Joe’s Weather Blog: A day of off-and-on rain (THU-7/15)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s not going to be the greatest day in the area with incoming rains moving through. Parts of the areas west of Interstate 35 have already had a couple of hours of rain. At my house we haven’t had a drop yet, but that will gradually change.

A slow moving to stationary front is the reason why, along with various disturbances moving in from the west-southwest. A moisture-rich atmosphere will contribute to locally heavy rains. Some areas west of Kansas City have had 1-4″ of rain already. Some locally heavy rains are possible today and this evening.

The good news is that temperatures will remain below average for highs into early next week it appears. We’re coming into the hottest time of the year locally and so far so good.

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Forecast:

Today: Clouds/rain and occasional storms. Highs in the 80° range depending on how long the rain goes on. Some areas may be stuck in the 70s.

Tonight: Rain ends and seasonable with lows in the upper 60s.

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy with some scattered PM showers possible. Highs in the lower 80s

This weekend: More of the same. Rain chances only around 20% with highs in the mid-80s.

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Discussion:

It’s just going to be one of those sort of blah days in July. Radar has a lot of activity on it.

The satellite loop shows a wealth of clouds coming up as well.

Not a good combination for a great day out there.

There are also little disturbances coming up from the SW as well. The model forecast for early this afternoon shows little areas of broad rotation aloft. Ahead of those areas represent areas of lift and with a moist atmosphere, we shouldn’t have too many problems getting more rain to form and come up from the southwest.

So yes, more rain. In some cases, the rain has been too much on the Kansas side.

Over 4 inches worth in areas towards Manhattan, Kansas.

The severe weather potential appears small based on a lack of real instability. If we get more sunshine this afternoon and warm to the mid-80s, there may be some stronger storms, but the chances do look lower this morning.

Speaking of which: Iowa yesterday had themselves a day. More than three dozen reports there of tornadoes. A lot of duplication, so odds are those numbers will be cut in half (or more) but it was their biggest day of the year there for tornadoes. In July.

There were some real-deal tornadoes too.

Meanwhile in the northern Arizona area, flash flooding is typically an issue in the monsoon storms there. Flagstaff can get some heavy rains at times:

Even somewhat rare thunderstorms in Alaska(!) that prompted severe thunderstorm warnings.

I checked with the weather service up in Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska and over the last 10 years or so they’ve issued about 47 severe thunderstorm warnings. It’s tough to get verification of those though in the wide open spaces!

Back home, the main issue today will be some locally heavy downpours and potentially up to 2-inch rain totals unless there are some stronger storms mixed in this afternoon.

Tomorrow doesn’t look as bad, but I can’t rule out some PM showers scattered around because we will be a bit unstable in the afternoon as temperatures exceed 80°. Same really for the weekend. Maybe some random activity out there but nothing too concerning at this point.

An interesting 6-10 day forecast:

And from a rain standpoint:

Seems to fit the overall latest drought monitor report. That area of abnormally dry conditions developing in Kansas should be wiped away after last night (mostly).

Look at the differences between this year (above) and last year (below).

That drought though out west has expanded so much and the northern Plains as well.

There is more monsoonal moisture coming out in the southwest as well.

Even Phoenix may get in on more rains.

The feature photo comes from Jim Dollins.

Joe

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