Joe’s Blog: Spring heat means Spring storms

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Well after we tied a record yesterday officially @ KCI one wonders if we can do it again today. There are though differences with today’s weather as opposed to yesterday’s weather. First of all the record high is a very doable 91° set back in 1941 (just like yesterday’s record). We’re starting out pretty mild this AM with temperatures well into the 60s…the air is pretty dry right now, but there is more moisture in the form of higher dewpoints to the south of the region which will be slowly moving this way during the course of the day…so you may notice the humidity creeping up a bit compared to yesterday, but still below typical summer levels here in the area.

The biggest difference will be a lack of wind compared to yesterday at the surface. Yesterday our average wind was over 15 MPH and we had gusts close to 40 MPH at times, helping to have a well mixed airmass close to the ground. Winds today will be more in the 10-15 MPH range without the “gustiness” of yesterday. The other factor will be the air aloft isn’t quite as toasty as what it was yesterday. Here is a look at the RAP model showing the airmass temperatures a few thousand feet off the ground.

ScreenHunter_06 May. 15 06.57

This is the same map I showed yesterday and if you look at yesterday’s blog, you can see a difference.

The core of the heat has been pushed back a bit towards the western Plains and is not “leaning over” through the upper Midwest like yesterday.

Speaking of yesterday…some amazing heat occurred for the month of May as highs surged to above 100° through parts of the Plains states…setting records for not only the date, but in some cases for the entire month of May. It’s certainly a case of weather whiplash as some are calling it because it was just a couple of weeks ago that a couple of the same states were hit by record May snowfall! Here is a look at the records established yesterday…

Alta UT 68F
Rawlins WY 81F
Rock Springs WY 81F tied 1976
Cheyenne WY 84F
Eureka NV 86F
Riverton WY 86F
Denver CO 87F tied 1996
Casper WY 88F
Salt Lake City UT 89F tied 1936
Alliance NE 90F
Kansas City MO 91F tied 1941
Rockford IL 92F tied 2007
St Louis MO 93F
Burlington CO 93F
Des Moines IA 94F
Sidney NE 94F
Cedar Rapids IA 94F
Scottsbluff NE 95F
St Cloud MN 95F
Topeka KS 95F tied 1941
Waterloo IA 96F
Garden City KS 96F tied 1963
Rochester MN 97F **hottest so early, prev 98F on May 19 1934**
Russell KS 97F
North Platte NE 97F
Imperial NE 98F
Minneapolis MN 98F
Mason City IA 99F
McCook NE 100F
Hill City KS 100F
Grand Island NE 102F **hottest so early, prev 100F on May 20 1925**
Sioux City IA 106F **all time May record, prev 105F on May 30 1934**


There may have been more but that gives you an idea…Sioux City’s is impressive! Many of the cities in NE also had some pretty chilly weather Sunday AM (like us) and saw this whiplash effect to the summer heat for a day. Here is a graphic from the NWS in Omaha. By the way, yesterday the high in Phoenix, AZ was 103°


As far as the weather goes, today a frontal boundary will gradually start to wash away towards the IA border area while at the same time a weak piece of energy will pass towards the south of the region. Here is the AM surface map showing the dewpoints to our south, and also the frontal boundary to the north of the area.


The piece of energy to the south of here shows up nicely in the latest satellite picture.



That disturbance will spin around OK during the day today and may create some storms towards the I-44 corridor. It just doesn’t look to impressive to me for us to get much activity around KC proper at this point. The better chances look to be north of south of KC.

The weekend though is still something to be watched and as I mentioned last weekend on the news, we may have at least some severe weather close by or in KC. Tough to say what form this severe weather will take on but it seems the better chances of this occurring would be on Sunday into Sunday night. Odds at this point favor wind and hail being the two main concerns. The SPC continues to outline the areas to watch…


For there purposes…day 4 is SAT, day 5 is SUN and day 6 is MON.

We’ll talk more about the weekend situation over the next couple of days, but like I said last weekend there are certainly going to be players on the field when it comes to severe storms in the Plains states over the upcoming weekend.

Have a great Wednesday and try to stay cool.


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