Joe’s Weather Blog: A lot of wind…storms and needed rain (WED-6/23)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It was windy overnight, and it’s going to remain rather windy in the region through Thursday as south winds are starting to bring in more heat, and eventually overnight more humidity and higher dew points. We’ve been very pleasant in the dew point department for a couple of days and today will be OK as well, but dew points will be increasing later today and overnight, and it will be muggy tomorrow and Friday.

This will also be compounded by the potential of storms tomorrow morning before daybreak. Not uncommon for the summer months as convective systems come rumbling through the Plains and typically from the northwest to the southeast out of Nebraska. The trick with these is how long do they survive and what happens afterwards as they fall apart: Do they leave focus mechanisms in the afternoon for new storms to develop?

So a tricky “who gets the rain and who doesn’t” forecast on the way.

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Forecast:

Today: Partly cloudy, windy and warm with highs in the upper 80s.

Tonight: Partly cloudy with storms possible towards daybreak. Lows in the mid-70s.

Tomorrow: Variable clouds windy and hotter with highs in the lower 90s. If storms can re-fire and beat the capping that will be in place, some of the storms could be strong to severe in spots. Especially on the Missouri side.

Friday: Additional rain and perhaps storms are possible. Highs well into the 80s.

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Discussion:

It’s no secret that some areas really need some rain. Others are doing OK and can still use some rain but there are parts of the region that have had less than 1/4″ of rain over the past three weeks or more.

Mother Nature may try and catch up a bit over the coming days. It’s a wet pattern heading into next week it appears, and while the heat and humidity come back for a couple of days, it won’t stick around as it will get beat back by the rain chances and less hot air masses building into the area.

The overall big weather story is what’s going to be happening towards the weekend in the northwest part of the country as an intense and potentially historic heat wave bakes the Pacific Northwest.

The record heat may break some all-time highs in some areas. Portland, Oregon is going to threaten its all-time high of 107°. Apparently only about 1/3 of Seattle’s homes have A/C, whereas in Portland about 70% do.

The worst of the heat out there will be developing over the weekend. Here are the forecast highs (the numbers in boxes represent potential record highs for the day), and for some, month/all-time records.

Saturday:

Sunday:

Monday:

Tuesday:

All being generated by a strong “anticyclone” or strong area of warmer air that is a heat wave generator out there. Notice as we go up to about 18,000 feet the “warm” colors showing up. This represents higher anomalies and shows the heat building up through the atmosphere.

This animation for through next Thursday

Note also (and this is important for us) the corresponding dip into the Plains. That’s part of the yin and yang of the weather. Ridge builds in one place and a trough, or dip, builds “downstream” of it. For the Plains that “dip” will mean less hot air for us, and the potential of instability showers/storms early next week I think.

Take a look at a side-by-side comparison of the GFS ensembles and the Euro Ensembles showing total rainfall:

This is the forecast through Monday morning off the model data. That is actually remarkable agreement, and now the devil is in the details.

The hope is that with the multiple chances of getting rain and storms, that all should at least get something beneficial between tomorrow and Monday.

The first chance comes tomorrow morning and will be connected to storms developing in Nebraska overnight and turning east and then southeast towards the region. Odds favor if these storms make it to the Kansas City area that they would be in a somewhat weakened state, although there may be some stronger-to-severe storms in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas during the wee hours of tomorrow.

The storms as they turn towards the southeast will be coming into some rather warm mid-level temperatures. Look at this map showing the forecast temperatures at around 10,000 feet for tomorrow morning. The temperatures are in °Celsius: 10°C=50°F and 15°C=60°F or so.

Our area will be in the thick of a pretty strong cap. I’ve seen in the past that storms can still get through this somewhat hostile environment and the storms maintenance will be somewhat aided by strong winds at around 5,000 feet or so poking in the southwest as the low-level jet will be cranking.

I just won’t be shocked though if the storms are weakening as they come southeastwards and falling apart as they get closer to the Metro tomorrow morning.

Then the next chance is later tomorrow into tomorrow night. This is conditional though on what happens in the morning. If we get a much more aggressive line of storms come through, we could be wiped out for renewed activity in the late afternoon and perhaps have to wait until later in the night or early Friday for the low-level jet to once again kick in to create more storms. That’s one scenario.

The next scenario is that the storms are whimpering out and leave some sort of boundary in the area. Then as we heat up into the lower 90s with enough sunshine and dew points come up into the 70s (very muggy), we fire stronger-to-potentially-severe storms somewhere later in the day or early in the evening. Again though, there is going to be a strong cap in place but it will be breakable it appears with enough heating. If we’re in the 80s, it may not break, but the 90s could do it.

Then on Friday, we’re sort of in the same scenario. Hot and humid with boundaries and potential cap-breaking storms/rain.

There is another feature that will be watched and that is a surface low in northeast Kansas that will be waffling around. That adds a potential spark to breaking the cap as well, and that also implies the potential for supercells somewhere out there too.

The main threats of the storms will be hail and stronger winds. Whether this fully impacts the metro or is more towards northeast Kansas and northwest and north central Missouri (and the Missouri side overall) remains to be seen.

The Storm Prediction Center has us in the slight risk of severe weather, essentially a level 2 risk out of 5.

So there is potential for locally heavy rains too.

Additional rains are possible Friday and even Saturday. I’m nervous, as I said on the air last night, about how Saturday is going to play out. As I said, I reserve the right to increase the rain chances over the weekend and odds are I will. The front that we need to push through needs to not wallow around the region, because that complicates the weekend forecast. That will be somewhat determined by the amount of convection over the next few days.

More on all this tomorrow. Meanwhile a great sunset last night! This picture is from Jerry Delgado up in Clay County, Missouri.

Blow off from big storms in Nebraska came down the Missouri River during the evening and moved in right as the sun was setting!

Joe

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