Joe’s Weather Blog: Shifting severe weather risk Saturday with a cool pattern (THU-5/6)

Weather

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A beautiful morning out there with abundant sunshine. Clouds may roll through parts of the area before lunch and then clear out thanks to a cold front and another batch of moisture streaming through the area.

We had some rain in the area overnight, mainly under 1/10″ in Johnson County, Kansas. There were a few areas that had a couple of hundredths of an inch, but not too much. The focus for the weekend is on the rain chances, with Saturday night and Sunday now appearing to be the heaviest rains from the setup as it presents itself.

The risk of severe weather may be shifting father to the southwest of the area, more towards central Kansas and southwards. But it is something to watch in case the warm front in question shifts farther north.

Another thing that is readily apparent though when looking at the overall data for the next 5-10 days: Temperatures that will be running below average for highs at least almost every day into next week. Assuming we don’t get severe weather locally this weekend, I don’t see any great setups for severe weather for quite some time at this point.

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Forecast:

Today: Partly cloudy this morning then becoming sunny. Cool, but not too bad with highs around 65°.

Tonight: Fair skies and cool with lows in the 40s.

Tomorrow: Increasing afternoon clouds with highs well into the 60s.

Saturday: Some morning storms/rain possible, then drizzle and clouds for most of the day. Highs in the low-to-mid 60s.

Sunday: Rain early and perhaps locally heavy rains too. Things may improve later in the day. Raw and chilly though with highs in the afternoon only in the 55° range.

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Discussion:

So our weather is going to be interesting to track into the weekend. Here it is, early May (and I know that I keep bringing this up) and don’t get me wrong, if we don’t see severe weather this Spring (or much of it) I’m absolutely fine by that. I get more into the snow forecasting than severe weather coverage and the issues in trying to deal with that.

It is though sort of strange though. And for the most part, the data today suggests that the higher severe weather risk over the weekend may remain more towards the south and southwest of the Kansas City area, as mentioned towards central and southern Kansas.

The SPC has outlined this area:

You can see how it nudges up into areas southwest of Downtown. We’ll see about that in the end. The better chances at this point appear to be in Kansas towards and southwest of Emporia to Wichita and from Salina southwards.

Hail and wind appear to be the main threats with this.

The warm front in question appears to be setting up towards the south of I-70 on Saturday. There are still some questions about where exactly it sets up in relation to the Metro. South of the front it should be in the 70s, while north of the front it should be in the 50s to near 60°. It’s possible this gradient in temperatures sets up near the north side of Kansas City, or close to I-70, meaning we may have a gradient in the Metro for temperatures.

What will allow the front to drift perhaps a bit farther north would be if we don’t get much rain overnight Friday into Saturday morning. That will tend to lessen the strength of the rain-cooled air pocket in the area and allow the front to drift more northwards.

If that were to happen then we may be setting up for perhaps some bigger rain chances on Saturday night, and perhaps some stronger storms too.

Basically there are still some things that need to be worked through. I don’t feel confident enough at this point to tell you to cancel all your weekend plans, although it appears Sunday morning could be more problematic than Saturday afternoon.

If the warm front stays more towards the south of here, I don’t see how we don’t have a low gray overcast with drizzly lighter rains in the area through most of Saturday.

In terms of instability, the better values still appear to be farther towards the west of the region and southwest too.

Note the differences between the GFS and the EURO. Use the slider to go side to side. GFS to the right and EURO to the left.

You can sort of get an idea and the reason why at this point the SPC has the slight risk where its got it.

In terms of thunderstorms, the EURO at least has an interesting product called instantaneous flash rates that show the lightning potential. Here is the playout starting Friday evening.

We struggle on that model to really get into anything. Higher chances of storms are on the southwest side of the area on Friday night. Then on Saturday night, the better chances are towards the west of here that drop southeastwards.

This well may change however.

The rain scenario is perhaps the more consistent part of this forecast. It won’t rain all weekend, but the totals may well be in the 1/2″ to 2″+ range.

Here are four model outputs: the Canadian, the ICON, the GFS and finally the EURO.

The reason for the differences is in the model’s placement of these various features, so again broadside forecast is probably the best route to go right now.

My gut tells me right now that this is probably a 1/2″ to 1 1/2″ event for most of the Metro, with several waves of potentially heavy rains with lulls in the waves in between.

Finally next week, overall cool and this is interesting:

EURO temperature trends for most of next week. That is some cool air by 1st half of May standards

However heading into next weekend, there should be recovery.

If we’re going to have to worry about more severe weather it may well end up being towards the back half of the month (at least).

The feature photo for today is from Stan out towards one of my favorite golf courses, Shadow Glen. We had a nice sunset on Cinco de Mayo!

Joe

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