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A Rare July Storm Forms Tonight

Good morning bloggers,

Thunderstorms formed Monday afternoon and produced 6 inches of rain in Leavenworth county and wide spread 1 to 2 inch amounts along the path of the thunderstorms. The dew pointe got up to 77 degrees yesterday afternoon which provided the tremendous fuel for these thunderstorms.  The Royals had yet another game cancelled and they will be playing a day/night doubleheader today at Kauffman Stadium.  There were a few bow echo segments, where the radar echo bulges out to the east which is caused by high winds.  And, the National Weather Service started issuing tornado warnings over the KC metro area. The sirens had to have gone off at most of your locations if you live near KC.  Here is a warning image taken during, what was supposed to be our 5 PM newscast, at 5:19 PM.  Just a few minutes later all of Johnson county was filled in with tornado warnings.

July Tornado Warnings

This is the week that Weather2020 forecasted to be a potentially wet and stormy one as it lines up on the LRC 45 to 50 day cycle exactly. The tornado in Lee’s Summit last week, that we caught forming live with Skytracker, happened 46 days after the tornadoes that happened closet to midnight on May 16th and 17th.  And, now the weather pattern forming right now can be traced back to around May 21st.   A storm system is forecast to develop tonight into Wednesday, and it is not your normal summer storm system. It is developing an entire low level circulation and it will be arriving tomorrow:

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The overnight data that just came in is trending towards part of our viewing area receiving over 3 inches of rain later tonight and Wednesday. The GFS model that just came out has not been modeling this well, but it just trended farther north and more organized. Here is what the models are showing early this morning:

  • NAM Model: Rain moves in early Wednesday with 1/2″ of rain near St. Joseph, 2″ of rain on the south side of the metro, and 3″ of rain over a wide swath near the Lake of the Ozarks
  • GFS Model: Rain moves in early Wednesday with 1/10th of an inch of rain near St. Joseph, 1″ of rain near Lee’s Summit, and 3″ of rain over the Lake of the Ozarks
  • European Model:  No rain at St. Joseph, just a trace at KCI Airport, and 1″ at the Lake of the Ozarks
  • Canadian Model:  This model trended farther south with 1/10th of an inch at St. Joseph and 2″ of rain near the Lake of the Ozarks

In analyzing these models it has KC on the northwest edge on all of them really. This is a storm system that will be developing in the next 12 hours or so, and we should be able to see a trend. Kansas City will be on the cool side of this rare July system.  After this storm moves by, it leaves a front behind that will lift north as a warm front. This will likely trigger stronger thunderstorms Thursday night into Friday before heat builds in this weekend.  Can you believe all of this action in July. Summer just won’t settle in with this pattern we are in.

Have a great day. Our weather team will have the latest data and bring you in-depth information on our weathercasts today and tonight.

Gary

Thunderstorms Will Be Developing Soon

Good afternoon bloggers,

Here is a quick update before thunderstorms develop and affect our area. A pretty strong July cold front is inching our way. Here is the 1:30 PM surface map:

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Dew points are quite high and this extreme humidity is going to result in very high rainfall rates. The amount of flooding will depend on how many thunderstorms a location receives. The thunderstorms will likely train over the same areas at times and with rainfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour it wouldn’t take long to cause flash flooding. Just two to three hours in the band of thunderstorms could end up with 3 to 6 inches of rain.  And, as Jeff said in the previous blog entry there is a second system, a summer storm system, that will be approaching Tuesday night and Wednesday.  One of our computer models had this excessive rainfall forecast between now and Wednesday:

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As usual, this is going to develop right before our eyes. We will have details of these systems on 41 Action News today at 4, 5, 6, and 10 PM.  You can follow me on twitter @glezak, and on my Facebook fanpage at Facebook.com/GaryLezak.  Have a great day.  And remember, “turn around, don’t drown”. If waters rise, do not try to cross the flowing water.

The storm on Wednesday is certainly fascinating to us, as it is literally a July storm system that will likely track northeast towards and over our area.  A low pressure area will likely track northeast bringing a “ball” of water with it as it spins over eastern Kansas and western Missouri early Wednesday, and then there will be a warm front returning Thursday night with more thunderstorms possible. Summer just isn’t settling in.

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Gary

A Month’s or More of Rain

Good Monday bloggers,

I hope you had a safe and happy 4th of July weekend.  It was dry all weekend, and as you know we cannot more than 2-3 days without rain and our time is up.  There is a very good chance of thunderstorms later today and tonight.  Rain chances will linger through Wednesday and Thursday.  Some locations will see more than a month’s worth of rainfall in the next 3-4 days!.  Lets go through this.

