Joe’s Weather Blog: Ida poses major threat to Louisiana + hot pattern persists (FRI-8/27)

Joes Weather Blog Email Alerts

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The big weather story today is developing Ida in the Caribbean. More on that in the discussion.

For our area, the heat and humidity more or less continues with a gradual downward trend in the temperatures into early next week, but it will remain mostly above average here for the next 5-7 days it appears.

The moisture from Ida will likely not really affect our area, but it may serve to sort of create a somewhat stagnant pattern for us, meaning perhaps more near 90° days and variable clouds around for most of next week. The averages next week continue to drop into the low-to-mid 80s for highs.

The rain situation is still there but again coverage questions remain for both Sunday and Monday around Kansas City. The higher rain chances appear to be more towards northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. We’re going to rely on outflows from whatever happens up there to push towards us as early as Sunday morning for some perhaps.

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Forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny and hot with highs in the mid-90s. A bit more of a breeze today.

Tonight: Fair and mild with lows in the lower 70s.

Tomorrow: Mostly sunny and hot with highs in the lower 90s.

Sunday: A 60% chance of storms at some point during the day or evening. Highs in the upper 80s.

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Discussion:

This month will go down as an above-average month for temperatures. We’re running close to 3° above average for the month and the next few days won’t really hurt that average.

The rain situation for Sunday is still a bit murky with storms/rain possible, but probably not all day. The highest risks appear to be after daybreak until lunch and then again in the evening and overnight. I would be somewhat surprised if we got nothing, but yet model data isn’t exactly going crazy with the rain either. It’s dependent on outflow from ongoing storms across northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas to push towards the area in the morning and for continued percolating showers to develop north out whatever outflow moves through the region or waiting on new storms to fire in the later afternoon in the instability.

So yes, there’s a chance, but it’s not worth cancelling your outdoor plans over that chance at this point I don’t think.

Next week appears to be another hot one more or less. Lots of upper 80s and perhaps lower 90s coming towards the area. The EURO ensembles have this general idea:

Notice though as we get to around the end of Labor Day weekend, there is a bit more of a dramatic change coming with a decent cold front modeled to move through which would be typical really of the first week of September as the flow starts to become more active from the west to the east.

Now onto Ida, which will be become the major weather story this weekend and early next week. Ida is still a tropical storm as of this writing.

It is getting a bit better organized today and after its western Cuba encounter tonight. And once it gets clear of the Island tomorrow, it should be off to the races with quicker organization and strengthening.

As of the current forecasts, landfall looks to be somewhere in southern Louisiana, a state that has been hit by four hurricanes in the last couple of years, including the devastating Laura last year. It appears that Ida will hit east of Lake Charles, which is good news for them regarding the coastal flooding implications. Remember the worst of the storm surge and the winds are on the eastern side of a hurricane. On the western side the winds typically aren’t as strong, and the winds are blowing from the land to the water in this case, pushing the water away from the coastal areas.

Potentially the worst effects from Ida will be more towards eastern and southeastern Louisiana especially. In addition to the coastal surge and the damaging winds there will be heavier rains that will create their own issues.

Here is the model data showing the rain forecasts off the EURO and the GFS:

<<<<<<< EURO >>>>>>> GFS

Interesting to see how sharp the western cut-off is in Louisiana, especially in the rain situation

As the storm comes ashore, all the water built up from the storm in the Gulf will also be forced inland and up the waterways. This is called the storm surge and for Louisiana, it’s always a big issue. I believe the storm surge from Laura, which was a category 4 storm, was 12-18 feet in spots. Right now Ida is forecast to be somewhat less intense than Laura, but it does have the potential to be stronger than current forecasts. As is, Laura is forecast to be a major hurricane with winds at least 115 mph as it comes ashore later Sunday.

The stronger winds will be on the increase Sunday. The next graphic shows the arrival times of the near 40 mph winds:

One of the models that we look at has this idea regarding the winds situation:

For timing…0Z is 7PM…6Z is 1AM…12Z is 7AM and 18Z is 1PM

Here is more of a close-up. This data has landfall at 4 p.m. Sunday. It really could be anywhere from that point into 4 a.m. Monday as a window for landfall.

This shows potential wind GUSTS

The concern about Ida is the setup in the Gulf. This is the time of the year where the water temperatures are peaking down there and they’re already running above average anyway.

Here is a look at Ida this morning…

Data this morning indicates Ida may already be approaching hurricane strength.

Again, there are still questions about where exactly Ida makes landfall, but roughly from Morgan City eastwards seems to be the best first thoughts. Also remember that 2-3 days before Henri came ashore, there was a lot of data suggesting that it would remain farther east than it ended up. So let’s keep watching.

Another issue is that ahead of Ida there are already heavy rains falling in Louisiana, not connected to Ida. This lays the groundwork, in a sense, to more flooding because the ground in some places will already be saturated leading to more run-off when Ida gets into the mix.

The feature photo today is from Danny Mcnair up north in the storms the other day.

Joe

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