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Excessive Heat and Rain

Good Saturday bloggers,

This has been an interesting week across the Plains and Midwest as there has been excessive heat and rainfall.  The pattern will cycle back to the pattern we had at the end of May and this will lead to cooler days and increased chances of rain across all of the middle of the USA.

KANSAS CITY SECTION:

We have been in an Excessive Heat warning since Wednesday and it is finally ending this evening. You can see how we are near the middle of this heat situation.

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We will make a run at 100° today before a cold front arrives tonight.  If it does not reach 100° at KCI our streak will continue even if it reaches 100° downtown as the official KC records are kept at KCI.  It will come close, if we fall short.

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As we have been writing, it has been awhile since we last reached 100°.  If we miss it today, there will be 2-4 days with chances in August, especially the first two weeks.

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Since 2013 not only has 100° been a rare occurrence, but so has temperatures 98° or higher.  We have reached 98° just 4 days, 99° for 2 days and the 100° once in 2013.  One of the four 98° was yesterday.

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Today will rise above 95° for the third consecutive day which will make this the first heat wave of 2017.  Do you know how many heat waves we have had since 2013?  The answer is not many, just three.  So, overall, we have been rather lucky the last few years.

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The heat wave will not extend to Sunday as a cold front arrives tonight.  A second front will arrive Sunday evening.  The first front arrives tonight and there will likely be scattered showers and thunderstorms.  Some locations will get missed, especially north of I-70, while locations to the south may see anywhere from a trace to 1-2″.

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The second front arrives Sunday evening and it will have little to no rain associated with its passage.  But, what it will do is take the heat down one more notch. You can see that Sunday will still see highs in the low to even mid 90s with humidity.  The air behind the second front will be a bit cooler and less humid.  So, Monday will see highs in the 80s which will feel like fall compared to what we have been dealing with the last several days.

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NATIONAL SECTION:

We are in the midst of the corn and soybean growing seasons, so rainfall and temperatures are critical to the Plains and Midwest.  Here is the latest drought monitor.  You can see the worst of the drought is located in the Dakotas and Montana where mostly Spring wheat is grown, but there is some corn as well.  The main corn belt is doing pretty well, but parts of Nebraska and Iowa are getting a bit too dry.  It would be nice to see some rain in those states.

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Here is rainfall estimated by radar during the last 7 days.  You can see that the heaviest rain has not fallen in the dry areas, although northern South Dakota and far southern North Dakota has seen about 1″ to 3″.  The dry parts of Nebraska and Iowa have been mostly missed.  Now, on the flip side there can be too much rain and this has occurred in southern Nebraska, eastern Iowa to southwest Wisconsin and northern Illinois.  It really is an odd precipitation pattern across the belt.

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Look at some of these totals from eastern Iowa to northern Illinois, which mostly fell Friday night.

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Here are some totals from southern Nebraska.  These were due to a southwest monsoon disturbance that tracked across this region just as the heat was building.  Yes, there are some amounts over 10″.

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In the Kansas City area, locations south of I-70 have been mostly dry since July 13th, so some rain tonight would be nice.

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LRC SECTION:

The pattern continues to cycle at 58.5 days and this has led to drier first halves of months and wetter second halves of months across the middle of the USA.  It looks like this trend will continue here in July as the pattern from the last 10 days of May will be cycling through and this featured lower heights east of the Rockies.  So, this week we will see lower heights and more cold fronts and disturbances across the Plains and Midwest which means more rain chances.  Unfortunately, that includes the areas that have been inundated this week.

Have a great weekend and stay cool.

Jeff Penner

Today May Be The 1,412th Straight Day Below 100°

Good morning bloggers,

The Heat Wave will become official on Saturday as we will then reach Kansas City’s third day in a row of 95º or higher.  It was 97 yesterday. It may hit 100 degrees today, but I think it will fall just short at 98 or 99, and then the best chance of breaking this almost four-year long streak will be Saturday.

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There will be frontal compression ahead of this cold front. If there is limited cloud cover, and we are forecasting mostly sunny skies, then there is a very good chance the streak will end. Then, there will likely be a few thunderstorms forming during the evening near this front. So, where it is located will be important for where the heaviest thunderstorms will be located.

