Joe’s Weather World: Another day of severe weather in region (WED-5/22)

Today is the anniversary of the EF5 tornado that hit Joplin, MO…it happened on this date in 2011. Today there will be a risk of severe storms from KC southwards…and there may be tornadoes once again. This will need to be watched, especially south of the Metro after 4-5PM or so. Flooding rains and hail are also possible, although the heaviest rains look to be farther south of the KC Metro area.

Yesterday evening was fascinating as small storms bubbled up as the temperatures briefly popped late in the afternoon and evening in the region. The rotating storms were more confined towards NE KS and far NW MO…with picturesque tornado shots coming in from areas N/NE of Topeka and into SE NE. More on that in the discussion. There was also  rotating storm towards Smithville Lake that tried to do what the others were doing…thankfully it was a bit too far away from the upper level storm to have the same potency as the ones farther towards the west and NW of the area.



  • Forecast:

Today: Bright and pleasant through lunch then increasing clouds with storms possible after 4PM. Those storms could be severe…especially south of the Metro. Highs today in the low>mid 70s. Let’s monitor the weather more closely after 3PM or so and see where the storms set-up

Tonight: Quieter after about 8PM or so…so the overall window for storms is only about 4 hours for the KC area it appears. Lows tonight will remain rather muggy…in the 60s

Tomorrow: There could be some spotty showers/storms in the AM…then it should be a somewhat calmer day locally.  Highs well into the 70s

Friday: Increasing storm risks with an increasing severe weather risk as well. Highs in the 70s



  • Discussion:

Last evening was fascinating…as the upper level storm was spinning into northern KS…there was a “spinning” tendency in the atmosphere that was focused north of I-70 towards NE KS and north central KS. This created and environment for rotating storms…and boy the storms started rotating.

There were 3 storms that were the main drivers of this….

The storm that hit north of the Effingham area in western Atchison Co, KS was captured on numerous videos and photographs.

Here is a shot from around Huron…in Atchison Co…

Another from the Effingham area…

Alison Kenward-Ostertag‎ sent this in…she said one minute it wasn’t there then the next minute it was.

Here is another great shot…

Meanwhile Daniel Williams was up in the Smithville Lake area watching this storm develop a wall cloud…

Onwards to today…

The higher risks of severe storms are mostly south of the Metro BUT…I can’t rule out severe weather in the Metro…especially from the KC Metro southbound…but areas father south towards Butler…Ft Scott…Joplin…Clinton and Sedalia…that general area…need to be paying attention to the storms later today especially.

On the broader scale…

Heavy rains are also a major issue…this time it doesn’t look like the heavy rains will be focused on KC…this time it looks farther southbound…

1-4″ of rain are likely down towards the south of US 50…towards 54 highway and from SE KS towards the Lakes region.

That area is under a flash flood watch for later today and tonight. Those counties are in darker green while the lighter green areas are flood warnings.

On the broader scale…this map is from Pivotal Weather…

Today is sort of a weird set-up…there is a boundary … sort of a weakly convergent area of air…down towards the south of the Metro…that area will settle in this morning then perhaps lift slightly northwards this afternoon as we see more heating. As that occurs moisture will be moving into that boundary region which should be south of the Metro…and that will make the atmosphere unstable after 3PM or so…especially down south.

At the same time SW winds at around 40-50 MPH will be blowing up at around 5,000 feet or so south and southeast of KC…this will again create some wind shear…both in direction…from the surface where the winds are more due south and from speed…where the winds are increasing with height.

The shear today is NOT as great as yesterday and the set-ups are totally different…but there are indicators that the storms could again show rotational components near and south of US 50 and so we need to keep our guard up for this potential.

One of our short term models…the HRRR model helps me show you this…the following map shows swaths of “helicity”. In the simplest of explanations this shows the potential of rotating storms. Rotating storms have a easier time producing severe weather…including larger hail and if other parameters are in place…tornadoes.

So there are parameters for severe storms…especially on the far south side of the Metro…those of you north of KC Metro…probably will see little, if anything today.

So here is the HRRR model showing future radar…to give you an idea of how today plays out. For timing purposes…18Z is 1PM..21Z is 4PM…00Z is 7PM…03Z is 10PM.

You can see how KC is sort of on the ragged edge of this…

That’s it for today…our feature photo comes from Duane Lanter from the tornado is the Effingham area yesterday evening.

Joe

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