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Falling Afternoon Temperatures

Good Monday bloggers,

We have had a few showers and thunderstorms this morning, mainly across northern Missouri, north and east of KC.  We now turn our attention to a cold front that will be moving through between noon and 2 PM.  Along and behind this front there will be a few showers and some mist/drizzle, but rainfall amounts will mostly a trace, perhaps up to .01″-.05″, paltry.

Temperatures are near 70° ahead of the front, but will fall through the 60s and into the 50s by evening.

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The sky will clear tonight and high pressure builds in and this will allow temperatures to drop into the 40s by Tuesday morning.  The good news is that the high pressure remains in control Tuesday and this will make for a terrific afternoon of weather as highs reach near 70°.

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The next chance of thunderstorms arrives early Wednesday as a warm front approaches.  Some spots could see very heavy rain.

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Have a great day.

Jeff

Showers may slow you down Monday morning

It has been a pretty comfortable Sunday, all things considered. We saw a mix of the clouds and sun, plus some of the warmest readings we’ve had in a few days. That said, we only popped up into the low 70s! Great day to open up the windows.

Something neat to see on the visible satellite picture this afternoon: some stable air, wave clouds. Can you find them?
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I am keeping an eye on a small little feature that will roll through our area Monday morning. At the surface, there is currently an area of Low pressure in Southern Wyoming. This, along with (what will become) a warm front, should slide over us tomorrow. Here is the latest surface map, via the WPC:
SURF

A little higher up in the atmosphere, there will be a small piece of energy that slides over us by Monday morning. Check out this animated loop of the 500 millibar level (about 18,ooo feet up in the atmosphere) that I made.
output_uKpydc

You may need to click on the image to make it a little bigger and easier to see. What is obvious is the red to purple area that moves through South Dakota into Southern Minnesota. But look a little closer over Kansas City. The last few frames show a little enhancement of the colors. What this means is the forecast model is picking up on a little lift in the atmosphere, right around 5am Monday. This, in combination with the larger piece of energy to the North and the incoming surface features, should be enough to get us some rain in the morning.

If you like to see what the models are thinking for rain, here’s the opinion of the NAM:
4AMNAM

And this is what the RAP model thinks:
5AMRAP

It appears our best odds for rain will be in the morning and then decrease through the day. I do think there could be a redevelopment of showers in the late afternoon, but those should be to the South of our area. Overall, I am not too impressed with rain for Kansas City. I think the Iowa/Missouri line and North will likely see the better, meaningful rain. And keep in mind: a chance for rain does not mean it’s GOING to rain. We have a 40% chance of showers in the forecast, which means there is a 60% chance it will not rain.
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If you’re making plans to go see the Royals tomorrow night, here’s how the forecast is shaping up.
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While there is technically a chance for a shower around the start of the game, I do not think it will be likely. Still, there is a small chance but that chance goes down quickly. I will say this: take some warm clothing! It’s going to feel chilly at the ballpark without the sun and that cool North wind moving through the stands.

Hope you’ve had a great weekend. If you’re at the game tomorrow and see me, say hello!
-JD

New records in the books, now we track rain

We smashed, shattered, and destroyed some record lows this morning! For the first time since May 17th, our temperatures bottomed out in the 30s.
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The trade off to that, obviously, is that we’ve seen a lot more sunshine this afternoon than we have over the last few days. As of 4p, we’ve already seen temperatures bounce back into the 60s. That’s warmer than it been for the last few days!

Temperatures as of 4p Saturday

Temperatures as of 4p Saturday

Looking ahead to tonight, we will have a clear sky but the center of the cold air will move away from us. I do not expect it to get as cold tonight, however it will still be chilly: in the middle 40s for most (with a few areas in the lower 40s).

Sunday is going to be beautiful with highs in the lower 70s and a good amount of sunshine. By the afternoon, clouds will increase and this set the stage for our next system to arrive.

We are tracking a chance for rain on Monday. Models are still a little inconsistent on placement of the rain. The timing, however, seems to be in good agreement. Best chance for rain in the Metro area would be in the early morning hours Monday, then a break. Another chance of showers from around midday lingering through the middle afternoon. At this time, it appears the rain will be outside of the area for the start of the Royals game.

