This wild April continues! I hope everyone is having a great start to this Tuesday. As we go about our busy days, we have this storm to track. It is a dry storm for Kansas City, but anything but dry for areas just around a half state to the north. Take a look at this surface forecast map valid at 3 PM this afternoon:
A rather strong surface cyclone will be developing as an upper level storm intensifies over the Rocky Mountains and tracks over the western plains tonight. As this system tracks east, heavy snow will be developing over the states just north of KC. This would normally be a major severe weather producer, and this storm does not lack low level moisture.
From the Storm Prediction Center: NO SEVERE THUNDERSTORM AREAS FORECAST: Severe thunderstorms are not anticipated through early Wednesday. Thunderstorm potential will be minimal across the United States today. A couple of late afternoon thunderstorms might form in the central high plains/Black Hills vicinity where scant buoyancy could develop near an eastward-ejecting shortwave trough. Greater likelihood will exist for isolated thunderstorms across the Mid-Missouri Valley tonight into early Wednesday. Here, strong forcing for ascent via low-level warm air advection and mid-level divergence should overcome robust convective inhibition and yield a few thunderstorms along the northern periphery of the Great Plains cap. Small hail might accompany the strongest updrafts as CAPE will probably remain weak where parcels can freely convect.
So, a thunderstorm is not out of the question, and a few may form. What is fascinating, and this has happened several times in this years LRC, is that the heavier rain and possible thunderstorms that do form this evening just to our northwest, will then track into the colder air and turn into heavy snow. This actually happened in Green Bay a couple of days ago and this is how they had their second biggest snowstorm in their recorded history at just under 24″.
On that surface map, the red line is the warm front, and the yellow line is the dry line. The warm front is a big factor for KC’s weather today. South of the front it will reach into the 80s with dew points in the 60s. North of the front bands of clouds will likely form and it will stay in the 50s near KC. The warm front may pass through this evening and we would then have a temperature jump and humidity increase for a few hours before the cold front moves through by early Wednesday. This is just a fascinating storm to track today, but it is a dry storm for KC. Could we see a rain shower? Sure we may, but that would be it, a five minute rain shower and that is a big maybe, so I have kept the chance under 10%.
The NWS tweeted out this graphic above. Three of the coldest April high temperatures ever have happened in 2018. April 1 and 2 came in at 33 and 34 degrees respectively, and the fifth coldest high temperature in April Kansas City recorded history happened on Sunday with a high of 31°. That record really stands out as it may have come in fifth, but it was the latest date by 6 days, and it broke the record by TEN degrees. I am not sure how many times a record gets broken by 10, but it has to be a very rare event.
Kansas City Weather Timeline:
- Today: This is an interesting and quite difficult forecast. The models that form no clouds (RUC) have highs near 70 degrees in KC this afternoon. There is a strong warm front forming and approaching, but it will stay south of KC all day. So, I am expecting the cloudless models to be wrong and I am forecasting a high near 60°. Expect east winds at 5-15 mph increasing.
- Tonight: The warm front may briefly move through with temperatures near 60 if that happens. The wind will shift to the west and northwest and become gusty by morning. Low: 43°
- Wednesday: Partly cloudy, windy, and colder. High: 53°
- Looking ahead: A weekend storm will be approaching, but this system has been trending farther and farther south. Kansas City appears to be on the north side of what may be a rather wet storm. Some models have no rain at all. This has been the trend. If it were a snowstorm, we would have already discussed possible high accumulations, only to be left disappointed once again.
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Have a great day!