Joe’s Weather Blog: Coming out of the rain (THU-7/1)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s the start of a new month and the start of a new weather pattern. We’re coming out of the repetitive rains of the last week or so, and now are slowly entering a drier period. You’ll probably want some rain here in about five days or so.

Today will be “mostly” dry but I can see a way to get at least some isolated storms to pop this afternoon or early this evening as we heat up into the low-to-mid-80s. Dew points will remain elevated but will start to come down overnight into Friday.

It appears that after 4-12 inches of rain in the region over the last week, things will dry out over the holiday weekend.

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Forecast:

Today: Variable clouds with some scattered afternoon storms possible in the area. Most outdoor plans should be much better today compared to recent days with highs near 83°.

Tonight: Clearing out and getting a bit less humid with lows in the 60s.

Tomorrow: A nicer day, lower dew points with highs in the low-to-mid-80s.

The weekend: Mostly sunny and warm, highs in the lower-to-upper-80s by Monday.

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Discussion:

Well it’s nice to see the sunshine out there again, at least as I type this blog this morning. There was more heavy rain overnight in parts of the Metro, especially in Johnson County and parts of Franklin County in Kansas as well.

It’s been a week though, and the data below doesn’t include yesterday’s rains:

For that data:

Between 1-3 inches were reported, perhaps some areas with more in northwest Johnson County, Kansas. There were some higher totals in southern Lafayette County on the Missouri side, and perhaps eastern Bates County as well.

Too much rain!

Now we essentially get to dry out for a while.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to look back at the year since we’re starting the second half of 2021. Record cold, record heat… it’s been a heck of a first six months.

Through most of the first six months of 2021 in terms of temperature anomalies, here’s what happened every day through June 28. Data is via Jared Rennie:

Can you see the fourth row down? That’s the arctic blast that came in during the middle of the winter creating all sorts of havoc around the middle of the country.

Here is an animation of how every day has played out in terms of warmer/colder than average.

In Kansas City, this is our 48th-warmest start to a year. The bottom of the top 1/3rd essentially. Since 2000, this is the ninth-warmest start.

So really not too remarkable in the big picture of things.

From a moisture standpoint though, it’s a bit more impressive. Records go back to 1889.

So we’re tied for 20th-wettest start to a year. Since 2000 though, fourth wettest.

The year has definitely trended warmer than average in the northern latitudes of the U.S. and the northeast part of the country and cooler than average in the southern latitudes of the U.S.

In terms of moisture: dry up north and wet in the middle and south, except for southern Florida. Here are the rankings. Notice it’s never been drier in parts of North Dakota and Maine is really dry as well.

That is why the latest drought map looks the way it does, and there aren’t great signs the northern Plains and out west will improve anytime soon.

The situation out west is a mess with rapidly spreading fires. We’ve been talking about the extreme all-time heat in parts of southwest British Columbia, Canada in particular the community of Lytton. Yesterday parts of that town caught on fire from wildfires.

The intensity on some of these fires was incredible and when fires burn that hot, they create their own weather. Up there they create pyrocumulus clouds that can reach 50-60,000 feet into the atmosphere. They look like our big thunderstorms in the Plains, but they are often dry and extreme dry lightning generators.

There were thousands of more bolts after that tweet.

That lightning will create new fires miles away from the original fire that is being spread often by 40 mph winds.

You can see the explosion from space…

…and from the ground.

Just incredible.

Finally, there’s this: Elsa.

If you’re saying to yourself, wait it’s just barely July 1… yes having five named storms by July 1 hasn’t happened before.

Here are the earliest named storms by date.

Last year, there were five named storms in July, which tied a July record with 2005.

OK that will do it for the next few days. Next blog may come after the holiday depending on the weather.

Crystal Harper shot this double rainbow south of Platte City, Missouri! Thought it was an appropriate end to the wetter weather of late.

Joe

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