KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It was brief, expected, and marginally helpful I guess. Storms produced a 1/3 inch to 3/4 inch on average in the metro before moving off toward the southeast of Kansas City.

It knocked down the dust, helped a bit with the grass, but with the next long dry stretch likely to be setting up again with occasional windy weather ahead. It will be once again evaporated and sucked out of the still dry top soils.

So while helpful, certainly not a drought breaker really.

That day will come, but not anytime soon. Until then, lots of ups and downs with more 80s possible as well, with some frosty mornings over the coming two weeks or so.

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Kansas City Forecast:

Today: Sunny and breezy in the afternoon especially. Highs in the lower 70s.

Tonight: Fair and chilly. Lows in the lower 40s.

Tomorrow: Sunny and cooler with highs in the mid-60s. Windy too with gusts to 30-plus mph possible.

Friday: Mostly sunny and pleasant. Breezy with highs in the 70-degree range.

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Discussion:

Let’s start with the rain amounts since I may not be able to show you this data again for about 10 days or longer with the way things look today.

  • Rain totals north of the Missouri River in the Kansas City area for Oct. 12, 2022.
  • Rain totals south of the Missouri River in the Kansas City area for Oct. 12, 2022.

Here are some more totals via Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. In the first map, there may be some bleedover from the rains yesterday southeast of the metro especially.

  • Rain totals in the Kansas City region for Oct. 12, 2022. (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network screenshot)
  • Rain totals in the northwest Missouri region for Oct. 12, 2022. (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network screenshot)

Some areas around the metro did flirt with close to 1 inch or so, but overall many were under 3/4 inch.

Again, certainly welcome but more is needed. This rain will not be included in the updated drought report coming tomorrow morning, so things may actually worsen a bit more tomorrow for at least parts of the region in the updated maps tomorrow.

The issue as I mentioned is that for the next week to 10 days, not much else is expected for moisture of any significance. There may be a surprise shower or two, but overall, nothing organized is heading this way it appears.

Weather around the U.S.

The jet stream will be rather amplified over the coming week or so. This means alternating cooler and milder air masses will move through the Plains. The front that moved through overnight was seasonably strong.

West winds developing this afternoon, assuming they increase a bit, will allow a downslope component (air running from the higher elevations in the western Plains to the lower elevations in the eastern Plains-some 3,000 feet or so) to warm the air up.

With a lot of sunshine expected today, the air should be mixed up as well. So yes, cooler, but still by the end of the day above average. We’ve already had an early warm temperature of 70 degrees. Let’s see if we can get above that this afternoon.

When I talk about a highly “amplified” jet stream, let me show you an example. This is the forecast 500 mb map for next Monday evening. 500 mb is roughly 18,000 feet in the atmosphere, sort of the halfway mark in the atmosphere above us. This helps us track various features aloft that can impact the weather at the surface.

A few things jump out:

  • 1) The big ridge aloft over the Greenland, Canada, area. If this was winter, this can be a cold signal for the central U.S. and is a cold signal for the eastern U.S.
  • 2) That big, deep low over the Great Lakes.
  • 3) The strong high over the northern Rockies. That places us in northwest to north flow aloft, and that isn’t helpful for rain.

There are some disturbances across the southwest U.S. and those will bring rain to Texas (especially western Texas), as well as perhaps California and maybe more rain into the desert southwest. So five days worth of rain ending next Thursday look like this approximately:

GFS is more or less the same.

They both give us nothing more after what we got last night and early this morning.

Next chance for rain in Kansas City

So when is our next chance of some moisture? We may be waiting until the week of the 24th or so as a larger dip the jet stream eventually develops in the western U.S. and spreads towards the Plains. That’s a long ways off, but at least there should be a realignment of the atmosphere so that things may again become more conducive to rain chances.

We will be vulnerable to cold fronts, likely moisture starved. There should be a strong one early next week, thanks to that combination of the upper-level storm in the Great Lakes and that big Greenland high.

Here is a look at Tuesday afternoon’s temperatures with respect to average up at 5,000 feet or so. You can clearly see the colder air mass on top of the area. We’re sort of on the western side of this air mass, but it will still be chilly. Possibly frosty/freezing in the morning too.

That air mass though will move away quickly and we moderate nicely afterwards.

Very typical really of October weather locally.

So far through, yesterday we are 50th in terms of average temperatures through the first 11 days of the month. We have roughly 135 years of records. So up there, but not crazy up there.

Here’s an interesting tidbit about the accuracy of the Old Farmers Almanac I just saw.

And on this date, still a record holder after all these years.

Tropical Storm Karl developed yesterday. Sort of an offspring to Julia that moved through Venezuela and Nicaragua. It sort of split up into two pieces and one of them developed into Karl.

It will move south into southern Mexico by the weekend. Heavy rains are the main issue there.

Karl is the 11th-named storm of the season.

That’s it for today. One of these days I want to dive in to the third year of La Nina. It’s been getting stronger these last couple of months too. Interesting.

The feature photo is from Kym Whitney Lane out in Saline County.

Joe