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Here is the 7 day forecast that I showed on the air last night. I am on my way to California for a “bucket list” trip. I am writing up something all about this on Facebook. So, check it out. Have a great Friday.

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I am on my way to Big Bear Lake to see my favorite artist Colin Hay perform Saturday night.  I grew up in Southern California where the monsoon moisture would make it into the deserts and mountains at times during the summer.  I was sort of tormented as I would always see the cumulonimbus clouds building over the mountains and all I would ever get was an anvil spreading west out over the valleys. Oh, occasionally there would be the conditions ripe for a few thunderstorms to make it over into the coastal side where I lived in the San Fernando Valley, but that was like once every three to four years or so.  When I was 10 years old all I wanted for my birthday was ten trips to Big Bear Lake, in the San Bernadino Mountains around 8,000 feet up, to see thunderstorms. One day when I felt the conditions were right, I convinced my father and we drove the 2 1/2 hours it took to get there. The cumulonimbus clouds built up and I stared at the clouds the entire way.  There was a brief downpour, as I remember it, and then maybe after 30 minutes and a hot dog and ice-cream later, we drove home. Colin Hay, the lead singer of Men At Work, has continued to tour and he is playing at The Cave in Big Bear tomorrow night. A few weeks ago I couldn’t resist and I set up the trip. I am leaving early this morning. I doubt there will be a thunderstorm, but there may be a few cumulus clouds. Believe it or not, that was exciting when I grew up to just see a few cumulus clouds.

Have a great day. I just wanted to share, and thank you for sharing in this weather experience.

Gary

The Eclipse Forecast Updated

Good Morning Bloggers,

A Heat Wave is expanding over the plains and we will look at the weather pattern in just a minute, but let us begin this blog with the updated weather forecast for the eclipse. 55 days before the eclipse we issued our first forecast based on the Cycling Pattern Hypothesis and this forecast has not changed at all. It will not change as the pattern is cycling regularly and we are in the same pattern that began last fall. The new pattern will begin setting up in late September and October and we will begin that discussion in a couple of months.  The weather pattern is cycling regularly as we have shared with you for years. Astronomical cycles are a bit more obvious and astronomers are likely the best forecasters of future events in the world. They know exactly, to the second, when the eclipse will begin and end, and they made this forecast years ago. It will be accurate. There are other cycles we know of in astronomy quite well.

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Above, you can see our hypothesis that we have used for decades to forecast the weather and we are getting better and better and now there is a computer model that combines our art with science.  This years pattern is cycling in the 56 to 61 day range centered on 58-59 days.

CPH BLEND 3 Years Lines F

The map above shows the cycling index blend from the past three years. The jet stream is currently reaching its weakest strength and farthest north position as it does every year at this point. I am just showing you this graphic to showcase how the pattern is cycling, and we have shared with you how accurate our forecasts have been at Weather2020 for the past decade. We “know” what the pattern will likely look like from 1 day to up to 300 days into the future, and this is why you can count on this eclipse weather forecast.

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The eclipse will be viewed by millions of americans and people from around the world that will be lining up along the path. Our team at KSHB-TV and Weather2020 will be strategically located closer to KC to share the eclipse with you. It is still one month away.  Here is the forecast:

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Tropical Storm Cindy had just crossed the Gulf of Mexico coast line and it was weakening as it moved into the Tennessee Valley. The cloud cover is something we do not want to see as we get into August 21st.  There is an increased chance of a tropical storm again around the second half of August and this is something we will be able to identify that week.  There may also be a few thunderstorm complexes across the plains moving southeast as well. For these reasons we continue that forecast of yellow, which means there is a chance of clouds blocking out the sun in spots. In this yellow area there is still s good 70% chance of it being clear enough for you to have good viewing.  The green areas continue to look great for eclipse viewing.

