Starting off our Tuesday with a record low temperature… down to at least 25°. The previous record was 28° set back in 1972.

We could’ve been colder but there was a breeze all night long at around 5-10 MPH that may have kept things from getting even colder. St. Joe dropped to 16° also setting a record low that was 27° in 1999. That’s an impressive margin of breaking a record temperature too!

The next record is Wednesday morning. That record will be tougher, but not out of the question that we could get there. The record low is 21° also set back in 1972.

The winds tonight should be lighter. We’ll see about how KCI fares with this regime. The team has noticed that KCI isn’t dropping as much as it used to at night. This seemed to become more apparent over the past couple of years, especially the last 18 months or so.

I wonder if this has to do with more construction closer to the weather station. Just speculation on my part though.

Let’s dive in…

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Forecast

Today: Sunny, breezy and cold for mid-October with highs in the mid 40s. The average high is 67°.

Tonight: Clear and cold with lighter winds. Lows in the 20° range.

Tomorrow: A few clouds but overall sunny and not as cold with highs well into the 50s. Again high clouds will filter out the sun at times

Thursday: Milder with highs approaching 70° with some high clouds filtering the sun

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Discussion

So with the hard freeze this morning, it marks the end of the growing season in KC. Let’s take a look at the Top 30 of early freezes in KC:

This is the 6th time from 2000 onwards that we’ve had a first “early” freeze of sorts. Interesting to note that 2018 and 2012 are in there too… those were drought years as well.

There are other drought years mixed in there as well. Interesting correlation I think and it makes sense. When the soil has little moisture in in it cools off faster at night and warms up slower during the day.

So yeah, we need rain. Almost 10″ below average since June 1st and more than 6 1/2″ below average for the year, including today.

So how unusual is this “early” hard (28° or lower) freeze? That makes this a bit more unusual. Here is an approximate county breakdown.

Leavenworth Co: Average 1st hard freeze: November 2nd

Platte Co: October 30th

Clay Co: October 30th

Ray Co: October 30th

Wyandotte Co: November 2nd

Johnson Co, KS: November 3rd

Jackson Co, MO: November 3rd

Lafayette Co: November 1st

Douglas Co/Franklin Co/Miami Co: November 3rd

Johnson Co, MO: November 1st

Cass Co: November 4th

Pettis Co: October 30th

That’s just a sample of things but the bottom line is that this is about 2 weeks early compared to average.

So has there been a trend in earlier or later first hard freezes. This next map shows the trend per decade. The bluish colors represent earlier trends…the orange colors represent later trends. A lot of yellow/orange on this map.

Some of the outlying areas around KC seeing slightly early 1st freezes

Here is a close-up…

So yes…somewhat unusual really.

Yesterday’s high of 52° was the coolest high that we’ve seen since last April 17th…so 6 months ago. I’m predicting a high of 45° today and that will be the coolest high since March 31st.

So let’s talk about the reversal. This cold air mass will gradually move away.

This morning

Compared to average the worst of the afternoon chill moves away starting tomorrow afternoon. Here is today (compared to average)

Tomorrow…

Thursday…

Friday…

By Friday…with increasing winds gusting to 30 MPH…highs should soar to the lower 80s

Once there…a warm and windy weekend will be in the Plains So from furnace weather to A/C weather…which is very typical for October around these parts.

Hey it can be worse…how about some snow…a lot of it as a matter of fact. Check out the UP of MI.

Along the highway 41 corridor there are 12″ plus amounts up there.

The warmer lake waters and the bitterly cold air by mid October standards…is the recipe for lake effect rains and snows. I saw an 18″ total towards the SW of Marquette, MI. Also 14-18″ around Ironwood, MI too in the far western part of the UP near the WI border.

Here are some of the higher totals…

Meanwhile the drought just keeps worsening. The affects on the MS River are getting worse and worse. This was pretty remarkable…

The records go back to 1954. Basically this means that the river at that location is more than 10 feet below average

They’re not alone…

I checked on the MO River in KC…it’s running around 8 feet right now. That’s still 5 feet off the record low…

Interesting to note though that the river is getting closer to the #4 slot…only being about 1 foot away. For comparison the record high stage is almost 49 feet!

So about the next chance of rain…odds of this are very late Sunday night into Monday. The issue is do things come together for us in KC or is that more of an central and eastern MO thing. The are conflicts in the data. The EURO isn’t so great for rain here…

The GFS is better…much better at least for areas from I-35 eastwards

The ICON though isn’t so great…

I don’t want to dive in too deeply on this yet…6 days away…but I have concerns just how prolific this will be for us. We should get something but anything less than 1″, while helpful I guess…isn’t the greatest. At least though it’s perhaps a sign of more active times with another system possible later in the week next week.

The feature photo is from Sandy Henke out towards Concordia, MO

Joe