Joe’s Weather World: Rain on the way with chilly May weather too (THU-5/7)

Weather

We’re starting the day with a brief bout of sunshine but it will be temporary and clouds are quickly moving in from the west. Rain isn’t that far away either and that will become more of an issue this afternoon. Lightly at first then steadier for awhile.

Temperatures today will pop to near 60° (after a cold start) and then start dropping in the rain cooled air. So it will be a raw mid>late afternoon in the area.

The colder weather and record challenging lows, is still on tap. This morning there was even a light frost across northern MO. KCI tanked to 37°. That was a bit of a surprise…but IF we can get to 37 this morning…what happens on Saturday morning?

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Forecast:

Today: Clouds moving in…lowering and becoming thicker. Sprinkles/showers at first towards lunch then at times a rainy afternoon. Temperatures may try to max out around 60° before falling to 55° or so later this afternoon.

Tonight: Scattered showers, perhaps some thunder as well. Lows in the 40s

Tomorrow: Windy and cool with sunshine expected. Highs approaching 60°. Winds will be gusty to around 30 MPH during the day…lighter later in the afternoon.

Saturday: Record low temperatures possible. Lows in the 32-36° range. Then clouds/ filtered sun with highs in the 60-65° range

Sunday: There might be a brief early sprinkle but then partly cloudy and cool with highs only in the 55-60° range. Breezy as well.

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Discussion:

There was enough dry air around the region last night to allow temperatures to unexpectedly tank into the 30s for areas on the north side of KC. We missed tying the record of 34° set in 1989. KCI dropped to 37°. There were some areas of frost as well, mainly north and northeast of the Metro.

This dry air will slow the arrival of the rain out west…by a few hours.

Here is a more regional view…

That area will gradually work eastwards and weaken as the day moves along but the rains will be around especially during the afternoon and at times this evening as well. The clouds are coming this morning.

This is being created by an upper level system that will be dropping from Montana this morning to NE MO tonight and early Friday. As we go up to about 18,000 feet or so you can see this moving through.

As it moves through overnight…it will inject colder surface air down into the Plains. Also notice, on the last frame another disturbance in MT, just barely in view of the animation. That MAY bring us some higher clouds Saturday morning…it will be a race between those higher clouds and how quickly we tank before they arrive. That race will determine the lows for the day.

Farther south the risk of severe storms will be increasing later today and tonight. Hail would be the main threats down there. Surface moisture isn’t great…but the environment may be enough for some bigger hailstones in the storms

Here is a look at the HRRR model…showing the timing of things. For timing on the data. 18Z is 1PM…21Z is 4PM…0Z is 7PM…3Z is 10PM…6Z is 1AM

You can see the circulation of the upper level low across the western Plains region later in the animation.

Then the focus is on the colder air. Temperatures average 70-75° for highs during this week…and we won’t be there for days to come. Tomorrow into the weekend we should be running about 10-15° below average for highs as chilly air comes into the region. Yesterday on the weathercasts I showed how the air that’s going to be with us on Saturday morning is coming right from near the Hudson Bay area in Canada…dropping due south.

You can actually run a model that shows where a bubble of air that arrives in KC at a particular time (let’s say Saturday morning) comes from and it’s trajectory as it moves through time.

It’s cold up there now! Upper teens and lower 20s this morning.

It will come southwards…and IF we have clear skies…some areas, especially on the MO side and up towards the IA border may tank into the upper 20s from this with a light freeze. The only issue is the potential of clouds coming in associated with the next wave moving down from the NW. IF these clouds are real…they could stop the temperature drop before we get to record low levels.

Again it’s not out of the question for KC to drop to 32° out of this…IF that happens it would be our latest freeze in KC weather history, going back to the 1880s

Overall the weekend will be cool and while there may be a few sprinkles around early on Sunday…no real rain is expected at this point. Also of note the potential of another frost on Monday morning with near record lows possible again on Monday.

Also let’s file this away…as the warmer weather comes back later next week…the risk of rain increases…really starting on Tuesday but off and on through next weekend…and it may be heavy. Data overnight supports the potential of 2-6″ of rain in a 7 day stretch ending next Saturday…

The region as a whole is setting up for a lot of rain…we’ll see how close this is to KC.

Also of note will be increasing severe weather risks too…from the I-70 corridor and south especially which is typical for the back half of the month.

Our feature photo comes from @AwesomeManders of a sunset from Pierson Park.

Joe

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