An enjoyable holiday weekend

I am not sure if it can get any nicer than this. Given the amount of rain we’ve had over the last several weeks–and how it’s rained pretty much every weekend since the middle of March–it is surprising that we have no rain in the forecast this Saturday and Sunday. The other side of the coin: it’s July. It could easily be 95 to 100 degrees outside with heat index values near 110°! Here at 5p on a Friday, this is where we stand.

Those going to the Royals game tonight are in for a treat.

And as we head through the holiday weekend, I just don’t think we have much to worry about. Could there be a shower that randomly pops up at some point? Yeah. That would be on Sunday and South of I-70. But I am not seeing much support from the latest guidance on that. So if you have a cookout planned for tomorrow, you should be fine.

I believe we’re dry for the holiday weekend. However, I have to be honest. There is a tiny chance of something to creep up Sunday afternoon.

But I really think we’ll wind up staying dry. No issues for those with outdoor plans this weekend.

So what’s the deal? Why suddenly dry? The boundary that would help to generate rainfall has slid down to the South and will hang there for a couple days.

Now, it’s not going to stay there. By Monday we’re back in the soup with a decent chance for rain and thunderstorms.

Looking farther ahead, I’m kinda surprised. I do not see us warming up much going into next week. Every day of the week shows highs below the average for this time of year. It’s also possible we don’t make it out of the 70s on Tuesday and Wednesday. Incredible stuff for this part of the country in July.

I hope you all have a great, safe, and happy holiday!

SPC Risks This Evening

Good late afternoon bloggers,

Here is this afternoon’s surface map.  A low pressure area has developed over eastern Kansas and as of 3 PM there was a slowly sagging front near Kansas City. This front is slowly moving south.  There is also an outflow boundary that is still well defined over southern Missouri weakening as it tracks into the surface low, indicated by the dashed line.


The Storm Prediction Center has placed this risk of tornadoes in our area. Remember, a 5% risk means that there is a 95% chance of no tornadoes within 25 miles of your location. Everyone seems to look at it the other way for some reason.  We are monitoring the set-up closely for development.  As of 3 PM nothing has formed.


The outflow boundary has likely pushed the threat farther south than what the SPC has been indicating. I am not 100% confident of this, as we are still seeing this evolve.  The best chance will likely be farther south, but as of 4 PM the front is right near KC.  Have a great day. If any thunderstorms do form please let us know through Facebook.com/garylezak or tweet me @glezak.

Here is a picture I am tweeting out now, from one of our models:


Thanks in advance for your help.


A risk of severe weather this afternoon

We experienced some more strong overnight storms early this morning. This is a radar grab from 1am when a strong little line of storms developed almost right over the same area that was hit last week.

The NWS office at Pleasant Hill reported a 60mph wind gust as these storms rolled through. It also knocked out more power to a few areas.

Now, here at 6am, this is the current radar.

There are no severe thunderstorms around our area, but some flash flooding is possible around Warrensburg and Sedalia.

As we go through the afternoon, there is a chance for thunderstorms to redevelop. It’s possible that some of the stronger storms turn severe. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted an area over KC as having a “Slight Risk” of severe weather.
(Updated as of 8am)

The Powercast forecast model picks up on that a little bit, showing some isolated cells popping up this afternoon.

Some of that depends on the amount of sunshine we get. The more sun equals the better chance to see something develop. So if you’re not a fan of storms, then root for the clouds today. We will be on guard and keep you posted as things develop. **Also note: just because the whole area is in the risk, doesn’t mean everyone will see storms. Matter of fact, there will be many that do NOT see any rain/storms at all this afternoon. Just something to remember.

There is another chance for rain and thunderstorms Thursday, but it appears that threat will hold off until after dark. It may turn out to be more of an early Friday morning event for KC.

I do see a dip in temperatures coming our way for Thursday & Friday, as highs may only hit the very low 80s. We’ll start to ramp back up going into the first half of next week.

Looking back at the month of June, it was a soaker. There is no doubt about that! Check out how far above average some of the major reporting sites were for the month.
And according to the folks at the NWS, this last May & June ranks as the second wettest May/June on record. A total combined rainfall amount of 17.83″ was record at KCI. That’s pretty impressive.

It seems July is picking right where May and June left off. As of post time, we’ve already seen an inch of rain downtown and just over a third of an inch at KCI. These numbers are as of 5:00am and will likely be updated after the morning rain ends.

A sneak peak at the holiday weekend, as of this morning, suggests to me that we may get by dry on Saturday & Sunday. I cannot rule out an afternoon pop-up storm, but the latest indications say most of us will stay dry. Of course, we’re still a few days away and that’s plenty of time for things to change a little. We’ll keep tabs on it for sure!

