Joe’s Weather Blog: Two good chances for rain ahead (THU-10/21)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — We’re heading towards the weekend and things are going to be changing after some nice weather this week.

Today will be a cooler day compared to the past several as a seasonably cool air mass has moved into the area over the past 24 hours or so. Overnight, we dropped into the lower 40s and today, despite a mixture of clouds/sunshine, it will struggle to get out of the 50s.

We should see moderation though after a crisp, and perhaps for some, frosty start to the day tomorrow.

Rain chances start increasing Saturday night into Sunday as a system organizes to our west and moves through the region. Another system is likely on the way on Wednesday.

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Forecast:

Today: Partly cloudy with more sunshine in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 50s.

Tonight: Fair and chilly with lows in the upper 30s.

Tomorrow: Mostly sunny and seasonable with highs in the mid-60s.

Saturday: Increasing clouds and seasonable with highs in the mid-60s.

Sunday: Windy with off-and-on rain chances, milder with highs into the 70s.

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Discussion:

It’s been a nice week for the most part around here: nothing too crazy for chilly weather, and overall pleasant afternoons.

Things are going to be changing and I’ve made reference to what’s happening out in the Pacific. So let’s start there because there is an unusually strong storm off the western U.S. coast. There are actually two interesting systems out in the Pacific: one off the western U.S. and the other in the western Aleautians.

The one closest to the U.S. is moving towards British Columbia. That is a powerhouse storm. The pressure on that storm is down to 953 mbs or about 28.14″. You don’t want to be on a boat around that thing… no bueno. Of course it’s really just a “fish” storm but the winds are probably 60-80 mph and the waves are near 40 feet. That surf at least will be crashing on the shore over the coming 48 hours.

Here is a look at the forecast winds from that storm

This storm will focus its thrust really into the northwest part of Canada, so if anyone says this is the storm that will change our weather, they’re wrong in my opinion.

What will be changing our weather is out in the northern Pacific Ocean and that is a large area of strong jet stream winds that will be barreling across the ocean over the coming days. These strong winds will punch into California, bringing a lot of moisture to that state. They are underneath another strong storm that is farther west into the Bering Sea. That too will become a powerhouse system.

That western AK system is really cranking up today and may see the pressure drop to near 28.00″…stronger than many hurricanes.

On the south side of that Alaska system is where all the strong jet stream winds are.

Those whitish areas in the center of the wind max in the far upper left of the map above represent near 200 to 225 mph(!) forecasted winds at around 30,000 feet or so. That is impressive. Those winds will be racing towards the California coast over the weekend and as they come ashore and interact with land, a small dip in the wind field will be forming, and that will be the genesis for our Sunday weather maker.

Saturday afternoon at around 18,000 feet. I’ve circled the developing dip in the wind field and a soon to be disturbance

So let’s follow that developing dip from 4 p.m. Saturday to Sunday night:

See where it goes right along the I-70 corridor? That is the system we’re going to be tracking.

So now let’s take you down to the surface because really that’s what’s going to make or break your plans. This is the forecast map for early Sunday morning:

Warm front is popping northwards and should result in some convection Saturday night moving through the Metro into northern Missouri.

Then by Sunday afternoon, we’re in the warm sector with dew points in the 60s and a real “spring” feel to the air and pretty windy as well.

Storms should fire along that advancing cold front and there is some instability as well. So that will need to be watched. The GFS does show a bit of a cap but it may be wrong in that regard. There is a lot of shear on Sunday, so the potential of stronger to perhaps some severe storms may be present, depending on how things evolve with this. Something to watch for sure, especially for race fans. There may be a window of getting something in.

So Saturday night and Sunday bear watching for rain. Can’t rule out some hail in the overnight Saturday activity, especially north of Kansas City.

Then another strong system is due on Wednesday. That will be a spin off of the western Alaska system. That energy is actually near Japan right now and will be racing towards through the Pacific Ocean over the coming days as well aided by those strong jet stream winds that I showed you earlier!

There are some pretty colors out there. This is the feature photo from Katherine Kat Brock. Her father Wayne took this in Buckner, Missouri.

Joe

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