Joe’s Weather Blog: Fall front coming! (MON-9/20)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s Monday and things are going to be changing later today and tonight. A seasonably strong cold front will be rolling through the region and that means we’re going to replace a hot and muggy (for late September) air mass with a cooler and more like later October air mass.

As we make this transition we should see at least some rain in the area. Storms are possible for some areas too. Main threats are brief heavy rain with perhaps some small hail mixing in.

The rain is important because this may be our one chance of getting moisture for the next week or so and it’s getting VERY dry out there now.

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Forecast:

Today: A few late morning showers are possible with variable clouds and warm temperatures. Highs in the mid-to-upper 80s. A better chance of storms develop after 5 p.m. or so.

Tonight: Clearing skies turning mostly cloudy towards daybreak. Lows in the lower 50s.

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy in the morning then partly cloudy in the afternoon with highs only in the lower 70s.

Wednesday (first day of fall): Mostly sunny and cool with highs 70-75°.

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Discussion:

Well it’s been a while since we saw a nice cold front come though and today is the day. Before we get there though, more hot weather is ahead in a month that has been well above average lately especially.

We’re running 3.4° above average so far this month and we’ve only had three days with temperatures below average through the first 20 days. Today will certainly be another day with temperatures above average. Even though our morning low was 69°, we’ll likely be below that before midnight.

The radar this morning is showing the start of the change. There are some scattered showers/sprinkles on the Kansas side moving eastwards.

They may not do much for us though as they should be weakening over the next few hours.

The cold front itself is coming into the Plains now, and it is certainly cooler behind the front. Temperature drop into the 50s behind the front.

Ahead of the front the dew points are well into the 60s to around 70° or so. The air is pretty juicy. The front will slice into the thicker dew points today and should create at least some storms/rain.

The amount of coverage though may not be for all, and the time that any one spot gets rain may not last too long in the end. So while some areas could see over 1 inch of rain (connected with the storms), other areas may only see about 1/10 inch of rain, and some areas may see less than that.

The morning run of the HRRR model has this idea of an evolution:

For timing: 20Z is 3 p.m., 0Z is 7 p.m., 3Z is 10 p.m., and 5Z is 11 p.m.

Again, a good downpour for some, and others will watch from a distance.

The temperatures will drop quickly though as the front comes through and we should be near 60° with breezy conditions heading towards midnight. So whatever we are at 11:59 p.m. will be the low for the day.

Tomorrow, this is a rough idea for highs for the afternoon. Quite the difference.

The thing is though, the rain we get later today and this evening may be the only rain we get for the next week and things are getting dry!

As is typical for fall cold fronts, this one will drop us a couple of days, then things modify nicely again with some warmer weather heading towards the weekend.

As far as the storms go today, there may be a few stronger ones mixed in. There is a threat of some severe weather across northern Missouri especially. I can’t rule out a stronger storm or two locally either.

This season has been sort of another dud when it comes to severe weather. So far this year our National Weather Service office in Pleasant Hill has issued about 125 severe thunderstorm warnings. That’s about 90 below average through the middle of September.

From a tornado warning standpoint:

Look at how “slow” it’s been in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri:

Whereas look at the Philadelphia area as well as Chicago and parts of the Deep South. Once again the Plains were “quiet” to a large extent, just like last year.

No complaints on my end of things.

I’ll be off this week, so the blogs will be infrequent. There won’t be much weather after this evening but I’ll get another update out later in the week. Enjoy our first fall cold front!

Our feature photo is a neat one from Kathy Hinkle.

Joe

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