Many are still asking/talking about the haze in the sky Tuesday. That was smoke from the wildfires up in Canada. Here is a great image from NASA that shows the river of smoke stretching down toward our area from the Great White North.

Stay with us as we watch the sky this afternoon.

Severe Weather Risk Later Today

Good morning bloggers,

Welcome to July! Right after midnight, on July 1st, rain and a few thunderstorms were increasing.  The weather pattern is quite interesting as we move into the second half of 2015.  There is a severe weather risk today.  The risk is slight, but there are a few features that have our attention.  We will be monitoring these closely as there is a surface low forming over Kansas and a weak front near by with some upper level energy approaching this afternoon and evening.  We will get to that in a second, but first take a look at the last two months:



The wet pattern continues on this July 1st.



And, as I am discussing on Weather2020 today, this set-up is right no schedule. It was 46 to 47 days ago that we had tornado warnings at midnight in our area. 58 tornados were reported that day. This part of the pattern has produced severe weather in just about every LRC Cycle.  During the spring we had morning rain and thunderstorms in so many set-ups and that affected the afternoon set-ups. We again are monitoring these morning thunderstorms and showers. We will look at the set-up early this afternoon and update the blog as time permits later today.

Weather Forecast Time-Line:

  • Now-noon: Scattered showers and thunderstorms with cloudy skies
  • Noon-6PM:  There will likely be a break and a front will be setting up, most likely just southwest of Kansas City. The exact location is uncertain. The atmosphere will be able to recover.
  • 6 PM – 10 PM: Severe weather risk increases. There will likely be a location where the cap breaks and big thunderstorms form with large hail, damaging winds and possibly a couple of tornadoes in our area.

JD Rudd is on the air this morning filling in for Kalee.  He will go over the risks, and I will be in this afternoon with updates as we monitor today closely.  Have a great day.


Another Odd day of Weather

Good Tuesday bloggers,

The sky today was not your typical looking sky.  It was very white/orange/brown from the thick smoke overhead from the Alaska and northwest Canada fires.  Then, throw in some afternoon mid level clouds and you get a unique color to the sky.  This smoke has come in on northwest flow.  Now, will thunderstorms come in on northwest flow?  The answer is yes, but not all areas will see the activity.  There is a northwest-southeast front  lying in the area that when combined with disturbances from the northwest will generate thunderstorms tonight.

TUESDAY PM SET UP:  It is in the 70s near Omaha and 102 in Salina!



5 AM WEDNESDAY: Thunderstorms should be forming in southeast Nebraska later tonight.  They will congeal into an MCS (Mesoscale convective system) and head southeast.  Kansas City is on the western edge with the heaviest over areas that DO NOT need the rain.  There is not a slight risk tonight, so the high wind/hail threat is low, but flooding may be an issue.  Below we will look at potential rainfall amounts.



NOON WEDNESDAY: The thunderstorms will be well southeast.  However, the front will still be lingering in the area.  We will be watching for new thunderstorms to form tomorrow evening and night from Kansas City south.  Highs will be 80-85.



RAINFALL FORECAST TONIGHT-THURSDAY: When you add up the rainfall events tonight-Thursday you can see much of Missouri is going to get clobbered.  This is not good news as much of Missouri is in a state of emergency for flooding.



RAINFALL FORECAST TONIGHT-THURSDAY (OUR VIEWING AREA):  This is not an easy forecast. Rainfall amounts will range from none to .15″ west to over 3″ east.  This is as it stands now, but you can see a shift west or east by 50-80 miles will make a huge difference on how much rain occurs in your location.  We will not know the exact path until we see something form.



There is another system for Thursday night-Friday, but Saturday the 4th should be mostly dry.  A few thunderstorms may occur, mainly during the afternoon, but overall it looks like good for fireworks time.

Have a great night.


Smoke and Thunderstorms

Good Monday evening bloggers,

The weather has calmed down a bit, but that will change in a day or two.  First, during this calm weather we have had a milky, whitish haze in the sky.  Sunday evening it became thick and gray.  This is smoke at 20,000-30,000 feet from massive wildfires in Alaska and northwest Canada.  We are in northwest flow and this smoke is being transported right into the middle of the country.  Here is a video Gary shot Sunday evening, quite odd looking

VISIBLE SATELLITE FROM MONDAY AFTERNOON: The smooth white from KC north is the smoke plume.  You can see it extends all the way north into Canada.



