Another Difficult Weather Pattern To Forecast Over The Plains

Good morning bloggers,

I hope everyone is having a great start to the week. The pattern continues to cycle according to the LRC.  We have been forecasting that the last third of the month  of May  has the best chance of being wetter near KC.  The part of the pattern that produced  the April 13-16 stormy period will be cycling back through near the end of the month.  The biggest outbreak of this pattern (the pattern begins in October and lasts through September) happened on April 3rd, and that part of the pattern is due in around the 20th of this month as well.  Between now and then there are some other systems that will potentially have a few severe weather risks, but they aren’t the bigger ones that have happened. We are in the forecast quieter period right now. There are a few chances in this next  7 days, however, but they are quite challenging to the weather forecaster. We will discuss each chance of thunderstorms as they show up from day to day.  Let’s begin today by looking at the past 90 days:

Screen Shot 2018-05-06 at 3.59.16 PM

The cold April really created the past 90-day anomalies to show up cold from Montana southeast to Missouri. The dry areas across Kansas continued despite some rain events that has caused the drought to contract a bit back over Kansas, across northwest Oklahoma into the Texas Panhandle.  The same pattern has continued the struggle to produce consistent rains to end that drought, and this week will be another test.

Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 7.08.20 AMThe European Model suddenly went into a rather dry forecast over these next ten days. While it appears to be a somewhat active pattern, the trend on most of the models has been a bit drier. This forecast map on the left shows the European Model rainfall forecast over the next ten days ending on May 17th.  Look closely at that pattern on this forecast rainfall map.  Now, compare it to what has happened over the past 90 days.  It’s as if the same pattern is continuing. Well, we know that it is because the same pattern that setup last fall is continuing to cycle today centered in the 47-48 day cycle range.  There are a few chances for thunderstorms in the next week across the plains. The most likely  areas that will have the heaviest rainfall will be all around the driest areas.  A few thunderstorms will sneak into the drought plagued region as well, so let’s see how each set up evolves.

This next map shows the zoomed in rainfall forecast from the same European Model:

Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 7.08.41 AM

This forecast map shows spotty totals, fairly low 10-day rainfall totals over northeastern KS and northwestern MO, while at the same time there are higher totals just to the north and off to the east.

The SPC outlook for Tuesday:


There is some potential for a few severe thunderstorms in this marginal risk area.  Given the time of the year, we will be monitoring this closely. The models have varied from having these thunderstorms form just west of KC, to having them form just east of KC.  Let’s see how this sets up tomorrow. Then next weekend is interesting, but the storm system is just not organizing properly; I mean it just isn’t looking that likely for KC to be in the right spot for thunderstorms despite a slow moving front in the area. We will analyze these set ups in the next few blogs, and on 41 Action News.

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today: A rather calm and beautiful day. Expect a mostly sunny sky with light winds.  High:  81°
  • Tonight:  Mostly clear with a low in the upper 50s to near 60°
  • Tuesday:  Periods of clouds with a 30% chance of thunderstorms.  Thunderstorms will develop, but will they form north and east of KC, and thus miss us, or will they form overhead or just west. This is our big forecast challenge for tomorrow.  Expect southeast winds 10-20 mph. High:  81°
  • Wednesday:  A gorgeous spring day with west winds at 10 -20 mph. Mostly sunny with a high of 86°

Have a great day. Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go over to the Weather2020 blog to join in the conversation.


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