Well there were some showers around this morning, predominately toward the NE of Downtown Kansas City… so at least a few folks got a bit of rain but it wasn’t much and most missed out again as the drought continues to fester, especially for areas south of Downtown where the ground is baked out mostly and temperatures are running warmer each day than what happens up at KCI.

Overall the forecast looks pleasant into the weekend, and the smoke will continue to thin out over the next couple of days.

The average high for this time of the year is in the lower 80s and we should be near to slightly above that through Sunday before a stronger cold front moves in on Monday (hopefully bringing some rain to the region on a bit more of a widespread basis) and certainly some cooler days for next week.

In a nutshell… it will certainly feel like fall next week around these parts!


One sentence forecast: Clearing skies and milder temperatures today with highs into the low to mid 80s with hazy conditions again.



Today: More and more sunshine with a nice southeast breeze at times and more smoke in the air, although the visibilities today won’t be as low. Highs in the low-to-mid 80s

Tonight: Fair and pleasant with lows in the 50s

Tomorrow: Sunny and nice with highs in the low to mid-80s

Sunday: About the same, perhaps a bit warmer with highs in the mid 80s. A few more clouds as well.



This will be the last blog for about a week or so as a big weather conference will be in Kansas City starting Sunday into the middle of next week, so I’ll be involved with that as meteorologists from across the country come to KC. I’m looking forward to catching up with some old friends and having lots of weather conversations, which is my favorite.

The weather overall looks fabulous for next week minus Monday, although considering how dry parts of the area have been recently, some decent rains and cool conditions will sort of be welcome, although if you have some plans for Monday, they are in dicey status right now. I don’t think it will rain all day but the chances of rain will be with us.

Before we get there though…

This morning there was a weak disturbance that came down from Nebraska overnight. It created some rain, but as the rain encountered so much dry air in the atmosphere, it sort of petered out to some extent. CoCoRaHS data only shows a few hundredths of an inch in some random areas in Clay County.

Skies should turn sunnier later this morning.

The smoke issue that has been so prevalent in the region for the last 48 hours is still with us, but the smoke today should not be quite as thick as it has been for the past 48 hours. That was impressive with visibilities reduced to 3-6 miles for a couple of days in the wildfire smoke from the fires in Canada.

There are still over 1,000 fires burning out of control with around 800 still out of control. Over 40 million acres have burned so far this year. When the weather pattern changes, and we see more of a north or north north west flow of air, that smoke gets brought down into the Plains, and hence into our region every so often.

Elsewhere the big story is Hurricane Lee which last night attained category 5 status. Winds this morning were estimated to be at 165 mph, BUT there has been some internal dynamic changes to the hurricane this morning as a result of some SW to NW shear that the storm is encountering today.

This appears to have reduced the strongest winds around the eye a bit

Yesterday though it was going through rapid intensification or what we refer to as RI. Between 1AM yesterday morning and 1AM this morning the storm increased it’s intensity by close to 85 MPH! That is a rarity for a hurricane.

It’s intensity change puts it in rarified air in terms of Atlantic Basin intensification.

While the storm is essentially out in the middle of the Atlantic and really not affecting anything but the fish out there it is moving towards the WNW. This type of storm though in a different part of the Basin, for example the Gulf of Mexico…is a nightmare scenario.

A rapidly intensifying hurricane in an area where it’s going to hit something. Thankfully for now it’s out there and not closer to land.

Hurricane recon aircraft have been flying around the storm for the last couple of days…last night as the storm was near it’s peak power and became a category 5 hurricane…it was giving the hurricane hunters this perspective.

Very dramatic.

The incredibly warm to hot waters of the Atlantic combined with previously perfect conditions for intensification have brought us to this point with this storm.

From here the storm continues west north west… at a likely pretty predictable track through the weekend

There are intensity changes happening and it won’t be able to maintain that peak strength into next week. As a matter of fact it might start approaching some of the “cooler” waters from the leftover path of what was Hurricane Franklin next week.

The main issue is when does the storm start turning more towards the north. Obviously the farther west it goes next week the stronger the chance of some part of the eastern US or eastern Canada being more affected by the storm. As is higher surf is a definite for the eastern seaboard next week.

Regardless this storm will be tracked for about another 10 days or so, so when I do another blog, perhaps next Thursday…it will be the main item of the blog even then.

Here are some ideas from the EURO and the GFS ensembles…showing clustering more towards eastern Canada.

Anywhere from New England northward though should be watching this carefully.

In a way, the same reason why we’re going to get the cooler weather next week, will be one of the main reasons why the storm recurves northwards. A stronger dip in the jet stream with a less strong dip in the Plains should scoop the storm northwards BUT if those dips are weaker or timed differently WHICH IS POSSIBLE… then Lee would have a path a bit farther westwards.

Also notice the ridge in NE Canada…this may slow the hurricane down, allowing it to be in some cooler waters for longer. The bottom line is this WON’T be a category 5 hurricane IF it makes landfall…it’s likely to weaken to some extent…just how much will be resolved over the coming week or longer.

The result of these dips in the jet stream locally is cooler weather for us locally. It’s possible temperatures struggle to get to 70° on Monday with rain chances and then we’re looking great after that with highs 70-75° for the rest of the week and lows in the upper 40s and mid 50s too.

It will truly feel like fall out there

That’s it for today and until at least next Thursday. The feature photo comes from Lance Eberhardt of yesterday’s sunset