Joe’s Weather Blog: Monster hail storms + watching for more rain (THU-4/29)

Weather

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Good morning. It was an interesting day yesterday with storms and flooding rains locally, then watching massive thunderstorms in the southern Plains and Texas last night produce hugely destructive hail.

It’s likely last night’s storms down south will produce 100s of millions of dollars in damage and perhaps even more than that. It will be a weather disaster that won’t get the coverage of other weather disasters. The hail was the size of softballs and crashing through roofs of homes as it fell. Several major cities were being hit at about the same time, including San Antonio and Fort Worth in Texas and Norman, Oklahoma. A bad night for insurance down there.

For us we saw rain amounts varying between about 1/3″ to over 4″ in Cass County. When it rained, it came down hard and fast (almost 2 inches in an hour’s time), and that led to street flooding before things drained off.

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Forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny, breezy and mild with highs well into the 70s.

Tonight: Clear and cool with lows in the upper 40s.

Tomorrow: Wonderful with lighter winds and highs in the upper 70s.

The weekend: Saturday will be windy and warm with highs in the 80s and Sunday will feature increasing clouds and a chance of showers later in the day or at night. Highs into the 70s.

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Discussion:

First the rain totals from yesterday:

Areas farther south though saw more:

Then there was the issue of the massive hailstorms last night. There were three big supercells and San Antonio, Fort Worth in Texas and Norman, Oklahoma amongst other communities were hit hard.

Between the roofs, windows and cars alone, this is going to be an extremely expensive series of storms.

Interestingly, the biggest hail storm in terms of dollars of damage occurred in Phoenix of all places. Over $3 BILLION from a storm back in 2010. A lot of golf ball-sized stones from that one.

From last night though, just in the Fort Worth, Texas area:

The square miles (133) affected by the golf ball or larger hail stones is immense, 44,000 households. About 18,000 homes may have had impacts in the Norman, Oklahoma area.

Interesting data and no doubt the roofers are heading down there as well as the insurance adjusters.

Expect more on this in the news today and tomorrow perhaps.

As the cities grow in size and population the damage increases, and you can see the parallels to Kansas City.

Back to Kansas City… the next issue for us is Sunday into next week. An upper-level system spinning around in Texas will come out at some point later in the weekend and early next week. How and where it comes out will impact our rain chances on Sunday.

You can see it down there spinning around near El Paso, Texas.

Now let’s go up to about 18,000 feet and track the storm.

Note how it comes out. IF it goes a bit farther south, we wont get the rain from it. It too will stay south. As is, we’re really on the far northern side of this.

There is another storm coming in on Tuesday it appears. So rain chances will remain, but perhaps be lower on Monday, then increase again on Tuesday. A cold front will come in before Tuesday, placing the region, I think, in the cooler air. Assuming that happens, we’ll dodge another severe weather risk to start off the month of May.

As a matter of fact, instability overall looks to be more on the meager side into the middle of next week or so before increasing again heading into next weekend.

Now the timing of the Tuesday system and the front coming in beforehand could affect this. And just because we have the unstable air next weekend doesn’t mean we’ll have a trigger for anything.

The feature photo today is from Ben down in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

Joe

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