Joe’s Weather Blog: Potential heavy rain set-up (MON-10/1)

Good morning…it’s almost as if the clouds are mocking me right now. We go through lots of gray weather…then late last night we clear out…then first thing this morning we cloud over once again…at least on the KS side. The clouds are once again expanding towards the east from the KS side and I wonder if they’re going to hang on for a good part of the day again. Obviously with a warm and humid air mass in place…breaks will allow temperatures to pop up…the issue is when and where those breaks will happen. Without breaks, we’re in the 70s…with breaks…80s are possible. Again their mocking me.


Today: Probably pretty gray through the morning then maybe some PM breaks. Highs near 80° only if there are breaks. South winds of 10-15 MPH or so.

Tonight: Clouds again and there may be some mist or drizzle towards daybreak as a front sags south into the Metro. Lows may drop into the 50s on the north side of KC…and remain in the 60s on the south side of KC.

Tuesday: Perhaps some brief AM mist/drizzle patches then the front will lurch back northwards…mostly cloudy with highs potential into the 80s IF we get some sunshine

Wednesday: Higher confidence forecast with temperatures well into the 80s…close to 90° in spots and also a LOT of wind…gusts may be near 45 MPH!


I don’t necessarily want to rewrite everything from over the weekend regarding the positions of fronts etc that will dictate our weather. See yesterday’s blog for details on that information. Nothing has really changed…

I want to mention again though that IF Downtown KC is 70° or higher for a low temperature…and this is VERY possible Wednesday or Thursday morning…that would break a record going back to 1934 of having the most lows 70° or higher…specifically for Downtown KC. Downtown is NOT the official weather station for KC though so it won’t be a “Kansas City” record…but it it’s still very interesting to me. We’ve been 70° or higher 84 times this year (so far)…I like our chances…especially WED and THU AM of breaking it. It’s tougher to do in October because of the longer nights and the extra time to “cool” off without daylight…again though with strong south winds and hot weather on Wednesday…it could happen. The winds will be blowing pretty good early Wednesday morning…and temperatures with lighter winds in Downtown have barely dropped below 70° over the last few mornings…so add in some wind and the 1st opportunity to break this record will be Wednesday morning. There will be rain in the region on Thursday AM…so it could complicate things.


There are increasingly strong indications of a significant change in the pattern heading towards the weekend and next week. A strong dip in the jet stream will occur across the western part of the country while an unusually strong ridge will occur across the eastern part of the country. Interestingly…somewhat the same thing happened last October during the 1st week as well.

How far east this “dip” progresses will help determine whether or not we see major cooling over the weekend and next week. That’s only one aspect though.

The other one…and perhaps the more important one…in the rain potential. It’s no secret that it’s pretty to very dry out there and the the drought is still being felt. Mostly in the form of low waters in ponds and lakes…and to some extent in other aspects as well. These last few weeks have been very dry in KC. September was the 14th driest since records have been kept going back to the 1880s.

So yes…rain is needed and a lot of it would not be terrible as long as we can avoid the flooding aspect.

As I mentioned things look a lot different in the next 5-10 days. The dip in the jet across the western 1/3rd of the US and the corresponding ridge in the east…means the Plains will be sort of in the transition zone between VERY cool weather out west and very warm weather in the east.

I want to show you the 5 day average anomalies up at around 5,000 feet or so…this would be for the period from 10/6-11…to highlight what I just mentioned. You can see the tremendous warmth compared to average in the east…and the chilly weather, compared to average in the west.

There is NO guarantee that the colder air will move into KC. Some of it should though next week for a couple of days at least…but the bulk of it may remain more centered towards the Rockies and the upper Midwest. It’s impressive to look at though.

With this look…and looking at the pattern farther up around 18,000 feet…I’m not sure how we don’t get some decent rain s in the region. No whether those rains are centered on the I-35 corridor or east or west of us…remains to be seen…but there is potential…and that’s something that we haven’t really be able to say in quite some time.

It’s NOT often you see model data spitting out close to 4″ of rain over a 10 day period with most coming about after Thursday.

Not only are the blue bars in the bottom part of the graph (the regular EURO run) showing this…but the green bars are too (the ensembles) and that is a potential confidence booster that something significant may be trying to develop.

That model isn’t alone either…it’s always a good idea to look at how the ensembles, which are individual runs of a model with different current conditions and other things, the GFS ensembles also have a boatload of rain in the area…here is a look at the 20+ individual runs of the ensembles…from there you get an ensemble average..

Out of ALL those runs…there’s only one member that has LESS than 3″ total over the next 10 days.

So you get something like this on a regional basis…


One of the many things though is that the model data really has a rough time handling these seasonal transitions and while this is a big booster in confidence…as the days get closer and as the individual rain makers become more apparent..then we can figure out how various dry slots etc will impact the overall totals over the next 10 days.

With something like this set-up…flooding could be an issue…and depending on how the individual days set-up…perhaps even severe weather risks will be increasing as well in the Plains, especially down towards central-western KS and OK/TX. Again perhaps a reach…and with this sometimes lower clouds can cut instability levels but, if nothing else, there is going to be a lot of moisture in the atmosphere from later this week into early next week…and when something gets going there will be a lot of moisture to tap into it appears…leading to the heavy rain threat as things stand today.

Our feature photo comes from Elizabeth Mammen Kanniainen…great shot!


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