Joe’s Weather World: 5″ of rain already (for some)…more coming (THU-7/30)

Weather

So yesterday was sort of a walk on the wild side. Heavy rain…sunshine…flooding…a rogue tornado around Smithville…just a weird day for late July in a rather unique for the time of the year weather pattern.

The tornado in Smithville occurred with thunderstorms that originated south of the Metro and moved northwards. I was driving into work early in the afternoon, concerned about the flooding risk more than anything…and I noticed the very low clouds that were moving in. It was indicative of the moisture in the atmosphere but the sky looked a bit different to me.

I needed to stop and get gas but had enough to get to work and I decided to just head into work “just in case” something weird was happening. There was a weak boundary on the north side from the morning rains too. Sure enough the same cell that I was watching with the weird low clouds on the south side went almost due north and was the cell that created the brief tornado (it was so weak I’m not even sure if you were in the tornado you’d know you were in a tornado).

Then during the late afternoon and evening the expected flooding took over in the usual spots in the Metro. Some areas got close to 5″ of rain yesterday and in Pleasant Hill they had 4.5″ of rain in 3 hours during the evening.

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Forecast:

Today: Cloudy with showers this morning then another chance of heavier downpours this afternoon and evening. Some areas may see an additional 2″ of rain…maybe more. Hopefully not in the areas that had the 5″ of rain. Highs well into the 70s.

Tonight: Rain and storms possible, winding down towards morning. Lows near 70°

Tomorrow: Gradual clearing and a bit more pleasant with highs near 80°

The weekend: Overall OK but there may be some storms/showers later Saturday or Sunday morning. The air will also be drying out allowing the lows to drop into the 60s and highs to remain in the more pleasant 80-85° range.

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Discussion:

So let’s start with this…

Yesterday we broke the daily July 29th record for the most rain in KC with 1.88″. The record was 1.80″ set back in 1894. I’m always fascinated about how we can break one of the oldest records in the books for KC.

With the overnight light rain (.06″ through 7AM) we’re now up to 9.54″ for the month. This is the wettest July since 1993 (many remember that year well). It’s also now in the Top 10 for all of previous July months.

So how far up will we go today and tonight as we head towards the last day of the month? It’s possible we finish in the Top 5!

This was all pretty expected really…an atmosphere loaded with moisture…slow moving areas of rain…and boom…flat out downpours.

What was a surprise to a large extent was the weak tornado…and it was weak near the Smithville area yesterday. In looking at some of the various videos…it was there but man it was really not rotating too much. I don’t think there was even much tree limb damage to it. I tried to speed up the video by a factor of 3 to see if it would enhance the rotation and it didn’t do much…then I went to a factor of 6 and it wasn’t impressive at all. I was going to do a compare and contrast thing but I dropped the idea because it was so negligible but it certainly added some stress to the folks lives up there for about 30 minutes or so.

So there’s that…

Today there is more rain ahead…let’s start with radar.

As we start the day there is rain on the northside (sound familiar?) This will gradually expand through the region later today and tonight. Again locally heavy downpours will be possible in some of the cells, especially later today and tonight.

Rain amounts per doppler already have been excessive.

You can see that heavy bullseye in northern Cass Co near the Pleasant Hill radar site.

Here are some other totals over the past couple of days…

We would’ve probably been OK with all of this BUT when you get 2-4″ of rain in 2-3 hours time you typically get flooding in this part of the country.

Again my hope is that by daybreak tomorrow this all shifts south and weakens considerably as it does so.

The other subject is the unusual temperatures for this time of the year. A pretty decent stretch of below average temperatures will continue for the foreseeable future. Highs in the 80-85° range (some models are even cooler) and lows in the 60s…are likely for some time into next week. There may be some 50s as well early next week! That means drier air too!

Not bad to start the month of August! I’m hesitate to go in the 70s for highs assuming a lot of sunshine in early August…but the data says it’s possible and that would be wonderful.

It’s getting much harder now to see how we get a path to heating up to 100° this summer. All the moisture, a cooler week next week and perhaps for the next 2 weeks

After the storms from yesterday we had some great rainbows around the area…including this one from Kyle LaMar‎ down towards Ottawa, KS

Joe

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