It seems to me that the overall pattern still wants to be warm…but there are now stronger cold fronts starting to move through the Plains states and that means some set-backs and at times some stronger step backs in the temperatures. With that said a classic battle between much cooler weather and much warmer weather (perhaps records temperatures on both 1/3rds of the country) is setting up overall over the next 7-10 days. The west will be cool/cold…the east warm/hot for late September.
That means the Plains will waver perhaps…the weather may vary considerably from St Louis to Goodland KS. A drive of some 9 hours or so…and that means KC will be sort of in between things…and that has to mean rain at times…and also very changeable forecasts in the long range.
Today: Fog this morning in places which fades and then sunny skies with highs in the upper 70s
Tonight: Clear and cool with lows in the mid-upper 50s
Tuesday: Partly cloudy and milder with highs in the lower 80s
Wednesday: There may be some early AM storms…then partly cloudy with the chance of storms south of KC during the day (depending on a front) Highs in the upper 70s
Fall arrived at 2:50 this morning. That means that the sun spends about the same number of hours/minutes above the horizon as it does below. The sun is essentially in line with the equator and this is because of the tilt of the earth. Technically it also means that all places will get equal amounts of light/night…but it doesn’t work that way.
For example in KC our sunrise is 7:07 am and the sunset is 7:15 pm today…IF all things were equal we’d be 7:11 for both times.
The reason this happens is that the suns light also gets bent or refracted depending on the latitude of a location.
Now you know…
Astronomy aside…now here is some meteorology.
We continue to see a warm month of September. We’re 6.2° above average for the month and this week won’t hurt those numbers too much really. While it’s noteworthy that this morning dropped into the mid 50s…cooler in spots…that’s about the average low for this time of the year. The high today in the upper 70s is actually a couple of notches above average and highs this week may be above average every single day for the most part.
So right now at least…even our “cool” downs aren’t overly cool. That will change in time though although how KC is affected by this, especially next week, remains to be seen.
Here is just a sample of what I”m talking about…and the models will waffle on this type of set up…look at the highs for next Monday…and note the way things “look”.
That’s some cold air out west…cold enough for accumulating mountain snows too out there!
By the same token that’s some really warm air towards the eastern 1/2 of the country.
The reason…an abnormally strong dip in the jet stream across the western 1/3 rd of the US with a corresponding unusual and summer like ridge in the eastern part of the US. They typically go hand in hand. Part of the ying and yang of the weather really. As we go up to about 18,000 feet or so you can see the dip representing the colder air at that level and the reds representing the warmer air at that level.
IF that dip moves due east…we get a hit of colder weather in early October…BUT if the ridge back east holds strong…or even moves a bit towards the west…it will deflect the coldest air towards the NW of KC…and we stay mild overall.
That will be the set-up for next week and again a swing of 200-300 miles east or west can mean a big difference in the weather.
This week though will feature 2 cold fronts…one moving in Wednesday morning…the other Friday. The Friday front is more complicated because it gets through…stalls and may retreat northwards over the weekend. That could set us up for a return to warm and humid conditions when the front gets north of here…assuming it does. IF it stalls near the area…that could be an issue where rain is a problem this coming weekend again. This can’t be accurately forecast at this point but you can sort of see the potential set-up.
Couple of final notes…things are still going in the tropics…we’ve past the average peak of the season…but still we’ve got 2 named storms out there and one waiting in the wings.
Oh and where is the severe weather today…not in the Plains…but in AZ…this is unusual for an “enhanced” risk to be in AZ.
Hail/strong winds and flooding rains are most likely…although maybe even a somewhat rare tornado are possible as well.
There has already been flooding rains east of Phoenix this morning…so for the heck of it…here is the radar from there.
Our feature photo comes from Chris Heinrich of a “fogbow” that developed this morning with the rising sun. It was taken out east in Bates City
Here is a description from EarthSky…
“Fogbows – sometimes called white rainbows, cloudbows or ghost rainbows – are made much as rainbows are, from the same configuration of sunlight and moisture. Rainbows happen when the air is filled with raindrops, and you always see a rainbow in the direction opposite the sun. Fogbows are much the same, always opposite the sun, but fogbows are caused by the small droplets inside a fog or cloud rather than larger raindrops.
Look for fogbows in a thin fog when the sun is bright. You might see one when the sun breaks through a fog. Or watch for fogbows over the ocean.
Because the water droplets in fog are so small, fogbows have only weak colors or are colorless.”
No blog tomorrow…