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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:

Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 6.28.06 AM

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:

Screen Shot 2019-03-13 at 6.14.54 AM

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

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