Joe’s Weather Blog: 2 more days of heat…then it breaks (WED-8/11)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s a windy start to the day in the area with gusts to 25 mph. That should more or less continue into the afternoon as stronger south winds continue to mix up the air and sending temperatures into the mid-to-upper 90s. Dew points will be in the 70s, so the heat index values should easily be above 105° during the afternoon.

A few storms are possible tonight up north, but in time a cold front will sag southwards later tomorrow into Friday morning. That should break the back of the heat heading into the weekend and also bring us a better chance of some widespread rain in the area.

Yesterday morning’s storms were welcome, with amounts ranging from about 1/10 to 1 inch or so, but after all the heat, more can be handled.

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Forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny, windy and humid with highs in the 95-98° range. Gusts to 25 mph and heat indices above 105°.

Tonight: There might be an early morning storm, especially up north. The only way we get into anything is if something wanders southwards or some sort of outflow comes into the area. Rain chance is about 20-30% for Kansas City.

Tomorrow: About the same as today.

Friday: Rain likely, with cooler temperatures. Highs closer to 85°.

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Discussion:

The summer weather continues. Yesterday the rain was certainly welcome, but once it ended and we broke out into sunshine, it got hot fast. We still hit the lower 90s with a heat index just shy of 105°.

Today will be hotter and windier overall.

The morning surface map shows a front to the northwest of the region. Notice the air behind the front. The numbers in red are the temperatures with the dew points in green.

The front doesn’t have much of a push. The winds behind it are only around 5 mph, so the way it gets south is repeated clusters of storms pushing it southwards. It will take awhile. Ahead of the front, decently strong south winds will continue to keep us hot and humid until the front pushes through.

The front overnight will remain north of here. Here’s a look at 1 a.m. tomorrow:

There will be a ton of instability building across the Missouri River Valley today. Heat and humidity will do that. So there very well may be some stronger storms up there closer to the front’s convergence (where the air masses are butting up against each other).

It’s possible there could be an outflow boundary or two thrown out of these storms that wanders southwards, and that overnight could create some new storms somewhere out there. It’s certainly not set in stone that this happens, but strange things can happen with the heat that will be in the region for the next couple of days.

By far, the best chance of storms/rain will be later tomorrow night into Friday. That front will be closer to Kansas City by then, and that could set the atmosphere more into motion. I remain bullish on the chances of rain with this. Experience says that when fronts break significant heat in the area, it rains. Sometimes it rains a lot too. I’m not confident in the “a lot” part, but it wouldn’t shock be if some areas get 1-3 inches of rain from this setup. That chance is better northeast of the metro, but something to watch.

The best rain chance on Friday is through early afternoon, then the chances should wind down as the afternoon moves along.

There are still some conflicts in the data regarding how cool it will get on Friday. The EURO has been the most aggressive with the cooler weather compared to the GFS this week (for Friday) and the overnight runs continue that thinking. I favor the cooler solutions with the rainier solution. You can see the difference below. Use the slider bar and go right for the EURO and left for the GFS.

My thought is that the cooler weather will continue into the weekend as well, with hopefully more comfortable mornings too.

Now the next issue is: Will there be rain over the weekend? The issue is how far south does the cooler air push, and will the front belly up closer to the Kansas City metro area? I am wondering a bit more about that. I think we’re going to be okay. I think the front should be far enough south to get the rain to stay farther south, but areas in southeast Kansas and southern Missouri may have more rain issues even on Saturday morning especially.

After that, I like the trends into early next week before we start to warm back up again.

Next are various other tidbits…

  1. Today at 1:20 p.m. this afternoon you may hear your phones send you an alert and emergency text. This is a test of the Emergency Alert System through your cell phones. IF you’ve gotten previous Amber Alerts or severe weather warnings through Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), which are different from your weather apps, you’ll get this tone/alert, if you have them enabled on your phone. Most modern cell phones have this. Check your settings and perhaps your advanced settings. It’s tucked in there and not readily found on many phones.
  2. Tropical Storm Fred has formed near the Caribbean Islands.

It’s likely to remain a tropical storm for its journey towards Florida over the weekend. The concern about this is that there is a lot of potential energy in the warm water to be tapped into once it gets away from the Islands. So it needs to be watched a bit more closely. There is a fair amount of shear it will have to fight through as well.

Oh and 16 years ago this weekend, Wilma hit southern Florida. See what I did there?

3. I thought this was interesting:

4. Yesterday, Aug. 10, was the anniversary of this:

This ended up as an 11 billion dollar disaster! Incredible, and so many trees lost in some areas up there including Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

5. The Dixie fire out in California is a monster. The second biggest single fire in California history. Last year’s August fire complex was the biggest at over 1 million acres.

OK that’s it for today, another update tomorrow morning.

The feature photo is from Sandy Simons up towards Liberty, Missouri. Her home was struck by lightning yesterday.

“Struck by lightning during that wicked storm! Smelled smoke so called fire department. The plaster on my ceilings came off over the nail heads. They said the surge in electricity heated the nails up like a “microwave””

Joe

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