Joe’s Weather World: Rain chances better come through over the next few days (WED-7/8)

Weather Blog

Good morning…another hot and humid day, really typical July weather is on tap for the region today…with highs in the 90s heat index values near 100° or so. Nothing really new there. The weather though may be a bit different tomorrow as a thunderstorm complex tracks down towards the southeast and south south east. Where it forms tonight in Nebraska will be the key to whether or not we get strong storms with locally heavy rain or just some remnant rains that don’t really add up all that much.

This should all happen before 10AM or so Thursday…and then the atmosphere will reset itself and we should be dry until Saturday with another chance of storms moving through. The storms tomorrow could be severe in the morning…depending on the strength of the MCS…or Mesoscale Convective System coming towards the region.

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Forecast:

Today: Sunny morning with partly cloudy skies this afternoon. Highs in the low>mid 90s

Tonight: Fair skies with rain chances increasing after 4AM. Lows in the upper 60s IF we get some rain here around daybreak.

Tomorrow: Storm chances in the morning the variable clouds and not as hot. Highs in the mid 80s

Friday: Partly cloudy and hotter with highs back to around 90°

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Discussion:

Yesterday was a briefly unique day so far this year in KC. We topped off at 93°…which was the hottest we’ve been so far this year. My feeling is that today will be about the same…next week though will probably blow past that at some point.

What also was sort of unique yesterday was that the high occurred at around 7PM. The temperatures sort of bounced around a bit in the afternoon as clouds built up and fell apart. As the sun was lower in the sky though in the evening the clouds fell apart and there was enough sunshine to heat things up another degree or two compared to 5-6PM…anyway…sort of interesting.

After a warmer than average June…July has started 2.2° above average.

Oh and we’ve lost about 9 minutes of daylight since summer started. Most of this is from the morning daylight…but now we’re starting to lose a minute or so every day or two from the evening daylight as well…so this is the very beginning to the long descent towards Winter in December.

Before I get to the rain chances…a note about next week. It appears that some very hot weather is likely. The key perhaps to the actual highs may be the rains that we see (or don’t) over the next 3 days or so. The grass and terrain is still pretty green…but some areas haven’t seen much rain. Last week I had over 2″ of rain…but some areas got very little. The short term anomalies (7 days worth) show the areas that missed out.

The reason why the rains over the next few days is important is that a hotter air mass will be building into the area next week…especially from Tuesday onwards for a few days. Wet and green terrain tends to keep the max temperatures from reaching their full potential…while brown and dry terrain does the opposite.

The former though increases the dew points…and the later decreases the dew points…so it’s hot and humid or hotter and drier. This impacts the heat index values.

The model data has been waffling a bit on the extent and extremeness of the heat. The EURO has been bring the heat into the area…but about a week to 10 days ago…it was suggesting this happening this weekend…now it brings it in on Tuesday. The GFS has been all over the place…too hot…too cool etc from run to run.

The models are fighting the strength of the “heat wave generator” that will be developing in the Rockies and the SW part of the country and trying to spread/build eastwards. It’s going to get very hot out west…

Look at the forecast off the GFS model for the Denver area over the next 15 days…

Upper 90s and lower 100s.

There is an expanding drought across western KS these days. Not too unusual…but look at the same ideas for Dodge City.

They will be looking at 100-110° days! Odds are they’ll max out close to 105°. It will be a “dry” heat out there too.

So the heat will be percolating within about a 6-8 hour drive from KC. The issue is how far east that heat moves. It won’t get to 105° here though because their humidity out there will be significantly less than our humidity here. Remember dry air heats up faster and more efficiently that moist, humid air does. This is common for the Plains.

So how hot can we get? Well we’ve only hit 100° twice since the start of 2013. The last time was about 2 years ago..on 7/12/18. It really is amazing that we struggle so much. Back in 2012 during the drought we hit 100° or higher 20(!) times. Remember though 2012 was a drought year…and the terrain was brown and dormant. The dew points were much lower though the summer allowing us to heat up during the day and actually drop off somewhat at night.

That won’t be the case next week. Dew points will remain at typical levels for mid July. So that means the lower part of the atmosphere will moist…and that will tend to hold back the high temperature potential.

So again how hot? Well IF we just look at the model guidance for Tuesday for example…

EURO…Tuesday highs
GFS ensemble highs for Tuesday
EURO Ensemble For Tuesday Highs

I think the model forecasts of 105° is overblown and extreme…it’s doing this in part because it takes our dew points down into the 60° range…which I think is too dry for the set-up. So IF we try and keep the dew points at their typical values…odds favor more of a 94-99° thought as opposed to the near 105° ideas of the EURO model.

You can see though how central KS through OK is much hotter.

Onwards to the rain situation.

We’ll be watching Nebraska tonight as storms come together. Where the form and where they move will be the key to what happens here near daybreak tomorrow. Storms that form farther west in NE will tend to drop more towards the west of the area…storms that form farther east will tend to move down the MO River and give us a better chance of heavier rains and maybe some severe weather too (high winds will be the main threat).

The SPC has the region west of KC (morning update) under a slight risk of severe storms.

We’ll see how this comes together.

The morning run of the HRRR model shows a decent hit of stronger storms in the KC region.

For timing…18Z is 1PM…21Z is 4PM…0Z is 7PM…6Z is 1AM…12Z is 7AM

In reality I may not have a ton of confidence in this will later this evening as the storms come together up in Nebraska.

Odds are we’ll be going Weather Aware for that time frame at the station as a reminder to watch for more active and stronger storms.

Friday should be calmer and probably rain free.

Another chance of storms will come on Saturday…more on that tomorrow.

Our feature photo comes from Amy Rand…we’ve had some nice sunsets in KC lately…her shot is from Lake Tahoe.

Joe

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