KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Well yesterday’s rain was certainly welcome and the chances of rain are dwindling over the coming days mostly. Next week doesn’t look overly promising through Wednesday at least. We could certainly use more rain as the blog yesterday showed.

The rain overall yesterday was generally in the 1/10 to 1/3-inch range for many. This was okay, but considering the heat in place and the flora use of the moisture in the soil and evaporation, that really will only last for a few days.

We could use more and tonight will bring us another opportunity. That may be accompanied by some stronger storms and potentially some severe weather around parts of the region. There are still some questions about coverage and intensity of some of the storms rumbling towards the State Line and the metro is sort of caught between the better dynamics towards Nebraska and the higher instability towards Oklahoma and southeast Kansas.


Kansas City Forecast:

Today: Turning partly cloudy, warm and humid with highs in the mid-80s.

Tonight: Storm chances increase after 7 p.m. from the Kansas side then eastwards towards the metro. Some of the storms may contain hail and gusty winds as the main threat. We’ll be watching for anything else. Temperatures drop into the mid-60s.

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy and warm again with highs well into the 80s.

Sunday: Partly cloudy with a few showers/storms possible. Not a lot of coverage. Highs in the low to mid-80s.



Yesterday was a pretty active day of weather in northwest Kansas and central Oklahoma. Tornadoes, quite a few of them in northwest Kansas, were dancing around towards the Colorado border, while a handful of tornadoes were moving through the south part of the Oklahoma City area.

There were 16 reports of tornadoes, although only one report in the Oklahoma City area. That likely will be going up with further review. In northwest Kansas:

The Ts are tornado reports

There were even some storms with two tornadoes near each other.

Today the focus for the day is on an upper-level storm that will be moving into Nebraska.

You can clearly see the core of the storm on the satellite loop.

The core represents a cold pocket of air in the mid-to-upper levels of the atmosphere. The air at about 18,000 feet in southwest Nebraska is roughly 10 degrees colder than the air surrounding that storm. As a result, as temperatures at the ground heat up, the difference between the warmer ground and the colder mid-level air is more dramatic.

The difference is called lapse rates. Air LOVES to rise faster and higher when the lapse rates are higher compared to the opposite. Given the right atmospheric conditions, with the rising air pockets and the atmosphere helping to allow those rising air bubbles to turn into big storms (which then tend to rotate), you get supercells.

That core of cold air aloft will be moving into central Nebraska today towards the northwest of the region and then into southeast South Dakota by tomorrow afternoon. So it’s no wonder as the same setup happens today in Nebraska that the Storm Prediction Center has an area of enhanced risk for severe storms, a level 3, into that region.

There is a 5% risk of a tornado within 25 miles of any point up there.

Notice that risk goes down the State Line as well into the metro. I won’t be surprised if that risk in Nebraska goes up an notch as the data flows in today.

Our region, as of this writing, is in a level 2 risk or “slight” risk of severe storms.

This morning’s surface map shows a surface storm near the core of the upper-level storm in Nebraska. There is a cold front of sorts, and also a dry punch of air moving into western Kansas as well as the down through Oklahoma. That dry punch of air is going to move into central and eastern Kansas later today and this evening.

Dew points are pretty high right now, well into the 60s, hence the muggy feel to the air in the region. By later today, that dry punch of air will be coming eastwards into eastern Kansas. The HRRR model shows this.

By 4 p.m., the dew points are going to be dropping out west, while we’re in the 60s for dew points with temperatures in the 80s. That will create instability locally and in other places as well.

By 7 p.m., the CAPE values (a way of us seeing this instability) are extreme to the south of the region towards Oklahoma. We’re pretty darn unstable locally as well.

The interesting thing though about today is that the better dynamics are connected to the lessor (but still doable) instability closer to the core of the upper-level storm. That would be towards Nebraska and to some extent far northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri. The strongest instability is towards eastern Oklahoma, so we’re sort of in this weird spot.

The conflict of air masses (humid vs. drier) moving into eastern Kansas is the wildcard here. We are expecting storms to develop and become supercells in Nebraska later today. The question is how far south does the arcing line of storms develop. That will be the key to our potential for storms locally towards the State Line region.

Here is the latest HRRR model from this morning. It’s doing what I’ve been wondering about: some sort of broken line of storms that not all in the metro will see.

Notice how in this model, there is a “splitting” effect happening, where the storms favor the northern dynamics and trend more towards the north of the Interstate 70 corridor.

This doesn’t mean this is set in stone. The window for stronger storms though is roughly from 8 p.m. towards midnight later tonight. My question is how widespread the activity may or may not be, especially past 10 p.m. when we start losing some of the instability as the storms move farther towards the east and northeast into the Missouri side of things.

Hail and winds would be the primary threats it appears. There is a lower-end risk of tornadoes, and that seems to be more favored towards the better dynamics of the upper-level core towards northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri. That will be monitored this evening as the storms develop.

Overall, the weekend doesn’t look too bad, just warm really. Some spotty storms are possible. Some storms are possible later Sunday. Overall 80s are expected until a cold front comes through dropping the dew points and allowing some more comfortable air to start out the next work week.

The feature photo today comes from Mary Jo Seever.