We are in a slight risk of severe weather for later today and tonight.  This is NOT a similar set up to the other day, the tornado threat is near zero.

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We are also in a Flash Flood watch.  This in effect from later today through Wednesday.  Yes, there is more rain in the forecast beyond tonight.

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Here are the main severe weather threats.  Some of the thunderstorms will have rainfall rates of 1-2″ per hour!  Also, a few may produce quarter sized hail and/or wind gusts of 58 mph or higher.  Really, it is the flooding threat that will become an issue.

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Here is why flooding will be the main threat.  Look at how much rain may fall later today through Wednesday.  Some areas may see over 6″ of rain.  The entire July average rainfall is 4.45″.  Now, this model suggests the heaviest rain will fall in a band, mostly northwest of I-35.  This has not formed yet, and the heaviest band could be shifted 50-80 miles north of south.  Remember we are forecasting something that does not exist yet.

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Here is the timeline of events as we see it now.

4-5 PM MONDAY: This is when thunderstorms will be rapidly forming.  In the red cores rainfall rates will likely reach 1-2″ per hour.

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8-10 PM: The heavy rain will be shifting south.  The Royals game is in jeopardy for sure.  The rain will continue to shift south and will be mostly out of the area by Tuesday morning.  Clouds and lingering showers will still be possible tomorrow morning.

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TUESDAY:  It will be a mostly cloudy day with highs in the 70s.  But, take a look across Oklahoma.  There is a new area of rain and thunderstorms as a wave of energy begins a trek up I-35.  This rain will affect our area Tuesday night and Wednesday.  This is why the Flash Flood watch is in effect through Wednesday.

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So, if you have turned your sprinklers on, turn them off.  Gary will be in this evening and you can get forecast updates all day long at www.kshb.com/weather.

Have a great week.

Jeff

Severe weather potential Monday night

As expected, the dew points really shot up today leading to a much more humid afternoon compared to yesterday and Friday. These are the heat index values as of 5pm Sunday.
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Now with this “juice” in place, we’re setting ourselves up for some strong to severe thunderstorms Monday. The SPC has placed us in a “slight risk”.
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Powercast has been doing a good job picking up on this the last couple of days. It continues to indicate this would be more of a linear setup (a line of storms, as opposed to various individual cells). What this means is our greatest overall threats will be flooding and very high wind. That said, it’s not out of the question that during the early development stage of this line, a few cells may fire up that produce some hail and perhaps even a tornado warning. Once more, I expect this to turn into a line and that would diminish the threat for tornadoes. Make sure you still have a way to get warnings and alerts (Storm Shield is a handy app to download).

Here is the latest version of Powercast for 4pm Monday.
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Then by about 8pm, it places that line across the Metro area.
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Notice how that line shows a sharp gradient going from greens to reds. That’s another good indication of a potential strong wind event with this line. I’d suggest making sure patio items are secure before going in for the night Monday. Also, be alert to flash flooding with the heavy rain that will likely develop. As the rain moves over the same area again and again, we could get some locales that wind up under water. Please stay alert.

This cold front will power through and be gone by Tuesday morning. Behind that front, though, we’ve got some pretty cool air headed this way for July.
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As we go into Monday evening, keep your eyes on us and we will continue to keep you updated on whatever develops.

Stay cool,
-JD

Keeps eyes on Sunday

First off, a very happy independence day to you and yours.
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It’s going to be a great night tonight for pretty much anything you have planned. The Royals game should be great.
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If you plan to catch a fireworks show tonight or just have one of your own, it is shaping up to be an awesome night.
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Turning our focus to Sunday, things start to change a bit. We’ve been keeping eyes on Sunday for a while now. The models have wavered a bit in the last couple of days, so it should be no surprise that the latest guidance is now suggesting the potential for a few showers and thunderstorms on Sunday.
The latest version of Powercast (as of 3pm Saturday) seems to be a bit over-done to me, but this is what it has at 10am Sunday.
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And then what it suggests for 2pm.
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I want to note that this model never really brings rain across the Metro. Here, take a look at the whole day in motion:

Overall, I find this entire solution (the 18z run) a little suspect. Moreover, this is the only model that is producing this much rainfall for Sunday. So I am not sold on it. The NAM is the next closest, but is simply hints at a spotty shower or two trying to pop up on the Kansas/Missouri line.
My gut says: we’ll need to keep our eyes peeled. This has been the season for it to rain when it shouldn’t. So I bet we see something in the Eastern part of Kansas Sunday. That said, I think it would be isolated (if we see much of anything) and the best area might be around Garnett. The broad takeaway here: most of us will probably wind up staying dry. I expect to see future updates of the Powercast RPM model to arrive at a better solution than this one.

