Joe’s Weather Blog: Storm/rain chances return but for how long? (WED-7/14)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A lot of clouds in the region overnight and this morning which kept temperatures warm for the night. Our low this morning was only 75° or so, which was pretty mild compared to how the month has played out. This is the 35th-coolest start to July though yesterday… it really hasn’t been so bad. We’ve had one day with highs at or above 90°. Today may make two days but after today, we’re done with the 90s for the middle of the month until later next week perhaps.

The next few days have lots of challenges. Rain forecasting is the biggest challenge heading to the weekend. Tomorrow is a slam dunk it appears for high rain chances. Beyond that, things get murky quickly. I’m not convinced the weekend will be wet, but we will be in pesky northwest flow aloft perhaps, and that, during this time of the year, means disturbances traverse the Plains and can create rain. Whether that involves us or areas farther west is what needs to be figured out.

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Forecast:

Today: Developing sunshine, windy and hot with highs in the 90° to lower 90s range.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy and breezy. Warm as well with lows in the mid-70s.

Tomorrow: Developing rain chances, especially as the later morning and afternoon moves along. The temperatures tomorrow will not be as hot, odds favor low-to-mid-80s. Assuming we get there, we have better storm chances developing in the PM with some potential for strong to possible severe storms. Hail, wind and locally heavy rains are the main threat.

Friday: Variable clouds with perhaps some PM showers around. Highs in the the 80-85° range.

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Discussion:

It’s been a somewhat atypical July. Temperatures haven’t gotten all that hot, nor have they stayed hot so far this month. With the main heat wave generator out across the western US, that has placed our area in several periods of northwest flow aloft with actual upper-level systems developing in the region and helping us with clouds and periodic rain chances.

We we have gotten hot (like the upper 90s back in June), but we don’t lock in the heat for any crazy amount of time. June was a hot month overall, but July hasn’t been.

There we are, 35th-coolest start to the month through yesterday.

June ended up the 20th warmest.

So we really can’t complain about the heat too much I think.

Today is another day with quite a bit of smoke in the atmosphere. There are lots of wildfires burning in the western U.S., and that smoke came into the area yesterday and it really has thickened up.

This is a model showing the smoke scenario for this afternoon… it’s a lot.

There may also be a small contribution with some African dust that has moved across the Atlantic, into the Gulf and has moved northwards. It’s not a lot, but perhaps it’s adding a bit to the murkiness.

This model shows the dust forecast this afternoon. Much more apparent in the Caribbean.

Onwards.

The rain situation is what it is. Some get too much and some don’t get enough. KCI is running about 1 1/4″ below average through today (for the month). Most of the reporting stations around Kansas City have had less than 1 inch of rain so far. The grass overall looks pretty good I think, as we’ve gotten a few days so far with 1/4″+ amounts. Some have gotten dumped on in the area too.

The rain chances go up again tomorrow. A cold front will slowly work southwards tomorrow, and come into increasing instability. That is a recipe for rain and storms. Coverage may not be 100% but it should be pretty decent at times in the afternoon. With the slow movement of the front, there should be a few rounds of rain moving through parts of the area at times, especially the Interstate 35 corridor region.

The severe weather risk isn’t 100% but isn’t 0 either. Assuming we heat up to the mid-80s we should have some instability around for the afternoon on Thursday. That should lead to some bigger storms somewhere out there. Odds favor areas southeast of Kansas City, but this could also include parts of the metro. We’ll just have to see how tomorrow plays out in terms of the risk of severe weather. As of this morning, we’re in a marginal risk for storms.

Then the thought on my end is that whatever develops and moves through pushes the cold front far enough southwards that perhaps there isn’t a lot to work with on Friday leaving us with mostly dry conditions with perhaps a few leftover showers around. That’s my thought at least.

Then the weekend features northwest flow, and that could bring some really nice and comfortable July weather into the area. Or it could bring us little disturbances in the flow, which would create rain northwest/west of the region, and then the issue is: will that rain survive and move into the area or will it remain to the west of the region? I’m leaning towards the latter solution, but I’m still not 100% convinced that will be right.

More on that tomorrow.

Finally some odds and ends. This story has gotten some play on the news and online. There are questions though about the real point of impact with the lightning strike.

Back to the wildfire situation and the terrible ongoing drought out west: The record breaking highs go hand in hand with the drought, and there have been a ton of them.

Finally, this is amazing and happened over the past weekend I think.

The feature photo comes from Chip Houser.

Joe

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