Joe’s Weather World: The end of the heat wave is a few days away (THU-7/18)

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Day 2 of the 1st heat wave of the summer is in progress and today will be just about as hot and humid as yesterday. At one point yesterday afternoon the heat index got close to 110°. Today will be about the same with dew points in the middle 70s in many areas (perhaps higher in a few) and temperatures in the mid-upper 90s.

The end of the heat wave will likely be on Sunday…and it’s connected to a cold front that may create quite the temperature contrast from the south to the north. Cold fronts that end heat waves almost always bring at least some rain into the area…we’ll see how much we can get from this one.

  • Forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny and hot with highs 95-100° and a heat index 103-110°. Breezy as well with gusts to 25 MPH or a bit higher.

Tonight: Warm with lows in the 75-80° range

Friday: The same

Saturday: The same

Sunday: Storms possible in the PM hours especially. Highs will be close to 95° south of KC to 85 towards northern MO…the Metro may be somewhere in between with the possibility of falling afternoon temperatures if rain develops with or behind the front.

  • Discussion:

It’s not the heat it’s the humidity…

Well yeah I guess. It got nasty fast out there yesterday afternoon…as the clouds cleared out after about 2PM or so…the temperatures popped and the winds started to gust to about 30 MPH. We maxed out at 96° and saw heat index values climb to near 110° in many areas for a few hours at least.

I thought this morning I’d show you how often we see these higher heat index numbers by the hour. In other words how many hours a year is the heat index at least ___. To do that though I also wanted to show you a more rural area…KCI and a more Metro area…the Downtown Airport.

Take a look at the two charts below…KCI and Downtown.

Downtown airport…

The red dots show how many hours of ___ heat index has occurred so far in 2019…while the blue dots show the historical average. There’s a 12,000 hour difference between the two sites.

Takeaways…1) the blue dots are showing a whole year’s worth…and so far 2019 is only just more than halfway done and the summer is about 1/2 done. So there will be differences just because of that…2) Look at KCI…averaging 97 hours of 100°+ heat index values and so far their up to 26 through yesterday…We’ll get another 6-8 I think each day through Saturday. Also notice how Downtown in the more urban setting averages 133 hours of 100°+ heat index values…so far their at 42…another 8+ are coming each day into Sunday it appears.

So yes…it’s the humidity too!


Let’s deal with three things today…1) the end of the heat wave…2) the rain chances when the heat wave ends…3) the rain prospects next week.

  1. The end wave will be ending Sunday into Monday. A cold front will move through bringing more tolerable air into the region. This will happen sometime Sunday afternoon/evening. The issue for Sunday is how hot we get before the front gets here…we again could be near or above 90° before we see the winds shifting towards the north and more tolerable air comes into the area.
  2. It would be unusual for us not to see rain in the region when a multi-day heat wave breaks because of a cold front. The issue we’ll be fighting is a cap that may prevent a ton of storms to organize though. So yes there will be rain out there with or behind the front coming through on Sunday…but the coverage is still a question. Various models have solutions that range from 1-4″ of rain to under 1/4″ of rain.  Odds are it will end up between the several extremes out there in model land…
  3. At least there’s a chance of rain later Sunday…beggars can’t be choosy at about this point with regards to the rain. IF the front speeds up we may be fighting rain during the day at some point…so be aware of a possible rain scenario on Sunday.
  4. The front should be south of the area Monday and I think Monday is dry for most area…perhaps some lingering AM chances farther south or southwest of KC…Garnett to Butler>the Lakes region.
  5. The issue though after this front comes through is that there may not be any more rain next week either. It won’t be overly hot…as a matter of fact perhaps a bit below average MON>TUE and the nights will be more comfortable because of the lower dew points coming this way…but the pattern sort of looks dry to me at this point. The air won’t be as humid as it is now.
  6. There may be a day or morning in there where some sort of disturbance moves southwards out of the upper Midwest…perhaps later Tuesday or Wednesday…but that is pure conjecture from so far out.

The new 8-14 day outlook isn’t exactly a wet looking thing for the Plains….

That takes us through the rest of the month if it’s close to reality.

I just looked at the drought report to see if northern MO would go into a 1st stage “abnormally dry” category…they did not. Both KS and MO are in no categories at all regarding drought. In mid July…that’s pretty impressive.

OK that’s about all for today. Our feature photo comes from Lara Bee of the beautiful full moon over Longview Lake.


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