KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As we turn the calendar into May (and down the road June), the two wettest months of the year are at hand. Each month on average gives us over 5 inches of rainfall.
And with how dry things have gotten over the past couple of weeks, these are needed rains at this point. The pattern overall favoring dry weather will be shifting to one that favors wet weather in the region and that switch starts happening on Thursday.
It won’t rain continuously, and there may be a day here or there with dry conditions. But from Thursday into next Wednesday, the rain chances will be prevalent.
Some locally heavy rains are on the table as well. Considering how dry it’s been over the past month, we’ll take it and I’m sure the farmers will be happy with what may fall.
Kansas City Forecast:
Today: Sunny and pleasant, but still windy. Highs in the upper 60s with winds gusting to around 30 mph again.
Tonight: Fair and cool with lows near 40 degrees.
Tomorrow: Mostly sunny and milder, with highs in the mid-70s. Lighter winds!
Thursday: Scattered showers/storms possible in the morning, especially from the metro southwards. Cooler with highs potentially only in the mid-to-upper 60s depending on the rain situation.
April, officially in KC, turned into the 57th-driest month April on record, but for many areas, especially south of KCI, it was considerably drier.
Many areas of the Plains were drier than average.
Up close into Missouri, the precipitation deficits were stark, in some cases nearly 4 inches below average for the month.
On the Kansas side, not a lot better.
The scale does change between the two maps. Areas out in western Kansas did get some needed rains last week helping their drought cause a bit.
It’s no secret we need some moisture. With the flora alive and growing, water demands are now stronger. Trees need moisture, crops need moisture, grass needs moisture, and your garden needs moisture. In general, the soil overall could use a good drink of water.
A sampling of just how dry the month was, here is data from the Johnson County Executive Airport in Olathe, Kansas, near West 151st Street and Pflumm Road.
At Industrial Airport in Olathe, with records going back to 1945, this was the ninth driest.
At the Airport in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, it’s the third driest with records going back only to 2002.
Up in Chillicothe, Missouri, it’s the fourth driest with records going back to 1999.
You sort of get the idea, it was pretty dry overall. Far northern Missouri did better on average than closer to the metro, but overall we really need some rain.
As I mentioned, these two months, on average, are the wet months of the year in KC. Once July hits, we can go all over the place. With most of our rains coming from thunderstorms, the haphazard nature of that activity often yields feast-or-famine-type results. But these two months are sort of where we need to “make hay” heading into the summer time frame.
The pattern will start favoring moisture return, warmth and higher dew points later in the week and into the weekend.
This should help create thunderstorms and a more active pattern with various disturbances coming out of a storm system will help set things up.
This morning there is an upper-level storm out towards California.
While that is out there spinning away, there is also a disturbance down in the Central Pacific that is moving eastwards.
That clump of clouds will come into the southwest U.S. and then into the Plains later Thursday into Friday. That will help to grease the wheels and get some rain going in the middle of the country. In effect, the upper-level storm in California will help to slingshot the wave in the Pacific towards the Plains… an interesting scenario.
In time, the same upper-level low in California will move into the Plains over the back side of the weekend, and that too means additional rain chances into early next week. For those who want the rain, it’s sort of like the gift that will keep on giving really. There may be some additional disturbances behind that as well, giving us more rain chances into early next week.
So essentially, we get about a 5-6 day stretch of periodic rain chances in the region and that should add up nicely.
Overnight data from the EURO and the GFS are bullish with totals.
Over the next 10 days, the probabilities of the region seeing over 2 inches of rain are decent.
This is more encouraging for the area, although northern Missouri towards Iowa may not be as fortunate. That too could change.
Our rain chances may start Thursday morning, but should be more widespread Thursday night into Friday morning before breaking Friday afternoon.
Saturday’s chances are sort of questionable in my opinion. It could be a pretty warm day though.
Some scattered storms are possible on Sunday, which again could be a pretty warm day in the 80s. I don’t think it rains all weekend, and we should be able to get some outdoor things done over the weekend.
Weather around the U.S.
In other news, the folks up in northern Michigan in the upper peninsula region are having themselves quite the start to May:
This will wind down today.
Winter Storm Warnings continue up there.
So if you think we have it bad here…
KC weather history
On this date in 2013, it snowed here in Kansas City. We had 1/2 inch.
It also snowed a trace on the 3rd and 4th as well. Seven miles south of Warrensburg, Missouri, 7 inches fell over the course of a few days, setting a state record for three-day totals in May! This was only the second time we had measurable snow in May (on the 2nd).
Amazingly, the day before it was 76 degrees! Then on the 3rd it was 39 degrees, the coldest high for May on record.
Our big School Day at the K show was cancelled because of snow and cold.
So it goes.
The feature photo comes from Jerry Keeney up towards Smithville, Missouri.