for 7PM Saturday showing the front on the doorstep of KC…

Behind the front somewhat cooler air and drier air will move into the area.

The interesting part about all this though is whatever fronts move south through the area…won’t really have a big push southwards. For example Saturday evenings cold front will get to about the I-44 corridor and then sort of stall. It will start retreating northwards next week setting up the next potential rain-maker sometime Wednesday or Thursday. Fronts that hang around can be big rain makers during the spring season especially…and our model data is suggestive of over 3″ of rain in the next 10 days…as a matter of fact the EURO is the most bullish with over 4-6+” of rain in the next 10 days…so we may be transitioning back into a wetter pattern (overall) again into next weekend.

Finally a shout out to the kids at Odessa High School. Talked to them about weather today!

Our feature photo comes from Mike Perry of the full “pink” moon from the other night!

Joe

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