Drought update & a look to weekend storms

What a picture-perfect Friday night. Hardly a cloud in the sky across the entire region right now. If you look closely enough, you can pretty much see where the surface high is located.

Here’s the surface drawing from the folks over at the WPC. There’s that area of high pressure at the surface. We owe it a big “thank you” for making today so nice.

Let’s talk a little about the rain we had this week. First off, your backyard rain gauge probably measured differently. As mentioned before, rain does not always fall in uniform over a wide area. So with that said, here’s a look at rainfall totals from Monday through Friday of this week via the official NWS reporting sites.
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Many locations across the area are already well ahead on precip for the month of June. But the biggest question is: what has this done to the drought? Is it over; are we cured? Well, that depends upon where you live.

Last week Thursday, this was the drought report from the U.S. Drought Monitor:

But with the rainfall this week, we did make a dent in the drought. The latest report was released Thursday morning and here’s what it shows:

Those in NC Missouri are now classified as not being in a drought. Notice, the Moderate Drought category was pushed back to the Southwest by about 40 miles. This places most of the KC Metro in the “Abnormally Dry” category. So we do still need moisture, but it’s nice to have a few days to dry out.

Moving into the weekend, there are several events going on. We should be dry on Saturday (but it will be windy!). Then, by Saturday night, rain and storms push back into the area. The greatest risk area is in Nebraska and Western Iowa. Will this complex move into KC? It doesn’t look like the heart of it will. Why? The flow has changed a bit. We now are dealing with a Southwesterly flow, which should help drive the bulk of the activity into Iowa. That said, we could still pick up on the Southern end of this system.
At 500mb (18,000ft up) you can see the winds in the image below. Note: this is not a radar image. The colors indicate the stronger winds… red being winds around 80 knots (92mph) sustained.

The models are still a little conflicted on what will happen for Father’s Day afternoon. The Storm Prediction Center says Sunday’s risk sets up just to our East. Keep in mind, the SPC is likely to fine-tune things as we get closer to Sunday.
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Here’s what one of our in-house models says the radar will look like on Sunday afternoon:
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The RPM forecast model sees things a little differently:

What we have to look for is how things evolve from the morning convection. Should it spit out a couple of outflow boundaries, those could play a role in where storms develop Sunday afternoon. At the same time, if things slow down and the morning rain gets in here at 10a (as opposed to 4-5am), that would leave us with plenty of convective debris and the atmosphere may not have enough time to recover. The NAM claims this may happen. Here’s how the NAM thinks the radar will look at 4pm Sunday:

As always, we’ll have a better handle on things as we get closer and more data is crunched and munched. Until then, let’s not get too worked up. We have a great night tonight and pretty good day in store for Saturday. And hey, if it turns into a cloudy, rainy Sunday, Dad won’t have to mow and can just sit on the couch guilt-free. Nothing wrong with that.

Have a nice weekend, all.

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5 comments to Drought update & a look to weekend storms

  • VerySkeptical

    Thanks JD. Great blog.

  • robyn corzine

    JD great blog as always. It’s always a pleasure reading your blogs. You give great FACTS and details and leave out all the other crap.

    Any chance you would want to do this blog full time? I know a lot of folks would love that! Have a great weekend.

  • Fat_Louie

    Something tells me we’re back in to the same old pattern. Storms to the NW or they develop overhead and to the East. I think we’re in for a long dry streak again.

  • terrydsnowy

    Bring on some more rain in KCK! Not dry around here. It’s really g
    A lot of green grass here. Doing really good with rain here.