KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Running behind today since I was helping out with the Autumn Breakfast for the Olathe Public School Foundation. Early morning for sure, but nice to enjoy the pleasant temperatures. We dropped down to 47 degrees briefly, but started to warm up nicely even before the sun came up.

I’m not expecting record warmth today but we’re going to be within shouting distance of a record high of 89 degrees set back in 1940 and again tied in 1978. Sure beats the alternative of the record low that we broke earlier in the week.

The weekend will be warm and windy. The rain threat is pretty low, although there may be a spotty shower or two on the Missouri side Sunday morning. The storm threat at night isn’t looking as promising to me at least locally. There may be a few scattered cells across northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas, but they won’t last long at all.

There are reasons for this and those reasons may allow us to get some better rains on Monday, although it really has to do with the evolution of the next system that may or may not be highly impactful. Data is still muddled on this though.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny and windy. Gusts to 25-30 mph with highs well into the 80s.

Tonight: Fair and mild with lows in the 60s.

Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, windy-gusts to 40 mph possible and warm again with highs near 85 degrees.

Sunday: Partly cloudy. A small chance of an isolated shower or two in the morning. Windy with gusts to 50 mph possible. Highs again in the mid-80s.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Discussion:

From winter to back to summer as we expect to see a run of several days near 85 degrees into Sunday. Heck, Monday may also start mild as well before the front moves through at some point in the morning or early afternoon it appears. Temperatures will likely be falling as the day moves along.

So about the evolution of the rain situation… it’s tricky. The area that’s going to turn into a “thing” right now is a bunch of jet stream energy that will, over the weekend, turn into a large dip in the jet stream.

You can see the fast-moving clouds that are racing through the Pacific Northwest and southern Canada.

Water vapor loop

Over the weekend, that moisture will help to form a rather significant dip in the jet stream that will turn into an upper-level system.

So that by Sunday morning, the system is closed off and moving into the Rockies.

Here is a close-up view:

Sunday morning right over Salt Lake City, Utah.

It is from there though that there are major questions about how things evolve with this system and it has a direct implications for the rain amounts locally.

The issues are:

1) How does this circulation hold together and where does it end up going? If the circulation goes too far south, the better rains will be more focused well south of the area on Monday. We’ll get something, but it won’t be overly helpful in the drought.

2) If the circulation comes farther north (along the I-44 corridor or even closer), the rain prospects will be MUCH better. The cold front will likely have passed by then. Moisture will be overrunning the front from the south and southwest and we could get some nice downpours. The morning run of the NAM model is VERY bullish on this developing as we go through the day on Monday.

This solution would be great for the drought

3) I’m NOT convinced though that this solution is correct. It takes the upper-level storm and drops it from the Salt Lake City area towards New Mexico by later Monday.

If this was the winter, we’d be getting all revved up for a rain-to-heavy snow playout.

So if this is correct (and again I’m not convinced it is), disturbances of various intensities will be coming through the Plains in the southwest to northwest flow aloft creating waves of rain with some embedded heavy rains.

The GFS is sort of similar with the same ideas: heavier rains on Monday and lingering into Tuesday as well.

The ICON model is bullish as well with the Monday-into-Tuesday potential.

The EURO on the other hand is the least bullish for the heavier rains. While it’s similar to the positioning of the upper-level system towards New Mexico, it drives that system well south of the area (towards Little Rock, Arkansas) by Tuesday afternoon and the overnight run actually shunts the heaviest rains towards the south of Kansas City, but we still get something.

When in doubt, let’s peak at the EURO ensemble runs. It gives us better perspective of possible outcomes with an additional 20-plus runs with different model physics and other things.

Averaging them together gets to over 1/2 inch or so. Not bad.

Now the same idea for the GFS.

Well hello there! One shot on Monday with heavier rains into Tuesday to over 1″ with upside.

The potential is certainly there and my feeling is that the EURO (because it’s faster and perhaps too far south with the upper-level system) may be underplaying the potential of decent-to-significant rains in the area, especially from Kansas City southwards.

So yes indeed I’m more optimistic today compared to yesterday that we could really get some needed and impactful rains locally. Right now, I’m sort of thinking 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches worth of rain from this. The new GFS just came out with this idea on amounts:

I sort of like the general gist of this.

Let’s hope it’s right.

BTW, tomorrow marks the anniversary of the October Surprise in Kansas City back in 1996: 6-10 inches of snow in the area. Some remember this all too well with power outages lasting for over a week for some.

Our feature photo comes from Ethan Johnson.

Joe