Todays Weather Pattern:

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It has been 1,411 days since Kansas City has been 100 degrees or higher at KCI Airport, the official recording station. The day with the best chance to break this streak, to end this almost four year long stretch is Saturday. Why? Take a look at the surface forecast valid Saturday afternoon:

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Kansas City will likely be just south of this developing cold front. The temperatures will range from the 60s in Nebraska to over 100 degrees over Kansas. Just ahead of these fronts we get what is called frontal compression and temperatures can be forced to go a bit higher. If there are no clouds, and this forecast map above is accurate, then I believe KC will reach that 100 degree mark at 4:30 PM on Saturday afternoon.  Then, there will be a chance of thunderstorms Saturday night.

Have a great day and share this post with your friends so they can have an eclipse forecast!  Learn more about the cycling weather pattern hypothesis and share in the conversation at Weather2020

Gary

The Heat Wave Will Begin & End Within Five Days

Good morning bloggers,

Thunderstorms are tracking across northern Missouri this morning, and look closely. There is a Flood Advisory smack down in the middle of the Excessive Heat Warning.  Here are today’s Advisories:

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The National Weather Picture:

Most of the nation has calm weather this morning.  There were four main areas of thunderstorms early today. The strongest one was located over the Dakotas. The second strongest area of showers and thunderstorms was over northwest Missouri.  A third one was associated with the summer monsoon and near Las Vegas this morning.  And, the fourth area was off the southeastern coast.

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In Kansas City, a heat wave is defined to be three consecutive 95° days or higher.  Here is the Forecast Time-Line:

KC Forecast Time-Line:

  • Today:  Mostly cloudy this morning with an 80% chance of rain with a few thunderstorms north of KC.  There is a 20% chance south of I-70, and a 30% chance over northern sections of the KC metro area.  The clouds will clear and it will be sunny by early to mid-afternoon. High:  94° at KCI Airport
  • Tonight: Dry with a low of 76° with a light south breeze
  • Thursday:  The heat wave truly begins with sunshine, light southwest winds around 13 mph and high of 98°
  • Friday:  Mostly sunny with a southwest breeze 10-15 mph. High:  99°
  • Saturday:  Mostly sunny with southwest winds 5-15 mph.  There is a 20% chance of thunderstorms Saturday night. High:  99°
  • Sunday:  Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of a morning thunderstorm. Cooler with a high of 91°

Could a four year streak be about to end? It is pretty incredible that it hasn’t reached 100 degrees in Kansas City in almost four consecutive years. Incredibly, the last 100 degree day was 1,410 days ago and that summer of 2013 only had that one 100 degree day.  It is rather obviously a tough task for us to reach that elusive number.  St. Louis, MO had no problem last week having two days that went over 100. Will Kansas City’s streak end later this week?

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One of the biggest reasons that we have stayed below 100 degrees is the fact that we are above average on rainfall and everything is lush and green. KCI Airport has only had 0.38″ of rain so far this month and this may help push us that one or two degrees higher.  For the year KC is still over an inch above average.

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This above average rainfall began right around the first week of spring.  The green grass and the growing corn and soybean crops have been a factor in why the hottest temperature so far has been 94°.  It will go higher in the next few days:

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We will be monitoring the thermometer at KCI Airport closely.  I will have to check how many days have been 99 or 98 degrees in the past four years. I will bet there were at least a handful of them.

Have a great day and thank you for participating and sharing in this weather experience. We have been having great discussions on Weather2020.com, so go join in the conversation.

Gary

Kansas City’s First Heat Wave Of The Summer Begins Soon

Good morning bloggers,

The streak continues.  There is a chance that it will actually reach 100 degrees later this week on Friday or Saturday, but there is also a reason that it has been almost four years since that number has been reached officially at Kansas City International Airport. It just is not that easy to do. The highest temperature ever recorded in Kansas City happened on August 14, 1936 when it reached 113 degrees.

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The National Weather Service has issued an Air Quality Alert for bad air pollution today near KC.  An EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING is also in effect:

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I usually take Sunny The Weather Dog everywhere with me if I get the chance, but not when it gets this hot. Even by 8 or 9 AM it is quite dangerous on days like this week where the sun is shining.  So, please remind your friends and family to be very conscious of this if they are traveling around even doing short errands. Kids and pets left in the car for short periods of time can be deadly.

