Joe’s Weather Blog: It’s going to rain but the details are still a bit unclear for Kansas City (THU-7/8)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s going to be a delightful day in the area as dew points are down into the lower 60s this morning. With temperatures running into the mid-80s this afternoon and with averages closer to 90, that isn’t such a bad combination really for the eighth of July.

So far this month though temperatures are running near average, so that’s OK too during a time of the year when the heat and humidity could drag us down, and the rain (although there were some 2-plus inch totals yesterday in the city) has been more or less welcome by many.

More rain is coming it appears, and the amounts may be excessive in northern Missouri especially. There are still some things to figure out regarding the Kansas City Metro area, especially on Saturday for how long the rain lasts and how much we end up getting.

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Forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny and pleasant for early July. Highs in the mid-80s.

Tonight: Fair and pleasant with lows in the upper 60s.

Tomorrow: Increasing clouds. There is a 20% chance of a shower/storm before 2 p.m., especially on the Kansas City side. Warmer and more humid with a breeze in the afternoon. Highs 90-95° by the end of the day.

Saturday: Showers and storms likely. Timing is still a bit murky, but may be more leaned towards the morning into the mid-afternoon. Highs in the lower-to-mid-80s.

Sunday: Variable clouds and showers/storms (mainly in the afternoon). Cooler with highs in the mid-to-upper-70s.

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Discussion:

So it’s nice to get some cold fronts coming into the region in July. One came through yesterday and another is coming this weekend. The one yesterday created scattered areas of rain and downpours, some more impressive than others.

There were some storms that dumped over 2 inches of rain in about 30 minutes time in the city that created, in combination with some poor drainage, localized flooding conditions. Some areas had little to nothing all day too.

Over 2 inches of rain were reported near Interstate 35 and Southwest Boulevard… it was a flat-out downpour.

While just a few miles away, nothing to under a tenth of an inch. So it goes with thunderstorms.

We’ll have several more chances heading into the weekend.

The first is tomorrow late morning. As the warm and increasingly more more humid air comes up from the south and southwest, a weak disturbance will be sliding towards the region from the Plains. That’s a combination that can create scattered storms moving in from the northwest. They should be on a weakening trend as they come into the area, but a few could survive the trip southeastwards, so a 20% chance may be warranted later today in an update.

Then things get more interesting tomorrow night as stronger storms should increase in coverage towards northern and north-central Missouri. Those storms might be strong to severe. The Storm Prediction Center has placed that area into a slight risk of severe storms. This would likely be more geared to after sunset I think.

After those storms form and become a mass of rain, they may start pushing a rain-cooled air mass towards the south or even southwest. That brings our weather into jeopardy because that “mini” cold front will be cutting underneath some stronger winds just above it, and that too should help to create more areas of rain and storms that could affect the Metro. I’m not convinced it’s a severe weather setup for us though at this point, perhaps still more focused towards northern/central Missouri but later tomorrow night.

Then we may have rain in the area on Saturday as a series of disturbances come in from the northwest and moves towards the southeast through the Kansas City region. Periods of locally heavy rains are possible as well. The precipitable water in the atmosphere showing us the amount of moisture that is available is excessive during the middle of the day Saturday, close to 150% of average.

1 p.m. moisture profile in the atmosphere compared to normal

It won’t take much at all to get that moisture to come together for locally heavy rains. There will be a series of waves coming it as well.

As we go up to about 18,000 feet or so, there is an anomalous wave coming down through the Plains with numerous other disturbances connected to it and ahead of it. All that coming into a juicy atmosphere has to create some heavy rain in areas.

Those red/yellow areas represent stronger areas of lift near and ahead of them.

That whole sideways “U” feature will eventually close off and create an unusual upper-level low near Kansas City on Sunday.

Sunday morning at 18,000 feet

This represents an upper-level colder pocket of air. That in July has to make more rain at times on Sunday too. Perhaps even keeping temperatures in the 70s for highs. We may struggle to 75°!

More rain is expected to finish the weekend, especially during the daytime hours.

So the weekend is not looking so great.

Model data is supportive of 2-4 inch rains (perhaps more) in parts of the area, including Kansas City. Something to really watch as the grounds are pretty wet overall, and it won’t take much for flooding rains to occur with runoff considerations. Here are the two EURO models. The second one is the ensemble that takes into account a blend/average of about 50 other model runs from last night.

Now the American model… same approach:

You can see the regular run or the “deterministic” run as we refer to them are much more bullish. The ensembles have a strong tendency to average things out, but when I see ensembles that suggest 2-plus inches… that’s eye-catching.

By the way, this is all eye-catching too because of the setup. An intense ridge (heat wave generator) is setting up in the southwest U.S. and Death Valley, California may approach 130° with searing heat into California plus another ridge in the eastern U.S. So in between there is a weakness and that’s our weather for the weekend. That “weakness” is also sort of trapped so it’s a slow mover, hence the continued rain chances into Sunday.

I’d be surprised if we didn’t get 1-3-inch rains in the Kansas City area (or more) this weekend.

Next week overall appears hotter and more humid, especially on the back side of the week after Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Elsa is still a thing with locally heavy rains as the main issue.

Out west, heat alerts are a dime a dozen right now and into the weekend.

The Death Valley, California forecast:

Yikes!

So there’s a lot happening in the country whether it be heat, flooding rain potential, or tropical weather. Take your pick.

The feature photo comes from Aaron Brown out in Kingsville, Missouri from the other day.

Joe

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