KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s a bright start to the day around these parts and I’m not expecting much in the way of clouds today. Temperatures will not be as mild as the last few days, but the main story today and somewhat tomorrow will be the gusty winds that will be developing. Gusts 30-40 mph are likely today and gusts to 30 mph are likely tomorrow.

Today there is some cooler air filtering through. Tomorrow the winds will be from the west and that, combined with the sunshine we get should allow a dramatic pop in the temperatures. The only tempering aspect tomorrow is the clouds that may block out the sun for awhile.

And still no additional rains of consequence expected for the next 10 days or so…

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Kansas City Forecast:

Today: Sunny and windy. Highs in the mid-60s.

Tonight: Clear and cool with lows near 40 degrees.

Tomorrow: Sunny to variable clouds. Windy and milder with highs in the mid-70s.

The weekend: More clouds around on Saturday, highs in the 60s. Maybe a small chance of a sprinkle somewhere, then sunshine on Sunday and mid-60s.

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Discussion:

Different week with an expansion of the drought ever so slightly. I’ll get to the drought maps next, but where ever you see yellow on the following map, that represents a degradation (worsening) of the drought.

Everywhere else there was no change in the drought status. So in Kansas, parts of Johnson County and Wyandotte County, as well as western Miami and Leavenworth counties, saw the expected worsening conditions.

Now the current maps:

U.S. Drought Monitor map of Kansas from Oct. 11, 2022
U.S. Drought Monitor map of Kansas from Oct. 11, 2022
U.S. Drought Monitor map of Missouri from Oct. 11, 2022
U.S. Drought Monitor map of Missouri from Oct. 11, 2022

So it’s not good, and won’t get better for the next week for sure, perhaps longer.

Alternating cool/chilly air masses followed by noticeable warming trends and lots of wind off and on are bad combinations to getting moisture of significance as I’ve written about many times before.

We need a pattern change and yesterday I wrote about a sign of something “different” coming for the 3rd week of the month (sometime after the 22nd or so) that may still be on the table. You can see the ensemble data showing something in that time frame. How much and exactly when remains to be seen. Again, we’re looking towards a week from next Monday or next Tuesday.

It may not be a lot though. It may be something like the other night. We’ll see in about a week or so as we get closer but at least it will be a somewhat different pattern with a trough in the western U.S. or Rockies. We’re also about due again for rain to develop more earnestly farther off towards the east of the metro.

This one run of the EURO was not great for us. Total precipitation over the next 15-plus days:

The overnight GFS is about the same, goes out a bit more and has something towards the 26th. That’s where its getting the rains around KC. Until the 26th or so, not so much.

The concern is the “way” it gets there to create the late-month rain. When diving in deeper, it’s a leap of faith how it’s doing it. So we’ll see.

La Niña weather in 2022

Yesterday, I mentioned that I wanted I wanted to touch on La Niña which is now heading towards its third-straight year of its cycle. This is unusual. Usually La Niña’s don’t go three straight years. It has happened before though. We refer to this as a triple-dip La Niña. As I mentioned, this has happened before: bad in ’73-’76 and ’98-2001.

Every La Niña or El Niño is unique and while important to the weather drivers, other things are happening as well. La Niña basically is a cooling of the waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean stretching from South America westwards. Here is a video from Australia that sort of explains:

So when looking for La Niña, we look for this cooling compared to average in the waters in the Pacific.

I’ve highlighted the scope of La Niña in the blue outline.

Notice as you get closer towards South America the waters are even cooler, compared to average.

Another feature of importance (in my honest opinion) is the super mild (compared to average) waters in the northern Pacific. This is also impressive in my mind as well, but how long these milder than average waters will continue into the winter season remains to be seen. As Pacific storms move through with strong winds and massive size, they will churn those waters tremendously and allow the cooler waters below to come towards the surface knocking down the warm anomalies.

I bring all this up (oh and let’s throw in the warmer-than-average waters in the northern Atlantic as well) because there are correlations to overall jet stream patterns to these warmer/cooler bodies of water. When they are marginally warmer or cooler maybe not so much, but as it stands today there can be influences and depending on how things play out, those bigger influences can have ripple effects in the Plains.

The warmer waters (if they remain) in the Pacific favors higher air pressures up there. That favors dips in the jet stream downstream off the western U.S. coast. If those dips are farther west of the western U.S., then another dip in the jet stream is favored at times over the Plains and eastern U.S. This favors the delivery of cold air into the Plains and eastern U.S, perhaps more frequently that what is “normal”.

La Niña, towards the equatorial Pacific also brings this general idea as well. In a sense, there are at least two climate/weather drivers that favor cold injections into the Plains and eastern U.S down the road. Something to pay attention to.

La Niñas are also connected to droughts and more active severe weather in the deep south and Tennessee Valley region as well as other things around the world. Here in the Plains, drought can be and right now is an issue we’re finding out all too well.

There are numerous other drivers to the world’s weather, but at least here in the states, if nothing else, it’s been an active year for bad weather outcomes.

Each year, the U.S. averages seven different billion-dollar weather disasters. This year, we’re now up to 15. Ian will be easily the biggest one of the year.

Graphic via Climate Central

It’s gotten to be such a frequent situation (at least this year) that we’re averaging every 18 days at this point with a billion-dollar disaster. That’s wild… hopefully we can stop that trend now.

The feature photo comes from Matthew Smith of the Hunter moon from the other night.

Joe