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Missouri River Flooding & Rain Is In The Tuesday Forecast

Good morning bloggers,

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This picture shows the Missouri River flooding near Nebraska City.  The Missouri River will is reaching record high levels with major flooding now in progress over parts of Nebraska and Iowa with some developing just northwest of Kansas City.  River flooding is quite different from other types of flooding as it lasts much longer than other flooding scenarios.  The spring forecast from Weather2020 is for this weather pattern to continue and the rains will be increasing and becoming heavier.  The location of the heavier rains is still being defined and this will impact future flooding.  The current flooding is being caused by the recent rains combined with the melting of a lot of snow.

The weather pattern is cycling regularly and the  LRC describes an order to the chaos and this next part of the cycling pattern is another exhibit to showcase this organization and regularity.   There is a disturbance moving into the plains now, and this disturbance is directly related to what has happened in previous LRC cycles, and  seen on December 9th in cycle 2; it is positively tilted.  A positively tilted trough extends from northeast to southwest, whereas a negatively tilted trough extends from northwest to southeast.  This type of storm is rarely wet, and  rarely produces precipitation in Kansas City, and yet this one is continuing the wet trend of where most systems are producing.

5Last Week I shared with you the big upper low, and how it was almost identical to the big upper low in December.  And, now here we are just around a week later, and even this “strange” storm as you can see below, is directly related to the pattern from 100 days ago. The LRC describes the river of air that is cycling across the Northern Hemisphere, and we just experienced an interesting oscillation in the fluid dynamics affecting this years pattern.  The pattern is being influenced by many forcing mechanisms, likely driven by the large ocean waters, and also a land-sea combination with seasonal differences.  I know I am getting a bit deep here, but just look at a river flowing by.  Look at the middle of the river and you will see the main flow that is similar to the jet stream over the Northern Hemisphere. And, then there are influences on this main flow all around it.  But, the river is consistently flowing regularly.  Now, remember the atmosphere over the Northern Hemisphere does not have physical boundaries like a river would have on the ground. This is actually a huge difference. There are still other influences on this river of air.

This is really an incredible example of how even some of the more unusual features in the flow, in the river of air above us, are predictable using the LRC.

So, what does this mean for our weather?  And, what are we expecting as spring approaches?  Spring begins officially on Wednesday, but according to my peers, spring already began on March 1st.  Let’s take a look at this storm system approaching.

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The positively titled storm system, combined with the overall flow across North America is causing this interesting set for early this week. This map above shows the surface pattern valid at 1 PM this afternoon. High pressure will be over Nebraska and Iowa, right over the location of some of the more significant Missouri River flooding that is in progress.  A warm front will be developing over northern Oklahoma and it will lead to this forecast surface map for tomorrow, below:

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An area of cold rain will be developing. The blue dashed line, near Kansas City, has been the snow line this winter season.  Now that we are in March, and depending on the set up, the snow line is more likely to be the 534 line, or the second blue line. There are a few models that have been showing some snow over Nebraska, with rain near Kansas City by Tuesday morning.

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today:  Mostly sunny with light and variable winds.  High:  53°
  • Tonight:  Increasing clouds and becoming cloudy with a chance of rain by morning. Low: 38°
  • Tuesday:  Cloudy with a 100% chance of rain developing.  The amount of rain between Tuesday and Wednesday will be around 1/2″.  High:  47°

This weather pattern is moving into the spring version of the LRC.  We will be looking ahead to opening day of baseball season and we will be in search of Kansas City’s first 65 degree day since October in tomorrow’s blog. Yes, it has not been 65 degrees since October 30th, a record that is hard to comprehend.  We are smashing the longest time period between 65° days.  It won’t happen this week, although there may be one warm up into the lower 60s around Friday that may come close.

Have a great day and thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the ActionWeather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go over to Weather2020.com and join in the conversation as we share in this weather experience.

Gary

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day bloggers,

The luck of the Irish is in full force today.  We are in for a mostly sunny day with a light wind and highs around 50°. The next storm arrives Tuesday and this could bring some heavy downpours.

If you are headed to the parade today it will be around 40° at 11 AM as the parade starts.

