Joe’s Weather Blog: The 2-day storm starts today (WED-10/27)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It was a quiet and breezy night in Kansas City as I start the blog this morning, but rain is on the doorstep and moving through at least 1/2 the metro just after daybreak.

Today will sort of be an iffy day. There should be breaks in the rain every so often. The temperatures will creep up a few degrees, but overall the next 36 hours are going to be wet, and sometimes, especially later tonight, very wet.

This is an impressive two-day storm, and while the weekend looks pretty good, especially Saturday, next week will be a changeable week too, mainly regarding colder weather.

So a lot going on!

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Forecast:

Today: Cloudy with occasional areas of rain. Breezy, but not as windy as yesterday. Highs in the lower 60s.

Tonight: Rain increases and gets heavier at times. Lows in the upper 40s.

Tomorrow: Rain likely for most of the day. Windy, gusts over 35 mph possible. Cooler too, with temperatures steady in the upper 40s or so.

Friday: Slow clearing and cool. Windy, gusts to 25 mph for most of the day. Highs in the mid-50s.

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Discussion:

Well this anticipated rains have started for some areas, but at least for a while this morning it will sort of be in and out. There will be some dry times, especially on the Missouri side as the rain is moving more south to north and not towards the east as quickly. Here is radar:

And locally:

We’ve had drier southeast winds for the last 24 hours pushing towards Kansas City, so the atmosphere isn’t too saturated from KC eastwards early this morning. And with the storm’s movement and circulation aloft, you can see a lot of the morning rain at least is moving more northwards or even north-northwest. This means areas farther east of Kansas City won’t get much for awhile today.

The cooler/colder air with this system is towards the left of the blue line below. The 8 a.m. temperatures are in red, dew points in green:

The surface storm is gradually consolidating as well…

It will move towards Arkansas as the day and night evolve and it will wrap up nicely too.

The upper-level storm will “close off” as well today, and by 1 p.m. should be in Oklahoma.

The chart above is the 500 mb chart. This is roughly at 18,000 feet and sort of 1/2 way up into the atmosphere. You can get a sense of the flow of the atmosphere in this regard, and notice two things. The flow above us is almost due south to north (now look again at the regional radar above). Notice the connection to the radar echoes.

Also the areas in red above on the 500 mb chart show areas of vorticity. Near and ahead of these “maxes” there is “lift” to the atmosphere. Given the situation we’re in for the next 36 hours, when enough lift comes up the State Line, there will be rain with it. So that’s why we’ll get areas of rain moving through.

When these areas of lift past by, then on the backside there is sinking air, sometimes lengthy, sometimes short-lived, and that’s why there should be breaks every so often as well today.

Notice how the chart above changes by this time tomorrow:

Now the upper-level storm is in northwest Arkansas and we are getting into the northern part of the system. That means that the rain will be moving in from the east and northeast, and moving west and west-southwest circulating around the system.

Then later tomorrow night, we get into the northwest side of the storm.

This is referred to as the “wrap-around” part of the storm. If this was winter, that would be heavy snow, but because there isn’t cold air with this, it’s just more moderate rain.

So since we’re getting the effects of all sides of the storm, and since this is a slow mover to some extent, we’re getting beefy rain totals:

EURO forecast
GFS forecast

So while the exact specifics will change, we should get widespread 1.5 inches with upside to about 3 inches or so in spots.

No severe weather is expected as there won’t be much instability to work with.

With that said, there will be gusty winds developing tomorrow and continuing into Friday. Gusts may be in the 25-40 mph range both days.

By tomorrow afternoon, this should be a fully formed nice comma-type storm from the satellite perspective.

We should start clearing out sometime Friday afternoon, and then be fully clear Friday night into Saturday with deep blue skies to start the weekend.

By the way… impressive Nor’easter off the eastern seaboard this morning.

There were winds at the Cape last night in excess of 90 mph.

There are trees down all over the place in eastern Massachusetts around the Cape Cod area, and lots of folks without power this morning.

Meanwhile I’ve already mentioned the western US situation. This is a good start to their “wet” season.

Finally, a last recap of the tornadoes from Sunday from my colleagues at the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill.

Then on the east side of the state:

That’s it for today, next update is tomorrow. The feature photo is from Mary Jo Seever.

Joe

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