Joe’s Weather Blog: Increasing signs of a cooler shift (TUE-7/17)

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Good morning once again from northern MI which skies are clear and temperatures this morning are in the 50s. Tomorrow the day will start with lows in the mid 40s! It’s been a great weather trip up here…couple of warmish days but lots of more comfortable weather, certainly compared to the KC area. They too are pretty dry up here as well. Lots of brown grass areas…

The KC area, as a whole is dry too. There were some good storms hitting parts of the area the other day…and hopefully more coming in some areas later today. Let’s see how radar does as the day unfolds…

I’ve been thinking about starting a different way of talking about the rain totals in the area. I wanted to give you an idea of what I’m pondering when I get back to work over the weekend…

Right now all TV people are fixated on the data from KCI. It’s the official weather reporting station for KC. When it comes to rain though, especially in the summer months where the rains can be more spotty…using one data point can be a liability I think. The same goes with snow too I guess.

So I’ve been trying to think about a different approach to this…perhaps along these lines…

How about IF we take the average of about 5-7 different data points in the region and use that average as the current rain “index” or something along those lines. The stations I’m thinking about regularly and reliably report rain totals.. KCI…Downtown…both JOCO airports…Lees Summit…Pleasant Hill…Lawrence and Excelsior Springs. Take those totals, on a daily basis and crunch out the average and use that in talking about metro rain totals.

I think we have a decent database of years where that number can be calculated on a spreadsheet…perhaps averages can be utilized as well. It’s  lot to think about but I may try and do some preliminary work on this over the weekend.

What do you think?

Meanwhile the title of the blog refers to a changing weather pattern that may be in the process of setting up over the next 5+ days…one that may mean cooler (perhaps “less hot”) trends coming down the road.

In my last blog several days ago I mentioned that we needed to watch the position of the upper level ridge that was migrating towards the western 1/3rd of the US. This is/was important because with it going towards the west of the Plains…it would allow our area to become more influenced by a NW flow regime. That would open the door to disturbances…rain chances…and less hot weather. Also stronger disturbances, and even perhaps some upper level storms would be able to dig southeastwards through Canada into the northern US and Great Lakes region…these would push cold fronts into the KC region every so often.

I’m seeing strong indications that that may indeed be the play for the last week of July especially.

Let’s jump ahead towards next week…and go up to around 5,000 feet or so…these are the temperature anomalies…

That’s a rather impressive for late July, cooler pocket of air, dropping through the Plains.

Now a couple of days later…

That has to result in at least no “extreme” heat…no 100s for a long time at least…into early August.

It can still be a somewhat more seasonable heat…perhaps even under average (typically the hottest time of the year)…so it’s a better look than the searing 100s that we’ve endured.

So there is hope for at least some relief for the overly hot weather that has become more common through the Plains region.

It would be welcome…

Look at the 90°+ days so far this year…

That’s 33…and counting.

Here are the rankings…

For the KC area…a combination of records from Downtown and KCI…this is the 5th most For Springfield…this year is #1…likewise St Louis and Salina! St Joseph is #2. Wow!

Our feature photo comes from People of Cowtown.


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  • Patrick Trudel (@sedsinkc)

    I like your idea about presenting rainfall data. I’d add it would be useful to show some kind of bars showing the range of values that went into the “average” number. That way we get some handle on whether the rainfall was spotty or more general in nature around the region. Long bars equal big spread in the rainfall amounts, short bars means the difference between stations was smaller. Perhaps that would be too much data though.

  • Richard

    I agree with Patrick. Good idea Joe.
    Also agree with him that bars would be nice if not too much trouble
    We really got a very nice DOWNPOUR here in Olathe 5-5:30 pm
    Much needed.
    Have to admit I am envious of your cool trip to the U.P.
    looks like you are having a great time from your photos on facebook.

  • Farmgirl

    Hi Joe, so what happened to the cooler shift? Now the forecast is hot, hot, hot. Upper 90s tomorrow and mid 90s through the weekend. Yikes, the forecast from just 2 days ago has changed dramatically.

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