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The hottest day of the year so far in Kansas City was last Wednesday:

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What is the chance we break this 1409 day streak later this week? I made this movie showing the chances of each high temperature:

Moving Thermometer Hottest Day POPS from Weather2020 on Vimeo.

There is a disturbance moving across the plains, near the Nebraska/Kansas border.  There is a weak disturbance that you can see in the clouds located just northwest of KC.  There is also a small complex of morning thunderstorms over southeastern Arizona that formed over the higher elevations in the monsoon areas. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for most of northern Arizona today.  The cloud cover over Omaha and Lincoln, NE will be monitored closely. Some of these clouds will move over the KC region and this is why the higher heat will more likely begin on Wednesday.

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Have a  great start to your day and thank you for sharing in this weather experience. You can leave your comment here or go over to Weather2020.com and comment over there. I will go over the latest data on 41 Action News.

Gary

The Monsoon Causes Deadly Arizona Flash Flood

Good morning bloggers,

The monsoon over the southwestern United States has become deadly.  At least nine people were killed in a horrific and very deadly flash flood yesterday in Arizona. Around an inch of rain fell in less than 30 minutes near this popular spot in Arizona.  A group of people from Phoenix and Flagstaff, Arizona had met for a day trip along a popular swimming hole near Payson, around 100 miles northeast of Phoenix.  They set up lounge chairs not knowing that a thunderstorm capable of producing the conditions for a flash flood had developed not that far away.  The rain from the thunderstorm was falling over an area that had a big wildfire recently and the lack of vegetation likely played into this disaster.   Around a 6-foot-high wall of water organized and collected dark ash from the ground influenced by the fire. The thunderstorm was likely visible and not that far away. And, the worse case scenario happened with the torrent of water crying nine people to their deaths.

Take a look at the developing pattern and the conditions for more monsoon thunderstorms this week:

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The Southwest Monsoon:

The southwestern United States monsoon, sometimes called the North American monsoon, or the New Mexican monsoon, or the Arizona monsoon is caused by a seasonal shift in the wind patterns aloft caused by the anticyclone, what I have called the “heat wave creating machine”.  During the summer months, usually by the end of June, the heights rise aloft and this anticyclone forms. The flow around this system causes thunderstorms to form over the mountains of Mexico. These drift northwest towards Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern California.  Low level moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of California gets drawn in and the humidity actually rises at times over the deserts of the southwestern United States.  Thunderstorms are the result that are fueled by daytime heating and mountain lift (orographic lifting).  Disturbances often move west and then rotate around the anticyclone.  Eventually the jet stream will shift south by late August or September and the seasonal monsoon will come to an end as fall approaches.

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The tropics are also active off of the Mexico coast over the eastern Pacific Ocean.  Hurricane Fernanda has formed and there are two other systems that may form into tropical storms as well.

Farther north there is a monsoon disturbance moving out of eastern Colorado and into the plains. Take a look:

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This disturbance will at least bring a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms out over Kansas into western Missouri later Tuesday.  And, then that anticyclone will be building and we will make a run at 100 degrees by Friday.  Remember it has been almost 4 years since Kansas City at KCI Airport officially reached 100 degrees. This happened on September 8, 2013.  We will likely test this streak out later in the week.

Have a great day!!!! And, thank you for participating and sharing in this weather experience. We have been having some great conversations over on the Weather2020 blog, so go over there and join in, or you can leave a comment here as well.

Gary

Summer Settles In Stronger

Good Sunday morning bloggers,

Summer is settling in a bit stronger. We will be discussing the jet stream strength in the next blog or two as the jet stream is about to reach its weakest average strength and farthest north position as we move into early August. Yesterday, Jeff clearly established and showed that the weather pattern is continuing to cycle regularly in the range that set up in October and November last year. We are in the fifth cycle currently.

