Joe’s Weather Blog: We’ll salvage Saturday but watching Saturday night (THU-5/7)

Weather

KANSAS CITY, Mo — It’s a beautiful start to the day in the region with cool temperatures starting in the 40s, but we’re already into the 50s and things are warming up quickly. Clouds will start to increase rapidly this afternoon and it may be pretty gray this afternoon.

The weekend is sort of split: not terrible tomorrow and not great on Sunday. The highest rain chance is later tonight and again later Saturday night into Sunday midday or so. Some locally heavy rains are possible, with a questionable risk of severe storms locally at least.

Let’s get to it!

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Forecast:

Today: Increasing afternoon clouds and seasonable with highs approaching 70°.

Tonight: Clouds with scattered showers and perhaps a few rumbles of thunder. Lows in the 50s.

Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy but generally dry. Highs in the 70s. Windy with gusts to 25 mph.

Tomorrow night: Storms likely after 9-11 p.m. Fast moving and perhaps some brief wind gusts and some small hail. There may be a few warnings with these. Lows in the 40s.

Sunday: Rain winds down in the morning then variable clouds and blustery. Highs only in the mid 50s or so.

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Discussion:

The main issue to the forecast is tomorrow night. So far as I’ve written so much about, we’ve avoided the severe weather for much of the season. It’s been almost two months since the tornado in southern Johnson County, Kansas.

This setup isn’t the greatest locally either. The storms that form out towards central Kansas will be moving towards the east and east-southeast. How much of the worst of those storms we get into remains to be seen. What shape those storms will be in by the time they get to us later in the night remains to be seen as well.

That time frame though. Later Saturday night into Sunday AM is the most favored time for us to get rain around here over the weekend.

Tomorrow itself isn’t bad actually and a farther north trend of a warm front places the Kansas City Metro sort of in the dividing line. Model data swings wildly from the 80s to the 60s for late afternoon temperatures, but all agree that south of I-70 it will be warmer.

I’ve sort of split the difference around 70° for the north side, with warmer temperatures on the south side. Not only will the air be milder at the surface but it will be warmer aloft. That is the cap that will be prevalent for most of the day and evening. That should prevent much rain and storms from affecting the region until whatever comes into the area later that night.

That “whatever” is going to come together later tomorrow in central Kansas and march towards eastern Kansas.

Take a look at the regional model temperatures…

4 p.m Saturday, May 8

By 7 p.m. (and earlier), there are storms firing in north central Kansas.

7 p.m. Saturday May 8 forecast radar

Those storms will likely be severe with all modes of severe weather possible including tornadoes.

The tornado risk is there… not overwhelming but there.

The storm will move eastwards and then southeastwards. We’ll see how much we get into this. If we’re warmer, we could get more into the stronger storms. If not as warm, most of the strongest activity may remain southwest/west of the Metro. So it’s something to pay attention to for more updates especially tomorrow evening.

Here is the morning run of the HRRR. It’s got our temperatures into the 80s tomorrow. I’m not sure I buy this hook line and sinker because it’s got the warm front much farther north. For timing, this starts at 4 p.m. (21Z) and goes into Sunday morning. 0Z is 7 p.m., 3Z is 10 p.m. and 6Z is 1 a.m.

By the time the storms get to us, odds favor wind issues as the main threat. If there is a solid squall line (and considering the time of the night as the low level jet increases), there is a chance of some of the “tornado on the leading edge” type events. Small and typically short lived, that chance may develop because the winds above us towards 1 a.m. will be cranking at close to 65 mph. So there will be a lot of low-level shear developing after sunset, especially on the Missouri side later in the evening.

So again, that is another thought running through my head for later tomorrow night. It just depends on how well a line forms and how it holds together coming towards us.

There may be some leftover rains on Sunday AM, but we should be on an improving but chilly note for the afternoon.

Next week looks cool for a while before we start moderating towards the end of the week. At this point, no severe weather is expected next week. Things may get a bit more active again on the week of the 17th in the Plains at least.

There will be an updated blog tomorrow morning sometime.

Our feature photo comes from Craig Williams out in Lexington, Missouri. Pretty sunset!

Joe

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