An Interesting Friday Night and Saturday

Good Friday bloggers,

The weekend is here!  We have a tough forecast for tonight and Saturday.

First, a disturbance plus warmer air trying to push in from the west is creating a large band of clouds from the northern Plains to our area.  In this band of clouds is an area of light snow and rain.  This mixed precipitation will head southeast into Missouri tonight, mostly affecting areas east of the state line.  There may be a few spots that see a dusting of snow east of KC, but it will be close, so this is tough forecast issue #1.



This band of precipitation will head southeast into southern Missouri on Saturday as a warm front forms from central Nebraska to central Kansas.  This is going to cause tough forecast issue #2.  Snow could be falling in the Ozarks Saturday afternoon while it is near 80° in western Kansas.  So, we will have to watch and see how far east the warm air progresses.  We are going for a high in the low 50s Saturday, but could easily get stuck in the 40s with clouds.



I guess this is why Kansas City was voted the toughest place to forecast the weather by 538.


Have a great weekend.


Look At The Next 36 Hours

Good evening bloggers,

We have been in training, our entire weather team, today. And, this will go on again tomorrow, so if I seem a bit off that may be the reason. Okay, many would probably say I am a bit off anyway.  Do you know what I know is not quite right? The weather pattern, especially if you live near KC.  Take a look at the next 36 hours:


The map above shows the forecast for midnight tonight.  We are forecasting it to be around 39 degrees at midnight when this rain moves through, and that would be just a bit too warm to see snowflakes. If it’s just two or three degrees colder some snowflakes could mix in.

Friday night actually poses a better chance of seeing some snow. It is similar to a system that produce 1.5″ of snow in the KC metro area a couple of weeks ago. Do you remember that thin band of snow that formed right over the downtown area of KC? There is an interesting set-up for Friday night. Why do these little things target us, and the big storms almost always miss us?


I have to get back to training. And, we are also working on our Weather Special, “Before The Storm”, which will  air on April 7th at 6:30 PM!  One last thing this evening……look at the shadow cast from the sunlight being blocked by this jet contrail. I will show the time-lapse of this on 41 Action News tonight.  Have a great evening. Rain is heading our way.

1 PM


Severe Weather Way South Today….Rain Tonight

Good afternoon bloggers,

The severe weather risk is well to the south today. As discussed in our winter forecast, “Kansas City is not in the right spot”.  And, now we are moving into spring and today is yet another example of it. There will likely be a very heavy rain event near the I-44 corridor tonight, and then this storm will spread it’s moisture towards the northeastern United States once again.  We are in the middle, but there will likely be a somewhat exciting evening for us if you love rain. I love it when areas of rain form and it is just about as exciting when radar echoes begin developing.  So, let’s see how this evening’s rain event develops. The south side of the metro is most likely going to get the heavier rain, and by “heavier” I am not talking that much as most areas will end up getting anywhere from just a few hundredths to maybe 1/2″ farther south if we are lucky.  So, again, KC is just showing what has been wrong all winter.  Here is the risk area for this evening:

1 PM


It’s another fascinating day to look at the surface map:


As of 2 PM there was a surface low developing over western Oklahoma with a warm front extending east from the surface low into northern Arkansas. The best chance of severe weather will be near the front extending back southwest to near that surface low.  The sun had come out in Kansas City, and at the moment there is no sign of any rain development near us, but we expect it to begin forming by 6 PM.

After this goes by, there is a fast moving disturbance that will likely bring us some rain on Thursday night. It will be very close to mixing with snow.  A snowstorm did show up on the GFS model during that first few days of April. Let’s see if we do get one more opportunity before spring wins out. Right now, it is a battle between spring and winter.  Have a great evening!  We will have your most accurate forecast on 41 Action News tonight!


Severe Weather Risk South Today, Snowflakes Possible Later In The Week

Mid-Afternoon Update at 3:40 PM:

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for areas just southeast of Kansas City. If the thunderstorms don’t form fast they will be well off to the south and east. We are on beginning at 4 PM, and then at 5 and 6 PM as we monitor this development:

1 PM


Previous Entry Below:

Good morning bloggers,

I am back from vacation today. It was a great trip visiting family in Southern California where there were a few thunderstorms a few days ago. Here in KC we had our first thunderstorms since October 9th, 165 days ago. That is a very long time without a thunderstorm. Well, we broke the ice and today there is a risk of severe weather across the plains.