Here is how the NAM is depicting the rain.
This is for 7am Monday
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This is for 4pm Monday
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The latest run of the RPM Model is surprising to me. It’s VERY stingy with the precip.
Here is what it believes for 7am Monday
12zR

And this is the RPM for 5pm Monday
22zRP

As always, model guidance is just that: guidance (not fact). I do believe we have a shot at some showers across the area. There may even be some pockets of heavy rain as well. Our in-house Powercast model is picking up on that. If you want to see it in action, be sure to watch my forecasts on air tonight.

Obviously we’ll know more about how this will play out tomorrow when the newest information arrives from the models and soundings.

Looking a little farther ahead in the ol’ crystal ball: we’re in for a below-average week in terms of temperatures. Expect highs to remain below 80s for the bulk of the next seven days. At this time, I am not expecting us to bottom out in the 30s again for a while. That’s even despite the fact I’ve seen grocery stores already selling pumpkins…

Hope you have a terrific weekend.
-JD

Record Cold Summer Morning

Good Saturday morning,

Well we did it.  We officially broke the record cold of 39° set in 1890 with a low of 37°.  That is one of the oldest records I have seen. I believe record keeping began in 1888.

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What was the USA like in 1890.  Here are some fun facts.  The USA population now is around 315 million.

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There is also considerable river fog as the temperature has fallen below the dew point and with the moisture near the rivers it has condensed out as fog.  The temperature actually fell and the dew point fell with it, keeping the humidity 100% and the moisture condensed out as fog.There is also patchy ground fog.  Sorry for the confusion.

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The fog will burn off by 10-11 AM and it will be a sunny day with highs in the low 60s.

Our next rain chance arrives Monday.

Have a great weekend.

Jeff

The connection between Summer and Winter

After a summer that didn’t feel that much like a summer at all–we only had one stretch of hot weather and it never hit 100° at K.C.I. this year–are we getting set for a brutally cold and snowy winter? The short answer: not necessarily.

Many have already asked: since the Summer was cooler and wetter than usual, it MUST mean we are going to see a lot of snow and major cold this winter, right? The truth is: there is no scientific correlation between Summer and Winter. Sorry.

Believe me, meteorologists have been studying this for decades and cannot find a shred of evidence to connect the two. Sure, in some years we have had a cool/wet summer and then a cold/snowy winter. But that happened by chance, not by cause and effect. Often times, as humans, it’s our own memory that fools us into thinking there is a connection.

Let’s get our geek on for a second here.

See, in the summertime our weather is primarily driven by TWO jetstreams. A Polar Jet and a Subtropical Jet.
jet_streams_Polar&Sub

Remember a jetstream is a narrow river of air moving faster than the air around it and found at particular altitudes. The Polar Jet usually resides at 25 to 35 thousand feet above us, while the Subtropical Jet resides around 35 to 50 thousand feet above us. In the Summer, the Polar Jet is typically confined to the Northern portion of Alaska and the Subtropical Jet moves around the lower portion of the United States.

The wavering of these two jetstreams are what impacts our weather. Super hot days are caused by the Subtropical Jet getting pushed farther North and us getting trapped underneath. Cold snaps, like we saw in Kansas City several times this season, are caused when the Polar Jet is pushed farther South than usual.

Okay, so that briefly explains the Summer setup. What about Winter? There are other “flows” at work in the atmosphere besides the jetstream. One being the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO or El Nino) and another being the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). These two flows also help to shape our winter weather and play a role in if we get cold air or warm air, or if we get dry days or snowy days.

I could spend a long time boring you with all that technical stuff. Just know there are a lot of factors to consider in each season and it’s not as simple as A equals C and B equals D. The drivers of winter weather are different than those of summer weather.
Let’s boil it down to numbers, side-by-side, so you can see how this all shakes out.

Listed here are the top 20 coolest summers and the top 20 coldest winters in Kansas City. I compiled this data via the NWS and plugged it into a worksheet to make easier use of the numbers (and to help keep my math correct). This data is based on the KCI reporting site, which is considered the official reporting site for Kansas City by the National Weather Service.
The Summer months are considered June, July, and August. Winter months are considered December, January, and February.
Top20Stats

Notice something? There is no real pattern here. Only twice did a cool summer coincide with a cold winter. That means, statistically speaking, there’s only a 10% chance that a cold winter will follow a cool summer.

