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,

Flooding concern tonight then cooler Friday

Keeping close eyes on the radar tonight, as there are a few clusters of storms to track.

As you can see, I expect the activity to move to the Southeast as the night goes on and this would impact most of the viewing area. That does NOT mean everyone is going to see severe weather.

In advance of this, the Storm Prediction Center has issued a Thunderstorm Watch for the counties in yellow until 1am. It *does* include the KC Metro area.

The greatest threat would be strong wind gusts near 60mph and a few storms that could drop some hail near the size of quarters.

As we go more into the overnight hours, I anticipate the severe threat to diminish. However, we’ll like;y still experience heavy rain (plus plenty of thunder/lightning) and that rain will lead to flooding concerns. There is also a Flash Flood watch in place until Friday afternoon. The bulk of the heavy rain appears to just North of I-70 and East of KC, as you can see by the color coding on the map below.
Those rainfall estimates are via our Powercast model and are still subject to change based on where the heavy rain cells develop.

Once we get to the end of Friday, the rain should taper off and then we look to go dry… for a while! And it’s possible I can put this graphic to rest:
That said… I do think there is a chance for some rain & thunderstorms Sunday afternoon in Northeastern Missouri. Should that develop a little more West and pass over KCI, then we would not qualify for a dry weekend. Either way, I know we have some big events going on in KC Saturday. As long as we can keep that day dry, many will be happy.

We will continue to monitor the radar tonight and keep you updated on the thunderstorms as they roll though. Feel free to follow on social media for various updates.

Have a nice evening,

Flooding Rains Likely In Spots Tonight

Good afternoon bloggers,

A very slow moving cold front is sagging our way this afternoon. The dew points are very high, in the 70s. A storm, really an upper level disturbance and strong for summertime, is tracking our way as well.  There is a slight risk of severe thunderstorms, but the main risk is flooding and lightning tonight. Three to six inches of rain will likely fall in a zone that lines up within 45 miles of Kansas City. Where will this excessive rain zone set up?  Right now it appears it will be lining up near and just south of I-7o later tonight, but it will likely begin farther north.

Weather Forecast Time-Line:

  • Now – 7 PM: Dry with no chance of rain. There is a cap aloft and it will prevent any thunderstorms from forming during this time frame.  Hot and humid with a high near 90° north and 97° south.
  • 7 PM – 4 AM: Very heavy thunderstorms developing. 3 to 6 inches of rain possible in a narrow zone with flooding a likelihood.  Outside of this area most spots should get 1 to 2 inches of rain near KC.

Here is a statement from the NWS:

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 11.18.18 AM

We will keep you updated later in the day. JD Rudd is in for me today. Have a great afternoon, and get that sunscreen on.


The heat is back

We got a break in the heat Tuesday thanks to rain… it was in the 60s at 4 o’clock in the afternoon; in the middle of June no less! But that will not be the case today. A warm front has surged North and that’s going to help us really heat up today.

When you throw in the humidity, it’s really going to turn steamy. This means we have to do some weather math.

Bottom line: if you’re going to be outside, drink plenty of water today and be sure to find some shade. Heat index values like this are close to the dangerous level.

Our rain chances will start to go back up as we head into the end of the week. As it stands now, the best chance for KC appears to be Friday.

Looking to the weekend, we may FINALLY have our first totally dry weekend since March.

Now for that to happen, we have to be dry from midnight Saturday through midnight Monday. Either way, it’s not looking all that bad for a late June weekend.

When it comes to the rain/storms chances for Thursday & Friday, we’ll need to keep eyes on things. The best chance (as it stands now) for Thursday will be just on the Southern edge of the viewing area. It’s entirely possible KC misses out Thursday. Odds are looking a bit better for Friday.

Our team will monitor and give you the latest forecast on air and online, so stay with us.

Keep cool today!

A Few Afternoon and Evening Thunderstorms

Good Tuesday bloggers,

We have been waiting much of the morning to see if thunderstorms would form across northern Kansas, north of a front that came through last night.  Well, about 9 AM they developed.  This small area of thunderstorms, if it holds together, will head  into northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri this afternoon.  These would be brief and heavy with some small hail possible, but we do not expect these to become severe.

WEATHER TRACK RADAR FROM 1010 AM: You can see the thunderstorms north of Concordia, KS.  This small area is heading east and our latest powercast shows our current thinking.



3 PM TUESDAY: The front that came through yesterday is across southern Kansas, south of this view.  We are under the influence of a weak high pressure.  It is delivering us a cooler air mass with east-northeast winds.  Highs today will be in the upper 70s to low 80s.  You can see the small area of thunderstorms is north of Topeka.



430 PM TUESDAY: The small area is forecast to be over areas that do not need the rain.  These will most likely be small and not last too long even though they will be heavy.



4 AM WEDNESDAY: The warm front will be surging north, putting our area in the steamy air once again.  There is a slight risk of severe weather across northern Missouri and Iowa, not for the afternoon thunderstorms, but for overnight thunderstorms.  These will be much more robust and widespread from southwest Iowa to north and northeast Missouri as the warm and steamy air surges north.  Flash flooding and large hail will be issues later tonight.



Wednesday and Thursday will be hot and humid.  A much stronger cold front arrives Thursday night-Friday.  This will bring a good chance of widespread thunderstorms followed by a very comfortable air mass.  Saturday is looking spectacular with highs around 80° and lows in the upper 50s.

Have a great day