KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The weekend actually worked out pretty well for the area. Saturday was a better day than I expected as the rain was confined north and west of the Interstate 35 corridor really and even that only lasted a couple of hours in the morning.
Then we started to brighten up the skies and while it was a windy and cool day, we recovered into the mid-60s in the afternoon.
Yesterday was just spectacular really. Bright sunshine, nice breeze and highs near 70 degrees.
Today is a transition day to a big rain moving into the area overnight into tomorrow. This storm is an interesting one because if it were winter, we’d be worried about a rain-to-snow storm.
It’s not winter (don’t tell the folks in Colorado that) and we won’t worry about snow, but it will be a slow-moving storm that will linger into the area into Thursday morning. So rain is coming, and there may be more than 1 inch worth in many areas.
Kansas City Forecast:
Today: Increasing clouds later this morning and mostly cloudy this afternoon. Highs approaching 70 degrees. Really not too bad of a day.
Tonight: Rain gradually moves into the area later tonight. There may be a few isolated showers this evening but the better chance of rain is towards or after midnight. Lows in the 50s.
Tomorrow: Rainy, especially in the morning. There may be some breaks in the rain in the afternoon though at times. Windy with highs in the 60s.
Wednesday: More showers, lighter and scattered. Highs well into the 60s. The better chance of rain may be more towards the northwest of the metro.
As you know, each night I “verify” my forecast from the previous time I was on the air. It’s an effort to tell you when I’m right and when I’m wrong. We verify the temperature +/- 3 degrees and the sky conditions. Did it rain, was it cloudy all day, etc. No other station to my knowledge has that DOUBLE verification in the country.
We do that so that you know actually how accurate we are. If I had a dime for all the times a meteorologist hears how we get to keep our job when we’re wrong 50% (or whatever) of the time, I’d be retiring about now lol. That isn’t the case though.
My accuracy is over 90% at 24 hours, and it’s really good over the course of several days to 5-plus days out. Rarely are our viewers surprised anymore by weather changes. It will still happen, and there are plenty more blown forecasts coming… it’s the nature of the beast when forecasting things that don’t exist.
I don’t think tomorrow will be a blown forecast, at least from a rainy standpoint. A rather stout system will be developing in the western Plains tomorrow and coming our way. Initially the air is pretty dry today, but as the day moves along it will gradually get more saturated. The satellite pictures this morning show the incoming clouds.
Radar is showing some rain out there but this morning at least, not much is reaching the ground.
There is some rain out across western Kansas and western Nebraska though.
In time the atmosphere will support rain locally, it just may not be until later tonight for that to happen.
Once it starts though, the chances are with us for awhile.
Data from overnight shows the upper-level system coming out of Kansas and moving almost right on top of the area at 500 mbs or around 18,000 feet up.
If this was the winter, we’d likely have rain moving up and then be concerned if there would be a transition over to snow and where. But alas, it’s May and the atmosphere isn’t cold enough to support that.
The rain will be an issue later tonight into at least tomorrow AM. Typically with systems like this you get a good push of rain, perhaps some thunderstorms, and then there are breaks. The rain will move through quickly.
You can see how the rain starts breaking up a bit tomorrow later in the morning. It’s my experience though that this happens faster than model data will show sometimes.
Model data is sort of mixed when it comes to how much rain may fall. It appears the area most favored for the heaviest rain is towards the northwest of the metro into northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas.
It may be running a bit low for totals in the metro. The EURO which has been on a bit of a bumpy ride these last couple of weeks has significantly more rain for the metro and elsewhere.
The Canadian is close to this idea as well.
The ensembles blending the GFS runs and the EURO runs are more in the 1 to 2-inch range for the metro and that’s sort of where I am right now. A good rain with really no flooding expected.
Most areas are OK for moisture right now, some off towards the east of here have sort of missed out on the bigger storms of late. Over the last 30 days, here are the anomalies when it comes to moisture.
And the last 60 days:
The areas that stick out like a sore thumb are the northern Plains (too much) and the southern Plains and southwest (too little). New Mexico continues to be a mess of dryness and fires.
A couple of final notes. By now you’ve heard of the devastating tornado that hit northern Michigan and the town of Gaylord. This is in the northern Lower Peninsula about an hour east of Traverse City and an hour or so south of the Mackinac Bridge crossing into the Upper Peninsula.
This area rarely sees tornadoes, let alone an EF-3 tornado that correlated to wind damage of 150 mph. That’s in the mid-range of and EF-3 range.
Not only that but the history of any tornadoes there is short. In data going back to 1950 through 2017:
I’ve marked where Gaylord is with an X.
It’s not as if there are that many tornadoes. As a matter of fact, through 1996 to the other day there have been around 10 tornado warnings at all, with fewer tornadoes.
An unbelievably rare event for a part of the country that isn’t used to such weather. Unfortunately many trailer homes were tossed and destroyed.
This town is near and dear to us because we have family there and it’s where we go almost every summer to visit. Love that area up there and now there is a lot of rebuilding that needs to be done that will take a long time to do in these complicated times.
The feature photo comes from Kevin Kirkwood out towards Tonganoxie, Kansas of a country sunset.