Joe’s Weather Blog: Drought conditions hold steady locally (FRI-2/16)

Good morning…a lot colder out there as expected in today. Temperatures which popped into the mid 60s locally and even 70s south of the KC area…have tumbled behind a cold front that pushed through the area yesterday. Don’t worry though…this is a brief incursion of colder weather and I think Monday will be another warm day with highs well into the 60s again…heck Monday morning may be warmer than Sunday afternoon! Yes another strong front will come through later Monday again…and that means tumbling temperatures once again. So a true roller coaster for temperatures is on the way.



Forecast:

Tonight: Partly cloudy and chilly with lows in the 20s

Saturday: There may be some rain showers or some sort of wintry mix in the morning near and towards the south of the KC area in the morning hours before 10AM . There may even be a dusting/coating in some areas…otherwise turning partly cloudy and milder with highs back to around 50°

Sunday: Milder again with highs 55-60°. Windy conditions, especially in the afternoon with gusts to 30 MPH possible. we may see a low cloud surge as the day unfolds, especially later in the day. There may be a few showers at night or early Monday morning too as the mild air and moisture surges northwards.



Discussion:

Today is markedly different than yesterday and that’s because of a colder air mass that has moved into the area…notice on the early morning map the colder air flowing southwards. Temperatures are in RED….

The warmth this morning has been shoved towards towards the deep south…down towards AR and far eastern TX…there are 60s this morning.

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog a few snowflakes out there overnight last night…sure enough…there are a few on the deck this morning….

Clouds aloft though are still streaming this way from the SW…and they’ll be with us for most of the day, especially this morning…that won’t help in the warming process.

A rather decent sized area of high pressure is building southwards this morning…

The moisture that we got last night was meager, which has been the case around here for months now. The latest drought report came out yesterday showing NO changes really to the previous week. We continue to be “abnormally dry” with moderate drought conditions off towards the east of the KC Metro area.

On the MO side…here is the latest…again this is about the same as the prior week.

on the KS side…mostly the same as well.

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So regionally at least…NO real changes despite a lack of appreciable moisture locally. An area to watch would be southern MO early next week…as there may be beneficial moisture down that way to pay attention too.

Nationally there was a change…and mostly not good for the southern Plains region.

Notice that area towards the SW part of KS through western OK and into the TX Panhandle…that is an expanding nasty drought that is taking hold. There hasn’t been appreciable moisture down there in months.

Amarillo has NOT had measurable moisture since mid October…and in Lubbock, TX…

Although there was a trace of snow there earlier this morning…

The following map shows the change in “drought status”…again locally, since the vegetation is still dormant and there’s no growth out there…there are now now moisture needs (yet) but as that changes in the next 4-6 weeks or so…the maps above will change markedly.

Locally though again…it’s been dry! Check out how we rank since the 1st of November…for moisture.

As far as next week goes…we’ll get more into that over the weekend…but we’re still tracking another strong cold front to come through the region on Monday afternoon/evening…that will sweep the 60s away and usher in colder weather for Tuesday into Wednesday. There is still the potential of sleet or freezing rain with this set-up as well.

Finally for those interested in severe weather…the NWS continues to conduct various severe weather spotter training courses through the KC region. Some of you have gone to these before…others always ask about them…

The line-up of course are here…

Here are the next few courses though…

The courses above are free and start at 7PM. Its a great way to learn about the whys and whats of severe weather. You’ll also learn how storms form and also how to tell the difference between scary looking clouds and more important clouds. You’ll have a chance to learn how to report severe weather as well. Remember you’re our eyes. All we have is a vomit of colors on radar to put on the air in many cases…we rely on you to get us ground truth reports of what a storm is actually doing.

Finally…for those who have taken one of these courses in the past and enjoyed the material…there is a 2nd “more advanced” course that is put on by Douglas County on the 1st Saturday in March. This is more of an all-day affair with a somewhat deeper dive into severe storms. I’ve spoken to the hundreds of folks who come out to this many times and this year I’ll be sharing what websites I use on a daily basis to create this weather blog and websites that you can go to (for free) to learn more about daily weather forecasting etc.

The Douglas County seminar does coast $10 for the day…and will be held at the DoubleTree Lawrence, 200 McDonald Dr, Lawrence, KS.

For more information…

OK that’s it for today…

Our feature photo comes from Krissy Brown…ice!

Joe

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