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The last time we had river flooding like this over much of the Midwest was in 1993. We did have issues in 2011, but some of these river levels are challenging 1993 levels. The new pattern sets up in October and November and then cycles through the winter, spring and summer(LRC). So, we can take a look at Kansas City rainfall from October 5, 1992 to March 31, 1993 and compare it to the rainfall from October 5, 2018 to March 17, 2019. The worst of the flooding in 1993 occurred in June and July. But, it was a wet and active pattern and since the spring/winter were wet, the ground could not take the massive spring and summer rain events. So, where do we stand as far as rainfall since October 5, 2018?

October 5, 1992-March 31, 1993 KC saw 15.73″ and so far this season we have seen 20.48″ of rain. So, we will be watching this closely as we move through the spring as the active weather pattern continues.

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MONDAY: It will be dry with clouds increasing during the afternoon. Highs will be around 50°. Also, a weak disturbance will race by tonight bringing scattered clouds and perhaps a sprinkle with lows around 30°.

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TUESDAY: A large area of rain will form in Kansas Monday night then spread east affecting much of Kansas and Missouri. The timing for KC will be from around 4 AM to 7 PM Tuesday with temperatures in the 40s. It will be close to snowing, but should be just warm enough to keep it rain.

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RAINFALL FORECAST: This is not a big storm and it will mostly affect Kansas and Missouri. It will leave Iowa and Nebraska with rainfall amounts of a trace to .10″ and Kansas and Missouri with .10″ to 1″. This will not exacerbate the flooding, but it is more rain. So, it will not help as the ground does not get a chance to dry out. This is how long term flooding evolves. It rains every few days. Every rain event does not cause immediate issues, but contributes to the long term problem.  That is what happened in 1993. The rain events became massive in the spring and summer as warmer air holds more water. And, by the time those rains arrived, the ground was already saturated, and rivers were already high so we had the “Flood of ’93.” I flew over Iowa, from Chicago, in August of 1993 and I will never forget what I saw. Iowa looked like an ocean with the sun glistening off of the water.  I wish I had a cell phone to take the picture.

The next chance of rain after Tuesday is next weekend. It will be hard with this weather pattern to get 5-7 consecutive dry days.

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Have a great week and please DON’T DRINK/TEXT AND DRIVE

Jeff Penner

Great Weather for Parades!

Good Saturday bloggers,

It is a weekend without a storm which seems like forever. But, due to all of the storm systems we are seeing significant river flooding. The Missouri river may set a record crest at Atchison on Tuesday of 31.8 feet, breaking the old record of 31.6 feet set in 1993. That is saying something.

There are areal flood warnings from Wisconsin to eastern Nebraska with river flood warnings covering the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. The Mississippi river is in a flood warning all the way to the Gulf coast.

It is not uncommon for there to be river flood warnings in March as you get snow melt, rain and due to the frozen ground the rain does not all soak in. So, flooding can be a problem. What is uncommon is the amount of flooding and the record crests. This due to the endless storm systems. The next 5-7 days we are in a bit of a break, but a system on Tuesday will bring some heavy downpours. Fortunately, it is not a big storm. However, this is the same pattern, and the nonstop storm systems will start up again next weekend and last for some time.

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TODAY: We will see great weather for Snake Saturday. It will be sunny with a southwest breeze at 10-15 mph out ahead of a weak cold front. This will take temperatures close to 60°. It will be very nice out at the parade in Brookside where Gary and Sunny are the Grand Marshals. A small area of rain and snow will be possible in northeast Iowa.

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ST. PATRICK’S DAY: A weak cold front will drift by turning our winds to the north at 5-10 mph. There will still be abundant sunshine with highs a bit cooler around 50°. The front will be stalling in southwest Kansas as it becomes a warm front in response to the next storm system.

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DRUNK DRIVING WARNING is in effect in the memory of all those killed or injured in drunk driving accidents. Nathan McDuffy was killed over 20 years ago. Please DO NOT drink/text or drive.

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MONDAY: It will be another dry day with increasing clouds as our next storm system begins to form. Highs will be around 50° and you can see a small area of rain forming in northwest Kansas.

