Joe’s Weather Blog: Risk of stronger storms for some today (TUE-3/23)

Weather

A bit of rain overnight with a few more waves coming through today. It certainly won’t rain all day and there is actually some nice sunshine farther east on the Missouri side as I start this blog.

The storm risks are there this afternoon from around lunch (and it will be quick) through mid-to-late afternoon towards northern Missouri. Storms on the Missouri side may be stronger and areas towards the northeast of the Metro may be a bit more vulnerable to stronger storms that could have some small hail and perhaps be able to create some funnel clouds or even a brief tornado.

As I mentioned yesterday this is sort of similar to the situation last Monday, except things are shifted about 100-plus miles towards the east-northeast of where they were last Monday. For KC, while the risk of additional rains are high today, there will be intervals of dryness.

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Forecast:

Today: Cloudy skies with scattered fast-moving showers and perhaps a brief window for storms developing near lunch. Highs well into the 50s with blustery winds developing and falling temperatures this afternoon as cooler air comes up from the southwest.

Tonight: Generally cloudy and breezy with lows down into the 40s.

Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy and cool with highs in the 50s. There may be some overnight showers into early Thursday.

Thursday: Variable clouds and seasonable with highs well into the 50s.

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Discussion:

A surface storm has set-up in the middle of the country.

It’s a slow moving storm that will be lifting towards the north-northeast during the day today. You can see the circulation on the regional map.

9:30 am map

This storm has drawn in somewhat milder air…and there is sunshine on the MO side as you can clearly see.

On the Kansas side, what sunshine there is will be fleeting because there is some additional rains coming up from the south.

The SPC has placed areas from the northeast side of the Metro through central and northern Missouri under a “marginal” risk of stronger storms.

With this marginal risk, and because the atmosphere will be somewhat prone to get some low-level spinning motion today with storms at the same time, the combination could create what we refer to as “low-topped” supercells. They’re sort of the siblings of the bigger supercell storms that we see later in the spring but they aren’t as tall, typically below 25,000 feet compared to 45-55,000 feet for the deeper in spring versions.

Regardless though there will be this tendency for rotating storms. My thoughts are that this tendency might be a bit more amplified towards the east and northeast of KC where storms may be a bit more vigorous in the higher instability. Basically where the sun is out this morning.

As the surface storms lifts towards the northeast, another brief hitting shot of rain and storms is possible in the region near lunch.

After that, the cooler air from the southwest will rotate around the surface storm and start dropping our temperatures. The severe threat will be over.

Notice how the temperatures drop off.

By the way, for timing purposes: 18Z is 1 p.m., 21Z is 4 p.m., and 00Z is 7 p.m. and so on.

We we sort of max out around lunch and drop shortly thereafter.

For areas more towards 65 Highway and northwards and up the I-35 corridor, the storms that do form and move into that environment may be a bit more able to show some rotation. Those will be watched because while the setup isn’t overly high, it’s not zero either. So let’s pay attention to north-central and central Missouri today especially. Funnel clouds and perhaps even a brief, short-lived tornado, aren’t being ruled out.

Another shot of some light rain is possible tomorrow night into daybreak Thursday and there is a small chance on Friday as well.

Busy day… short blog.

The feature photo comes from Austin Hamilton up towards Chariton, Iowa.

“Union Pacific freight train south of Chariton IA”

Joe

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