A Set Up for Widespread Thunderstorms, But….

Good Saturday bloggers,

Today is similar to Friday as we are having scattered morning showers and thunderstorms. The rest of today will be dry, warm and humid.


It is the middle of May which means we are reaching the wettest time of year along with being in the thick of severe weather season.┬áTake a look at this crazy weather set up for today. A front will be stalled basically from western Kansas to northern Missouri and east into Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Temperatures will be in the 40s and 50s north of the front and 80s/90s to the south. This set up in the Plains, this time of year, usually means widespread rain and thunderstorms with severe weather and flooding. Now, we are seeing scattered showers and thunderstorms with little to no severe threat. This is most odd, but we have a “Cap” over this set up. The “Cap” is a layer of warm air at about 10,000 feet. This prevents thunderstorms from forming. So, most thunderstorms this weekend will be along I-80 in the cooler air, while the stalled front stays mostly inactive. Now, we have seen scattered showers and thunderstorms Friday and Saturday mornings, but they have been high based, above the “Cap”, and not associated with the front.



The stalled front and “Cap” remain, so the front will stay inactive. Highs will be in the 80s and 90s south of the front and 50s/60s to the north. Sunday night we will be looking for some thunderstorms to form in the southwest Plains. This is a sign that the “Cap” is breaking as cooler air moves in aloft. Some of these thunderstorms may wander in Monday morning.


Here is the rainfall forecast through Tuesday. You can see most of the rain is from northern Kansas to Iowa into northern Missouri. KC is on the southern edge and most of this rain looks to occur Monday and Tuesday as the “Cap” begins to break.


Here is the rainfall forecast when you add Wednesday-Friday. We are seeing the potential for widespread 1″-4″ rainfall amounts. Let’s see how this evolves, but the front will still be in the area with disturbances wandering out of the Rockies. These features, this time of year, with little to no “Cap” should net daily chances of widespread rain and thunderstorms. The severe threat is low as the flow aloft will be weak. We average about 1.50″ of rain per week, so this rainfall forecast should not be hard to attain given how the pattern is set up.


We need the rain as we are about 3″ below average for the year. KCI is above average for the month, but many locations are not.


Have a great weekend and Happy Mother’s day.

Jeff Penner

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