One thing I noticed, however, is that our average temperature this summer was 75.13°. That put it in the top 30 of coolest summers, just barely missing this list.

So what about precipitation? Here again let’s compare the numbers.
PrecipTotals

Once again, there is no pattern that jumps out at all. I did highlight years where we went from one extreme to the other (a dry summer to a wet winter, or from a wet summer to a dry winter). It should be noted that the last two winters were considered wet.

Even comparing the charts and seeing if a cool summer means a wet winter (or a cool summer meaning a dry winter), there is no direct connection.

So the bottom line here: you cannot say with any certainty that an X and Y summer will lead to an A and B winter. You just cannot. Therefore, it’s too early to hedge bets on how the winter will stack up.

As you know, our team will be working on the winter forecast over the next few weeks as a new pattern takes shape. Chief Meteorologist Gary Lezak will use his LRC theory to help make the winter forecast and get you prepared for what may come our way.

Be sure to keep checking back for when our winter weather special will make air so you can start making plans. In the meanwhile, don’t get too worried about the cooler than average summer leading to a brutally cold and snowy winter. Scientifically speaking, there is no direct connection between the two seasons.

-JD

Data and information was collected in part from the National Weather Service and the National Climate Data Center, and data was compiled between September 10th and September 13th, 2014.
My thanks to Patrick Trudel for pointing out some issues with some of the early data entries. There was a miscommunication on the data I was seeking versus what was given to me; that has been corrected. I apologize for any confusion.

Tracking record-cold temperatures for Saturday morning

No doubt about it: it’s cool out there! Average temperatures right now are supposed to be 81° in Kansas City. Yesterday we did not make it out of the 50s and it looks like we will stay in the 50s again today. However, going into tonight, high pressure should settle over the area and this will change things for us BIG TIME.
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Right now, indications are that we’ll see widespread 30 degree readings across our area.
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We have not seen air that cold in months. It’s also possible we wind up even colder if the clouds wind up clearing out sooner. Without question, this means we are on record watch for Saturday morning.
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Check out that record in Kansas City for tomorrow. It has stood for over 120 years! I think many areas will tie or set records tomorrow morning. The good news is, since the high pressure will be right over us, we’ll see a sunny sky in the afternoon and it will warm into the 60s.

How uncommon is it to see temps in the 30s in September?
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We typically do not see lows fall below 40° until the first week of October. So this is a bit unusual. However, it will not last long and we’ll be back to more comfortable weather as we go into the work week. We’ll also be tracking another chance of rain coming up on Monday.

You might be asking: Does the cooler summer mean we’re going to have a cold winter? I am currently working on a blog and crunching some numbers discussing this. Keep your eyes to the site to see it!
-JD

Rainfall totals & Falling temps

Good Morning Bloggers!

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Cloudy skies will persist today even though the rain has moved out.  Some spots in our viewing area got LARGE amounts of rain last night, but other spots got diddly squat.  Post your rainfall totals, but here ere is a look at the rainfall totals in our system:

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Now we turn our attention to the cold front and the temperatures dropping throughout the day.  As of 8:30 AM the cold front is moving into the NW part of the viewing area.

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This is a very strong cold front, so those of you waiting for the humidity to go down just wait a couple of hours.  Much cooler and drier air will move in behind this front.  Here is a look at the hour by hour temperature drop:

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Enjoy the cool down and we will have another update later on today.

Storm potential today

Good Morning Bloggers!

Still a lot of questions in regards to today’s threat for severe weather.  We are currently 74° and will warm up into the middle 80s.  We have clouds around, but dry with showers and thunderstorms off to the northwest moving into Nebraska and off to the northeast in Illinois.

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Storm Prediction Center has our area in the Slight Risk for severe weather.  We think the best chance will be along and north of Hwy 36 later on this evening for strong to severe storms.  The main threats would be damaging winds, hail and heavy  rain for our area.  We need to watch the storms that form in Nebraska and Iowa closely because they could take a southeast turn toward the northern edge of the viewing area and these storms would have the best chance of producing tornadoes.

Still a lot of uncertainty about when these storms will start.  Some of the models have us  with thunderstorms as early as noon today and lasting through the overnight.  I’m not convinced with the set up we have right now and think the storms will be the worst near the low that moves from northern and western Kansas up toward western Iowa late tonight.   We will have to watch this closely.

