Joe’s Weather Blog: Storms Likely/Hail Possible

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Good morning: An active next two days are heading to the area…which is interesting since temperatures have again dropped from 80° yesterday into the 20s this morning…severe weather will be possible in the storms later tonight into tomorrow.

Today: Brief sunshine this morning will be followed by a fast increase in the clouds. The cold start combined with light winds and the clouds will keep temperatures some 25-30° cooler than yesterday with highs in the 50-55° range later today. In the afternoon there may be some scattered showers south of KC (after 2PM). The area that may see some rain is closer to the Lakes region…from Sedalia-Warrensburg-Pleasanton-Butler and southwards.

Tonight: T/storms become likely with a 100% chance arriving after midnight into morning tomorrow. Some heavy rain is possible (in excess of 1″ in spots). Hail to near golf ball sized is possible in some of the cells. Odds favor a Severe Thunderstorm Watch will be issued sometime overnight tonight. Best chance of rain will be south of the 36 highway corridor through the KC area and southwards. Lows drop into the 40s.

Wednesday: Highest rain chances are during the morning hours and again later Wednesday night. Severe weather chances may return again later Wednesday night. The rain in the AM winds down and we have more of a lighter rain/showers in the PM. Temperatures will struggle and my feeling continues that the rain cooled air will push and or keep the warm front to the south of KC for the day. That means our temperatures will struggle with highs near 50-55°. Temperatures may rise into Wednesday night and Thursday. Highs farther south of KC from Sedalia-Butler-Garnett may be in the 60s/70s while N MO towards the IA border are closer to 45°!


Needless to say it’s going to be rather interesting to track the various weather events around here over the next couple of days. Strong thunderstorms and wildly varying temperatures along with the potential for some heavy rain will be in the forecast and at least tomorrow, what happens in the AM may influence who has the risk of heavier rains later in the PM along with severe weather concerns.

The front that came through yesterday has pushed through the region and has replaced the warmer air from yesterday with a cooler airmass. Here is the 8AM surface map showing the front stalling to the south of the region. South of the front dewpoints are in the 50s. dewpoints are indicated in the GREEN numbers on the map below.


Later today the winds above the surface will switch towards the south and start to increase overnight. This is what we call the low level jetstream. While at the surface there will be little change to the moisture…aloft these strong south winds will bring up a lot of moisture from the Gulf Of Mexico. These winds will run up and over the surface boundary creating lift and eventually thunderstorms should form. It should be a deal where at one time you look at radar and there is little to nothing going on then 1 hour later storms are erupting. Take a look at the forecasted winds at the 850 mb level or about 5000′ up…this is from the RAP model…one of our short-range models…


Notice how the winds towards OK and S KS are 40-50 knots (45-55 MPH). This map is valid at around 12AM tomorrow morning. These winds will impinge on the surface frontal boundary and allow storms to form to the north of the front. The best timing would be in the wee hours of tomorrow morning for this to occur around KC.

The storms should grow larger and more widespread. As they grow above 10,000′ they clouds will grow above the freezing level of the air above us…that means that not only will the clouds have rain in them…but also hail will have the opportunity of forming. This appears to be the highest risk of severe weather although some brief gusty winds from the storms will be possible as well. The SPC has placed us in a slight risk of severe weather.

ScreenHunter_05 Apr. 01 08.23

As the rain falls into a cool to start with airmass…temperatures should really struggle tomorrow, especially during the 1st part of the day. Depending on how long the rain (lighter) lasts into the afternoon…it should force the warm front to become more established to the south of KC. This means we stay on the cool side of the front for most of the day and I think the EURO model has the idea for highs through 7PM tomorrow…notice the contrast from north to south…and also remember that should the front waver farther north…we would have a better chance of seeing milder air into the metro and as is the south side of the KC area may get into that milder air as well…while farther north of I-70 towards KCI (which is the official station for KC) it’s cool…and that’s what I’m banking on.


The same process will again happen tomorrow night into Thursday but notice in the same 5000′ wind map below how it’s different than the one above…the angle of the winds at that level are different and seem more pointed towards the east of here…


I would expect additional storms to develop but I’m not sure where they will develop Wednesday night into THU AM. What happens tomorrow will help to dictate the situation tomorrow night into THU AM. Again the risk of severe weather will be there again.

Then on Thursday, the atmosphere may be all jumbled up but like I mentioned yesterday we’ll watch the progress of the warm front that will be south of the I-70 corridor tomorrow. It should move north…then a surface low from the storm will move towards the area during the day. Where it sets up and how much instability we can realize in the afternoon Thursday will determine our severe weather risk on Thursday afternoon. We’ll deal with this tomorrow. Suffice it to say that the risk is there and needs to be monitored especially for the MO side.

I still expect a dry but initially blustery day on Friday with cold weather in the AM hours and below average temperatures in the PM with highs around 50-53° in the afternoon on Friday for the game.

Finally now that severe weather season has started…a lot of you have participated in the various NWS severe weather spotter training sessions that have been conducted by the NWS in Topeka and Pleasant Hill. That’s an excellent 1st step…and hopefully you want to learn more about severe storms. For that there is a fantastic 2nd step you have the option of taking…and that’s coming on 4/12 in Lawrence. It’s a seminar put together by the fine folks at the Douglas County Emergency Management.

That’s it for today…I may write an update this afternoon as the new data becomes available.




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