Joe’s Weather Blog: Tornado Watch till 9PM (FRI-4/18)

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Good afternoon…I’ll be doing a FB Live coming up at 6:30 on the station account (FOX 4 News Kansas City) and I’ll share it on my account as well (Joe Lauria FOX 4 Meteorologist)…so look for that. Meanwhile a Tornado Watch has been issued for the majority of the FOX 4 viewing area. This will be until 9PM tonight. There are storms well west of KC (as of this writing). Those are heading into NE KS and NW MO…other storms MAY form farther to the SW or SSW of KC. The storm motions are just barely east of due north at close to 55 MPH.


Tonight: Evening storms possible but most of the activity will be done for KC around 9PM or so tonight. The main threat of hail/winds will be before that…as I’ve mentioned…it’s possible many don’t see anything of significance from this. With that said there are parameters in the atmosphere supportive of rotating storms so a Tornado Watch is in effect.

Saturday: Slowly falling temperatures then near 40° in the afternoon. Some light rain or even some mixed rain/snow showers are possible later in the day.

Sunday: Blustery and colder with highs only in the 30s


A Tornado Watch has been issued for most of the viewing area…

A look at the latest radar…

There hasn’t been a lot of change to my thinking with regard tot he evolution of this. We’ll see how long those storms from south of Topeka into SE KS hold together as they move NE at close to 60 MPH or so. The storms (as of this writing) in NE KS will be approaching the surface low in SE NE.

The 3PM surface map shows an area of low pressure in SE NE…

The “dry line” separating the gulf moisture from the drier air surging up from the SW is creeping eastwards in eastern KS between Manhattan and Topeka.

I wanted to show you a satellite loop via NEXLAB…remember a couple of days ago I mentioned a phenomena that leaves brownish drops on your car after a brief light shower moves through?

Note the “fuzzy” look to the images WEST of the thunderstorm clusters in eastern KS. That is a combo of smoke (mostly) and some dust. The smoke is coming from wild fires burning in western OK.

Here is a closer view…look for the orange “glow” markers in western OK…

So that smoke is being sucked into the storms circulation in SE NE. Rain is out to the west of KC…and as the smoke/dust combine in the clouds…”brownish” rain drops will fall. You won’t be able to notice it until AFTER the fact when those rain drops dry on your cars finish especially. You may notice dirtier “spots” on your cars finish.

The more you know…

The severe risk continues BUT we’re not talking a totally solid area of raging storms pushing through. The storms now are rather broken up in nature in terms of coverage and that should continue through the evening (mostly). Some areas will get something others won’t get a drop. Hail and gusty winds are the main threat from the storms. There is a non-0 threat of a tornado but odds heavily favor that not being a big issue in the region. It’s something though to pay attention to since we’re under a Tornado Watch. So far all the reports that have come in show 1″ hail mostly and some brief 60 MPH estimated winds. Hopefully it stays this way.


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