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TUESDAY: The small area of rain in northwest Kansas will grow and track slowly east Monday night and Tuesday evolving into a decent area of rain. It will affect much of Kansas and Missouri and a little bit farther north. There may be some snowflakes mixed in as temperatures will be 35°-45°. There will also be embedded heavy downpours.

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RAINFALL FORECAST: Nebraska and Iowa, upstream, will see amounts of a trace to .50″. Kansas to Illinois will see .25″ to 1″. This may not hurt the flooding, but it won’t help. Heavier amounts are possible south into Oklahoma. You know it is a wet pattern when even the small systems bring substantial totals.

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Tuesday is the one main day of rain through Friday. More rain is possible next weekend as the next storm arrives and this will start a prolonged period of active weather.

Have a great weekend.

Jeff

Sensing Spring

Good morning bloggers,

It’s Friday!  Well, we made it through winter.  I doubt we have had our last chance of snow, but the signs of spring have finally become loud and clear.  Kansas City has still not had a 65° day since October 30th, which is one of the most incredible records I have seen in a long time.  We would never have thought that we would set that kind of record this year, even though the Weather2020 LRC prediction of a colder winter in the face of a developing El Niño has verified.  It is now March 15th, and we still wait for our first 65° day. It will likely finally happen later next week, in fact a 70° is also likely within around one week.  I will make that call on 41 Action News as I put my 7 day forecast together soon.

Saturday:

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There will be a very weak cold front approaching Saturday. This will provide the conditions with a surge to near 60 degrees Saturday afternoon. This is great news for Sunny The Weather Dog and myself as we are Grand Marshal of the Brookside St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Here is the route:

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The parade begins at 2 PM, so get lined up early. We will see you there.  Have a great day! We will look ahead over the weekend and on 41 Action News tonight on Friday Night In The Big Town.

Gary

The Same Pattern Moves Closer To Spring

Good morning bloggers,

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We likely will not be adding to this total any time soon. As the days go by, the potential for snow accumulation will be going down. Now, we must also remember that Kansas City’s largest snowfall in recorded history is 25 inches on March 23, 1912 when 20.5″ of snow fell, with nearly 25″ for the entire storm.  Once we get past that last week of March, the potential goes way down.  7″ of snow did fall on April 8, 1983.  So, we will continue to monitor this weather pattern closely as it is cycling according to the LRC. Take a look at this storm, and how it looked in cycle 2:

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This part of the pattern in December also produced a powerful surface cyclone, just like the one that developed yesterday, and it produced a blizzard near the Nebraska/South Dakota border.  Yes, the same pattern, but just a bit different.  Look at that comparison from the early December cycle and this current one.  Pretty amazing!

After this system spun by in the second LRC cycle, a disturbance rotated around it and it produced an under forecast 1/2″ of snow as it developed right overhead. A very similar disturbance will rotate around this storm tonight. The cold air blasting in combined with this disturbance may produce a small area of snow this evening, and with temperatures just above freezing I am only anticipating a few snowflakes falling with no accumulation expected.

And, then what? A GREAT WEEKEND.  I am Grand Marshal with Sunny The Weather Dog of the Brookside St. Patrick’s Day Parade at 2 PM Saturday. The weather could not be nicer, especially considering we have not had a day 65° or higher since October 30th.  This is the longest Kansas City has ever gone under 65° and we are smashing that record.  It will be near 58 degrees on Saturday with light winds as a weak front approaches.

A WIND ADVISORYis in effect today as the winds have been gusting to 50 mph overnight into early this morning. The pressure gradient will relax later tonight and Friday and the winds will begin to calm down. Let’s look for snowflakes tonight!We will look ahead on 41 Action News tonight. Have a great day and thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring the LRC and Weather2020.

Gary

 

A Major Storm Moves Out Over The Rockies & Into the Plains

Good morning bloggers,

The highly anticipated storm system is now intensifying over the plains states this morning.  The pressure will drop low as low as it would be inside of a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.  This is a synoptic scale mid-latitude storm, a major cyclone, and it will be centered over western Kansas later today.

6:30 AM Radar:

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A large area of rain is tracking across the plains this morning. There are a few embedded heavy thunderstorms and this will track across Kansas into Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa, and extend south across Arkansas into Texas and Louisiana.  Today’s severe weather risk will shift east after severe weather struck New Mexico yesterday with tornadoes and large hail.