We have a computer model that is being tested with some good results. Just like any model, there are ways to attempt improving the accuracy. We have made adjustments to the Cycling Pattern Model over the past few months adding in some additional factors.  The model should get “smarter” as we move through the cycles and blend cycles together.  The first forecast issued by our model for July came out as we had completed the first cycle and began moving into second cycle. This is the February projection (the middle forecast graph), a 5-month forecast. The first map below is our April update where we blended in two cycles. And, the third map is the forecast updated with some new factors added in, including the blending of all of the cycles:

July Heat Forecast1

July Forecast Made Janu

Kansas City July Forecast Cycle 4

This third forecast, the most recent one, shows the blue line (climatology, the averages), the orange line (the Cycling Pattern Forecast projection), and the green line which shows the verification.  Kansas City has now gone over 1,400 straight days without an official high of 100 degrees or higher (September 8, 2013).  We will be making a run at this elusive 100 degrees later this week and possibly again before the end of the month. There will also be one run at 100 degrees in August as well.

The chance of 100 degrees later this week:

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These two forecast maps from the GFS show that the “same” pattern continues to produce similar results. High humidity up the Kansas/Missouri state line has helped keep temperatures below 100 degrees near KC. It has hit over 100 degrees twice in the last week over St. Louis and west of Topeka, but not in the corridor near KC.  The top map shows low 90s Wednesday, and then close to 100 degrees by Friday.  It appears it may just fall short again, but it may be very close later this week.

There is also a weak upper level disturbance coming east across Kansas this week, but the chance of rain appears it will stay low. Have a great Sunday and thank you for sharing in this weather experience.

Gary

Tracking the “Heat Wave Creating Machine”

Good Saturday,

We are in for a nice and typical summer weekend of weather.  We will go through the next few days and then use the CPH (Cycling Pattern Hypothesis) to track where the “heat wave creating machine”, anticyclone, is likely to go in the next week.

Here is the forecast for the next three days.

TODAY: This will be a nice day with highs near 90°, a light wind and a tad less humidity than what has been experienced the last several days.  Note, the red color represents temperatures 90° or higher.  Western Kansas will see temperatures in the 70s and 80s as a small system meanders out of Colorado and produces clouds, showers and thunderstorms.  We will be following this system and a cold front in the Great Lakes Sunday and Monday.

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SUNDAY:  The small system in western Kansas will still be out there as it is moving quite slow, producing more showers and thunderstorms.  The cold front in the Great Lakes will surge south towards the Tennessee Valley, but stall as it tries to drift west.  There will be a few thunderstorms along the front.  So, our region will be caught in between the two weather features leaving us hot and humid with a light wind.

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MONDAY: The small system in the Plains will be on the move and it will be located in southwest Nebraska and northwest Kansas.  This system will move east and slowly fall apart Monday night and Tuesday.  So, our region has a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms at those times.  The front to the east is stalled and will be moving back east as a warm front Tuesday.  We will not be experiencing the refreshing air mass over the Great Lakes, 70s for highs in Chicago, while we sit in the low 90s with high humidity.

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Cycling Pattern Hypothesis (CPH)

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Let’s go through the rest of the week and analyze the 500 mb flow, the flow at around 18,000 feet, using the CPH to track the summer upper level high, or anticyclone, or “heat wave creating machine.”

Here is the upper level flow forecast for July 18, 2017:

We have labelled the four main features present in the flow.

1. Trough off of the west coast of the USA

2. The anticyclone.

3. Deep upper low, Polar Vortex feature around Hudson’s Bay.

4. A trough in New England.

Since the anticyclone is centered in the southern Plains it will be heating up in the middle of the USA with less rain chances.  We will go back to cycles 1 and 3 to see if the forecast upper level flow is realistic or should we throw out the model data.  Remember, this years cycle is 56-61 days, centered on 58.5.  This means a multiple anywhere between 56 and 61 days prior to a date in this years pattern we should be able to find a match in the pattern.  Now, that being said, you have to account for seasonal differences.

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CYCLE 3 (MARCH 20, 2017, 120 days prior to July 18th, or two cycles ago.):

Here are the 4 features back in March.  It is rather amazing to see as you have the trough off the west coast (1), the ridge in the southern Plains (2), the deep trough around Hudson’s bay(3) and the trough moving through New England (4).  Feature #3 even has a similar shape as the one forecast July 17th.  Now, remember seasonal differences. The ridge in July is going to be stronger as it is hotter and the jet stream is more retreated.  So, it become a full blown upper level high.

