Joe’s Weather Blog: Switching back to storm mode next week (WED-4/21)

Weather

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A bright but chilly start to our Wednesday as the snow from yesterday is gone… boy did it disappear quickly yesterday. If you slept in yesterday morning and woke up around 1 p.m. or so, you wouldn’t have known it snowed at all. More on the snow down the road.

We’re starting with temperatures in the lower 30s. No records today and no records tomorrow either. We had some clouds around last night and there was a bit of a southwest wind as well helping to keep temperatures from free-falling. Some did though, especially northeast of the Metro where readings tanked into the 20s.

The focus starting this weekend will be on a warming trend, and that will bring temperatures above average heading into early next week. With the warm comes moisture, and with all of that a pretty strong disturbance will trigger big storms and potentially some severe weather threats depending on the timing of the storms later Tuesday.

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Forecast:

Today: Sunny this morning then turning variably cloudy this afternoon. Highs still well below average with readings near 50. Breezy as well with gusts to 20-25 mph.

Tonight: Another freeze warning is in effect with lows dropping to near 30 degrees with light winds. Mostly clear skies.

Tomorrow: Increasing clouds with showers possible towards evening. Highs in the 50s.

Friday: Rain likely with highs in the 50s.

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Discussion:

Let’s start with this…we had a warm start to April, but the chilly weather lately has sent our average monthly temperature down to below average. This will be the ninth-straight day with below-average temperatures and tomorrow and Friday will add a couple of more to that.

Averages now are around 67°/46°.

We’ll get there, but not until the weekend.

Then there’s this. Yesterday we had 3 1/2 inches of snow at KCI. It was our biggest one-day snow up at KCI this entire winter/spring, and brought our total up to 15 1/2 inches of snow, 1 inch away from Garry and mine’s prediction heading into the winter!

We started on Oct. 26 with .9 inches of snow and finished (we hope) on April 20 with 3 1/2 inches of snow… over 175 days between events.

The high April sun angle and the temperatures in the mid 40s did quick work on the snow for sure and it was all gone by early afternoon mostly.

Over the next 48 hours, the chilly air will remain in place. Temperatures above us are running 25-30 degrees below average. This next chart shows this, except in Celsius and not Fahrenheit.

Notice how by Monday things really switch around:

Now we switch to more or less 8-12°C above average up at 5,000 feet… which would be about 15-20+°F above average °F.

We should see highs soar to near 80 or even higher.

As we start all this transitioning, and as a series of disturbances come towards the area, moisture will begin to increase. From the clouds, some light showers may develop later tomorrow or tomorrow evening. Then better rain chances arrive on Friday, especially later in the morning and into Friday night.

Hopefully we’ll be in the 50s for that rain though.

Humidity levels will drop off over the weekend as the dew points drop off. But in time on Monday, the dew points will be on the increase as Gulf moisture starts streaming back northwards. You can see that as the dew points head back to the 50s and perhaps 60s by Tuesday.

Notice how the dew points really go up in the following animation from Sunday morning through Wednesday morning:

All that warmth and moisture though won’t be able to do us much without a trigger and for one of the 1st times this spring there is going to be a stout system coming into the Plains on Tuesday.

You can clearly see this as we go up to about 18,000 feet or so, or what we refer to as the 500 millibar level.

That is a dynamic storm… and dynamic storms create active weather. As all this unfolds, the instability will be increasing in the central and southern Plains.

Now granted this will change, but you get the idea. This would be for late Tuesday:

Maximized instability in southern Kansas and Oklahoma. That would be a severe weather outbreak down there with all modes of severe weather possible including tornadoes. The whole line would then move towards the northeast and north-northeast very quickly and potentially affect us later that evening, likely before midnight Wednesday based on this timing.

You can see, as I go back to the dew points, a rather substantial dry line setup down in the southern Plains as well:

So not surprising the Storm Prediction Center has issued an outlook favorable for severe storms to develop Tuesday into early Wednesday.

Our main threats would likely be stronger winds and maybe some hail by the time the storms got to us.

Again, this may change and likely will, but it’s an opening salvo in a more active weather pattern early next week. It should be our first real severe weather opportunity since mid March.

The feature photo is from Jackie Harp Sedlock up in Leavenworth, Kansas, a pretty impressive 10 hours!

Joe

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