Joe’s Weather World: Potential heavy rain and Dorian threatens Florida (THU-8/29)

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We’re not done with summer yet in KC…despite near ideal conditions these last couple of days with low humidity and pleasant temperatures…this afternoon it will feel more like August and next week may be rather toasty and humid as well…with perhaps a sprinkling of more 90° weather to start September…so summer lovers…it will return.

Something else that will return is the rain…and for some areas a lot of rain it appears…1-4″ over a couple of days is more likely…and once again what happens during the nights and mornings will sort of determine the rain chances the following day…as we’ll be challenged by a front that will be edging into the area…how far south or north it moves or dawdles will dictate the better rain chances.

I don’t think it will rain all day Friday or Saturday…there may be quite a few dry hours squeezed in there…but temperatures may be some 5-10° below average for those 2 days at least…so we finish August on a cool note.

  • Forecast:

Today: Partly cloudy with an isolated shower threat developing near or after lunch. Highs into the 85-90° range.

Tonight: Storms likely later tonight..after 10PM…locally heavy rains possible…maybe some severe weather across northern MO as well favoring area near and north of 36 highway mostly…with winds the main threat. Lows in the 60s

Friday: Higher AM chances…with lower PM chances.. Highs in the 70s

Saturday: Ditto.

Sunday: Improving with gradual clearing and highs in the 75-80° range

Monday (Labor Day): More summerish with highs in the mid 80s and muggier

  • Discussion:

Let’s start with Dorian that will be grabbing most of the news headlines on the slow new Labor Day weekend coming up.

Dorian continues to slowly move towards the WNW…not too fast really…only around 10 MPH. Overnight it experienced a “hiccup” as my colleagues at the Hurricane Center called it as it encountered some wind shear aloft (tropical systems hate wind shear) and also sucked in dry air too that was surrounding part of the storm (tropical systems hate that too).

It was sort of a double whammy that staggered the storm a bit and it started looking somewhat ragged…perhaps even weakening a bit…but this morning the storm appears to be getting a second wind and is starting to look a bit better.

Here is a broader view with some perspective…

By the way…see that brownish tint in the central and eastern tropical Atlantic region…that is all dust

So Dorian never really affected Puerto Rico too much after all yesterday and that meant it didn’t interact with the land or the circulation disrupting mountains…as a result it maintained and strengthened over the topical waters as it threaded the needle east of Puerto Rico.

The forecast hasn’t changed too much over the past 24 hours though…the 4-5 day forecast is still towards central FL towards Labor Day and perhaps even afterwards depending on a possible slow down of the system as it approaches Florida.

The winds though…40 MPH or higher will arrive at least 24 hours ahead of the storm’s landfall…

In terms of official tracks here is what we have today…and remember those 4-5 day tracks have average errors of over 150 miles…so there are still a range of possibilities and a lot will depend on steering currents that may really slow or collapse as the storm approaches the USA.

The model guidance still obviously has a range of outcomes…with some clustering on the EURO data overnight…here is a look at the ensembles…and all those lows are possible locations of Dorian. This map is valid at 1AM next Tuesday

Now the GFS…

All those different positions mean widely varied affects from a rain/flooding standpoint and from a wind standpoint.

Will it make it back into the western Gulf of Mexico? Will it recurve northbound after hitting Florida into the SE part of the country? Again factors that we don’t have a lot of confidence in. Remember 36 hours before the storm bypassed Puerto Rico…it was forecast to hit Puerto Rico…

Intensity is another challenge and is considered the hardest part of forecasting a storm like this. Meteorologists still have a tough time estimating the winds at certain times of the forecast. So will it be a CAT 3 storm making landfall…something weaker? Again this will be figured out as the storm evolves.

Interesting that the UKMET model from Europe gets the storm towards Vero Beach and stalls it for 24 hours or so…a result of the collapse in steering currents as the storm comes closer.

So a lot of this is still in flux…

Meanwhile our weather is going to get wet again starting later tonight especially.

A cold front will be getting closer tonight…how far south it spreads and where storms develop this evening and how they move will influence the rain situation greatly tomorrow.


The surface dew points are quickly climbing this morning and will be in the muggy range at lunch.

With that front getting closer tonight…storms should fire to the north of here and especially up north there is a risk of some severe weather…

IF a massive line of organized storms moves through the area tonight into early Friday…we may get wiped clean of instability for the day tomorrow and maybe it’s not a terrible day overall. IF we don’t get a big complex move through tonight…the rain chances will continue at times tomorrow as well.

The same would apply to Saturday as well…with the potential of decent storms Friday night into the early AM then stability and lots of clouds but not overly wet during the day with more cool weather. This would probably be the better solution for outdoor events to start the weekend.

Again what happens during one time frame of a day will affect the other. The models this morning are bullish on generating big amounts of rain cooled air overnight into tomorrow AM pushing the front down towards the AR border…we’ll see about that.

So IF you’re wanting more holiday weekend dry weather…you want these complexes to come in overnight and sort of wipe the slate clean and usher in a lot of rain cooled air.

That’s it for today…our feature photo comes from Connie Cain‎


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