Joe’s Weather World: Our last good chance of rain for awhile (FRI-7/10)

Weather

Happy Friday. This will be the last blog for awhile as I’ll be taking some vacation time starting tomorrow for about 10 days or so. Going to try to escape the heat a bit. More on that on my FB page next week perhaps. The team will have you covered on the air as the heat builds into the area next week.

The big story for us is what may happen later tonight into tomorrow morning. As another thunderstorm cluster comes down from the northwest. This is an important rain chance for us because it doesn’t look overly promising next week for moisture unless something can come down from IA into the building heat.

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Forecast:

Today: Sunny skies and warmer with highs around 90°. Not a lot of wind

Tonight: Clear initially with thunderstorm chances developing sometime after 3AM or so coming in from the northwest. These storms may bring some gusty winds with them. Lows in the upper 60s. There is a chance of locally heavy rains

Tomorrow: The storm/rain risk continues through about 9-10 AM it appears…then gradual clearing and not as hot with highs recovering back into the 80s. Winds may be gusty as well behind the line of storms before lunch too.

Sunday: Nicer and seasonable with highs well into the 80s

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Discussion:

It’s not secret that things are drying out for many areas. There were some good rains a week ago in parts of the region, especially on the south side…but a lot missed out and there hasn’t been a lot since. Little things really but nothing widespread enough to recharge the top soil.

Combined with the somewhat warm start to the month…we’re running a couple of degrees above average..and things are drying out. Nothing unusual really for July but we could use a good 1-3″ soaker.

It’s possible that happens early Saturday. IF it doesn’t or we get missed by the better rains…there isn’t a big chance showing up for awhile afterwards assuming we get into the bigger heat starting Tuesday. The GFS model suggests a front may be in the area on Wednesday as does the EURO so that day something may be able to pop but there is going to be a pretty decent cap building into the region so that could be a hindrance.

Overnight tonight though is the time frame that we’re watching. As temperatures and instability builds in Nebraska and Iowa today…storm clusters will crop up every so often this afternoon however they won’t get organized till the before 12AM. Then as they come together up there they will start dropping towards the SE…and that takes them closer to our region about 3-6 hours later.

Initially they will be moving southeast…then accelerating southeast after 2AM. As they do so stronger winds coming out of the storms will start surging towards the region as well so I can’t rule out some severe weather in the form of gusty winds before daybreak in the morning.

Depending on how well the storms hold together there could be some localized flooding as well because of the heavy rain rates for an hour or so.

Or this may not happen.

These thunderstorm complexes, as I’ve written about before, have their own agendas and usually go through various iterations as the come down towards the southeast from Nebraska We’re hoping to thread the needle and avoid the severe weather chances but yet get the needed rainfall to recharge the soils before the hotter weather moves in next week.

The new data this morning shows the complex nicely. With the heaviest rains coming between 4AM and 10 AM tomorrow morning.

As is the nature of the beast though models don’t often unanimously agree on where these storm clusters end up moving. The above map is from the lower resolution NAM model this morning…the next map shows the higher resolution NAM model and would can see a clear axis change in who gets the heavier storms.

That would be a swing and a miss for the Metro in terms of widespread rains for KC proper. We’d get something from this but not a ton of rain. Here is the way the hi-res NAM thinks things will come together…the time starts at 10PM tonight and goes till 1PM tomorrow.

We’ll see how the storms come together tonight and as is typical it becomes a nowcasting situation and we’ll have a better idea at 9/10 tonight on the newscast.

The HRRR should be an important tool when it comes to figuring this out later today. Here is a recent run for you and this should auto-update through the evening for you.

For timing purposes…21Z is 4PM…0Z is 7PM…3Z is 10PM…6Z is 1AM…9Z is 4PM and 12Z is 7AM etc.

This model goes out for about 18 hours or so…and while there are more frequent updates I believe the loop above updates every 3 hours or so.

There does seem to be a bit better of a chance for this to hold together compared to the system from a couple of days ago. The important thing is to keep the storms moving towards the SE and not for them to drop SSE. There will be a low level jet stream around 5,000 feet or so feeding into the storm complex as it drops towards the SE as well…that should help in the maintenance part of this system and also may help keeping the strong winds as a threat as well.

Sunday looks much better.

Finally an astronomical note. For the next couple of mornings…IF you’re up bright and early…and clouds aren’t an issue…you may want to sleep in tomorrow…but Sunday early morning could offer a chance. Head outside and look very low to the horizon at around 4AM or so. There is a window before 5AM to see a comet called Neowise. You need to look towards the northeastern sky…let your eyes adjust and it will appear as a somewhat fuzzy dot. IF you use binoculars you may see it more clearly though.

A comet hurdles through space…this particular one is some 64 million miles away. It’s mostly made of ice that breaks off as it travels through space and that creates the tail with the sun’s light reflecting off the various chunks of ice that break off. The nucleus of the comet though isn’t very large…I think in this case about 3 miles or so across. I just find it amazing that we can see such a small object like that from millions of miles away.

This picture was taken by Tony Rice and is a 6 second exposure. The reason why it’s tougher to see is that the rising sun/twilight before 6AM overwhelms the fainter comet’s light, especially the tail.

Again with the storms and clouds Saturday morning it probably won’t be visible but Sunday morning may offer another chance.

Next week this will be shifting towards the evening though in the northwestern sky. The thing about comets though is their appearance can change. They can get brighter or fainter depending on how the ice breaks off the head of the comet. So we’ll see next week.

That’s it for today and for awhile I think. See you in about 10 days.

Joe

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