Now we turn our attention to the chance of thunderstorms.  A front will be forming and stalling from Nebraska to northern Missouri.  The flow aloft is from the northwest.  This is the set up for thunderstorms tomorrow night as a disturbance runs along this front.  It looks like the heaviest will track from northern to southeast Missouri with KC on the edge.  We will know more tomorrow, but below is the latest rainfall forecast for Tuesday night-Thursday.  Flooded areas near St. Louis look to get hammered.  Not only is there a chance Tuesday night, but more thunderstorms may form in the zone to our northeast Wednesday-Thursday.


Have a great week.


The streak is over

I’d be lying if I said we didn’t cut it a little close, but the streak of wet weekends in Kansas City is over. No official rainfall at KCI today (or yesterday) marks the first time since March we’ve not had rainfall over the weekend.

But like I said, it was a little close. Those showers in Minnesota I talked about in last night’s blog hung on a bit and skirted the area this morning. Yes, they hit Liberty and other parts of the NE section of KC. But again, KCI is “where it counts” as that is where the stat is based. There have been weekend where showers pretty much only pass over KCI and that counted as it being a “wet” weekend. We have to be consistent here. This was the radar at 9:30am.

Now this afternoon, a cold front as already gone through. This is evident by the wind direction shift.

On the radar, you can pick up the broken line of thunderstorms that has bubbled up this afternoon.
That line will continue to progress South, so there is no threat to Kansas City. However, it may turn into a bumpy night for those on the East side of Missouri, namely in the St. Louis area.

Up on the visible satellite image, it looks pretty neat.
You can also see a strip of higher clouds (perhaps even smoke from wildfires upstream) that is across St. Joseph and runs up through Eastern Nebraska.

Despite that cold front coming through, it’s still going to be warm–if not hot for some–tomorrow and Tuesday. I expect highs to climb into the upper 80s to near 90. Toss in some dew points in the 60s, we’ll have heat index values in the middle 90s at times. Be sure to take precautions if you’ll be outside working or even having fun.

To jump ahead in the forecast, new indications for next weekend suggest it may now be dry! However, I have a feeling we’ll see the models yo-yo over the next couple of days. What that means for you: you will see different forecasts from different outlets over the next few days and that may make it difficult to plan events. Be patient and really start to pay attention to the forecast as we get toward the second half of the week. By then, we’ll start to get a better idea of the weekend.

Enjoy the night!

A Brief Sunday Shower of Thunderstorm

Good Sunday bloggers,

Saturday was a nice and stress free weather day.  Today is different.  The forecast is a bit tough to explain as we are tracking a band of disturbed weather as it tracks from north to south across the area.  This band includes clouds and scattered showers/thunderstorms.  There is a slight risk of severe weather southeast of I-35 as this band may try to intensify as it moves southeast during the more unstable time of day when the air is at its warmest.

WEATHER TRACK RADAR 730 AM: The band is crossing into northern Missouri from Iowa.



SUNDAY SEVERE RISK: The severe weather threat is really southeast of KC as the band moves south and away.



Lets time this out the best we can,

9-11 AM: The band will be across northern Missouri with clouds and a few showers and thunderstorms.  Some locations will experience a brief downpour of rain along with a flash of lightning and rumble of thunder.



11 AM to 2 PM: The threat shifts to the I-70 corridor.


2 PM to 5 PM: The threat shifts to the south.


AFTER 5 PM: The threat shifts quickly south into southern MO.  It will be a nice Sunday evening.



So, some locations will see no rain, some will see a few drops, other may see a quick .10″ to .50″.  This should not cause any flooding issues and any severe weather will be if a few thunderstorms drop some quarter sized hail and/or produce wind gusts over 58 mph. Highs today will reach the mid to upper 80s.

Have a great day and JD will have an update this afternoon.


Get off my cloud

One could argue that Mother Nature is a Rolling Stones fan. It’s no secret tonight is their big concert at Arrowhead stadium. Our downtown skyview camera shows their jet hanging out this evening.

Given how the atmosphere has behaved lately (rain, rain, rain… and the humidity!), this could have easily been a miserable night for rock fans. Instead, this is about as perfect of weather as you can get in Kansas City in late June for an outdoor concert of this size.

If you’re going, have a great time and be safe.

Looking toward Sunday, we’ve been keeping an eye on a little “wave” in the atmosphere which could bring rain to some parts of the area. Based on the newest information, I am leaning toward saying that KC Metro will wind up staying dry Sunday.
Here is what the latest version of Powercast is saying for Sunday morning.
I have highlighted an area of clouds. This area could still produce a stray shower or two. That would not surprise me one bit. But I also think these clouds could help to PREVENT rain/storms later in the afternoon.

