It feels like we’re in the Cinco de Mayo edition of Groundhog Day the movie. This morning looks like yesterday morning, which looked like Tuesday morning.

Clouds, perhaps some mist/drizzle around, with showers to the south of the Metro mostly. The temperatures aren’t terrible…we’re in the 50s…but it’s been a struggle to go up at all with the low gray overcast.

Yesterday we had a 3° swing from low to high and that surely hasn’t happened before on May 4th. It’s tough to get that little diurnal change in temperatures when you have a rather decent sun angle above us.

The combination of showers as well as a persistent low cloud deck and also a east and northeast wind all conspired to keep things well below average for highs.

Today won’t be much different.

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Forecast:

Today: Clouds with periods of mist/drizzle but dry time as well today. Temperatures struggle in the 50s to maybe lower 60s but that could be a real push. There may be some additional storms later this afternoon and this evening.

Tonight: Showers wind down. Temperatures hold pretty steady

Tomorrow: Starts out like today but there may be some breaks in the clouds at some point later on. Highs 60-65°

This weekend: Great on Saturday! Highs in the mid-70s. Warmer Sunday with windy conditions and highs in the 80s. There may be storms across northern MO Sunday morning.

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Discussion:

There was some sneaky unusual weather happening yesterday afternoon. I was curious about the weird hole of dry air that allowed the Royals game to get in without issue yesterday afternoon while all around the hole there was rain around (heavier on the south side for sure) and even some thunderstorms.

Yet there wasn’t that much rain at all out towards the K and for roughly 10 miles around the K,sort of like a donut hole of some drier air.

Last night I got an email from a viewer between Excelsior Springs and Orrick, MO who had strong wind gusts, he estimated around 70 MPH for a time at around 4PM. Yet there were no storms near him and very few showers, so the email didn’t make much sense at 1st glance.

I consulted with my colleagues at the NWS in Pleasant Hill as we were looking at the radar data, and then trying to see if anything weird was happening elsewhere because there wasn’t an initial explanation.

We discovered a few things that sneaked by us, one of which was in between hours we saw some stronger wind gusts at a couple of airports: Downtown and Lee’s Summit.

At around 3:35 PM the Downtown airport reported gusts around 44 MPH:

Then around 4PM the airport towards Lees Summit along 470 reported a wind gust around 49 MPH:

This was interesting as you can see there was not a ton of wind before or afterward.

The temperatures were in the lower 50s and the dew points were in the upper 40s so the air at the surface was pretty saturated.

Radar at the time was unremarkable. At 3:35 PM:

At 4PM:

Just some light echoes previously, however, there was that dry wedge of air that persisted roughly in the radar snapshot below from around 2PM:

This wedge of dry air allowed the game to be completed (which was too bad in the end considering the score).

Anyway… we were seeing these strong wind gusts, so what was going on.

First though was perhaps some air was getting brought downwards from aloft, but there wasn’t any significant convection near the sites at the time of the stronger winds (there were some areas of convection elsewhere however). Sometimes with convection, IF the winds above are stronger those stronger winds can be brought to the surface and explain wind gusts, but that wasn’t the case in this scenario.

As near as we can tell the dry wedge may have played a role in the stronger winds. As rain aloft fell into the drier air above the surface (which was pretty saturated) the air evaporated. When air evaporates it cools down the air pockets and those cooler air pockets then become more dense and sink because of gravity. Sort of like when you open up a freezer door and you see the cold air dropping out of the freezer sometimes.

That sinking cool air accelerated and voila weird strong winds.

The email even mentioned some tree limbs knocked down and also some shingle damage!

So there’s that.

Onwards…

Our upper level storm is working through the region. The instability today locally appears negligible at this point…so severe weather locally isn’t expected. Yesterday was quite the day in OK and NW TX with several tornadoes…some decent sized ones as well.

Seminole, OK took a pretty good hit as did Lockett, TX. The Lockett tornado was at night…which is never a good thing.

There were a ton of chasers out there yesterday in both states…and at least for the Lockett tornado…they were in a bad spot.

The chasers were on the road below observing the tornado to their immediate south…and probably thought that they were safe. Apparently right after sunset or so…and this isn’t unusual down there…the winds above the surface increased markedly from the south…we refer to this as the low-level jet stream.

These strong winds took a storm that was more or less behaving and allowed the storm to make a hard north (left) turn. That turn made the tornado head right towards the road which is where all the chasers were and apparently there were a ton of them…including a storm chase tour van (yes that’s a thing).

That hard turn spared Vernon, TX but brought the tornado right into Locket, TX…this happened in the course of several minutes…at night with heavy rain occurring as well so the visibility was lowered dramatically.

The tornado chase tour group apparently was hit. According to a passenger of the van…the van turned to be pointed into the wind and then the winds slammed the van. There were some minor injuries…a few scrapes and cuts it appears. I’m not sure if the van flipped. There were 6 people in the van at the time.

Here is the video with the passenger.

Apparently there were no serious injuries to my knowledge and the damage was confined to the NE part of town.

For us…we just saw rain. Lessor totals on the northside with more on the south side of the Metro.

2 day totals are an unremarkable 1/3rd of an inch on the northside to close to 1+” on the far south side.

Here is more data from south of I-70

via CoCoRaHS

Here is the storm with the swath of moisture coming up from the south…

and radar…

Additional rains and storms are likely late today and tonight. The severe weather risk appears minor but I’ll still be watching areas SE of KC perhaps IF things get a bit warmer than expected. Some locally heavy rains are possible near and south of the I-70 corridor. This risk still appears very remote at this point though.

The storm will start to move far enough away from the region so that we may actually see some breaks in the clouds at some point tomorrow. There may be a few patches of drizzle/mist in the morning though.

The other story is this…the potential of near record warmth early next week.

Here are the records for the dates next week.

I don’t think we’ll get there BUT the atmosphere aloft is hot enough to push us very close to there but with all the moisture on the ground and the “green” showing up on the terrain it might be tougher in early May.

Data shows that during the 1st 2 weeks of May we’ve only hit 90° or higher 4 times…that is interesting. Almost a full 52 years of data and only 4 times out of some 718 days or so.

We’ll likely start drying out next week as well for the most part.

The feature photo is from Lonnie Knox out towards Creighton, MO

Joe