You can see the upper level storm. As I put this satellite movie into motion it has a very good spin to it. New areas of rain and thunderstorms will likely form around the center of this system later this afternoon with KC again being on the edge. If it just digs a bit farther southeast then we could have a spinning area of rain, but it may track just north of the metro area. Farther south, in the warmer air, there is a risk of severe thunderstorms.


Large hail is the main risk type today and the risk is centered over southwestern Missouri. In Kansas City it will likely not get out of the 40s today which will likely keep us protected from any severe weather, but there could be some hail if that disturbance tracks just a bit farther south.

There is a second storm system that will become even stronger on Wednesday.  The SPC has a risk out for tomorrow as well.



As this system intensifies on Wednesday, it will become the main storm that will once again target the northeastern United States with rain and some more snow. Speaking of snow, there is a chance of a few snowflakes Thursday night or Friday.  We will look into all of this on 41 Action News today and tonight.  Have a great day!


Random rumbles may be as “bad” as it gets

Second verse, same as the first… a little bit louder and your bubble it will burst. I took creative licence with the lyric.

Some thunderstorms are likely overnight tonight, but the bark may be the worst thing about them. Latest trends today indicate the threat for severe weather Tuesday afternoon will not happen in our area. Let’s break this down (and not like M.C. Hammer did in the 90s).

This is the area to watch for storm development tonight after about 9/10pm.
1 PM

Most of the guidance agrees that this will be the area to focus on for thunderstorms to get going once all the dynamics get into place.
The latest look at the high resolution HRRR model claims the radar will look like this by midnight.

The NAM takes a similar approach, but says the activity hangs back a little more to the West.
NAM Midnight

So I will stick with saying that the area highlighted below has the best chance to hear thunderstorms tonight.

If you sleep through most noise, then you may not hear this stuff tonight. At worst, maybe one or two stronger cell develop that produce small hail. That looks to be it for the threat tonight.

On Tuesday afternoon, there will likely be redevelopment of thunderstorms late in the day (after 5pm), but only our far Southeastern counties have the chance of seeing anything.

This is what the NAM believes will happen tomorrow at 6pm.
NAM 6pm

And this is our in-house Powercast model, showing tomorrow night, which keeps things a little more West.

This is not to say it’s impossible for a storm to form farther West and even North, but the trend has been to push the activity more and more out of our coverage area.

With all this thunderstorm talk, it’s a good idea to remember that severe weather is around the bend for us. Coming up in a couple weeks, we’ll have our annual severe weather special air. Gary will present his forecast for the Spring and our team will give you some tips on how to be prepared for severe weather season. Plan to watch or at least set the DVR!

In the meantime, I invite you to check out my Weather Wise segment on KSHB.com. In most of the videos, I answer your questions. However, this week and next week I will focus on severe weather. In the latest video, I debunk some common myths about tornadoes.

I will continue to keep eyes on the radar tonight and provide updates as needed. The takeaway from all of this is: it will NOT be a severe weather outbreak. Anyone talking it up that way should be slapped with a “Hype” sign and then promptly tarred and feathered. Do they still do that anywhere? I digress.

You’ll be able to find weather updates (as needed) on my Twitter feed, and of course a complete check of the radar  on our 10pm newscast tonight.

Dry Today, Thunderstorms Tonight

Good Monday bloggers,

A cold front is moving through as I am writing this at 7 AM.  This front has dropped temperatures more than I thought.  It is in the 30s at KCI.  This front will stall and become a warm front this evening.  The front in combination with a system from the Rockies will generate thunderstorms this evening in central Kansas.  They will head our way later tonight.  These will be the first flashes of lightning in our area since October 9th, 165 days ago.  The new data is trending towards less rain, but we should still see some beneficial amounts.

Lets go through the next 24 hours and also talk about the chance of severe weather Tuesday.

7 AM MONDAY CONDITIONS:  The cold front is still heading south and will stall in southern Kansas and southern Missouri this afternoon.



3 PM MONDAY: The clouds will be increasing and the rain gauges will still be at 0.00″  It will be cooler with highs in the low 60s.



MIDNIGHT TONIGHT: Thunderstorms will be moving in from central Kansas.  A few thunderstorms will have very heavy rain and small hail.



