KANSAS CITY, Mo. –It’s a bright and muggy morning in the Kansas City area, and today will be a hot and muggy day. Unlike yesterday when there were storms bubbling across northern Missouri that almost made it into the metro, today those storms aren’t there, so highs today should be a few degrees hotter than yesterday.
The heat will continue more or less into next week it appears. There will be a day or two though when it’s not as bad. Sunday through Tuesday may fall into that territory, although the humidity levels will remain elevated it appears for quite some time.
Storm chances are looking the best on Sunday at this point as a front comes into the heat and humidity, although there are timing questions and potentially coverage questions depending on when the front actually arrives into the Metro.
Today: Sunny and hot with highs in the mid-90s and heat indices in the 105° range.
Tonight: Fair and warm with lows in the mid-to-upper 70s.
Tomorrow: About the same with perhaps a small dew point drop leading to heat indices remaining under 105°.
The weekend: Not a lot of change on Saturday. A few degrees less hot. Then on Sunday, rain chances increase during the morning into the afternoon. Clouds should keep us more in the 80s.
So the main weather story today is what’s happening down in the tropics. There is a tropical wave down there that, while still unorganized, poses a threat of turning into “something” of a storm over the next couple of days. Right now that all exists in model-land, but the models are and have been very persistent that a tropical storm and eventually a hurricane is going to threaten either northeast Texas or Louisiana later Sunday or Monday.
The concerns are many. The models are rather bullish with this scenario, and the areas that are being targeted were hit pretty hard last year by systems. Especially the Lake Charles, Louisiana area that suffered a really hard hit that they’ve yet to recover from due to Laura last year. Remember the National Weather Service radar that got destroyed?
Data overnight is honing in on a Louisiana strike but it’s important to note that nothing has formed as of yet. This is all in model-forecast land. The models are trying to forecast a system to develop and then focus in on where the center of the storm actually moves for a storm that doesn’t exist. Things get a bit more clear when the storm actually forms.
Right now, it’s really just a mish-mash of clouds without any great organization south of Cuba, although a low-level center may be trying to form southwest of Jamaica, which is important.
It’s in a low-shear environment with warm-to-hot water temperatures and deep warm water energy waiting to be tapped into. So from that standpoint, it’s in a position for strengthening.
So far though, it’s not doing much, and it may only slowly organize through tomorrow. The concern is higher though as it gets into the Gulf to start the weekend and it’s here that the models are showing fast strengthening and organization as it moves towards the northeast and approaches the northern Gulf region.
The EURO and the GFS have a strong hurricane hitting Louisiana but in different spots:
Ensemble data is more focused actually. These are the average of dozens of computer runs of specific models with different paths. Use the slider bar to see the similarities/differences:
A look at all the different data: The “spaghetti plots” as we say shows the various possibilities which can change more when something actually forms, so the models can actually grab on to a center of the future storm.
So Louisiana appears to have the highest risk of this system which, if named, would be Ida.
Late info as I’m typing this is that this will be upgraded to a tropical depression shortly.
By the way, “I” storms have a pretty nasty history of being bad storms.
They lead the pack of names where storm names get “retired”.
Also of interest is that in the last almost 70 years, the “I” storm typically doesn’t form until the last few days of September.
Obviously, this has the potential of being the big weather story heading into the weekend and early next week. Odds are this moisture though won’t affect the Kansas City metro area next week.
More on this storm tomorrow.
Meanwhile, what will affect us is a weak cold front that will be moving into the area on Sunday at some point. Where it is in the form of an outflow rain-cooled air mass from storms in the Plains or whatever. Something should move through into the heat and humidity. If it comes earlier in the day, we’ll have to see how much coverage of rain we can get (bad timing). If it waits until afternoon, storms could be beefier.
Whatever front moves into the area will likely be weak and won’t get too far south of here before falling apart. So as a result, it heats back up again next week. Of note, the GFS never even brings the front into the area. It dies across the Missouri/Iowa border area. My feeling is that the better chance of storms may be more towards the end of the day on Sunday or Sunday evening as storms bubble to the north and slowly creep southwards. There may be a series of weak disturbances to help and bubble up additional storms at some point as well.
More on that tomorrow too.
Our feature photo is from Johnathan Lance up in Lawson, Missouri. Storms were percolating up there yesterday afternoon.