***8pm Update***
The two newest version of our Powercast model have greatly backed off of the idea of rain blobs over the area. That said, there are still signals for a few showers in our Southwestern counties. I’ll have a brand new, updated Powercast to share with you on air at 10pm tonight.
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By Monday, however, our chances are looking good for a more widespread rain/thunderstorm night across a larger part of the viewing area. The latest information would suggest the best timing to be after 8pm. Below is how Powercast paints things late Monday night.
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This would then move over the area and should be gone by Tuesday morning.
Behind that front, however, a decent shot of cool air. Highs may struggle to reach the upper 70s on Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s almost the middle of July… we’re supposed to be in the upper 80s!

Overall, the chances for severe weather appear to be low for Sunday. That said, all it takes is one good storm to produce 55mph wind and we’ve got ourselves a few headaches. Monday may be a tad different. As you can imagine, we will continue to comb through all the forecast information and keep you advised of things. In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful night and celebrate the true independence we have as Americans.

Be safe!

-JD

An enjoyable holiday weekend

I am not sure if it can get any nicer than this. Given the amount of rain we’ve had over the last several weeks–and how it’s rained pretty much every weekend since the middle of March–it is surprising that we have no rain in the forecast this Saturday and Sunday. The other side of the coin: it’s July. It could easily be 95 to 100 degrees outside with heat index values near 110°! Here at 5p on a Friday, this is where we stand.
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Those going to the Royals game tonight are in for a treat.
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And as we head through the holiday weekend, I just don’t think we have much to worry about. Could there be a shower that randomly pops up at some point? Yeah. That would be on Sunday and South of I-70. But I am not seeing much support from the latest guidance on that. So if you have a cookout planned for tomorrow, you should be fine.
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I believe we’re dry for the holiday weekend. However, I have to be honest. There is a tiny chance of something to creep up Sunday afternoon.
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But I really think we’ll wind up staying dry. No issues for those with outdoor plans this weekend.

So what’s the deal? Why suddenly dry? The boundary that would help to generate rainfall has slid down to the South and will hang there for a couple days.
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Now, it’s not going to stay there. By Monday we’re back in the soup with a decent chance for rain and thunderstorms.

Looking farther ahead, I’m kinda surprised. I do not see us warming up much going into next week. Every day of the week shows highs below the average for this time of year. It’s also possible we don’t make it out of the 70s on Tuesday and Wednesday. Incredible stuff for this part of the country in July.

I hope you all have a great, safe, and happy holiday!
-JD

SPC Risks This Evening

Good late afternoon bloggers,

Here is this afternoon’s surface map.  A low pressure area has developed over eastern Kansas and as of 3 PM there was a slowly sagging front near Kansas City. This front is slowly moving south.  There is also an outflow boundary that is still well defined over southern Missouri weakening as it tracks into the surface low, indicated by the dashed line.

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The Storm Prediction Center has placed this risk of tornadoes in our area. Remember, a 5% risk means that there is a 95% chance of no tornadoes within 25 miles of your location. Everyone seems to look at it the other way for some reason.  We are monitoring the set-up closely for development.  As of 3 PM nothing has formed.

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The outflow boundary has likely pushed the threat farther south than what the SPC has been indicating. I am not 100% confident of this, as we are still seeing this evolve.  The best chance will likely be farther south, but as of 4 PM the front is right near KC.  Have a great day. If any thunderstorms do form please let us know through Facebook.com/garylezak or tweet me @glezak.

Here is a picture I am tweeting out now, from one of our models:

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Thanks in advance for your help.

Gary

A risk of severe weather this afternoon

We experienced some more strong overnight storms early this morning. This is a radar grab from 1am when a strong little line of storms developed almost right over the same area that was hit last week.
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The NWS office at Pleasant Hill reported a 60mph wind gust as these storms rolled through. It also knocked out more power to a few areas.

Now, here at 6am, this is the current radar.
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There are no severe thunderstorms around our area, but some flash flooding is possible around Warrensburg and Sedalia.