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The enhanced slight risk will extend from near Memphis, Tennessee south into northern Louisiana.  Here are the current watches and advisories as of early this morning:

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There is a large High Wind Warning area over the western plains into New Mexico.  Winds will gust to 80 mph, or possibly even stronger as this powerful storm develops:

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For Kansas City, today will be a rather fascinating weather day.  We will be fully into the circulation of this powerhouse storm system with the pressure possibly getting down to the record lowest pressure ever recorded in the state of Kansas recorded history.  Let’s see how strong this storm becomes later today. One way to measure the strength of a storm is in how low the pressure gets, and the pressure may drop to near 970 mb.

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This map above shows the surface forecast valid at 4 PM central time this afternoon.  This HRRR model forecast shows a 969 mb low located over western Kansas.  969 mb is equivalent to 28.61″, which I believe would be the lowest Kansas pressure ever recorded.  The circulation around this storm extends from the east coast to Southern California.

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today:  A 100% chance of rain with a chance of a few thunderstorms. The heaviest rain will move in later this morning and end early this afternoon. 1/2″ to 1″ of rain is likely with south wind 20-40 mph. High: 62°
  • Later this afternoon into tonight:  The sun may briefly come out before the end of the day.  The wind will increase and may gust to 50 mph.  Some power outages are likely with the winds gusting through the night.
  • Thursday:  It will be turning colder. The high of 57 degrees will be reached around midnight tonight.

It appears we will miss the snow part of this storm, and we are still sitting at 29.1″ for the season:

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The last 65° day was on October 30th, and this is the first time Kansas City has ever had all of November, December, January, and February without one 65° day. Last winter was fairly cold in this way as well, with only seven 65°+ days, including three 70° days, and sixteen 70° days two years ago by this time, during the same stretch.  We will make a run at 65 ° today and it may do it if the sun breaks out earlier.

Let’s monitor this together. Thank you for sharing in this weather experience. Go over to the Weather2020 blog to join in the conversation.

Gary

A Powerful Storm Develops Over The Plains

Good morning bloggers,

I have been pretty busy with the KC Pet Telethon and a few other projects. The Telethon raised $125,000 for the Humane Society of Greater KC, and in my 19 years hosting the telethon with Windy, Stormy, Breezy, and now Sunny, we have raised over $2 million.  I am so proud that I have been involved in this fundraising effort.  The weather was great for the dogs and cats arriving at the event Sunday evening, and now a storm is approaching, and this is no ordinary storm.

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This storm is being caused by a very strong and negatively tilted storm coming out of the southwestern part of the nation and ejecting out into the plains:

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This map above shows the 500 mb flow (18,000 feet above the surface).  The negatively tilted trough and upper low will be ejecting out into the plains and it will help form a band of rain and thunderstorms over the western plains later tonight into early Wednesday morning. This will then blow through eastern Kansas rather fast, and the fast movement and timing of the rain may limit amounts.  Some of the models have these rain holes, or rain shadows where this powerful storm may leave a few spots with around 1/4″ of rain or less:

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The higher precipitation amounts our northwest Nebraska into Wyoming and the Dakotas will be in the form of snow, and 2 1/2 feet of snow are possible with blizzard and life threatening conditions:

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For Kansas City, our pressure will get very low tomorrow as this system goes by.  And we will see a few rounds of rain, and possibly a few thunderstorms. Then, we will get “dry slotted” and the rain will shut off Wednesday, around noon tomorrow.

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today:  Rain showers likely this morning with around 0.10″ to 0.20″ possible.  A few showers likely this afternoon. Cloudy with a high of 55°.  The Dew Point will surge into the lower 50s with south winds 10-20 mph.
  • Tonight:  A 100% chance of rain, possibly heavy at times. A few thunderstorms are possible. Rainfall amounts between 0.25″ and 1.o0″ possible. Temperatures staying in the 50s.
  • Wednesday:  Morning showers and thunderstorms likely with an additional 0.10″ to 0.75″ possible, for a storm total of 0.45″ to 1.95″ likely.  High:  64°

It has not been over 64° since October 30th. It may come close on Wednesday. If the sun does not break out in the warm sector on Wednesday, then it may stay just below 65° again. This has been the longest stretch ever in KC history that it has been below 65°. KC had never gone all of November, December, January, and February without one 65° day until this LRC.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Have a great day!

