It was 19 years ago today that the infamous F4 tornado ripped through the Northland of the Kansas City metro on a late Sunday afternoon. It started near the Speedway, moved through Wyandotte County and moved into Platte County.

The tornado packed winds near 200 mph as it was cycling up and down, eventually doing damage into the Liberty area as well. More on that in the discussion with a link as well.

Today is also the anniversary of the Greensburg, Kansas, tornado. That occurred on a Sunday night and pretty much destroyed the town. This is the time of the year where we have these “anniversaries” since we’re into the heart of severe weather season.

The focus for the next 48 hours is on more rain locally. The severe weather risk appears minimal, but as I mentioned yesterday in the blog, I’m still watching tomorrow late afternoon in case there are shifts to the next storm, coming farther north. That would allow us to warm up and destabilize.

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Forecast:

Today: Clouds with afternoon showers at times. There will be noticeable breaks in the rain at times today. Chilly again (so what else is new) with highs into the mid 50s or so.

Tonight: Periods of rain and thunderstorms. Locally heavy rains are possible. Lows closer to 50°

Tomorrow: Sort of a tricky day…likely remaining cool with periods of showers but there may be some dry times in there as well with more rain likely later in the day into the night. IF we manage to stay cool…the severe risk is minimal BUT IF we manage to warm-up more than I think…and IF the main storm comes farther north…then the threat of storms with hail increases…and even a small chance of a tornado. The odds right now DON’T favor this…but I’m watching it

Friday: There may be some leftover areas of showers/drizzle in the morning then cloudy in the afternoon Highs may struggle in the 60-65° range.

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Discussion:

Blech…this weather is getting so old. Yesterday and for that matter today resemble what we would see in the middle part of March, at least for high temperatures. We only managed to hit 55° yesterday, and likely today remaining below 60. We’re wasting our spring time days.

I know many of you are tired of it…and trust me I’m tired of repeating it. It will get better…and next week it will feel like the middle part of the summer. Seriously…we’ll be making a run towards 90°…sort of like the middle part of July.

As mentioned earlier today is the anniversary of several noteworthy tornadoes. The one closer to home is this one: the North KC tornado.

See more information, including radar and pictures.

So it’s a reminder in 2 ways. One, it’s the heart of severe weather season, and two, these types of events are rare here (thankfully).

Between that event and then 16 years later, the Linwood EF4 tornado, we’re fortunate that we don’t go through what areas in other parts of the Plains go through, particularly through southern KC and OK. It doesn’t mean it can’t happen again…it will at some point…but again these big tornadoes are rare for us.

Today we start with cool and gray conditions. Rain is going to be moving up from the southwest this morning but may weaken as it approaches or at least break up as it does so.

Here is a more regional view…

Once those showers move into the area…it’s going to be tough for us to warm up any more, so whatever we are around lunch may be the high for the day…and that may only be around 55° or so.

The stronger storms are going to be down towards the southern Plains.

There is an enhanced risk of severe storms down there, including perhaps a few tornadoes. Not a slam dunk though at this point for more than a few tornadoes. It depends on how the day evolves down there.

For us, while there may be some showers around this afternoon…the main threat of rain is tonight (more widespread and heavier) as more storms and heavier rains develop toward southern KS and moves up I-35 towards the region. Again locally heavy rains are the main issue with this.

There may well be breaks in the rain tomorrow…as our main storm evolves and moves through the region. There are still questions though about where the main surface storm will track. A lot of the data is farther south of here…that means we won’t get unstable enough to allow stronger updrafts to create bigger storms.

Some data though…is a bit more beefy with potential warmth and instability. Again, as written about yesterday…this would be more conducive to bigger storms…and the potential of hail and perhaps even some funnels or more…but this solution is least likely.

I’m not letting my guard down on this. If we can manage to get well into the 60s tomorrow…close to 70…that could be a tell that the surface storm is coming more towards the KC region as opposed to the Lakes and I-44. That brings a severe weather risk closer to our region.

WE should improve on Saturday…and Sunday may turn out OK BUT there may be storms not to far away towards the north of KC…we’ll need to watch for outflow from those storms fighting a building cap. IF the cap wins…we’re fine locally. Then we really heat up early next week for a few days with highs well into the 80s. Not sure IF we can get to 90° because of all the moisture in the ground but it’s possible in some areas for sure…and the air just above the surface may well support 90°.

So hello summer (at least for awhile). It also appears the severe weather risks will be diminished in this future upper air pattern. There actually could be some nice late season snows to the western US in the higher elevations with unseasonably cold air dumping into CA and the SW US…including AZ.

The feature photo comes from Renee Murphy down in Bates County

Joe