As of late tonight, there is activity on the actual radar well to our North.
This would be what produces the clouds and early morning showers around the Iowa/Missouri line. I think those will fall apart as the early morning goes on and should fall in line with what I described above.

So what about the afternoon? Well, take a look at what Powercast says for about 4:30pm.
Notice how a broken line of thunderstorms tries to form in our Southern counties. It’s still not out of the question that line could happen a little more to the North (say along I-70). We’re not out of the woods in KC totally so we’ll need to keep eyes on it. I know as of Noon Saturday, the Storm Prediction Center has a “Slight Risk” for severe weather over our area, and it includes Metro KC. BUT… I am just not sold on that right now. Just my opinion.

While the images above are just one run of one forecast model, I am seeing support from the rest of the 12z & 18z suite of model guidance. It appears to me that the best chance for rain and t-storms will be to the East and South of Kansas City. Now that said, the NAM model is the only one suggesting storms bubble up near KC (around 3p-4p). But the NAM has been off as of late, so I raise an eyebrow at this solution.

Typically in June, we’d be begging for any rain the sky would be willing to part with. However, after these wet weeks we’ve had, I think many would be happy to see a dry weekend.

Take a look at this nice graphic the National Weather Service KC office put together. It really shows just how soggy it’s been over the last several weeks.

Not to spoil the fun, but early indications from the guidance suggests the holiday weekend will be back on the wet side. I know. But hey, there is still time for the atmosphere to change its mind.

Without question, we’re good on rain for the area this month. Just look at where we are so far, versus where we’re supposed to be:

As of today, we’re working our way up the top 10 list of all-time wettest May-June periods on record. I have a funny feeling July could wind up being another above average month.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

You can’t say “never” anymore

Often times when strong thunderstorms roll across our coverage area, people will say “my town never gets hit… we never get the “good” storm!”. Moreover, I hear that from people that live in Metro KC and they say the storms always split across the city. Well, last night, that was certainly not the case. Kansas City found itself in the true sweet spot.

Now first thing to address: did things play out exactly as expected? No. Did I expect 65-70mph wind to blow through the core of Kansas City? No. But if you go reread the blog and/or watch the forecasts from last night, I said that the overall threat will decrease through the night. However, some of the stronger storms would still be capable of producing strong wind and small hail. I also said these storms would pass over the the Metro between 2am and 3am. That’s what happened. And while some are dealing with downed trees and a loss of power, many of those that were in the rain/storms last night did not have to deal with any of that. Had that wall of wind slid another 40 miles Northeast of Southwest, it would have been an entirely different story.

Looking back at the radar, here is how things looked at about 1:41am.

A wall of wind (if you will) pushed right across the city, along that sharp leading edge of the thunderstorms. It was that leading edge where we saw a lot of the wind damage. This are the various storm reports, added to the radar map.

Many people lost power due to this storm passing over the greater Metro area.

As some already know, the wind was pretty stout when it passed over. On average, wind speeds were around 65 miles per hour.

Here is an animated loop I put together of the velocity portion (wind) from Doppler radar. This is from 1am to 3am. Can you pick out the wind gust as it moved through?

These winds were enough to topple some large trees. However, part of that was due to how soaked the ground has become with the rain over the recent weeks. That soft ground does not help hold the trees in place all that well. So a combo of soggy ground and high winds, you’ll get toppled trees.

Speaking of rain, that was another impressive part of this mesoscale complex. We saw some big rainfall numbers in some locales.
Your backyard rain measuring device will vary a bit of course.

Moving forward now, we’ve got a few spotty showers on the radar this evening.
But this is nothing compared to yesterday and will not amount to much of anything. I expect the bulk of this activity to decrease over the next couple of hours as it pushes South. For many, this will turn into a great evening with comfortable temperatures.

I still expect Saturday to be dry, but we have to talk a little bit about Sunday afternoon.

There is going to be a weak front dropping through the area. As I’ve mentioned before, portions of Missouri to the East of KC have a chance at getting some afternoon rain and thunderstorms. However, based on the newest information, that chance may now expand to just South of I-70. This is how Powercast plays it out.

As you can imagine, we’ll have to keep eyes on this getting closer to Sunday. It may be a close shave for Sunday. Remember, however, if it does not rain at KCI then it counts as a “Dry” day. We’ve not had a dry weekend at KCI since March. Amazing. College basketball playoff were going on then, and baseball season hadn’t even begun yet!

I hope your area missed out on the big storms last night. Here’s to a great weekend for you and yours,