Rain icons on your phone’s weather app or the Long Ranger don’t tell the whole story in Kansas City

Weather

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s May, and I typically write this “evergreen” story about twice a year for the same reason as I’ve listen above in the headline.

This time, one of our reporters, Sherae Honeycutt, tagged me on Instagram with the iPhone weather app showing a LOT of rain for the next week.

This is fine. I don’t really care which weather app you use. But it’s a question all of us get a LOT during this season: “Is it true it’s going rain every day, for like the next week?!”

Paraphrasing here, of course. But she brings to the forefront a great question: Will it rain every day?

Just three hours after she sent it to me, I opened up the app. It already looks different.

In fact, as I type this, it’s in the mid 70s and sunny outside. While clouds are building, look how quickly things have changed (just in an app sense) within a few hours. These apps draw the raw model data and create rain scenarios and probabilities within them.

They have no human interaction with them whatsoever. Some days, this is fine. Days like the next few (or mid July), it is not.

Here’s the reason for this specific scenario: We have a front near us that’s essentially going to stall out near our area over the next few days. As we have weaker disturbances move near us over the next four to five days, this brings us chances for rain.

Conditions have remained dry today mainly because of the dry air we have in place. Lower dew points mean drier air.

As humidity increases over the next few days and interacts with these disturbances, we’ll see rain chances in the region go up.

As the days get closer, we can pinpoint these rain chances down to the hour a little bit better. Our best opportunity for Saturday’s rain comes from thunderstorm development in central Kansas late this evening.

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As those storms race east, they’ll weaken. But they’ll be efficient rain producers as that humidity I mentioned increases into the night.

At that point, rain continues to move away and weaken. While there may be a few showers around in the afternoon, I think we have some dry periods for late Saturday.

As our next smaller disturbance runs along that front, we’ll see a better chance at an “all day” type of rain early Sunday.

While I think there are some dry periods in the afternoon, Sunday looks to be the most wet day overall.

Still, there will be times this weekend and especially early next week that we have dry periods in those “rain icon days.”

Through Sunday night, it’s feasible that some areas get over 2 inches of rain. Not everyone will get this incredibly soaking rain through Sunday night, but even the lowest areas could still see 3/4 inch by Sunday’s end.

The moral of the story is that there are long range forecasts that look like this fairly often this time of year. Your phone app will do the same thing from time to time as well.

Don’t be fooled by just looking at the icons. Look at our forecast discussions here and follow the forecast during our newscast times.

If you have outdoor plans, we’ll find some dry periods for you if they’re available. Don’t cancel your plans just because of the weather app.

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