Joe’s Weather Blog: Increased hope for the browning grass (FRI-6/15)

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TGIF! It’s going to be another hot weekend around the KC region. A heat advisory is in effect through Sunday evening and may be extended into Monday as well BUT there are signs of a switch in the more intense heat to something a bit more seasonable…and perhaps more importantly a continued signal, as I’ve mentioned and illustrated this week…of increased rain chances starting later Monday night and lingering through most of next week. Obviously, considering the weak cold front that will help our cause doesn’t really exist yet…let’s see how things go…but the meteorology part suggests increased rain chances…and for some at least…perhaps some rather heavy rain.


Today: Hot and humid with highs in the mid 90s again. Heat index near 100°

Tonight: Fair and mild with lows in the mid 70s

Saturday>Monday: Ditto…highs in the mid>upper 90s…heat index values in the 100-105° possible.


I noticed yesterday evening, while driving to a community event that I was a part of…that the grass is really turning brown in some spots. Areas that aren’t getting water are starting to really stress out in parts of the KC area. My grass…also is really showing some mid summer stress at this point. I haven’t mowed in almost 2 weeks and it really doesn’t need it right now…

What we need is rain…and a good bit of it.

While the weekend looks very dry and muggy…there are increased signs in the data that things should be different next week.

You might be thinking…well mid 90s in mid June isn’t that unusual right? Well it sort of is. Yesterday, for example, we missed tying a record high by only 3° Today we’re shooting to match yesterday’s high of 96°. Today’s record is 102° set in 1936.  Another indicator of the unusual heat for mid June is a look back at ALL the highs for June 15th in KC. These records go back to the late 1880s…again the record is 102° but IF we’re around 96° today it would still fall into the top 10 for hottest June 15ths in KC weather history.

With this heat expected to last at least through the weekend…a heat advisory has been extended through the region…this is mostly because of the warm overnights, especially in the heart of the city. Dew point values have been fluctuating in the upper 60s to lower 70s. That may not change a lot into Sunday.

The counties filled in orange are the counties under the advisory.

and yes…Summer doesn’t even start till next Thursday….my goodness.

As far as the drought goes…we’re sort of in this weird zone of drought and just sort of dry. Areas north of KC are certainly in worse shape overall with the drought situation.

Areas farther south are in somewhat better shape…but with this persistent heat can really use a drink of water as well.

On the KS side…there has been some improvement for the central and western parts of the state.

The drought out there has actually gotten somewhat “better” to some regard. Not great…just a bit better thanks to rains over the last month or so. In the last week 12% less terrain is under a severe drought or worse…so baby steps.

During a lunch panel I was on yesterday I mentioned my thoughts, that I’ve talked about here on the blog, about how next week had decent potential to bring heavy rain to some of the area. I continue to feel this way. The EURO model is also in my thought process…look at what it suggests for total rains over the next 10 days…this would be mostly after Monday at 7PM…so really later Monday night into the next weekend.

That would be impressive if true. The EURO ensembles are also somewhat bullish on the ideas above. Ensemble forecasting will “smooth” things out a bit…but I look at them for confidence building that something could happen. More or less they have the same idea. This is over the next 10 days.

So something is going on…

Even the GFS, which has a notably wet bias, is going hog wild with the potential…

It has a bulls-eye of over 10″  SW of Manhattan on the latest run with 2-5″ in the KC region…which seems possible to me.

So this is just the model world…the meteorology part of things actually has me somewhat interested in the set up later Monday through the end of the week.

A weak front is going to be easing southwards into the KC region…this is going to be the key to how the rain plays out next week. How this front waffles in the region…and how the instability builds day in and day out will go a long way in creating storms. The only thing that is bothering me about the set-up is that there aren’t any identifiable waves/disturbances coming towards the area. We’re going to have to rely on the positioning of this weak front to generate storms..which will then generate outflows…which should then generate more storms…which means more outflows…and so on and so on.

We become vulnerable to this on Tuesday especially.

Another indicator is that the atmosphere will be loaded with moisture. We measure this looking at the PW values. PW stands for Precipitable Water and it shows how much water can be condensed from the atmosphere above a particular point. It DOESN’T indicate how much rain will form…it’s, in a weird way, an indicator of how much moisture “gasoline” is in the atmosphere at a given time. Take a look at the model forecasts for TUE/WED/THU at 7AM. When I see values this high…during the summer…with a front in the region…it’s a *RED ALERT* for me to pay attention too for the potential of localized flooding rains.

In addition to this factor…and it’s a BIG one in my opinion…is another one…the weak flow in the atmosphere. Meaning the winds above us will be mid-summer light…in other words there isn’t a lot to move the storms along at any one time. This means locally heavy downpours. It could also mean parts of the area get a TON of rain while some don’t get as much.

The final thing that should be mentioned is how these clusters of potential storms MAY generate various weak disturbances, on their own, and that too can enhance, or depending on the positioning of the wave, can deter storm formation. The model data WON”T resolve this till the day of (if even then). The meteorologist part in me though can see how this could happen. Again meteorology not modelology.

So there are reasons to be heartened IF you’re noticing the brown grass in the yard. I certainly am, and have been for awhile about next weeks set-up. Again dealing with things that don’t exist and won’t for a few more days is a challenge but the set-up is certainly interesting to me.

The next blog update will probably be on Sunday…

Our feature photo comes from Oak Grove, MO and Linda Laird Blackman‎



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1 Comment

  • Richard

    Thanks Joe
    Strange to me, looking at the graph above, of the high temps on this date. Only one was in the 2000’s …2016, 98 degrees.
    Surprising that 2012 is not on there. That year we had drought and so many 100’s.

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