Joe’s Weather Blog: About those “interesting” clouds Sunday (MON-10/30)

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Good morning…a blustery Monday is in progress in the area and while there are a couple of sprinkles affecting areas north of I-70 this morning…overall I’m expecting a pretty dry day today. Colder weather moves in for Halloween, as a matter of fact something that hasn’t happened in about 15 years will happen on Tuesday. More on that in the discussion part of the blog…



Forecast:

Today: Variable clouds with more sun in the afternoon. Windy and cooler than Sunday with highs around 50° or so this afternoon.

Tonight: Partly cloudy and cooler with lows dropping into the 20s. For the game this evening temperatures will be around 43 for kickoff and drop into the 30s as you leave. Wind chills will be in the 30s for the game. Dress apporpriately

Wednesday: There is a question about some sort of lower cloud surge moving into the region. IF that happens temperatures may struggle to 50°…IF it doesn’t we’ll be closer to 60°. Breezy again as well



Discussion:

I had a couple of pretty solid weather casts ready to go last night…then that crazy(!) baseball game happened that went on until 12:40 am this morning, or something like it. Entertaining as heck but we ended up dropping the newscast and called it a night, as I’m sure you did too.

I wanted to really highlight a few things…even had some graphics made and everything to show you a few things…

The main points I wanted to convey is the chilly weather for Halloween. I touched on this in a tweet I sent out the other day, and wrote about it in Thursday’s blog I believe. That our Halloween weather will be the coldest in about 15 years locally.

Here are the coldest Halloweens on record in KC…records go back to about 1889 or so.

We have colder air spilling into the area today…this cold air will deepen somewhat tonight…and then tomorrow, with lots of mid-upper level clouds around…and a cold start to the day…it will be a struggle to warm up…highs should be in the 40-45° range and you can see that places it squarely in a top 10 of coldest Halloweens on record here. Also note that it will be about as cold tomorrow as it’s been since 2002 (39!). Those are the highs…by the time the evening gets here and the sun sets at around 6:15-6:20…we’ll be dropping again to near 35° by the time the kids head out with the ghosts and goblins out there getting all sorts of treats! You’ll be dragging their winter coats I think.

We should warm up heading towards WED>THU before another shot of cooler air moves in on FRI>SAT.

Beyond that another cold front is due in sometime on Sunday…and IF we can hold it off long enough…a shot of 75° is possible before it gets here dropping highs back to average to start the next week off.

Next item I wanted to talk about were the interesting clouds that so many of you saw late yesterday afternoon. What made them more interesting and visual was that the sun was setting…and many noticed the “tufts” that were coming out of the cloud bases.

A ton of pictures came in via FB…such as this one.

Here’s another few shots…

and another…

So what’s the deal with those “mini tornado” looking things…as some described them to me.

Well 1st of all…the pictures were stunning…the setting sun really highlighted the colors. Many asked what kind of clouds were they. When I noticed them around 4:30…they were mostly a type of altocumulus cloud. As the clouds went from somewhat clumpy to more of a layered look…we then saw them morph into some altostratus clouds

These clouds yesterday were roughly 10,000-13,000 above the ground. As you might imagine it’s pretty cold up there. As a matter of fact the balloon release last night from Topeka, measuring various upper air data showed the temperatures at about that altitude running close to about 25° or so.

There was just enough lift in the clouds to allow precipitation to form…but since it was cold enough upstairs…that precipitation took the form of SNOW! Yes it was snowing above us yesterday! Now the air BELOW the cloud base was pretty dry…so as the flakes of snow fell…they evaporated…hence we got those “snow streaks” in the sky! The fancy word is called VIRGA…it can be rain or snow evaporating before it reaches the ground.

When the clouds are sheet like (like this morning) and we get VIRGA it’s not as impressive looking…it just makes the cloud bases look more “fuzzy”.

Feel free to pass this information along…a LOT of folks were curious about it!

That’s it for today…

Our feature photo comes from Carl Tatzko down in Lees Summit. It’s the picture above!

Joe

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