KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For weeks it felt like we couldn’t warm up that much, everything just seemed to be running behind schedule.
And now all of a sudden, an unusual setup for early May is establishing itself to some extent, and the end result is several days this week with the potential of record-breaking or tying heat in the KC metro area.
The hot weather will be accompanied by gusty winds, and higher dew points as the ground has a lot of moisture that can be evaporated and the winds will be bringing up gulf moisture as well. Dew points will allow the heat indices to surge to near 100 degrees in parts of the area.
As we’ve been saying for about a week now, think mid-July, and remember to stay hydrated, exercise early or later in the day, and try to take some breaks and get some shade if working outside.
Kansas City Forecast:
Today: Mostly sunny and hot: Highs approach 91 degrees. There is a bit of have in the air from wildfire smoke in New Mexico. Windy as well with gusts to 35 mph.
Tonight: Fair and warm with lows in the low-to-mid-70s.
Wednesday: Same, maybe a bit less wind.
Well those who wanted summer, Mother Nature is delivering it to you a bit early this year.
On average the first 90 degrees day, going back to 1900, is May 27. So we’re running about 2 1/2 weeks ahead of schedule. More recently, we’ve had earlier 90-plus degrees days, back in 2011 and 2012.
Here is a fast breakout of the first 90-plus degree days since 2000.
The earliest on record is March 21, 1907 and the latest on record is July 15, 1904.
On average we roughly hit 90-plus degrees about 41 times in Kansas City per year.
There may be an interesting correlation over the past few decades of these early 90s connecting to MORE 90s for the year adding up. The years previously since 2000 that there were early 90s, 2021, 2011, 2006 and I threw in 2018 since it’s close. All had more than average numbers of 90-plus degree days that year, some substantially.
The building heat is setting records in Texas and record heat will be expanding through the Plains over the coming days it appears. On Saturday, Amarillo, Texas hit 100 degrees, the earliest on record.
Today record highs will be challenged in all these locations.
Record warm lows are in play as well over the coming days.
So this is pretty unusual for this part of May at least.
Why? A combination of a deep dip in the jet stream in the western U.S. and an upper-level storm in the eastern U.S. allows a strong ridge to build between the two features.
This is a blocking pattern. Notice it sort of resembles the Greek letter Omega, so we call this an Omega block.
Towards the end of the week, this will break down and a piece of the western system will move through the northern Plains and bring rain chances locally, perhaps on Friday, and then again on Saturday.
To add insult to injury, there is a lot of junk in the air as well, mostly from wildfires burning in New Mexico.
There are six big fires burning in New Mexico today and two in Arizona. In New Mexico, the biggest is the Hermits Peak fire northwest of Las Vegas, New Mexico, over 165,000 acres and only 20% contained. All told, over 260,000 acres are burning in New Mexico alone.
So enjoy the early taste of summer around these parts.
The feature photo comes from Austin Hamilton up in Iowa.