5 AM TUESDAY: The thunderstorms will be moving through and to the east.  Rainfall totals will be in the .25″ to 1″ range.  There is a trend towards the lower totals, but thunderstorms can add up faster than the models say.  Lets hope for the heavier amounts, we need it.  There may be an isolated thunderstorm with a quarter sized hail report.  This would mean do not be surprised if there is 1-2 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings



7 AM TUESDAY: The rain and thunderstorms exit with left over drizzle and a few showers.  Rainfall totals: .25-1″.



OK, now on to the the threat of severe weather Tuesday afternoon.  There are growing signs that the colder air will hold tough and the warm sector will be over southern Missouri. This would mean the best chance of severe weather would be located from I-44 south.  In our area we would see drizzle and a few showers and thunderstorms.  Also, there is a trend towards this system not really coming together until it is further east.  This is NOT set in stone and will need further updating. Meteorologist JD Rudd will be in this afternoon and night with an update on the NOW KC at 4 pm and on 41 Action News at 5,6 and 10.  Gary is back Tuesday.

TUESDAY 5 PM: This is our latest thinking with 40s and 50s north of the front to 60s and 70s south.



Have a great week and enjoy the thunderstorms.


Cooler Monday, storm chances Tuesday

The madness of March isn’t just for the hardwood. While the wheat may be a little more sweet in Wichita tonight, the atmosphere looks to provide a show if its own by Tuesday.

First things first: Monday.

We could see a couple of weak showers and perhaps a rumble or two of thunder early Monday morning in Northwestern Missouri. This doesn’t look like much of anything, but in the event someone around St. Joseph hears a couple low rumbles, do not be surprised. The 18z NAM suggests this is how the radar may look at about 3am:
3am NAM

Most of Monday will be dry and cooler, with highs in the lower 60s. Overall, a fine day but nothing compared to this weekend. An afternoon pop-up shower or two is possible in Eastern Kansas, but would be isolated should it happen. The best time to see that would be after about 4pm.

Business picks up by Monday night as we’ll watch for showers and thunderstorms to develop in Central Kansas after 9pm and then move to the East-Northeast. Going back to the NAM again, this is what it believes the radar will look like at 11pm Monday:
11pm Monday

To be blunt and fair: the models will likely change a few times before Tuesday, so those trying to pinpoint a bullseye area are welcome to keep guessing. Don’t forget how we were treated this winter. Just because the temperatures are warmer, doesn’t mean we won’t be chasing geese here and there with the computer guidance. I have a feeling we’ll see this a few times this storm season: models will say one thing two days out, and then something else the day before.

As it all stands right now, I think we have a shot at some thunderstorms Monday night after 11pm to the North of KC. The best chance for thunder will be in the very early morning hours of Tuesday, primarily in the area I’ve highlighted.

Again, I do not see this being a severe outbreak, but given the cold air aloft, there could be a fair amount of thunder and lightning. Thus, there may be a lot of bark but little bite Tuesday morning.
I think we could wind up seeing some very heavy rain along the Iowa/Missouri line with this batch of thunderstorms too. It’s possible we get some non-severe hail out of this as well. If we were to get one severe t-storm warning, it would not surprise me. It’d like be based on hail and for a cell that quickly pulses up. Overall, painting with a broad brush, many of us should not experience severe weather Tuesday morning. Severe being a storm with hail over 1″ in diameter and/or wind over 58mph.

The biggest question is: how much do we recover in the afternoon? If clouds and rain linger into the early afternoon, this would limit our chances for redevelopment later in the day Tuesday for a second round of storms.
However, given some of the upper dynamics depicted by the latest guidance, we have to allow for the chance of redevelopment. And should it get going, this is where we could see our first severe storms of the season.

Here again, I have highlighted the area that I think has better chances at seeing severe weather Tuesday afternoon to evening. The 4p to 8p window is for development of the storms, not how long they will last. Should the storms get going early, the should leave early. Conversely, if things start later, the storms may linger a bit longer.

If this activity does materialize, these storms could produce a good amount of lightning as well as some severe hail and strong winds.
As you can see, my concern for tornadoes is low right now. It would mainly be a hail and wind event.
I think the takeaway for Tuesday is this:

Just as fast as we jump into strong thunderstorms, we revert back to late Winter for the second half of the weekend. Indications are that we’ll have highs in just the 40s and lows in the 20s.
This is how the Euro model sees temperatures by Saturday morning.
Euro Saturday
Hey, at least we aren’t the only ones getting the cold.

