KANSAS CITY, Mo. — We’re now more than halfway through the month and we’re running about a degree above average and more than 1.5 inches below average for moisture. One thing for sure over the coming week or so, we’re going to be getting warmer and warmer as near-record heat is coming (perhaps even record heat) early next week.

The dryness is becoming more and more of an issue. We were over 2 inches below average in July, almost 2 inches below average in August, and now over 1 1/2 inches below average this month. There are some small showers out there this morning to the west of the region, but they are coming into some pretty dry air below 10,000 feet as they traverse eastwards. We’ll see if they can hold together and give a few areas some very minor rains.

The big story though is the heat. Hotter conditions build over the weekend and then we’re “in it” on Monday through at least Wednesday. There may be a brief incursion of cooler weather after that… we’ll see.

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Kansas City Forecast:

Today: Increasing clouds and warm with highs in the low-to-mid-80s. There may be a brief shower at some point, but not much rain is expected at this point. A bit on the breezy side as well.

Tonight: Variable clouds. Better rain chances are towards the north and northwest of the metro. Lows in the mid-60s.

Tomorrow: Again, small rain chances, but windy with highs popping well into the 80s.

Sunday: Hotter and windier with highs in the low-to-mid-90s.

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Discussion:

Fall is less than a week away (next Thursday evening to be precise), Christmas is 100 days away (for you early shoppers), and it’s still very much feeling like summer out there. The good news is that thus far this week, and likely into the weekend, dew points are not what they are during the worst of the summer. We’ll usually get those 70-degree or higher dew points with the stronger heat. We’ve been fortunate this week that dew points have mostly been below 60 degrees or so, and that makes things more reasonable when it comes to the hotter temperatures.

The unfortunate thing regarding that is that the region is really drying out. The combination of blue skies and low dew points with the hotter air dries things out very quickly. The rain that we saw last Saturday is totally baked out. Nice while it briefly lasted, but again, the soils are dry.

The drought report came out yesterday, and while not a lot different locally, there was an addition of “abnormally dry” for many areas north of Interstate 70 on the Missouri side for sure.

U.S. Drought Monitor map of Missouri on Sep. 13, 2022.
U.S. Drought Monitor map of Kansas on Sep. 13, 2022.

On the Kansas side, there has been an increase in the “severe drought” conditions in central and southern Kansas.

So area-wide things are drying out. There was some welcome rains in central and parts of western Kansas overnight. That area of disorganized rain is approaching the State Line this morning, but not holding together all that well.

There are some showers in there, so perhaps some areas can get something. Odds favor under .05 inch for many areas.

Then overnight tonight, another cluster of showers/storms will come together in Kansas and move towards the northeast towards northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. That seems to be the best rain/storm risk overnight. Again, not out of the question we can get something in the metro tomorrow.

Then we get hot from there. Records are in play. I don’t think Sunday (Sep. 17) is in play, but after that, the 18th, 19th, and 20th are in play.

In addition, as the winds increase and in time the moisture increases, the morning lows are likely to warm up. Record warm lows are also on the table for a day or two next week as well.

There may be a decently strong cold front sometime Wednesday or Thursday to break the heat temporarily at least. We’ve had 89 day with highs 85 degrees or above and 47 days with highs 90 degrees or above. We’re adding more to that over the coming five-plus days I think.

Weather around the U.S.

Elsewhere, there are a couple of big weather stories. Alaska, especially western Alaska is having themselves a storm this weekend. A combination of a dissolved former typhoon (Merbok) and a merge with a developing storm with large temperature contrasts sets up for a monster storm moving into western Alaska in the Bering Sea region.

You can clearly see the storm here:

It’s an impressive storm.

Here is the EURO model:

Quite the forecast for the Nome, Alaska, area:

Off the coast into the Bering Sea wave heights will be 40-50 feet with winds of 70-90 mph. Quite the storm for sure.

Record low air pressure is possible for the month in parts of western Alaska.

The record now for low atmospheric pressure for September is also from a former typhoon back in 1991.

From the National Weather Service discussion:

Alaska can get these types of merged storms, especially in the late summer to early Fall with recurving typhoons. What happens though is that the deep dip in the jet stream there prompts downstream effects, including a dip in the jet towards the western U.S. and then a corresponding dome of warmth downstream from there. Where that dome sets up plays a role in our weather, and it appears that the dome will set up perfectly for us to get very hot locally.

There is some good from all this, and that is the likelihood of beneficial rains (maybe record rains) approaching and affecting the northern California region with another dip in the jet stream in the western U.S.

Firefighters are about to get a helping hand from Mother Nature.

Then there is Fiona.

Holding its own, but still a highly sheared system. This is from yesterday:

Can you see how the low-level center is exposed with the convection towards the east of the center? That is the tell-tale sign of a sheared system.

OK that is it for today and the weekend. See you again Monday.

The feature photo comes from Kimmie.

Joe