Joe’s Weather Blog: Round 1 is beneficial. Round 2 may have more bite (THU-6/24)

Joes Weather Blog Email Alerts

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The rain this morning is welcome. No flooding issues and everything played out as expected as a weakening area of storms came through and is now fading and moving away this morning. Now the question is what happens later this evening and overnight as a second batch of storms will be forming closer to the region and moving in with more vigor.

Severe weather is possible with this second round with more heavy rains and possible hail and stronger winds. It’s not out of the question that there might be a tornado or two, especially in northeast Kansas and northern Missouri as the storms come together. It could be a busy night.

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Forecast:

Today: Decreasing clouds with breezy conditions developing this afternoon. Some clearing allowing highs to pop to the upper 80s with muggy conditions.

Tonight: Storms with heavy rain and potentially severe weather. Lows in the 70s.

Tomorrow: A lot will depend on what happens tonight but we may do everything all over again with highs well into the 80s to near 90°.

This weekend: Showers are likely off and on on Saturday and potentially everything will shift south of the area on Sunday. We may see a reduction in temperatures with highs in the 80-85° range.

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Discussion:

So far, so good regarding the playout of storms. They weakened as was emphasized in the blog and on the air as they came towards the southeast overnight and this morning so we just got the beneficial rains. Mostly under 1/2″ through 9 a.m. or so.

There is still some rain on the Kansas side that is being fueled by a strong low-level jet stream that is proving the lift needed to get more rain/storms to form.

The clouds will linger and gradually thin out as the afternoon gets closer and we should see drier conditions and increasing sunshine. That will allow instability to increase once again in the region and the atmosphere will “recover” with the combination of heat and humidity together it appears.

The morning run of the HRRR model shows temperatures near 95° south of Interstate 70 which seems a bit extreme to me, and as a result of this warmer lower atmosphere the instability gets to extreme levels.

CAPE values which shows us potential energy for storm formation

We’ll be capped for awhile this afternoon but it’s a breakable cap it appears at this point, so storms should rapidly form later today or this evening.

The HRRR model shows strong to severe storms developing in northeast Kansas and northern Missouri this evening.

Potential look to radar at 7PM tonight

Then that areas drops southwards:

10 p.m. tonight

The timing on this could change by one to three hours or so, but you get the point. Winds/hail and some localized flooding is possible with these storms. They will be training (moving over the same areas) at times, so some areas could see 1-3″ of rain from this.

The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted all areas, especially north of I-70 or so in an “enhanced” risk of strong storms.

The storms first couple of hours of live seem to have the higher potential for a tornado to form. The odds of this happening are more towards the north of Kansas City into northern Missouri especially and northeast Kansas as well where a weak surface low will be nearby. So let’s not disregard these chances.

The hail and wind threats will be highest it appears, and the hail may get larger than golf-ball sized in some of the stronger updrafts of the storms, so let’s pay attention to all facets of severe weather tonight.

The MCS or Mesoscale Convective System that forms and drops south or southeast will then weaken and fall apart across southern Missouri overnight. The boundary itself though will sort of stubbornly remain nearby and provide additional storm chances tomorrow and possibly on Saturday as well. So the first half of the weekend is looking a bit dicey too.

Some areas may easily see over 4 inches of rain from all this over the coming days. I won’t post specific maps because of the convective mess that they are, but the potential is certainly there and that could lead to some localized flooding.

New storms are possible later tomorrow afternoon. Again, heat and humidity will be in place for lots of instability for storms to fire off, and on Saturday the front may be working through (finally). There may not be as much instability, but there should still be areas of rain around.

Two final things: I’ll be off tomorrow so no blog, and yesterday a lot of folks noticed the “look” to the clouds. They were in rows or lines. These are called cloud streets.

Cloud streets are formed by what are called convection rolls of rising warm air and sinking cool air. Rising warm air cools gradually as it ascends into the atmosphere. When moisture in the warm air mass cools and condenses, it forms clouds.

Meanwhile, sinking cool air on either side of the cloud formation zone creates a cloud-free area. When several of these alternating rising and sinking air masses align with the wind, cloud streets develop.

Cloud streets are technically called horizontal convective rolls.

EarthSky
Diagram of wind direction and circulation.
Convection rolls and the formation of cloud streets. Image via NOAA.

Here was a great shot of them:

The feature photo today is from Kristina Marie.

Joe

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