The tug-o-war between Spring and Winter will likely continue for the next couple of weeks before Spring ultimately wins out. Unless, of course, Winter decides to pull an upset and send Spring packing for the year…Madness!

I’ll be in for Gary one more time Monday and have an updated forecast starting at 4pm. Catch Kalee Monday morning & Jeff at Midday, then Gary is back Tuesday. Our team will keep you updated and informed on all of this.


Changes Around the Corner

Good Sunday bloggers,

Today will be yet another gorgeous day with highs in the mid 70s and a 5-15 mph wind.  Enjoy today as rain and thunderstorm chances increase and colder air moves in.  This is the nicest day of the next 7 days.

This is how the day started with a beautiful sunrise over the Sprint Center.


The changes begin with a weak system Monday morning.  There will be a few showers for the morning rush hour as the cold front drifts through.



This weak front is the trigger for the bigger changes.  The cold front will stall across southern Kansas and Missouri and become a stronger warm front.  This warm front will be south of our area Monday night as the first in a series of disturbances heads east out of the Rockies.  This will create thunderstorms Monday night in the cooler air across Kansas and Missouri.  The peak of the activity will bee around 2 AM Monday night-Tuesday morning.  Some of the thunderstorms will have very heavy rain and small hail.  A few may contain marginally severe hail. Rainfall in most areas will be .25″ to 1″.  There will be some localized areas that have the potential of 2-3″ of rain.



The forecast for Tuesday is complicated.  We could see severe thunderstorms, however it is far from set in stone.  The questions are:

1. Where will the warm front be set up?

2. How warm will it become near the front?

3. What is the track of the next disturbance from the Rockies?

4. Where will a surface low track?   I may be missing a question or two.

It will take until later Monday to get this figured out.  There is even a third system for Wednesday that could bring a few new showers/thunderstorms.  Freezes are likely Thursday and Friday, one could be a hard.

All of a sudden it is getting active.  Meteorologist JD Rudd will have an update later today.

Enjoy the Super Sunday.


Near Perfect & Our First Thunderstorm

Good Saturday bloggers,

The weather today  for the first full day of Spring will be about as nice as it gets.  We are looking at sunshine, near 70° and a light wind, near perfect!



Sunday will warm even more as a small system organizes in Nebraska.  Highs will be near 90° in western Kansas with highs in the 40s and 50s in Iowa.  We will add a bit of Gulf of Mexico moisture and a few showers and thunderstorms will be possible Sunday night-Monday morning, mostly north.



SUNDAY AFTERNOON SET UP:  A few showers and thunderstorms may form in eastern Nebraska Sunday evening.


This weak system will drop south and the cold front will drift through early Monday.  Then on Monday night this front will stall south of I-70 and become a warm front.  Dew points in the mid 50s will surge north and meet the warm front then over ride it Monday night.  This will be the set up for our first thunderstorms since October 9th.

MONDAY 7 AM: We will see a few showers along the cold front.  Most of the rain will be across northeast Missouri.



LATER MONDAY NIGHT: There they are, the first thunderstorms since 10/09/14.  This model as the heaviest north of I-70, but it could form further south or even further north.  These thunderstorms may have very heavy rain and small hail, but the severe threat is very low.  The thunderstorms will exit quickly Tuesday morning.



Tuesday will be windy, warmer and more humid.  Then, Wednesday a cold front will push through.  Thunderstorms will likely form on this front and they could become severe.  At this time it looks like the front will be well south and east of KC when this occurs, so I-44 and off to the east will have the best chance for severe weather.  We will be watching this closely and have updates as we get closer.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the near perfect first full day of Spring!


Great weekend ahead & we talk storm stats

It is kinda nice when the calendar and the atmosphere are in sync. Not only is it Friday, but it’s also “officially” the first day of Spring. All things considered, you couldn’t ask for better weather. I know… some want more rain. It’s coming.

For the weekend, we should see highs around or just above 70° both days and a fair amount of sunshine. There is a chance for a late day shower on Sunday, thanks to a system that will be in Eastern Nebraska. To those headed toward Omaha for the big basketball game Sunday, here’s what to expect.