Gary

Nice March Day, Four Day Storm on the Way

Good Monday bloggers,

This is one of the nicest days we have seen in weeks. The sun is out and it is not brutally cold. But, as you know, this pattern is crazy and active and our next storm arrives by Tuesday morning.

This is a slow-moving storm system that is picking up copious moisture from the Pacific ocean and Gulf of Mexico. By Tuesday morning rain will extend from Kansas to the Pacific Ocean and Baja, CA!

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TUESDAY EARLY MORNING: The rain will move into our region 3-6 AM, so it will be a wet morning rush hour. Temperatures will be warming from the upper 30s to low 40s.

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TUESDAY MORNING: Periods of rain and drizzle will be spreading north and covering most locations by 10 AM.

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TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND NIGHT: There will be periods of rain/drizzle and south winds will bring warmer air north. Temperatures will rise into the 50s Tuesday night. The main storm will still be in the southwest USA and you can see a large area of rain and thunderstorms forming from eastern Colorado, western Kansas south to west Texas. There may be some severe weather out there, but it will likely not be warm enough for widespread severe weather. This is not a usual location for that amount of rain to be located this time of year.

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WEDNESDAY: The area of heavy rain and thunderstorms will track east Tuesday night, arriving in our region Wednesday morning. This will be the last period of heavier rain for the storm. Temperatures will rise to the low and mid 60s. This will not be quite warm enough for severe weather. But, winds will be gusting over 40 mph anyway as a deep surface low tracks into the Plains. The central pressure will be 28.70″! The pressure this afternoon is around 30.40″. So, if you are susceptible to aches and pains due to pressure changes, this may be an issue this week.

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THURSDAY: The storm will head into the Great Lakes. This will put us in the wrap around which means more wind, temperatures falling from the 40s to 30s and rain/snow showers. Yes, we could see some snow, but we are not expecting any accumulation or slick spots as it will not be cold enough. Friday will be cloudy, windy and cold with highs in the upper 30s to low 40s.

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RAINFALL FORECAST: At this time it looks like we will see around 1″ of rain, give or take .25″.  A few locations could see more, if there are more thunderstorms. Remember, we average 2.37″ of rain for the entire month of March, so this is quite a bit of rain for a storm this time of year.

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Rainfall amounts will be 1″ to 2″ over all of the Plains, including Colorado. This is rare for those locations this time of year.

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There is a flood watch from western Kansas to southeast Nebraska. It is rare any time of year for western Kansas to be in a flood watch, let alone the early to middle part of March. We have a smattering of river flood warnings, which is not that unusual.

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The weather looks nice next weekend, including St. Patrick’s day. Right now it looks sunny with highs in the low 50s next Sunday.

Have a great rest of your week.

Jeff Penner

Two Calm Days, then a Four Day Storm

Good Sunday bloggers,

We are in for two days without precipitation and temperatures at or a bit below average. The bottom line is that we are in for two consecutive tolerable weather days. It has been awhile. The streak of nice weather will end at two days as our next storm approaches. The storm Saturday was in and out in about 12 hours. This next storm will be in and out in around 4 days!

We can see the storm evolving on the west coast of the USA. There is a piece of energy near San Francisco and another piece west of Los Angeles. These pieces will come together to become a slow moving storm in the southwest USA. They are picking up tropical moisture from the south Pacific Ocean as well, so this is going to be a wet storm.

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TODAY: We will have periods of high clouds with highs 40°-45°. The wind will be much less at 5-15 mph as opposed to the 45 mph wind gusts on Saturday.

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MONDAY: We are in for another nice March day as highs climb to around the average of 50°. The wind will remain light. You can see by 5 PM, the leading edge of the rain is across southern Kansas.

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TUESDAY: The rain arrives early Tuesday morning. This day will see periods of rain, heavy at times, and a few thunderstorms with highs in the 40s. South winds will push warmer air north, so Tuesday night we will see temperatures rise into the 50s.

