Hazy Sky and Increasing Rain Chances

Good Saturday bloggers,

We are following two main weather events today. The first is the haze in the sky and the second is the chance of rain early next week.

The haze is smoke from the wildfires in California combined with smoke from fires in western Canada.

Here is a visible satellite image from 7 PM Friday. The fuzzy items are clearly smoke in the sky. You can see the monsoon thunderstorms embedded in the smoke.


Here is a look at the satellite from 7 PM Friday in the middle of the USA. You can see the smoke, rather thick, from northwest Kansas to Minnesota. Minneapolis had air quality warnings.


How is that smoke from western North America getting to the middle of the USA? The image below shows the explanation. It is the upper level flow. An anticyclone, also called and upper level high or “heat wave creating machine”, is located over the northern Rockies. The flow around the high is clockwise. So, the smoke tracks from the western USA, north to western Canada where it combines with more smoke from the wildfires in western Canada. The smoke then turns east into central Canada then south into the northern USA. The flow keeps the smoke drifting south into Kansas and Missouri. This flow will persist all weekend.


Where is the smoke Saturday morning? It was located from northern Kansas to northern Missouri, northward into Canada. It does not look as thick, since the satellite is not picking it up as well due to the sun not being high enough in the sky. It is drifting south about 10-20 miles per hour and will arrive in KC by afternoon. It will likely be around all weekend, so this evening the sunset may have an interesting reddish hue.


Now lets turn our attention to the chance of rain. The main jet stream is flowing well to the north across Canada, but does dip south over the eastern USA. The systems that brought our scattered downpours Thursday and Friday drifted south and are combining to form an upper low over Texas.


The upper low will become more defined Sunday as it drifts northwest. There will be northward drifting areas of rain and thunderstorms across southern Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.


The upper low on Monday is forecast to be in Kansas, by all models. This would likely bring a larger area of rain and thunderstorms to eastern Kansas and western Missouri Monday into Tuesday.


This is the rainfall forecast for today through Tuesday. The rain in our area does not start until Monday, but my goodness, this is a sight for sore eyes.


When we zoom in you can see mostly consistent rainfall totals from Maryville, MO to Pleasanton, KS, east to Sedalia, MO and west to Emporia, KS.

We have had rainfall events where all locations get rain this season. But, some get 0.01″, 0.50″, 2.00″-4.00″ and everything in between. Also, the heavier amounts are in the minority. This is different, where all locations receive at least 0.40″-0.50″.

If this pans out, it will not end the drought, it will not even dent the drought, but is is a step in the right direction. It would need to be followed by more events. There actually are more chances next week, but let’s just get this first one under our belt.  This is still a slam dunk. As we know it is 36-48 hours away. So, we will check in Sunday and hope the data remains consistent.


Have a great weekend.

Jeff Penner

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