KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s the first day of spring in the area today. After a cold weekend with morning lows down into the middle teens, today will be significantly warmer. As a matter of fact, much of the week will be somewhat warmer too. Wednesday could be the warmest day we’ve seen in quite some time.
The trick for the week will be various rain chances in the forecast and timing out those chances. Tomorrow looks to have the best widespread chance. Then things get a bit more scattered for most of the day on Wednesday. A better chance arrives Wednesday night into Thursday with cooler temperatures coming for the end of the week and into next weekend.
It’s spring. It’s supposed to rain.
Kansas City Forecast:
Today: Mostly sunny and windy. Milder too with highs 60-65 degrees.
Tonight: Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with some rain possible towards daybreak, breezy and milder with lows in the lower 40s.
Tomorrow: Rain and cooler. Highs in the 40s to maybe near 50 degrees.
Wednesday: Clouds and sunshine, windy and warmer. Highs potentially in the 70s. Evening showers/storms are possible with a cold front moving in later that evening.
Well when I last checked to see how things were going this month, we were running a few degrees above average… not anymore. That last week of weather and all the cold temperatures took care of that pretty good.
Take a look at the month so far through yesterday. Look at the last few days with temperatures running 12 to 24 degrees below average. By the way, the average today is 57 degrees as a high and 35 degrees as a low.
So we started the month good, but things have sort of gotten off the rails since.
This week as well will sort of be all over the place for temperatures: good today, not great tomorrow with the rain in the area, great on Wednesday, then not so great after that into the weekend. It won’t be in the 30s for highs this coming weekend, so that’s good.
This past Saturday, the 18th was the second-coldest March 18 in KC weather history. Interestingly, as I mentioned on the news last week, all the previous top five coldest March 18s were connected to having snow, at least a trace or more on that particular date. There was no snow this past Saturday (aside from a flurry). That was an impressive mid-March cold shot of air.
Today south winds (which will be increasing as the morning evolves) will pump up milder air into the region.
The morning surface map shows the southerly flow establishing itself.
By later today, the gulf moisture (it really isn’t all that great even later today) is still down in southern Texas. Here are the dew points:
Then by tomorrow afternoon, thanks to persistent south winds today and tonight, the ribbon of moisture starts getting closer to the area:
As this moisture starts increasing tomorrow, showers should develop towards daybreak and we’ll have rain in the area for awhile tomorrow morning into the lunchtime hour before it moves away. We should salvage the mid-to-late afternoon and evening for some dry time I think and it’s possible the warmest part of the day tomorrow may be later in the evening.
Decently strong south winds will continue overnight. This will increase the temperatures and dew points with the moisture of the lower part of the atmosphere going up through the night and into Wednesday.
With dew points approaching 60 degrees, and a front in the region in the later evening, instability will be increasing later in the day and evening and the Storm Prediction Center is watching the region with a level one out of five risk of severe weather.
A negative to the storm coverage during the afternoon is a decent cap in place, but that cap may erode enough in the mid-to-late evening to support at least some modest storms in the region. Winds above us are cranking pretty good, so an isolated wind gust from those storms isn’t out of the question later Wednesday night.
Colder air will again return to the region behind this front and that means we may struggle to 50 degrees on Thursday.
Friday is cool, then we should get a bit of recovery on Saturday, before we cool down a bit more on the back side of the weekend.
As I mentioned at the start of the blog, today is the first day of spring. It officially arrives at 4:24 p.m. Here are some tidbits from Tony Rice:
“Mon Mar 20, 5:24 PM EDT/4:24 PM CDT/3:24 MDT/2:24 PDT March equinox, Day and night have roughly equal length, begins (astronomical) spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the southern hemisphere. What else can you say about the equinox?”
Cool things that happen on the equinox…
Not quite equal day and night, that was the equilux, which was a few days ago for many of us. See the date for your location in “Notable Sun events in 2023” below. Why? the Sun is a disk, not a point of light and it takes time for that disk to rise and set, and atmospheric refraction actually makes the Sun visible for a few minutes before sunrise and after sunset.
Sun rises due east, and sets due west. this is truest on the equinox. Sunrise will be a fraction of a degree off 90° azimuth and sunset a fraction of a degree off 270ºdeg; azimuth.
Sunsets and sunrises are at their fastest on the day of the equinox Why? Because on the day of the equinox setting sun hits the horizon at its steepest possible angle. Sunrise/sunset, or the time the disc of the Sun to rise above or sink below the horizon, takes about 2.75 minutes. Conversely, they are at their slowest at the solstices with that angle is shallower requiring about another 30 seconds. This varies by latitude.”
Now you know.
Some tidbits to wrap things up. A lot of folks talking about the winds… well here is some data:
This was from two days ago:
OK that’s it for today. I’ve been invited out to Lawrence, Kansas, tomorrow to help with a National Weather Service training seminar in the morning. I won’t have time to write out a blog. See you on the blog again on Wednesday.
The feature photo comes from Jennifer Eberhardt of the snow showers from the other day.