Joe’s Weather Blog: Show your stripes day (MON-6/21)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Well some got a good rain… many got little to nothing. I was in the “little” category. So it goes with scattered storms. They sort of get their act together outside my eastern window last night and more or less missed me which was disappointing. Some areas got a good rain and some hail as well.

Now the next chance will wait until either Thursday morning or perhaps Thursday night into Friday. At least we’ve temporarily broken the back on the pretty hot weather locally. No 90s for the next few days although the heat and humidity do creep back in Wednesday, and especially Thursday, before breaking again over the weekend.



Today: Variable clouds and cooler and more comfortable. Highs in the 70s.

Tonight: Clearing out and very nice with lows in the mid-to-upper 50s.

Tomorrow: Nice weather with highs in the low-to-mid-80s.

Wednesday: Hotter with highs well into the 80s and breezy as well.



We’ll refocus on the local weather in Wednesday’s blog.

Today though many meteorologists around the country and even some of my colleagues at other stations here in Kansas City will be “showing their stripes” in pointing out how the climate has been changing over the decades in the United States.

The graphic concept was put together a couple of years ago as a simple way to understand (cut through the layers-type graphic), basically showing how temperatures have been warming or cooling based on the average from 1901 to 2000.

So in the United States as a whole, the data is pretty revealing.

The blues are cooler years and the reds warmer to hotter. The left side represents the 1890s and the right side up to 2020. I think you can see how things are getting warmer in the big picture in the USA especially in the last 20-30 years or so.

For Missouri and Kansas and a few other areas in the Plains, the data isn’t as “eye popping”. There are definite trends though, and definite warmer colors over the last couple of decades.

Here’s Kansas:

Meanwhile for Missouri:

You too can drill down to areas of interest.

There are some areas though that have seen crazy warming. Let’s start with Arizona and Hawaii:

How about Minnesota and Massachusetts:

It’s tough to find any state seeing an overall decrease in temperatures. Feel free to investigate.

The data can even be drilled down to the county level as well.

Precipitation is also covered, and the country as a whole is actually trending wetter.

Notice all the greener colors (wetter) compared to the browner colors (drier).

For Kansas City particularly:

You can see the 1930s and the 1950s sticking out like a “hot” thumb. Notice as well the cooler 70s, but overall the last 20-30 years have trended milder.

One of my favorite cities up in northern Michigan sees a bigger increase.

You can clearly see the changes in there climate over the last 30 years.

Look at Miami. Warmer sea temperatures and warmer overall weather has sent their averages up like crazy compared to 1901-2000 overall averages.

The data is also more pronounced in the Wichita, Kansas area as well.

Now if you’re thinking “well this is just a USA thing”… no it’s not.

Global data:

Want more of a breakdown?

Look, there will be cooler years and warmer years. It’s the yin and yang of things. There will still be crazy cold times (like what happened in February in the U.S.) and there will be crazy hot times. But in the big picture these are just snippets of weather and not the full picture (climate)…essentially one pitch or two pitches (weather) of a nine-inning baseball game (climate).

As the oceans warms overall (and the arctic warms overall) things are changing. Some of the changes are beneficial and many of the changes are not. Some areas of the U.S. are feeling these changes more acutely than others. It’s just the way things work in the world of climate.

I’ll leave you with this: A breakdown in bar graph form of Missouri and Kansas via


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