Joe’s Weather Blog: Could we get wetter next week? (THU-8/9)

More typical hot and humid weather on tap for the region over the next few days…the last blog dealt with a return to “typical” August weather…and that will indeed be the case. There are a few features that I’m tracking today…and a weak front in the region tomorrow…but the forecast of scattered storms possible isn’t a bad one really through tomorrow. We saw a few yesterday…there may be a few more tomorrow.

The other note of interest is a combination of atmospheric events that MAY lead to some wetter weather next week. It seems the southern Plains actually have the best shot at this…but something could drift our way as well. More on that in the blog…plus an update on the ongoing drought report.



Forecast:

Today: Seasonable with some random storms possible later this afternoon. For those heading to the Chiefs game…be aware of the potential and have some rain gear just in case. Again NOT all will see this…many probably won’t…but the cells may dump very localized areas of heavy rain. Highs in the lower 90s

Tonight: Any evening activity fades after sunset with lows near 70°

Friday: More of the same…although there will be a cold front in the region. That may spark some extra storms depending on where it sets up. The highest risk may be about 50 miles south of KC though. Highs around 90° or so.

The weekend: The rain chances will be decreasing…but the seasonable hot and humid weather remains. Highs near 90° give or take a few degrees.



Discussion:

Interesting potential set-up next week…as a weird-ish upper level low develops in the southern Plains and sort of drifts around the region south of the KC area. What this will do to the atmosphere is create a “cold” pocket of aloft whereever it tends to form…then it will drift around and allow the atmosphere below it and around it to be conducive to the creation of thunderstorms.

The issue will be where that upper level storm drifts around to. The model data shows it in various places…but the reality is it doesn’t even exist yet….but something should form.

Take a look at the 18,000 foot level…at least on the GFS model…there is weak upper level system wandering around western OK

On the EURO model…it’s into KS.

There definitely is a little more oomph to the EURO model.

But what does this mean?

Basically these upper level lows, especially during this time of the year are subtle features that illustrate small pockets of colder air aloft. Typically they’re not too dramatic…smallish areas where the temperatures aloft are about 4-8° cooler than the area surrounding it. It may not sound like a lot…BUT they have profound effects on what’s going on with the atmosphere.

As the surface gets hotter during the day…the air rises. That’s basic stuff. BUT what happens when the air aloft is colder is that the air has more pop when it’s rising and as the warm parcels encounter the colder air aloft they keep rising. When that occurs…the clouds grow taller and taller into the skies…and we get bigger thunderstorms. They even can contain hail depending on the set-up. Surrounding the colder pocket of air though…not much happens because the rising air sort of peters out as it rises but encounters less cold air above us.

I hope that sort of makes sense.

You can sort of see it better when looking at the temperatures above us, close to about 18,000 feet next Tuesday.

Those black numbers are the temperatures at the 500 mb level…or about 18,000 feet. They are in °C…so -5°C means around 23° and -10°C is about 14°F. Note how the temperatures surrounding the “colder” air are less “cold”. You can sort of even see the counterclockwise circulation of the colder air wrapping around. Can you see it.

So as a result you can set-up into a wetter pattern. Storms form and wander around the circulation. Often somewhat slow moving because the winds aloft aren’t too strong.

The issue again is where exactly this forms…

The GFS model suggests the best rain, over a 5 day period will be on the south side through the I-44 corridor.

While the EURO, and remember form above, this model is somewhat more impressive with this developing atmospheric feature next week…and also is farther north…has the rains in the KC Metro area.

Both maps above are 5 day rain totals from 7AM Tuesday > 7AM Friday (next week).

I don’t want to get too far into the specifics…but there is some real potential here for rains in the region and IF it sets up correctly…with the atmosphere being VERY saturated…per the EURO model…there can be some real heavy rains too for areas that get the rain…in excess of 2″.

Again some moving parts to this…but it would be mostly welcome.

The new drought report is out…and the biggest thing is the worsening of the conditions in parts of N MO. Caldwell County has slipped into “exceptional” drought status.

On the KS side…no significant changes…

What’s interesting is the difference between this weeks report and the situation in 2012…for the MO side it looks like this.

On the KS side…it looks like this…

When the slider (thick blue bar) is on the far right…the map shows 2012…when on the left…2018 (same week of the summer for each map).

Our feature photo comes from People Of Cowtown…

Joe

 

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