Good morning bloggers,
Here is a picture I took at 7 AM this morning with an isolated thunderstorm moving across Kansas City. You can see the rain shaft behind Breezy and Stormy as it drifted southeast:
It’s FRIDAY! The day began with some dark clouds and a few isolated rain showers and thunderstorms. Yesterday reached 95° by the end of the day making it official that the heat wave reached day 13. Today will be the fourteenth day of this major heat wave if it hits our forecast high of 95°. Then, 100° heat will likely return Saturday with a big jump to extreme heat on Sunday. The anticyclone is forecast to be southwest of Kansas City with this next part of the major heat wave and this will place us in light northwest flow. Weak disturbances, like the one moving through early this morning, will track across Iowa and Nebraska clipping our viewing area the next few days and thunderstorms are possible.
The anticyclone will be a bit farther south than it has been during this heat wave. As you can see below, it is forecast to strengthen this weekend over Oklahoma and Texas and this places our region in northwest flow aloft:
Can you see the text with the number 12 plotted over Utah, Colorado, into Montana and spreading out into Nebraska? Each one of these 12s is a weak upper level disturbance and some of them may be strong enough to produce some showers and thunderstorms. With our area being in northwest flow we will have to look to the northwest and see if anything is riding our way in the stream of air aloft flowing around the anticyclone. There is a chance of thunderstorms over the weekend and a few will be likely over our viewing area, but they won’t be wide spread enough to increase our chance of rain to more than 20%.
We are in a position that will be creating the conditions for what could be the hottest day of the summer so far on Sunday. Extremely warm air just above the surface is forecast to move out over our viewing area. The NAM model is just coming out as I am finishing the writing of this blog entry this morning. There is a temperature gradient forecast from eastern Kansas to northeastern Missouri. The 850 mb temperature forecast near Lawrence is 27.5°C while at the same time it is 20°C near Kirksville, MO. This contrast shows that there is a lower level frontal zone that will be pushing into the viewing area Saturday and passing well off to our northeast by Sunday. West and southwest of Lawrence will likely experience a surge to near or above 105° on Saturday and this air is forcing it’s way into our local area which creates a difficult forecast for Sunday:
The baroclinic zone (temperature contrast zone) that will be laying across our area Saturday evening should be a focusing area for thunderstorm development. Even if thunderstorms form, by Sunday conditions will likely be favorable for extreme heat. If this forcing of the warm air over our heads at 5,000 feet verifies on Sunday, then we are going to have our hottest day yet. And, we will finally take that strong run at the first 110° day at KCI Airport. It has never been that hot at KCI. Let’s look at the 850 mb forecast map that just came out valid at 4 PM Sunday:
As you can see above, the axis of the warmest air at 5,000 feet above us is forecast to be right along I-70. This may be overdone a bit, but it shows what the potential is for extreme record breaking heat on Sunday. This model has a forecast of 117° near Garnett, KS. WOW! This is likely over forecast a bit, but 105 to 112 degree heat is increasingly likely in our viewing area Sunday. There will be a weak wind shift line/very weak cold front entering the viewing area from the north which will also complicate this forecast. As we reach extreme temperatures near and south of this wind shift line isolated thunderstorms may form with the potential for microbursts.
Thank you for stopping by and reading the Action Weather Blog. We will go over this potential extreme weather event on 41 Action News today and tonight, after the Olympics Opening ceremony.