It was an interesting day for me yesterday…as I took a pleasant but hot drive up to Platte City to talk to the Chamber of Commerce lunch group. The weather connection to this is I left the south side of the Metro where rain has been extremely limited and everything is turning brown and going dormant from a lack of significant moisture but as I got farther and farther north…things got greener and greener.

Where the lunch was, near Tracy, MO…it was lush and green…like the middle of Spring. A significant contrast to what is happening on the south side of the area right now, where the grass has been baked out. It’s the reason why the south side has been running 3-5+ degrees hotter almost every day it seems and this will continue for the next several days.

The question is will there be rain on Sunday (maybe for some) and can we get anything more significant Monday (maybe but don’t count on it at this point).

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Forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny and hot with highs in the upper 90s to lower 100s from north to south

Tonight: Fair and breezy. Warmer too with lows in the 75-80° range

Tomorrow: This should be the day. IF we don’t hit 100° up at KCI…we may not this summer. Windy and scorching. Highs 100-105° from north to south. Heat index values about 5° hotter. Windy as well with gusts to 30 MPH possible.

Sunday: A small chance of showers…perhaps some sprinkles too from KC northwards in the afternoon or evening. Another hot day with highs 95-102° from north to south through the Metro. Lighter winds.

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Discussion:

I wanted to start this blog with two things…one the expanding drought…and two the effects of the drought on some of our farmers. Yesterday on FB I posted the latest drought report and wanted to know how our local farmers were being affected by the drying conditions.

Let’s start on the MO side…

and now the KS side…

The main issue is on the MO side closer to KC. We’ve seen a rapid expansion of severe drought conditions along the I-70 corridor region east of KC as well as an expansion of moderate drought conditions south of I-70 into Jackson and eastern JOCO KS. In all honesty this could even be pulled farther westwards I think.

The effects on the farming/agricultural community has been pretty stark.

Here are some tidbits of messages they relayed to me…

Troi Hackett
Not good. Hay yield is way down, and crops are starting to look awfully stressed. The last significant rain we had was 3/4 on July 3rd. And before that it was memorial weekend, not a good way to get into summer

Sammi Adkins
We are in Johnson County, have had many rains roll right over the the top of us or maybe only drop a couple tenths.. reminds us alot of the drought in 2012. If we don’t get some significant rain soon, the pastures will be all dried up and we will be feeding the cattle hay way too early. The hay crop was way down this year as well, so we are going to be very tight on supply. Have heard of several farmer friends down south Mo. having to sell herds of cattle because of the lack of grass and water.

Heather Lopez Renteria
The hay crop out by my grandparents between oak grove and grain valley is way down. The crops are looking burnt or droopy. I know my garden normally thrives but it’s really struggling this season from all the heat and very little rain. You can only water and fertilizer so much. I can’t remember the last time we had a summer this dry with no rain in sight.

Linda Meinig
We farm and raise cattle in Miami County, KS. We need rain badly. No corn planted due to cold rainy Spring. Soybeans were in late for the same reason. Now they are struggling. Pastures are stressed. We lost half of our brome fields last summer to army worms. Won’t be back to normal acreage for a couple of years. And now grass is drying up. That’s a worry with 270 cows and their calves. But (searching desperately for a positive), it’s been great weather for haying. 😊 This reminds me so much of 2012.

Sarah Burden
Johnson County: Corn: 1st planting leaves are curling inward and spindly across the board. Even on the best looking corn around it needs a drink. Hyper sensitive during pollination. We need those kernels to make those bushels to make that supply! Replanted corn is struggling to have even emergences due to lack of ground moisture.
Beans are in same shape. They need a drink if they are gonna push through any longer. Replant beans aren’t even sprouting in some places because they havent got a drink..
A wet start delayed being able to get into the fields and once we were able to it all dried up and the ground was crusty. We drove down South yesterday Henry County and they are a little greener not by much. It seems as though are retaining some ground moisture to cool through the evening whereas we have none so it just keeps baking and getting hotter. The plants have heat from above and below. 😔
Soybean nodules are non existent and few root hairs… no moisture.

Craig M. Rogge
40 mi east of KC. Not good. Corn is losing potential by the minute. Cattle in the feedlot aren’t eating. Pastures are not growing. Hay crop was a little under average production. Beans are holding on for now. Everything is gonna need some rain after this weekend.

Nathan T. White
On our corn, soybean, and cattle farm in southern Ray and Carroll County we are experiencing conditions that are adversely our potential crop and now running short on grass for the cattle. It could be a 2012 repeat unless we get a good rain quick.

So the expanding drought is certainly getting problematic. The drought is actually worse (so far) in southern MO where and appreciable rain is not likely for awhile. Temperatures down there have been 100-105° breaking daily records this week.

I mentioned the north to south change in the terrain color locally on my drive to start the blog. I want to show you a contrast between the highs this month from KCI to Olathe. KCI has had almost 5″ of rain in the last 5+ weeks while Olathe has had <1″.

Here is KCI…

90°+ highlighted

Now Olathe Industrial…near Gardner

It seems almost every day there is a 3-5° increase in the highs on the south side.

It’s not totally unusual for the south side to be warmer than the north side…BUT not to this consistent extreme and again I feel it’s directly connected to the lack of rain on the south side…the baked out terrain and the “browness” of things on the southside of the Metro.

We even saw dew points on the south side yesterday afternoon crash into the rarified for July mid 50s. The last time I remember the combination of more intense heat and dew points that low was during the drought of 2012.

There are no significant changes to the ongoing forecast. The issue is can KCI get to 100° or higher tomorrow. By now you know the well worn stat of KCI not being 100° in over 4 years…and not being 101°+ since 2012. Tomorrow may be the last chance for awhile. The one thing that MAY be the key is the wind…which will be higher tomorrow…perhaps gusting to 30 MPH or so. That will allow the hotter air on the south side to move a bit farther northwards. Will it be the trick to finally get us to the magical 100° (officially). Odds say yes…but then again we’ll see.

The next issue is rain chances…There is a chance on Sunday but I’m not expecting much right now…and the more favored areas are north of KC. It’s conceivable that IF there aren’t enough clouds the north side could try for another run to 100° BUT i do think there will, if nothing else…be clouds around to keep that from happening, at least on the north side of the Metro. South side is in play for another 100° day.

IF there is rain…odds favor under 1/10″ or so. Sort of a brief dust killer.

Then there is the issue of afterwards. Can there be decent rains nearby on Sunday night or Monday. I’m still not convinced. The EURO model has been the most aggressive with this concept…the other models are way less generous.

EURO
GFS
Overnight NAM

These maps show total rains into Monday afternoon.

This is connected to a front coming through on Sunday. There will be a lot of instability but there is an absence of rain creation aside from the EURO. It’s worth watching though…fronts into the heat, especially on the south side. There is a breakable cap in play I think…so maybe something could come together and get going. Strong winds would be the main threat with this IF there are any storms that can fire up.

The upper air disturbances though aren’t quite aligned right though and that may be our downfall.

Perhaps we can get something on Monday morning but I don’t want to get our hopes up too high. We’ll be watching this obviously and the good news is that the worst of the heat will be suppressed farther south for awhile and will stay south for next week. There may be some periodic rain chances too…especially from KC northwards.

The longer range EURO temps…

The GFS though does crank the heat back up during the 1st week of August. We’ll deal with that towards next week.

The feature photo is from Danny Green…along the MO River.

Joe