Joe’s Weather Blog: System slowly departs today…but active days next week too (FRI-10/29)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Not the prettiest of days again today, but at least the rain will be ending this morning… gradually. The clouds on the other hand may be sticking around for awhile today and there may only be a brief shot of sunshine as it’s going down later this afternoon. This means temperatures will be struggling today again to get to about 50°. Yup, the winds will continue to crank away as well, 30-plus mph for a good part of the day before fading tonight.

There is more interesting weather next week too as a colder regime takes over the start November. There are signs of moderation heading our way for the middle of the month though.

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Forecast:

Today: Rainy this morning, cloudy and blustery this afternoon. Highs near 50°. Winds gusting to 30-plus mph.

Tonight: Gradual clearing and colder with lows in the upper 30s. Some frost/fog is possible at daybreak, especially northwest and north of Kansas City.

Tomorrow: Wonderful with highs in the lower 60s.

Sunday: Partly cloudy and pleasant with highs well into the 50s. A bit breezy as well.

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Discussion:

Like the Energizer bunny commercial… this storm just keeps going.

We’re on the backside of it this morning, but there is still rain falling.

The rain aspect should be winding down towards or before lunch today.

The winds are still going. Yesterday gusting to around 40 mph and this morning around 30 mph.

As mentioned, the clouds are going to hang tough today, with only minimal clearing (if any) in Kansas City proper but northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas should see faster clearing this afternoon. From there tonight, all clear out and the air starts to dry out. With temperatures only near 50° today (perhaps a bit warmer where there is more sunshine), it will drop off quickly overnight down into the 32° range to the northwest and into the mid-to-upper 30s in Kansas City.

This will lead to frost and fog. As a result, there is a freeze warning in the darker blueish color and a frost advisory in the lighter blue color for a good part of the area tonight into tomorrow morning.

This extends back westwards as well…

Some of the fog could be locally dense in the morning as well, especially near the river valleys where the water temperatures are warmer and the colder air sits on top of the warmer waters.

The weekend looks good. Another cold front comes through Sunday early though, and that will set things up for reinforcing shots of chilly weather next week and the likelihood for our first freeze into the metro at some point next week depending on the cloud cover situation.

Monday and Tuesday become problematic though. Colder air will be in place and the flow aloft will allow moisture to run over the colder near surface air for a couple of days. This should certainly lead to a lot of clouds depressing the temperatures, but it also may lead to some rain. This could start Monday afternoon or evening, likely to be rather light, but some bands of light rain could impact the football game. That rain will be falling into dry air as well, so there may be some evaporation happening too, making what reaches the ground stay light.

As this process continues though, it’s possible that enough saturation takes place to give us some additional rains on Tuesday too. The thing that also should be watched is whether or not some parts of the area could actually see some flakes of snow from this. There is still about 3,000 feet of above-freezing air for whatever to fall to fall through and melt, but if something falls hard enough… maybe? Somewhere?

Also on an astronomical note, I may dive farther in on this later today on the news: you may hear about the potential of the northern lights being seen in the Plains. Odds are we WON”T be able to see them in Kansas City, but some areas perhaps in northern Missouri may be able to see a faint greenish hue in the distance looking north.

Yesterday, the sun belched out a X1 solar flare. A pretty strong one. That generated a CME or Coronal Mass Ejection. A CME is a large burst of gas and plasma sent out from the sun, and if that ejected gas and plasma is directed at the earth, it will ripple through the Earth’s magnetosphere. This disrupts that part of the outer atmosphere and the result can be the northern lights.

Via NASA

So in effect the solar flare strengthens the solar wind and that bombards the earth.

Now the issue becomes how strong is it. NASA is predicting this to be a G3 storm, or a “strong” one. For the Kansas City metro to even have a chance of seeing something incredible, we need the G level to be even higher, and even then the city lights won’t do us any favors.

We really need the G level to reach a 5, which are pretty rare events. I did find back in 2003, some dramatic northern light pictures in northern Missouri… in late October too. I don’t know if they were seen from the naked eye or not, but with a long exposure camera, they were definitely there.

Keep an eye on this chart tomorrow late night. IF it can get into the 8+ range, there is a chance for northern Missouri.

“The K-index, and by extension the Planetary K-index, are used to characterize the magnitude of geomagnetic storms. Kp is an excellent indicator of disturbances in the Earth’s magnetic field and is used by SWPC to decide whether geomagnetic alerts and warnings need to be issued for users who are affected by these disturbances.’ via SPACE WEATHER PREDICTION CENTER-
NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION

Anyway, perhaps a talking point for me.

The green dot in the animation below shows the earth:

Odds are any faint green glow will remain north of Interstate 80 and perhaps even farther north into the upper Midwest. Closer to where the green and yellow lines are in the map above. There also may be issues with the timing of the “hit” or best disruption. If it comes too early or too close to daybreak or early evening, we won’t be dark enough anyway.

Our feature photo comes from Joyce Stefancik.

Joe

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