Joe’s Weather Blog: Storm risks overnight (TUE-4/6)

Weather

Today is going to be very similar to the weather over the past couple of days with windy and warm conditions. As we enjoy a nice day, we’ll be watching areas in central Kansas for the potential of stronger storms to develop.

How those storms come together and where they move overnight will determine if we get some storms tonight. I’m not overly thrilled about our severe weather prospects locally at this point as I mentioned last night, but it’s worth paying attention too, especially west of the Metro.

Changeable weather will continue tomorrow and Thursday (which looks raw and chilly) before nicer weather settles back in for Friday.

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Forecast:

Today: Partly cloudy, windy and warm with highs near 80°. Winds gusting to around 35 mph. There may be some fading showers in northwest Missouri from a cluster of storms this morning in central Kansas. There are also some showers in southern Kansas City that may bring a few raindrops closer to the Metro this afternoon but they may weaken before getting here.

Tonight: Storm risks after midnight. Lows will remain mild with breezy conditions. Lower 60s.

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy with morning showers/storms. Some locally heavy rain potentially in some areas. Then we’ll see dropping temperatures in the afternoon from the 60s to the 50s with blustery conditions. The best chance of rain is in the morning and early afternoon. Blustery as well.

Thursday: Showers are likely with chilly raw conditions and highs only around 50°.

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Discussion:

So far our severe weather season locally hasn’t been too bad. This isn’t too unusual through early April. Only about eight tornadoes have been reported in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska so far.

I’m not convinced we’re going to add to that total for a while. There is a small chance later today or this evening towards central Kansas, but we’re still not getting great setups for rotating storms locally.

Tomorrow a small risk may exist towards northern and northeastern Missouri.

For us, the dry weather is slowly becoming a bit of a thing. As the soils get warmer and warmer and the vegetation comes out of dormancy, it’s going to put extra demands on the soil. We’re in good shape several inches down but the top soil, because of the increasing sun angle, the warm weather and the almost constant winds for the past five days, is really drying out and could use a recharge.

Hopefully for at least some areas that will come overnight. I won’t promise lots of rain though, especially for areas southeast of the the Metro. We’ll have to see how this comes together.

Strong south winds today will again send temperatures about 15° above average. Moisture is returning as dew points are now well into the 50s. There is a surge of lower clouds down south that should break up somewhat today as the strong winds mix the atmosphere up and that moisture comes northwards.

The issue we’ll have for most of the day is a pretty decent cap preventing storms from forming locally through most of the evening. Tonight that cap should weaken as storms in central and northern Kansas come together.

Those storms though will evolve into a cluster and move towards the east-northeast and northeast. So it will be something to be paying attention too and see how well they hold together as they come eastbound. By 11 p.m. tonight, these storms will be well west of the region.

The storms out there may be severe though, and hail and wind are the main threats. It’s a long ways away from here even then. The timing though isn’t the greatest for the storms to maintain severe levels as they come east-northeastwards.

The one thing though that I’m a bit leery about is IF they can maintain some semblance of strength, they will be coming into strong winds above us. What am I talking about?

Notice as we go up to about 5,000 feet or so, an area that we look for what is referred to as a low-level jet stream, the winds at that level are cranking: 50-60 knot winds or close to 55-65 mph winds are going to be strong.

So IF the storms can sort of maintain themselves, and IF they can tap into some of those stronger winds at that level, maybe there could be near-severe type wind gusts to 60 mph. A lot of ifs there in a time of the night when we see temperatures cooling at the surface compared to the daytime.

So there is that to watch, there is also some instability above us as well tomorrow morning. So there are things that will need to be monitored for stronger storms.

Then tomorrow there will be storms/rain in the morning before we get dry-slotted with sunshine and drier air in the afternoon. The storms tomorrow morning will move towards central and northern Missouri. Those too will need to be watched for severe risks but it’s by no means set in stone.

So a couple of opportunities over the next 36 hours but nothing too overwhelming at this point for Kansas City.

Then on Thursday the slow moving storm will be spinning around central Iowa and wrapping moisture and potentially rain around it and down through the region. This will bring us cool, breezy and rainy conditions into the region. This may turn into a raw, sort of ugly day depending on how this whole thing plays out.

It’ll be much better on Friday as the storm pulls away and warmer air returns for 24 hours. Another potent upper-air low will drop in on Friday night and early Saturday for another chance of rain, perhaps some small hail with this as well since the air aloft will be chilly.

Overall the weekend right now looks good.

The feature photo comes from Kelly Ann Burns.

Joe

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