Joe’s Weather World: A battle again of warm air and chilly air (TUE-3/24)

Weather

The system that was creating the rain overnight across SE KS and SW MO is moving away from the KC region this morning…and with it goes most of the rain chances for the Metro. There may be a few patches this morning but the better rain chances are heading out into central and southern MO as I type this up.

The model data…is interesting. There is a battle going on, to some extent, in how warm it will be over the next few days. We know tomorrow will be considerably milder than today…the issue then is what happens Thursday and Friday, especially Friday because IF we’re warmer and if we have a cold front coming, which we do…there will be a risk of severe storms somewhere out there.

So that will need to be figured out…I do expect some cooler weather over the weekend but I’m somewhat hopeful that things won’t be too bad…we need to have a pretty nice weekend to perk things up around here as we finish off the month of March.

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Forecast:

Today: Cloudy skies with some thin spots in the afternoon. Highs into the mid 50s

Tonight: Cloudy skies with pretty steady temperatures in the mid>upper 40s

Tomorrow: There may be some areas of fog in the morning then partly cloudy and milder with highs approaching 70°

Thursday: A bit cooler I think. This will be dependent on a cold front and how far south it moves though the region before stalling. Let’s shoot for highs in the 60s. There may be a few light showers around…especially up north.

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Discussion:

Radar this morning shows the disturbance moving through central MO…

This was another big rain makers down towards the I-44 corridor.

Doppler radar rain estimates…1-2″ down there

Despite a severe thunderstorm watch down across southern KS and northern OK…very little severe weather was reported overnight. Some quarter-size hail…a bit of wind…but only a couple of reports at last check.

Today actually won’t be a terrible day…just a lot of clouds I think…maybe a few patches of drizzle or mist out there and again some slow to rise temperatures.

Again this moisture will be trapped in the region today and tonight it appears because of a light wind regime where the moisture is located…basically below 4 or 5,000 feet or so.

Don’t be surprised if we start tomorrow with this same trapped moisture. Hopefully we break it up though tomorrow because there will be more wind in that same layer…stirring the air up a bit more.

Then on Thursday a cold front will be drifting southbound and slowing to a crawl somewhere in western MO and eastern KS. This is the complicating part of the forecast, from a temperature standpoint.

Stalled fronts are cooler>colder north of the boundary and mild to warmer south of the boundary. Where the front stalls means parts of the area are chillier…while other parts are considerably warmer. Northern MO looks to be on the chiller side of things…areas down towards the southern MO area will remain on the warmer side of things. We’re talking about a 25-30° change from far northern MO to the I-44 corridor region…with KC in between.

That is a handful for forecasting. 50s can turn into 70s…70s can turn into 50s when forecasting day to day and where the front sets up will create havoc for forecasters. The other issue is what happens for those in the warmer air regarding storm chances.

First the front itself…here is the NAM model from last night…and you can sort of see a surface storm pass south of KC…this keeps the cooler air in place Thursday into Thursday night.

For timing 18Z is 1PM…21Z is 4PM…0Z is 7PM…3Z is 10PM…6Z is 1AM

This above shows the wind flow at the surface…note how the winds wrap into a fast moving surface low…this helps to tug the cooler air southbound towards I 44 on Thursday keeping us in the 50s for highs…especially on the northside.

Meanwhile other data including the EURO…the Canadian and the has the front somewhat farther north…and it’s an important delineation because IF that is true then we can be in the 70s on Thursday. The GFS ensembles are sort of in between…they have the front farther south but enough warming to take us well into the 60s.

So Thursday is a tough forecast temperature wise…I split the difference last night…essentially going around 60° or so…leaning cooler. We’ll see.

IF the front is farther south…then overnight Thursday a new low level jet should develop. Where the surface front is and where the low level jet is poking at it (like I described in yesterday’s blog) will determine 1) the risk of more rain in the morning especially on Friday and 2) whether we have to concern ourselves with the potential of severe weather in at least part of the region…again perhaps focused south of the Metro again.

So that will need to be figured out.

This then effects what happens on Friday…we could be very mild again…or we could be fighting off and on rain and remain on the cooler side as the front that passes south tried to retreat northbound. IF we’re milder (increasingly possible) then as another surface storm comes towards us…storms would be possible.

So there is a lot on the table here and much to be figured out…with the warmer scenario…stronger storms would be on the table for later Friday or Friday night…then again there is a way to miss out on that potential IF we get dry-slotted as a strong upper level wave lifts NW of the region…

So there are going to be changes to the forecast from day to day…I’ll try and keep them as consistent as possible but this is a heads up…expect 50s to 70s to 50s to 60s and rain to no rain to rain to no rain…

My feature photo comes from Kym Whitney Lane out in Saline Co, MO

Joe

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