KANSAS CITY, Mo. — “Another day, another chance for scattered showers and storms.”
That’s almost all we’ve been talking about since May 15 it seems like. That was the first day of a long streak that may even continue today.
A few showers and downpours are popping up just north and east of downtown Kansas City as of the writing of this article, and more chances for scattered precipitation continue into the rest of the afternoon and evening.
So why has the wet pattern continued on for a second week? Well, we have to look out east for the answer.
Weather patterns typically flow west to east across the United States without slowing down too much. However, from time to time, the upper-level flow can get “blocked up,” similar to when a large rock falls into a stream and the water gets bunched up and pushed around it.
When we see an atmospheric block, we get the same or very similar weather every day until the pattern breaks. The atmosphere can get blocked up in a few ways, and one of these ways is called an “omega” block, which is what we’ve been dealing with for the last week or so.
With an “omega” block, we get a setup like the picture above: two low pressure centers find themselves on either side of a high pressure center. And that location of the high is making all of the difference for Kansas City’s weather.
High pressure has been sitting over the East Coast and the Appalachian states for the last week or so, bringing the 90s for highs and very dry conditions there, leading to wildfire concerns in parts of Florida last weekend.
Thanks to the clockwise spin of the air around a high, the wind around Kansas City has been coming out of the south and southeast, letting warm and moist Gulf of Mexico air move right up to Kansas City.
And when you have warm and moist air around this time of year, your rain chances can go up (and so can your hair in the increased humidity).
Now, this upper flow has started to break up slightly, but the constant stream of Gulf moisture is still expected to continue for much of the week.
Rain chances (and possibly a severe round or two) will be here through Thursday, with signs of a larger break by Friday and Saturday. Additionally, 1-3 inches of rain may fall around the area too, but we’ll keep you informed on the latest updates.