We will have an update later today.

Kalee Dionne

Strong storm potential for Tuesday; all about location

I’ll cut right to the chase: there is a chance for strong to severe thunderstorms in the area Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night. This you probably already know by now. However, this does not mean it’s a “sure thing” nor that everyone will see thunderstorms at all.
Right now, this is the outlook from the Storm Prediction Center:
SPC
Kansas City is on the edge of a Slight Risk. This outlook will not be updated again until about midnight tonight. In that update, I would expect the SPC to place more of a focus on Iowa and Eastern Nebraska. Like we’ve seen over and over this season, that appears to be where the best dynamics will be.

Our afternoon Powercast model is suggesting the same, with the strongest storms in Iowa and far Northern Missouri late in the afternoon to the nighttime hours. Here is just one screenshot, showing how 5p *may* look.
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From here, Powercast keeps most of the activity in Iowa. To see this in motion, check out my latest web video forecast: kshb.com/weather

Right now, in our viewing area, all options are still on the table in terms of what kind of severe weather may happen.
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What stands out to me is the risk of straight-line winds. Here again, we’ve seen this a few times this season where storms produce hefty wind gusts that get your attention (40-55mph).
We have been lucky and not seen much in the way of large hail. While I cannot rule out a couple of cells producing some severe hail (over quarter size), I think strong winds will be the biggest concern. There will likely be localized flooding for the towns that get under the heavy cells. Once more, I think a majority of this will be confined to the Iowa area.
What about tornadoes? There does appear to be a little more shear to the atmosphere, so some quick spin-ups are possible. It is next to impossible to pinpoint where a tornado will form, so you’ll need to pay heed to warnings if/when they are issued Tuesday.

The best window for rain and thunderstorms still appears to be late Tuesday into Wednesday morning. THAT SAID… there will likely be some morning showers around too. Don’t be fooled and think “oh, that’s it?”. The bigger show will arrive once the cold front gets closer and that doesn’t look to be until after dark Tuesday.

On Wednesday afternoon, I expect the winds to really pick up out of the Northwest and for temps to drop as the day goes on. When you send the kids out the door in the morning Wednesday, make sure they have a jacket. They may need it by the time school ends.
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Our team will continue to track what develops on Tuesday and provide updates on air and online. No matter what, just make sure you stay informed and be weather ready as Summer and Fall do battle right over our heads.

-JD

Jump on the crazy weather train

Good Morning Bloggers!

A quiet start to what will be a big week weather-wise here in Kansas and Missouri.  Let’s start with today, which will be easy because it’s going to be beautiful.

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Here is a picture I captured earlier this morning as the sun started to rise.  This is a great way to start the week.   We will see temperatures a tad bit warmer than yesterday into the lower 80s.  South winds will help usher in that warmer air and moisture ahead of our next storm system that moves in tomorrow.

There is a chance for a few isolated showers and thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon, but our best chance will be late Tuesday night and into Wednesday night.  Below are the NAM output for midnight & 7 AM Wednesday, which has the best dynamics for severe weather to our north, but still we could see a few strong wind gusts and heavy rain for the spots that normally get the bad rain this year.  It is the same pattern that we have seen consistently this season with spots like St. Joseph to Chillicothe northward getting pounded and the KC Metro area barely gets anything.

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Here is the GFS & the NAM are similar on timing and where the best dynamics will be in Iowa closer to the low.

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Rainfall totals will be high to our north with very little here in the KC Metro area. The Weather Prediction Center’s Day 1-3 QPF  map has spots like Chillicothe to Kirksville, MO with the most rain near 2″ with less than an inch here in Kansas City.

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After the active weather overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, we will see a drop in temperatures. This has been consistent since last week in the models.  A cool Canadian air mass will plunge south behind the departing cold front and drop temperatures throughout the day Wednesday.  This will put us in the 60s for Thursday and through the weekend.

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The overnight low temperatures will be CHILLY!  We will see many spots in the lower 40s on Saturday morning and I would’ve rule out an upper 30 in there somewhere.  Get the sweaters out and ready to go for Friday night football this week.

Have a great week and we will update the blog later on.

Kalee Dionne