Joe’s Weather Blog: Several rain chances into the weekend (WED-7/7)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Clouds and rain chances will be around today, especially into the early evening before things improve nicely tonight and tomorrow. By the time you read this, Elsa has likely come ashore as a moderately strong tropical storm, and back home bigger rains are possible on Saturday and perhaps in some areas Sunday as well.

The bottom line is that the overall forecast is not dry in the big picture of things, and that means the worst of the summer heat will remain at bay for awhile. Not too many will be complaining about that though.

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Forecast:

Today: Variable clouds with scattered morning showers and a better chance of afternoon storms. Highs in the lower-to-mid-80s.

Tonight: Clearing out and pleasant with lows in the mid-60s.

Tomorrow: Nice actually. Humidity levels won’t be too bad with highs in the mid-80s.

Friday: Hotter and breezy to windy. Temperatures pop into the lower 90s with elevated humidity as well so the heat index will be near 100°.

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Discussion:

As July patterns go, this one isn’t too bad from a temperature standpoint. Overall, near-average highs and lows lately, and while this Friday will be a bit hotter, it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

Usually though, this can be a tough time of the year to get rain on a widespread basis. While I don’t expect that today (although there will be scattered showers/storms), there is an increasing chance of widespread rains over the weekend, perhaps on the heavy side with 2-4 inch totals possible in spots. That should keep the grass growing which usually doesn’t happen too much in early July.

Radar this morning is already showing some showers around especially north and west of Interstate 35.

These shouldn’t amount to a lot of rain but at least some areas may see a couple of tenths perhaps. The better chances of localized heavy rains will arrive after lunch with a cold front coming into the area.

The front itself is pretty weak overall and slow moving for now. At 8 a.m. it’s entering northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas but as you can see this morning from the radar above, it’s already creating showers.

The issue for bigger storms later today is that the clouds that we have this morning with the scattered showers moving around may hurt the limited instability that builds up today from Kansas City northwards. So we’ll see how much coverage we can get as the afternoon moves along.

For areas south and east of Kansas City, there may be a bit more sunshine and instability to work with, so storms may be a bit more widespread there. Some localized heavy rains are possible.

The weather looks nice tomorrow and Friday (but hotter Friday).

Then the weekend arrives, and with it comes increasing storm chances starting at some point Friday night. We’ll heat up Friday, perhaps into the low-to-mid-90s. The dew points will be elevated as well, perhaps into the 70s. Another cold front of sorts will be working into the Plains and towards our area. This may trigger strong-to-severe storms in Nebraska and Iowa and then those would roll towards our area later Friday night and Saturday AM.

We’ll see what sort of shape they’re in by the time they get to us but the potential is there from stronger winds and heavier rains in the region sometime early Saturday morning.

The EURO/GFS and Canadian all have heavy rains over a three-day period from Friday morning into Monday morning.

The EURO:

The GFS:

The Canadian:

There are differences in placement and to some extent amounts, but you can readily see some areas are going to get a lot of rain and some of the data is probably too light with the totals.

Elsa will be coming ashore soon, if it hasn’t already. Interesting storm: It briefly reacquired hurricane status yesterday evening then within hours saw the strongest thunderstorms totally get sheared apart and perhaps lost that status. The hurricane center was probably being too generous in maintaining hurricane status but since they just upgraded it, to immediately downgrade it again wouldn’t be “message friendly.” I don’t disagree and really whether a strong tropical storm or a weak hurricane, it really was a matter of semantics.

Here was the scene in Cedar Key, Florida this morning well north of Tampa.

The winds along the beaches weren’t too terrible, mostly under 50 mph in gusts, but there were some big rains indicated. Especially around the Pt Charlotte and Northport areas of southwest Florida. Here are some 24-hour rain totals ending at 9 a.m. or so.

As it comes ashore this morning it won’t be a hurricane, which means the 134-year record for no hurricanes in July to hit western Florida continues.

Also of note is some non-Elsa flooding rains in southeast Texas today as well between Houston and Corpus Christi.

Elsa will create some heavy rains into the southeast part of the U.S. over the next 24-36 hours…

…as it moves towards the Mid Atlantic region where severe weather and potentially some tornados are possible.

It could also impact southern New England later this week with upwards of 50 mph winds and locally heavy rains but it will be moving quickly.

The feature photo today comes from JJ Diebolt.

Joe

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