Joe’s Weather Blog: Winter to Summer

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One month ago… on the 14th and 15th of April…we had a trace of snow. Now we’re started May with some pretty impressive warmth and I think many are feeling the warmth in a big kind of way. Our A/C in the house has essentially been on since the 1st of the month…and while I turned it off last night (that was foolish on my part) it’s on again and I’m not really sure when it will be off again (September?). We’ve lurched into Summer at the Lauria house and I (we’ll) be paying for it in the form of higher electric bills this month and next I’m guessing.


Tonight: Variable clouds ad warm with lows in the 60s (cooler in northern MO)

Sunday (Mothers Day): Partly cloudy warm and humid with highs well into the 80s

Monday: Variable clouds and steamy. There is a chance of storms at night especially. Highs well into the 80s again

Tuesday: Partly cloudy with highs in the 80s again


There is a front tantalizingly close to the KC region. It’s lurking in far N MO and it may, or may not, push through the KC Metro area over the next 2-3 days or so. That is unusual. A front this close by should manage to move through (and should create heavy>severe storms) but as I wrote extensively about yesterday we are rather capped…and that means strong storms have a tough time getting organized.

This morning we had a low level jet poking at the area. This created enough lift above the level of the cap to help create storms and there were some out there today. A few downpours as well along the I-70 corridor area from around Lawrence eastwards.

That type of isolated activity will be possible again for the next few mornings, although the low level jet stream won’t be in as favorable a position as it was this morning. So we shouldn’t see the extent (and that is a push) to what we saw this morning.

The front itself is languishing in N MO…and you can see the significant temperature departures that are associated with being ahead of the front (KC region) and being behind the front (most of IA-NE).

Here is the 11AM surface map showing these ideas…the RED numbers are the temperatures…notice that contrast.

You can see the wind field better on this animation via

The issue is whether or not the front actually gets here. For that to happen…even though it’s so close (in the weather world) either some bigger storms need to fire with the front (with the cap that’s going to be tough) or some sort of area of low pressure needs to move along the front and push it southeastwards. This is possible later Monday night but not a guarantee.

With the front so close, parts of the viewing area may turn cooler…N MO I’m looking at you. While other parts of the area remain summer-like for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile May is off to a toasty start in KC…through the 1st 11 days…it’s the 4th warmest on record!

It’s a stunning contrast to the 1st 11 days of April in KC..where there were a few days with snow falling.

So we’ve had a nice case of weather whiplash…coldest April start to 4th warmest May start.

For what it’s worth…let’s keep an eye on this chart for the month…the number of days with highs of 80°+. Including today we’ll be 10 for 12.

and in looking back to 2000 (again strictly talking highs 80+) here is our recent history.

Again the chart above is through the entire month…were just a 1/3rd through May and have already had 10! It may be tough to get to 28…we can only have one  more non-80s day this month…but overall the forecast is a warm one till farther notice.

Finally something VERY interesting, a perhaps a first, occurred yesterday in the TX Panhandle area. A wildfire created a severe thunderstorm.

It’s called the Mallard Fire

The fire created intense heat that shot through the atmosphere…this created strong lift and helped to create a pyrocumulus cloud. This is not that unusual. This is what the fire looked like on the ground…


That cloud kept growing and eventually burst through a cap that would typically prevent thunderstorms from forming. Now it’s getting somewhat unusual.

That storm got stronger and stronger and became severe! That I don’t remember seeing before)

As the storm moved away from the fire it went severe!

In the end it produced a swath of locally heavy rain on some terrain that was bone dry before the fire started!

That’s a step in bizzarro world right there!

Our feature photo is from Starr Hardwick of Eudora, KS…from 5/8


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  • Nick

    So…. if we can build a MASSIVE bon fire near the front, in theory we can break the cap and get some rain here ;P had thunder this morning and yesterday morning, and had .01 inch each tme in St. Joe, lol
    Something else that I have noticed here with this temperature whiplash, most of the trees went from almost bare to full canopy in two weeks, but what is really odd, is that the silver maples which drop those “helicopter seeds” all over the place once in the spring and in the autumn, did not produce those seeds this spring, normally they almost cover the streets in certain areas and there are none. I found that a bit creepy.

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