Closer to home, Sporting KC has a match tomorrow night. It should a fantastic night for soccer. If you cannot make it to Sporting Park, catch the game on 38 The Spot.

Indications still suggest some morning rain showers Monday. However, I do not see temps getting as cold in the morning, so the fears of snow/rain mix have greatly decreased.

By Tuesday, a warm front will lift across the area, followed by a cold front sweeping in quickly from the West. Depending on the timing, we could get our first rumbles of thunder of the season. Some have already asked: is there a chance for severe weather? I’ll put it this way: between March and June, there’s always a “chance” of severe weather when a cold front comes rolling through.
As of right now, nothing stands out to me. But it is all about timing. If that warm front arrives early enough and we get some daytime heating, then the cold front passes through at the right time, yes, there could be a few stronger storms that develop. For now, I’m just calling for a chance of thunderstorms. Tuesday is still four days away.

Speaking of severe weather, it’s been a while since any has visited the area. I compiled these stats on Thursday, take a look how long it’s been since we’ve had a thunderstorm warning for the area.

And it’s been a while since there was a tornado warning as well.
For some parts of Northeast Kansas, it has been 288 days! No kidding there.

The fine folks over at the Iowa Environmental Mesonet published this map, showing the various National Weather Service (NWS) offices and how long it’s been since each office has issued a tornado warning. Considering how the plains is supposed to be an active area, it’s been a while.

The Topeka NWS office is the one that really stands out. Amazing.

Statistically speaking, March is not a very active tornado month for the KC area. However, business picks up in April and May.

So while it’s been nice getting the needed rain, before too long we’ll be seeing–and hearing–the real sign of Spring: thunderstorms. I know some cannot wait for that. However, be mindful that your storm joy can bring total devastation to someone else. It’s a delicate balance.

We will continue to update the forecast as we move closer to Tuesday. Check back with us and be mindful of those who simply want to scare you in order to get you to watch or read their product. You’ll probably hear how the “sky is going to fall” from the usual suspects.

Have a great weekend,

PS: For those wondering, yes, the blogs have been a little short this week. Lots of extra things happening behind the scenes that I’m excited to share with you soon. For perspective, let me give you a timeline of my average work day this week.

Noon – arrive at the station & start gathering items I’ll need for the day (my earpiece, clipboard, forecast worksheet, fill up water bottle)
12:30p – Start looking over all the model info and being the forecast process; do any needed research for specialized graphics to use on TV
1:30p – Start working on a few graphics (temperature maps, Powercasts, etc)
1:45p – Attend daily news layout meeting to discuss format of shows & where my “hits” (aka: on air segments) will be
2:00p – Back to forecasting and graphic making, occasionally assist in troubleshooting small items on a side project
2:15p – Make sure I’ve tweeted something and checked Facebook page. Push out updates as I see fit
3:00p – Time to go comb my hair and put on makeup, then get wired up and begin shooting web video forecast & evening TV teases
3:15p – Edit said videos
3:30p – Write up a unique synopsis of what I think I am going to say on air, add it to our Closed Captioning system for the 4, 5, & 6p newscasts
4:00p – The Now KC begins. While working this show, continue to build graphics, add in closed captioning, & update the website forecast
5:00p – 5pm Newscast
5:30p – Double check all i’s and t’s have been crossed in terms of daily work (is the web updated, have I Tweeted & Facebooked, is there any new forecast info I can check)
5:40p – Work on new graphics for the 6pm newscast, begin writing a blog
5:55p – Live 6p tease in the studio
6:00p – 6pm Newscast
6:30p – Start work on “Special Project” (that I can’t mention much about yet)
7:30p – Forcefully stop my work and go eat some food
7:45p – Finish out the blog if I haven’t done so already
8:00p – Continue working on the Special Project as well as start looking over new forecast information
8:30p – Make new graphics for the 10p newscast
9:00p – Make any changes to the forecast, start working on discussion note to next meteorologist on duty
9:30p – Record new web forecast video. Edit it and also update website forecast text
9:45p – Finish any new graphics, get set for mic check, double check my hair and makeup
10:00p – 10p Newscast
10:25p – Finish note to next meteorologist, save out graphics that can be used again on the morning show
10:35p – Wrap up any unfinished work on the Special Project
10:45p – Begin to power down computers and clean up work area; double check all tasks for the day have been completed
11:00p – Head home