As we go through the afternoon, there is a chance for thunderstorms to redevelop. It’s possible that some of the stronger storms turn severe. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted an area over KC as having a “Slight Risk” of severe weather.
(Updated as of 8am)
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The Powercast forecast model picks up on that a little bit, showing some isolated cells popping up this afternoon.
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Some of that depends on the amount of sunshine we get. The more sun equals the better chance to see something develop. So if you’re not a fan of storms, then root for the clouds today. We will be on guard and keep you posted as things develop. **Also note: just because the whole area is in the risk, doesn’t mean everyone will see storms. Matter of fact, there will be many that do NOT see any rain/storms at all this afternoon. Just something to remember.

There is another chance for rain and thunderstorms Thursday, but it appears that threat will hold off until after dark. It may turn out to be more of an early Friday morning event for KC.

I do see a dip in temperatures coming our way for Thursday & Friday, as highs may only hit the very low 80s. We’ll start to ramp back up going into the first half of next week.
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Looking back at the month of June, it was a soaker. There is no doubt about that! Check out how far above average some of the major reporting sites were for the month.
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And according to the folks at the NWS, this last May & June ranks as the second wettest May/June on record. A total combined rainfall amount of 17.83″ was record at KCI. That’s pretty impressive.

It seems July is picking right where May and June left off. As of post time, we’ve already seen an inch of rain downtown and just over a third of an inch at KCI. These numbers are as of 5:00am and will likely be updated after the morning rain ends.
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A sneak peak at the holiday weekend, as of this morning, suggests to me that we may get by dry on Saturday & Sunday. I cannot rule out an afternoon pop-up storm, but the latest indications say most of us will stay dry. Of course, we’re still a few days away and that’s plenty of time for things to change a little. We’ll keep tabs on it for sure!

Many are still asking/talking about the haze in the sky Tuesday. That was smoke from the wildfires up in Canada. Here is a great image from NASA that shows the river of smoke stretching down toward our area from the Great White North.
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Stay with us as we watch the sky this afternoon.
-JD

Severe Weather Risk Later Today

Good morning bloggers,

Welcome to July! Right after midnight, on July 1st, rain and a few thunderstorms were increasing.  The weather pattern is quite interesting as we move into the second half of 2015.  There is a severe weather risk today.  The risk is slight, but there are a few features that have our attention.  We will be monitoring these closely as there is a surface low forming over Kansas and a weak front near by with some upper level energy approaching this afternoon and evening.  We will get to that in a second, but first take a look at the last two months:

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The wet pattern continues on this July 1st.

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From the Storm Prediction Center:  “AN MCS WILL BE ONGOING AT 12Z AIDED BY ROBUST LOW-LEVEL WAA. WHILE
THIS ACTIVITY WILL DIMINISH…IN ITS WAKE…RESIDUAL CONVECTIVE
OUTFLOW AMIDST INTENSE DIABATIC HEATING OVER KS SHOULD YIELD A
STRENGTHENING BAROCLINIC ZONE. WITH AROUND 70 DEG SURFACE DEW
POINTS…A CORRIDOR OF MODERATE TO LARGE BUOYANCY WILL LIKELY
DEVELOP. CONVECTION SHOULD FORM OVER PARTS OF WRN MO BY LATE
AFTERNOON. VEERING WINDS WITH HEIGHT SHOULD RESULT IN EFFECTIVE
SHEAR AROUND 40 KT…AIDING IN A FEW SUPERCELLS WITH LARGE HAIL AND
TORNADOES POSSIBLE. CONVECTION SHOULD GROW UPSCALE INTO AN MCS IN
THE EVENING AS A SWLY LLJ INTENSIFIES WITH THE RISK TRANSITIONING TO
DAMAGING WINDS.”

And, as I am discussing on Weather2020 today, this set-up is right no schedule. It was 46 to 47 days ago that we had tornado warnings at midnight in our area. 58 tornados were reported that day. This part of the pattern has produced severe weather in just about every LRC Cycle.  During the spring we had morning rain and thunderstorms in so many set-ups and that affected the afternoon set-ups. We again are monitoring these morning thunderstorms and showers. We will look at the set-up early this afternoon and update the blog as time permits later today.

Weather Forecast Time-Line:

  • Now-noon: Scattered showers and thunderstorms with cloudy skies
  • Noon-6PM:  There will likely be a break and a front will be setting up, most likely just southwest of Kansas City. The exact location is uncertain. The atmosphere will be able to recover.
  • 6 PM – 10 PM: Severe weather risk increases. There will likely be a location where the cap breaks and big thunderstorms form with large hail, damaging winds and possibly a couple of tornadoes in our area.

JD Rudd is on the air this morning filling in for Kalee.  He will go over the risks, and I will be in this afternoon with updates as we monitor today closely.  Have a great day.

Gary

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!

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

Jeff