Joe’s Weather World: The tricky part of forecasting in Spring has begun (WED-4/24)

Some days it’s pretty easy…some day’s it’s pretty tough. The next 5-7 days will go into the latter category. Clouds…rain chances…storm chances…and how much of all of that all will combine to give us some headaches trying to forecast temperatures and more storm/rain chances. It’s a wetter weather set-up…try saying that 5 times fast…but as always the devil is in the details. Heck today I’m not sure when the sunshine will come back to our skies…temperatures are in the lower 50s now but I’m not sure if we can burst well into the 60s later today or not. No sun and that’s going to be tough to do. Then there is the weekend and early next week…because there is the potential of some decent+ rains out there but one day will affect the next…and that’s why this will be tough to pin down.

  • Forecast:

Today: Clouds with hopefully some late clearing. A struggle to warm-up until that happens. Let’s shot for highs in the 60-65° range but we may be waiting till the last part of the day to get there. Light winds.

Tonight: Clearing out and seasonable with lows near 50°. Some fog?

Tomorrow: A cold front will zip through the region in the late morning. We should still get into the 70s before and behind the front but the winds will be picking up behind the front. There may be some post frontal showers developing after 3PM near the I-35 corridor. This is a bit iffy right now but something to monitor.

Friday: Cooler in the AM then a decent day with highs closer to 70°

  • Discussion:

Its just a messy forecast really. No clear cut stretch of dry days over the next 7. Friday looks dry…but I’m not sure any other day is totally dry right now.

Even today there are some morning showers up towards highway 36. I expected this. The clouds that are so prevalent this morning were expected too last night…talked about them quite a bit as the forecast dilemma and we’ll see how long they last. There are also clouds in the upper levels streaming towards us. By now you know that with light winds and that combo of upper and lower clouds…it’s never a great sign for rapid clearing. Here are the satellite pictures for you.

Then there is Thursday…

A developing cold front in NE will sweep through towards lunch tomorrow. This will increase the winds from the north and today up there it will create an area of rain…potentially even a whole wave that will come down towards the region tomorrow afternoon. So we warm-up for a bit tomorrow then we see IF that wave has any action with it when it comes through the region. Some of the models. especially the ones that allow convection (they love the convection a little too much sometimes) do indeed develop some cells near the I-35 corridor. This is sort of iffy right now but I can see a definite weakness in the mid part of the atmosphere coming through…so it needs to be watched.

Let’s play Friday dry.

Now by Friday evening a wave will be coming across KS. As it does so it will be coming into a seasonably strong low level jet stream blowing from the south to the north. This jet stream will be about 5,000 feet above us and it will deliver moisture to the wave as it comes eastbound. So what forms in the Plains should have “fuel” as it comes eastbound to survive for awhile. Hence my thoughts that rain on SAT AM is increasingly likely. It shouldn’t last for too long and we should be in better shape later in the AM and in the afternoon too.

Actually there is a whole cold front coming through the region and that front will be the key to the forecast on Sunday…and I have concerns about Sunday afternoon especially. Why?

Well the front will be south of KC…BUT I’m concerned that there will again be a developing (although much weaker) low level jet stream that will be blowing from the NE to the NW over that front to the south. That can be a recipe for new storms to develop somewhere on the KS side and since the winds above us will be pushing those storms from the west to the east…my concern for a perfectly dry Sunday forecast. Take a look at the EURO for Sunday…this is for about 5,000 feet up…just pay attention to the colored contours. Those are the winds

The surface front will be towards I-44 and trying to lift north a bit…so the winds blow OVER the surface front…that creates lift and that is my concern. Maybe the better rains are south of the Metro…but it’s too close for comfort in my opinion. There is also the potential for a HUGE temperature bust Sunday especially IF that front is down there and IF we have clouds and IF we have rain developing…it will take a forecast of 70° and change it to 55-60° in a heartbeat.

So those rain chances are tied to a front that comes through on Saturday that doesn’t exist right now…

Then come Monday where is that front? Still well south of KC…then what happens on Sunday will keep us dry mostly on Monday (cool too). IF the front starts lifting northwards…which it will either later Monday or TUE/WED…then the rain comes back TUE/WED. So you can see how 1) it should get wet and 2) why this is tough to pin down and 3) why the forecasts for rain/temperatures are going to change from day to day.

Even IF you toss the EURO out…and look at the raw numbers from all the GFS can see how the model data, if nothing else, is impressed with the rain potential…and with low level jet streams involved the models will almost always under forecast the rain situation.

It may get very wet around these parts over the next 10 days or so.

Our feature photo comes from Tedd Scofield. Even the finches are tired of the gray skies!


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