500 mb March 20 2017 label

CYCLE 1: Now, lets go back 240 days to November 20, 2016, Cycle 1:

Once again we see the four features in basically the same locations.  You have 1, the trough off of the west coast. 2, there is the ridge in the southern Plains that actually was a small upper level high and shifted a bit south.  The third feature is smaller in this cycle as it appears more energy was distributed farther south in the main jet stream which makes feature number 4 stronger.

500 mb November 20 2016 labelled

So, based on this, we can believe the forecast data for July 17th as we see the matches.  This means it will be getting hot in our region.  KC has not reached 100° since September 8, 2013 and we will make another run at it this week, but high humidity, may prevent that from happening like last week.  You can go back to the other cycles and see these features at around 60 days, give or take 1-2 days.

Have a great week and stay cool.

Jeff Penner

A Look Back & A Look Ahead To Some Summer Heat

Good morning bloggers,

I have just arrived back from Boston. I showed the Cycling Pattern Hypothesis (LRC) to many of my peers. You should have seen their mouths drop.  We are sharing this technology with all of you, and have done so for 15 years in this blog and on the Weather2020 blog. We have now combined the blogs. Most of the commenting has been over on Weather2020 if you want to join in the conversation and thank you in advance for participating and sharing in this weather experience.  This has been a fascinating spring and summer so far.

Here is a picture from this morning:

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The last rain showers from this storm system were swinging across the south KC metro area early this morning.

Rainfall totals:

  • KCI Airport:  0.10″ and 0.38″ for the month
  • Overland Park, KS:  1.94″ and 3.12″ for the month
  • 143rd and Switzer:  4.00″ and over 5″ for the month

Let us know how much rain you have received.  As you can see the amounts vary quite widely as KCI Airport, the official KC recording station is sitting at 0.38″ for this firs half of the month.

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The weather pattern is now calming down again.  This map above shows the weather pattern valid at around midnight tonight.   There is a closed circle, the anticyclone backed up over the Rocky Mountain states again. Look closely. There is an upper low, a monsoon disturbance in the middle of the anticyclone.  Or, a cycling inside the anticyclone. Very interesting indeed.  We will watch this closely over the next few days as it meanders eastward.  It will be rather hot in the next week as the anticyclone is forecast to move back out over the plains stronger than it did this week.   We will look at the cycling pattern and what is ahead of us tomorrow. Have a great Friday Night In The Big Town. I will be back to work next week.

Gary

A Huge Ice Berg Breaks Off Of Antarctica

Good Thursday Afternoon,

As many of you have likely heard, a huge iceberg broke off of the Antarctica ice field yesterday. It made some pretty good news and Bob Henson, The Weather Company posted this blog entry about it yesterday. I have posted it below, here it the link: https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/delaware-sized-iceberg-detaches-larsen-c-shelf

I am heading back from Boston soon. i have been at the IBM facility in Littleton, MA this week learning some new tricks and tips on our computer system we use at KSHB-TV.  Yesterday we all broke out into teams and made weathercasts.  It was fun and then the winners were announced at dinner. We came in second place, and it was a lot of fun to work with my peers.

At dinner we got into a rather incredible discussion about our Cycling Pattern Hypothesis.  It was received quite well. The pattern continues to cycle regularly. While I have been gone it reached only 94 degrees at KCI Airport, whereas St. Louis had two days in a row over 100 degrees.  I had forecasted 92-97-98-99 this week, and it ended up 90-92-93-94.   So, roughly five degrees lower than I though it would be each day.  Next week will likely fall short too.

The latest short range models are showing some thunderstorm activity increasing in the next few hours near Kansas City.  I was blasted by very heavy rain with 2″ of rain in around an hour where I stayed at in Massachusetts.  Let’s see what happens closer to home tonight.

  • Kansas City Rainfall This Month:  0.27″
  • Kansas City Average Rainfall For July:  4.54″

Here is most of what Bob Henson posted on the link above:  

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Have a great Thursday evening.  Thank you for participating and sharing in this weather experience.  The conversation yesterday was a great one, I thought.
Gary