Joe’s Weather Blog: Exchanging one wet pattern for another (MON-5/24)


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Well we salvaged most of Sunday after a dreary Saturday, and we’re starting to see the changes in the upper air flow that has persistently given us off-and-on rain now for almost 10 days. If it rains today up at KCI, it will be 10 straight days of rain officially in Kansas City. That would tie records set back in 1903 and 1914.

The key is it has to be KCI because that’s currently the “official” reporting station, and with the scattered nature of what may happen today, that is not a lock, but is possible. It only takes 1/100 inch of moisture to verify.

Odds do favor rains coming over the next few days. Tomorrow and Thursday look promising.

It’s also time to start paying attention to severe weather setups and the potential of us seeing some stronger storms locally. We’ll see how each days’ setup evolves, because what happens one day could influence another day.

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Today: Variable clouds with some scattered afternoon showers and storms in the area. Random in nature it appears. Warm and humid with highs in the lower 80s.

Tonight: Fair skies and mild with lows in the mid-to-upper 60s.

Tomorrow: Sort of like today but there may be a few stronger storms later in the evening and overnight. Those storms will need to be watched for stronger potential. Highs near 80°.

Wednesday: Depending on the later night storms on Tuesday and where they form and move, we actually could have a pretty nice day. Highs in the 80° range.



So the persistent eastern high and western low in the upper levels of the atmosphere have broken down to a large extent. The eastern U.S. high is sort of in control of the flow right now in the central U.S., but it’s still a moist flow of air coming up from the south at the surface and aloft.

I posted an image like this on my Facebook page on Saturday. Here is an updated image… it more or less shows the flow of air around the USA.

We’re still more or less in a flow of air from the deep south and the Gulf of Mexico. So the moisture will continue to be present for a while. The eastern U.S. is hot and dry with some significant dry spells continuing for that part of the country. Here is a look at yesterday’s highs.

A few 90s in red mixed in.

The southerly flow aloft is going to make a shift more towards a southwesterly flow aloft. This doesn’t really mean a lot in terms of of rain situation because that type of “new” flow is still a flow that allows disturbances to come across the Plains. It’s just sort of a more typical late-May flow of the atmosphere I would say.

This does a few things for us. Again we’re in the wettest time of the year, so it won’t take much to create more areas of rain. The atmosphere really doesn’t care that we have nine or 10 days in a row with rain. It more or less cares about the flow of disturbances during this time of the year. And with the week coming, the flow is one that would give us more rain at times.

As we take a look at the total rain for the week ending Saturday evening… it’s generous. Ignore the GFS forecast of a min along the I-70 corridor. Take a look at a couple of models using the slider bar feature.

The models are also trying to resolve the delicate nature of overnight storm complexes, which is tough to do at this point, but there are signals for them later in the week.

As far as the severe weather risks go, there will be some setups developing in the Plains. How exactly we’re affected by the day-to-day setups, we’ll see. There aren’t any classic setups at this point, although there are more pathways this week compared to any week we’ve seen so far this spring around here in a spring devoid of severe weather risks locally.

There should be some sort of mesoscale convective complex developing later Wednesday in the Plains. That would have a tendency to come towards the region sometime later Wednesday night or Thursday morning. That could have potentially stronger winds with it.

Then depending on where that MCS fades away could influence the storm scenario later Thursday afternoon. We’ll also have to see if we can rebuild the instability around here as well. If we have a rainy Thursday, that would reduce any severe weather prospects locally because we won’t be able to build up the instability.

So there are ifs and/or buts to the severe weather picture locally. The higher risks tomorrow are probably aligned more towards northern Missouri and northwards. The higher risks on Wednesday night are somewhat more towards central and northeast Kansas. Then there could be a chance on Friday too somewhere out there.

This will probably change over the coming days though and it’s worth paying attention to the day-to-day forecast changes as one thing influences another thing.

There has been more severe weather though out west, towards Colorado especially. This is from the other day.

Oh finally… you’re probably going to be hearing about this sooner rather than later.

Oh, but Wednesday morning there is a lunar eclipse that we should see (clouds permitting). The problem is that the eclipse is maxed out as the sun is rising, so you may want to check it out earlier rather than later.

Not sure how things will look with the rising sun on the eastern horizon but there might be a sweet spot in there between 5:15 and 5:45 a.m. or so to look at it. The moon will appear reddish. Again, if we have clear skies.

That’s it for today… the feature photo is from Roberta Mueller down in Lee’s Summit.


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