Joe’s Weather Blog: Not bad today…not great tonight…chilly for Mom! (SAT-5/8)

Weather

After the expected overnight rain for some areas…skies are actually bright and sunny as I start this short blog. Winds have been increasing as we await a warm front to pass through the area. This will allow temperatures to warm up to near 80° today…a far cry from where I thought we’d be a few days ago.

The main issue for the forecast hasn’t changed…storms later tonight and the strength of those storms. I feel confident in the storms…and the chill coming tomorrow. For as warm as today will be…it will feel that much cooler tomorrow, especially with a cold north wind making it feel chilly by May standards.

Next week will be OK…but cool into Wednesday before we moderate by the end of next week.

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Forecast:

Today: Partly cloudy, windy and warmer. You’ll also start to notice the dew points creeping up as well as the day moves along. We will remain dry through mid evening. Highs 75-80°

Tonight: Storms arrive after 10PM or so in the Metro, perhaps a bit later. The storms may contain some small hail and gusty winds. There is a small risk of a tornado, especially on the MO side overnight. Lows dropping to the upper 40s by daybreak

Tomorrow: Variable clouds and chilly with highs in the low to mid 50s with a cold north wind for the day.

Monday: Variable clouds with cool temperatures. Highs 60-65°

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Discussion:

Brief 12PM update…the SPC has increased our severe weather risk by one category…to a level 3 out of 5. High winds are the main threat but again the risk of a tornado tonight, especially on the MO side is not out of the question as detailed below.

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I don’t have a lot of changes to the thoughts from the blog yesterday really. I am surprised this morning by the bright sunshine…typically ahead of a warm front we should have a low gray overcast with some spotty mist or drizzle. Clearing at 9:30 this morning that is not the case.

The warm front is still well south of here but will zoom northwards this morning into the afternoon.

The 60 and 70° dew point air is still down in TX…but at least some near 60° air should get here towards the evening.

Out west a developing area of low pressure will help to draw up this moisture and by this evening a sharp dry line will have developed in SW KS and western OK. Look at the forecast dew points out there at 7PM tonight. See the sharp drop off? That’s the dry line in SW KS

The surface storm by then will be out there and with a breaking cap (warm air aloft suppressing convection) we should see rapid storm development before sunset out there.

Forecast radar off the HRRR shows this…the storms then congeal into a complex and move towards our area. We’ll see how they maintain their strength as they approach the region.

Severe weather locally isn’t a slam dunk. The storms may show some signs of weakening as they fight with each other for limited instability coming eastbound tonight. There should though be enough instability after this afternoon and with a strengthening low level jet stream to at least maintain a strong gusty wind threat. The hail threat of anything above quarter sized is lower I think.

As far as the risk of tornadoes goes…it’s not 0.

My concern regarding that is more on the MO side…and for after 12AM or so as the storms come through. Take a look at the forecasted winds just above the surface by a few thousand feet.

Those are 50-60 MPH winds coming up from the south into western MO. That’s a lot of wind speed sheer. Forecast soundings in the atmosphere do show the characteristics of rotating storms and potential tornadoes and there is a LOT of what we refer to as storm relative helicity out there.

SRH is storm relative helicity which is a measure of the amount of wind shear available from the ground upwards to a particular level…in this case less than 3/4 mile up

That’s a lot of potential spin in the atmosphere if a storm can work with that.

We’ll see but it’s worth paying attention to for the potential of nocturnal spin-ups. These are typically brief and rapid forming. Not too uncommon for these situations. Again check in with Garry tonight for more updates. Overall the risk is very low but again…it’s not 0.

After all this moves away overnight into early Sunday…chillier air will dump into the region from the north and that chilly air (by May standards) will stay into Thursday morning,

Have a great rest of the weekend…the feature photo today comes from Linda Laird Blackman out in Oak Grove.

Joe

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