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If we are going to avoid a drought, then………..

Good morning bloggers,

If we are going to avoid a drought, then a few things must happen and soon.  As we cycle into the summer version of this years pattern, the jet stream will continue to weaken and lift north. The jet stream is caused by temperature contrasts.  As we move through late spring and summer, the huge contrasts during the winter from 30 below zero (northern USA plains at times) to 90 degrees (over the south at times), become as little as 60s to 100s. The contrast in temperatures will be as high as 120 degrees or more during the middle of winter, while this contrast may be as little as 30 degrees during the peak of summer.  The jet stream is at its strongest in late January and early February, and then at its weakest in late July into early August.  As the temperature contrast weakens, the jet stream will lift north and weaken, and this is why tornado season ends in mid-June. Oh, there will still be severe weather risks and an occasional serious tornado set up during the summer, they just get fewer and farther between.

As this process happens, the same pattern may produce different results. This pattern, since it set up in October, has been so consistent in our area, and this is why St. Joseph, MO is in the drought region, and this expands down to the southwest, despite recent rains.

Here is that drought monitor:

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This graphic shows that Kansas City is partially in moderate drought and other areas are not even in the abnormally dry category.  There is even a Severe Drought category just north of KC.  The drought is considered exceptional over parts of Oklahoma, and extending west into New Mexico over the southwestern states that are usually pretty dry.  I live on the south side of the city, and it is getting very dry, but everything is still green. We have time to get out of this drought and as I titled the blog, “If we are going to avoid a drought, then a few things must happen and soon”. What are these things that need to happen? It needs to start raining and not just in spots. There are chances showing up, and the pressure is on each chance. During the winter we had enough days with measurable snow to produce seasonal snow totals in the 20 inch range, but we know what happened. Only 7.7″ of snow despite having a dozen snowfalls.  The same thing is now happening in the spring.  The rains have come, but they haven’t been that heavy.

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Kansas City Weather Forecast Timeline:

  • Today: Mostly sunny with a few afternoon clouds. Light winds from the south around 0-10 mph.  High: 90°
  • Tonight: Mostly clear with thunderstorms well west and north of KC.  Low:  68°
  • Thursday: There is a 30% chance of early morning thunderstorms, the sunny with a few afternoon clouds. South winds 5-15 mph.  High: 90°
  • Thursday night:  Increasing clouds with a 30% chance of late night thunderstorms.  Low:  Near 70°
  • Friday:  Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of morning thunderstorms. Then, partly cloudy with light south winds. High:  90°

We would usually have a much higher chance of thunderstorms with a pattern like the one we are in at the moment.  I was trying to decide what percentage to put into these forecast periods, and I decided on 30%.  The models have not helped much at all, as has been the case in our region all year long.  Here is the latest rainfall forecasts from the 00z (7 PM) model run of the GFS:

gfs_apcpn_scus_40

  1. The GFS model has 2 to 4 inches of rain as you can see above
  2. The Canadian model has 3 to 6 inches of rain in the next ten days
  3. The European Model has had less than 1/2″ over the next ten days

So, one more time, If we are going to avoid a drought, then a few things must happen and soon.  There is a chance that we will receive enough rain to erode the drought out of our region, but the pressure is on during these last two weeks of spring.  Maybe I will be able to up these rainfall probabilities soon.

Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day sharing in this weather experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  If you visit the Weather2020.com blog, then you can join in the conversation.  Have a great Wednesday.

Gary

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