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Joe’s Weather Blog: Our weather takes a nap…elsewhere not so much (SUN-9/9)

Good afternoon…sort of a mixed bag out there today with clouds hanging tough and breaking for some areas, while many others are enjoying mostly sunny skies. Temperatures will vary through the region later today from the 60s farther south in the clouds to the 70s towards the north with the additional sunshine. There really isn’t a lot expected in the region for the next 7-10 days or so…as a result rain chances are minimal and nice late summer to early fall weather is ahead. You’ll have the A/C’s humming again later this week especially.



Forecast:

Tonight: Clearing or clear skies and cool with lows down to near 50°

Monday: Fabulous with highs well into the 70s

Tuesday: Great with lows near 55-60° and highs near 80°\

Wednesday into the next weekend: Warming with highs getting back to the 85-90° range later in the week and next weekend.



Discussion:

Let’s start with our local weather and this would be the graphic that basically characterizes the weather in the western MO and eastern KS region for the next 7-10 days…and that’s total rain.

Not much else to say about that really…there may be a front next weekend…we’ll see.

Next up…again local…I noticed an interesting opinion/editorial in the KC Star today. I don’t want to get into all that but I did notice an interesting snippet regarding KCP&L…

“A recent notice from Kansas City Power & Light said that this summer’s skyrocketing electric bills are due in part to the fact that “our region has experienced more than 50 days of 90-plus-degree heat this year — more than double the number to date in 2017.”

So it got me thinking…how have things gone in the past…so let’s take a deeper dive.

KCPL is correct…there have been a LOT more 90°+ days this summer/year compared to last year. Last year…as the data shows was an anomaly with “only” 24 days of 90°+. The average is 41 days…so last year was well below average. This year we’ve had 53 days…so a BIG difference compared to last year while compared to average not as dramatic but still 12 extra days is 12 extra days.

I wanted to see how this year compared to others…so lets dive into that aspect of things. So I looked at where this year ranks…

There were 4 other years at 53 as well.

I then wanted to broaden things out a bit..and look at ALL the years with 50 or more days with highs 90° or above. This is a combination of data for Downtown KC and KCI (starting in the early 70s)…and here is what I discovered.

In the 1890s there was 1 year

1900s 1 year

1910s: 3

1920s: 1

1930s: 8

1940s: 5

1950s: 5

1960s: 1

1970s: 4

1980s: 3

1990s: 1

2000s: 2

2010s (one more year to go): 3

So it’s not as if it’s been an all of a sudden thing…heck in 2012 during the drought there were 69 days with highs 90° or higher with a bunch of 100s mixed in.

If you want to break it down farther…from the 1890-1919 span there were 5 years..from 1920-1949: 14…from 1950-1979: 10 and from 1980-2009: 6. You can see from a 90°+ standpoint from 1920>1979 a LOT more 90°+. There very well could be more than a handful of days that didn’t hit 90° at KCI when the official readings switched there and it was out there in the middle of nowhere. That is gradually changing now as we build out the city more and more towards that area and the grass is replaced by concrete. This expands the heat island effect farther and farther out.

As I’ve written about earlier…this summer started hot in June then eased in July and August from a temperature standpoint. There were some toasty days though in May and coming out of such a cool March and April…we sort of got the short end of spring.

Anyway it caught my eye.

Onwards…

The tropics…oh mu…there’s a lot…on the Atlantic side.

Actually of all of them…Helene looks the most organized…but Florence is getting back together again and has recently be re-upped to hurricane status.

Here are the one minute satellite pictures of the hurricane…from early this afternoon.

There are the same concerns today as from several days ago when I told you that this was going to be the biggest national news/weather story of the week…you’re going to hear a LOT about this storm…especially from Wednesday onwards…and likely for good reason.

Yup…the Carolinas and especially North Carolina is very vulnerable to this right now. What is interesting is that a hurricane in the position of where Florence is right now…usually doesn’t hit the North Carolina area. The important part of that statement is where it is right now.

As a matter of fact…if you were to draw a 100 mile wide radius around the center of Florence…and looked at all the hurricanes going back to the 1850 time frame (and granted we really don’t know about ALL of them before 1950 or so) you will find ONLY 1 hurricane track…an unnamed storm from 1933 that actually hit NC. ALL of them curve northwards out to see usually. So IF Florence does indeed hit NC…this would be rare from it’s current position.

Again for clarity…that’s NOT saying NC doesn’t get hit by hurricanes…nothing of the sort. All told some 44 hurricanes (perhaps more that we don’t know of) have hit since the mid 1800s.

The Outer Banks region is especially vulnerable.

The other issue with this is the likely collapse of steering currents as the hurricane comes inland. This is a big problem because of the flooding risks over already saturated grounds…and this part of the country has had a ton of rain in the last 60 days…

There are parts of PA that have had more than 4 times their average rains!

Many areas of NC are well above average over the past 60 days as well.

So when you see this projection…this is from the FV3 model which will be replacing the GFS model in the not too distant future…

or the forecast from the EURO model…which is virtually the same as the above model…it’s VERY concerning.

I’ve discounted for now the GFS model…I think it’s too deep with the storms pressure…as a result of this it takes the storm farther north and OFF the coast of NC before stalling. This has been a persistent issue with this model (among so many other issues when it comes to tropical issues). The GFS actually keeps this off shore the whole time…there would still be a wealth of flooding/storm surge issues…but the worst of the winds would remain offshore.

 

The bottom line is IF this was me living along the NC and perhaps even SC coastline…but especially from NC northwards I would really be getting proactive and thinking about evacuating in a few more days.

Again flooding rains of 20-40″ is VERY possible with a stalling hurricane that gradually spins down…the upslope flow into the higher terrain of VA and other states will be prolonged and incredible.

There is a lot of rain falling today and tomorrow in PA already…some 1-5″ worth…so that is laying the saturated grounds “groundwork” to a potentially devastating set-up with a nearly stalled tropical system.

Then the wind factor…when you see these GUSTS forecast from the EURO model…for a landfalling hurricane near Wilmington…on Thursday morning…yikes!

A LOT will change…and the course of the eye will change as well over the next few days…while most of SC (except upstate SC) may be in better shape…a deviation to the left would bring them in more ply…as any deviation to the right would bring the stronger winds farther north towards central and northern NC…that seems to the “window” area to watch.

Again IF you know folks there…make sure they’re aware and ready to leave…being without power for days in a tropical setting doesn’t sound pleasant…plus all the other bad stuff associated with flooding etc.

Of note it does seem like the EURO continues to move the hurricane along a bit more bringing the higher flood risk…and perhaps the lower end towards the 15-25″ range towards the central NC mountains through next Friday.

Obviously more this week…oh and Olivia…a weakening storm will affect HI as well perhaps but it will be a tropical storm with winds and locally heavy rains. Flooding again an issue there.

OK that’s it for today…I’ve got to get out and do some mowing.

Joe

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