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WEDNESDAY: This is going to be an interesting day as the main storm lifts out strong into the Plains. A deep surface low will be found in southeast Colorado/southwest Kansas with a surface pressure as low as 28.85″! The low will track into southern Kansas and then northeast into Iowa. It will weaken a bit as it moves northeast. A large area of heavy rain and thunderstorms (some severe) will form in the western Plains Tuesday night then head east. It will be weaker as it moves through here midday Wednesday. That being said, we could still see very heavy rain and winds gusting to 40-50 mph. The best chance of severe weather will be well south, but we need to keep an eye on this.

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THURSDAY: The storm will be lifting into the Great Lakes, putting us on the back side. This means windy and colder weather with rain, and yes, some snow snow showers. We do not expect accumulation, but it shows we are not done with the snow.

Friday will be cloudy, breezy and cold followed by a dry and cool St. Patrick’s day weekend.

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Here is the rainfall forecast Tuesday-Thursday for our next storm. You can see this is going to be a widespread 1″ to 2″ event for much of the Plains. Some locations will see 2″ to 3″ of rain. The heaviest totals will move around, based on where thunderstorms track. The bottom line, this is a wet storm and will bring some nice moisture to the Hard Red Winter Wheat areas of the western Plains.

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Here are forecast totals in our area. Keep in mind two things. One, the heaviest totals are subject to change, based on thunderstorms. Two, we average 2.37″ of rain for the entire month of March. So, in the heaviest areas, all of March totals may be realized in three days.

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Have a great week.

Jeff Penner

 

Rain, Wind, Brief Warm Up and a Second Storm

Good Saturday bloggers,

We have an interesting day of weather as a strong storm system tracks across the Plains. We are having periods of rain and a few thunderstorms this morning with temperatures around 40°. Then, a small warm sector will race by between about noon and 2 PM. This will take temperatures to around 60° for 1-2 hours. During this time, there will be scattered thunderstorms and a few may contain small hail. Then, the cold front will sweep through, and winds will pick up to 20-30 mph gusting to 40-50 mph from the west as temperatures drop back to the 30s and wind chill values drop to the teens and 20s.

Here is the surface set up at 730 AM Saturday. A surface low was located near Russell, KS and there was a warm sector found from southcentral/southeast Kansas to Oklahoma. This warm sector will track north and be in our area for 1-2 hours around noon.

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Scattered thunderstorms will be possible in the warm sector and some may contain small hail. The main severe weather today will occur from Tennessee to Mississippi to unfortunately northwest Alabama as well. It is these locations where an enhanced slight risk is found.

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SATURDAY 12-2 PM: The warm sector will be tracking northeast across the region. Temperatures will range from the 40s in northern Missouri to around 60° in KC and 65° southeast of KC. If you want to enjoy the warm air, don’t blink, as it will only last 1-2 hours. Notice, Emporia is in the 40s with 40-50 mph wind gusts. Also, scattered showers and thunderstorms will be around and a few thunderstorms may contain small hail.

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SATURDAY 4 PM: The weather features are racing along and by 4 PM temperatures will be back down to the 40s, heading to the 30s as winds come from the west gusting 40-50 mph. The rain will be moving away and wind chill values will be in the teens and 20s.

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SUNDAY: This will be a calmer weather day with lows 25°-30° and highs 40°-45° under a partly cloudy sky.

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TUESDAY: Monday will be similar to Sunday with highs in the 40s after lows in the 20s. The second storm will be spread it’s first band of rain into our area Monday night into early Tuesday. Tuesday will be a rainy and cool day with highs in the 40s.

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WEDNESDAY: There will be more rain and some thunderstorms. Temperatures may jump to 60° on this day for a few hours. It will also be windy. This storm will bring a widespread 1″ to 2″ of rain across most of the Plains as opposed to the current storm that is bringing most of its rain to the east. Our area will see .25″ to 1″ of rain today and then 1″-2″ Tuesday and Wednesday. That is quite a bit of rain for this time of year.

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Have a great weekend and enjoy the 1-2 hours of warm weather today.

Jeff Penner