KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Do you know it’s been more than two months since our last 1-plus inch of rain officially in Kansas City? We didn’t even have 1 inch for the entire month in September, and so far in October, we’re at 1/3 inch into the last week of the month. But that all changes today.
If things work out, we should triple our monthly total (at least) and perhaps quadruple or more what we’ve seen this month.
Rain… finally. It took weird weather to get here ahead of it, but it’s coming this morning and it will be welcome by most. There were 50 mph winds (or close to it) on Sunday that helped to rapidly spread numerous grass fires in the area.
The terrain is dormant and dried out, so the grasses and the soils need some recharging. This won’t end the drought, but will put a small dent in it. I’ve again got concerns about what happens after this system; there isn’t much else for the week ahead, but we’ll take what we can get.
Kansas City Forecast
Today: Rain arrives with some embedded rumbles of thunder. Highs this morning in the 70s dropping to the 50s this afternoon. Gusty winds this morning, then breezy again later today.
Tonight: Rain fades, but clouds remain. Much cooler with lows in the 40-45 degrees.
Tomorrow: Clouds in the morning, there may be some leftover sprinkle/showers mainly southeast of the metro, then clearing out later in the day with highs in the 50s to near 60 degrees.
Wednesday: Nicer with highs into the mid-60s.
Lots happening this morning, and the cold front coming is item No. 1, entering the west side of the area as I type this. Here is the 8 am. surface map:
The air behind the front is of Pacific origin, so it’s not overly cold into the Plains. The air ahead of the front though is mild. That’s what we’ve had for the last few days.
Yesterday we hit 87 degrees and our morning low (before the rain and cooler air arrives) was only in the lower 70s.
Radar shows rain expanding and moving up the Interstate 35 corridor.
All of this rain is needed and will be mostly welcomed I think. Retention ponds are low, drought is at severe-to-extreme levels for most of the region, and we haven’t had a 1-plus inch rain officially since Aug. 16!
In September and through yesterday, we’ve had 1.07 inches of rain. We may get that much today alone!
Moist southwest winds above the surface front will help our cause tremendously. Heck there might even be a bit of extra moisture in the atmosphere from what was Hurricane Roslyn that slammed into the Mexico coast over the weekend north of Puerto Vallarta.
Whatever it takes for us to maximize the rain situation is all that matters at this point.
The upper-air map this morning shows a large dip in the jet stream in the western U.S. near and west of the Rockies. It snowed almost 12 inches for some of the ski resorts in Colorado over the weekend. So the deep trough means business.
It’s sort of breaking up into two pieces this morning as the southern piece becomes the more dominant piece and turns into an upper-level low. Here is the map for the 500 mb level around 18,000 feet up.
That upper-level low will play a nice role in enhancing the rains coming into the region today. The front itself will pass through before lunch and temperature will be dropping.
Notice they’re in the 50s behind the front. Cooler air moves in at the surface, but we’re still ahead of the big dip in the jet stream.
The trough, southwest winds above the front, allow moist air to override the surface front. Various disturbances in the south-southwest to north-northeast flow aloft create areas of rain and all of that moves towards the north-northeast and northeast. That puts Kansas City squarely in a good position to pick up good rains.
Perhaps heaviest towards the south/southeast of Kansas City, but we’re in good shape it looks like for this one.
Model data overnight shows good beneficial rains for the area. Here is the EURO model, but others are similar.
Looks like a promising 1 to almost 2 inches or so from most of the area. Certainly welcome totals.
The upper-level low that is developing in New Mexico this morning will be moving into the southern Plains tonight and tomorrow.
Beyond this system, there is another one to watch for this coming Friday. The main focus would be farther south it appears for the rain, but it’s going to track similarly to what’s happening over the next 36 hours or so. There just won’t be as much moisture in the atmosphere for this to work with.
The pattern overall is not cold. As a matter of fact, we’re likely to have mild weather to start the next month off as well.
That’s it for today, enjoy the nice rains!
The feature photo is from Keven Lewis, south of Warrensburg, Missouri, looking toward the northeast.