KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s a stormy morning for parts of the metro. Some areas of Kansas City have had some heavy rain, and as I start this blog, there may be some small hailstones mixing in as well on the Missouri side.

The storms this morning will linger, but move out over the next couple of hours as the atmosphere is stabilized and worked over and a cap starts to build into the area.

This cap should help us out this afternoon with drier weather and somewhat warmer temperatures, although how warm we do get today is a bit questionable, and is dependent on breaking out into sunshine. We may get stuck in the 60s this afternoon if the clouds hang around.

We’ll then be watching the storms developing in central and eastern Kansas. Those storms will likely become severe this evening as they develop towards Manhattan, Kansas, and spread east-northeast while the whole line moves eastward. So another round of strong to severe storms are possible to likely after 10 p.m. tonight.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Kansas City forecast:

Today: Storms this morning ending by lunch or so, with drier conditions expected this afternoon. Seasonably mild with highs approaching 70 degrees. Breezy as well this afternoon.

Tonight: Storms likely after 10 p.m. Some severe weather is possible, mainly stronger winds as the main threat at this point. Locally heavy rains possible as well.

Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, windy and seasonable with highs well into the 60s.

Sunday: Pleasant with highs in the lower 70s.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Discussion:

A stormy start to the day in the area, with several heavy downpours out there as expected and even some hail in a few localized areas.

This should move through the region and we should dry out towards lunch or so.

The next question is do we clear out as the day goes along? This morning there is an outflow boundary moving through the region with winds above the boundary helping to generate a lot of clouds.

This is sort of a loosely organized Mesoscale Convective Complex really, the first of many coming over the coming months.

As a result, the surface wind fields are sort of chaotic right now near and east of the state line.

Once you get farther west, you can see the air being drawn into a surface storm towards western Kansas. That will intensify as the day moves along as it moves along the Kansas-Nebraska border.
Current surface map. The black lines are isobars or lines of equal air pressure

As the storm moves eastwards today into a more favorable and unstable atmosphere, that will be capped for a good part of the day. Eventually, the weakening cap will break. This means storms should pop this evening.

The storms are likely going to be severe towards the west of the region including the potential of some rather large hail, damaging winds, and perhaps some tornadic activity. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted the area near and east of the forecast surface low for this evening with a moderate risk. This would be risk level 4 out of 5 for areas in southern Nebraska.

A map from the Storm Prediction Center shows the Kansas City area in the enhanced risk area for severe weather, which is a level 3 out of 5.

The highest tornadic risk remains west of the region.

The risk should drop off as the storms travel east. Areas towards northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas may be a bit more vulnerable because the storms will likely be closer to the origination, as opposed to the time they get to the state line region, where they will be likely be in a squall line. Still though, there are some parameters that favor those little spin ups, and with darkness, it will be tougher to see anything.

The bottom line is don’t be surprised by a Tornado Warning anywhere in the viewing area tonight.

The morning run of the HRRR model has this idea for the nighttime storms moving into the region:

For timing: 0Z is 7 p.m. (the start of the loop), 3Z is 10 p.m. and 6Z is 1 a.m. Saturday. This is roughly a seven-hour loop of forecasted radar.

There are still some parameters that suggest we could see those small little mesovortices along the leading edge of the squall line when it moves through the are overnight tonight. Those are truly needle-in-a-haystack type things. Perhaps there is a better chance towards northern Missouri, but the area will be monitored just in case.

Again, the timing of the second round of heavier storms is well after sunset tonight.

There are several things though that I wonder about, including if the activity that’s around this morning will affect what happens tonight, and just when the cap will break out west. If it holds on long enough and if the storms are even farther delayed coming towards the state line, that would reduce the severe weather risk even more for us at least.

A lot of chasers will be swarming towards the Kansas-Nebraska border area later today and hanging out. I’m not sure if they’re going to see much of anything until after dark, or at least until the sun is setting.

If the storms once again push out a gust front, which is sort of like a mini-cold front of rain-cooled air that forms and pushes out of the squall line, this will effectively cut the tornadic risk to nearly zero.

The smaller hail risk might remain and the storms can still push out some stronger winds too. If the gust front gets far enough ahead of the squall line, then the storms start ingesting the rain-cooled air as they move east. In essence, they are moving into cooler air and sucking in more stable air. This is very much on the table as well.

My general feeling is that northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas will likely have the highest risk of stronger winds, with a decreasing risk farther south towards Kansas City and southwards.

We’ll see… These things always throw a few surprises at us. Let’s see what they look like when they actually come together.

The weekend looks good. Next chance of rain is Monday, and depending on the setup, there could be a chance of severe weather as well if we can build some instability, which is questionable right now.

The feature photo is from Breanna Elaine Decker down in LaCygne, Kansas, of some quarter-sized hail from a storm this morning.

Joe