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Looking At Today’s Set-Up

Good morning bloggers,

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Now to 1 PM:  A chance of showers and thunderstorms with no risk of any severe weather. This chance is highest north of KC, but a few showers or thunderstorms may drift into the area later this morning
  • 1 PM – 7 PM:  The first band of rain moves by and it will heat up into the lower 90s with extreme humidity. Thunderstorms may redevelop near the Iowa and Nebraska borders by 7 or 8 PM
  • 7 PM to 1 AM:  Thunderstorms likely and possibly severe with damaging wind the main risk and some flooding possible. These will be most likely over northern Missouri, but they may shift south into KC.

An interesting summer weather pattern continues this week.  A huge thunderstorm formed just four nights ago right over Kansas City that produced power outages that have lasted all the way into this morning in a few spots. This has been a major inconvenience for thousands of households that have had no air conditioning and ruined all of their food inside of refrigerators.  Last night, at 11 PM, the the temperature was 83 degrees with a dew point of 77 degrees in Kansas City.  This 80% humidity and that dew point of 77 is a tremendous amount of fuel just laying over the area and it is one ingredient for thunderstorms tonight.  Here are the main severe weather risks for this set up:

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Factor #1:  This mornings showers and thunderstorms and extensive cloud cover

As you can see below, on this 6:30 AM enhanced water vapor satellite image, there was some rather thick cloud cover with a somewhat organized complex of showers and thunderstorms moving across Nebraska into western Iowa, northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri this morning:

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 6.39.17 AM

This is associated with a “monsoon” disturbance that came from the southwestern United States. I discussed this disturbance on the air last night. I thought it would move across before noon and then the sun would come back out and the atmosphere would destabilize again ahead of the front. These morning showers and thunderstorms will likely only increase the high dew points for this evenings chance of thunderstorms. We have to monitor this area closely as it is a factor. How long will they last and when will the sky clear ahead of the main front? This is something we will learn more about by early this afternoon.

Factor #2: The location of the front at 10 PM tonight

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This is again, just one of many solutions to where the front may be located around 10 PM tonight. The location of the “true front” is critical to where the heaviest thunderstorms are most likely going to happen. As you can see above, northern Missouri is where that little warm front is located and if this model is right on its position, then the heaviest thunderstorms would be located within 30 miles of that front and not father south as indicated by this model.  Outflow from earlier thunderstorms, however, will likely influence where this front is located, or it may provide another focusing area for the heaviest thunderstorms.

 Rainfall Forecast:

There is a good chance that a few spots could see 3 to 5 inches of rain tonight with the slow moving thunderstorms.  There is also a very good chance that a few spots will get no rain at all tonight near KC.  Just like Saturday night it will be a developing situation where we have to Nowcast well and provide an hour or two warning to the areas that have the best chance of excessive rainfall, and the potential for any wind damage.  This forecast below is from a model run from last night. Every model run that comes in is providing widely varying amounts of rain. There has been zero consistency within the models:

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The model data coming in this morning is of very little help. In this mornings surface analysis there is a front located north of Omaha and nearly stationary.  This is the true front, so it will likely be near northern Missouri and northeastern Kansas along the Iowa and Nebraska borders this evening. This is a very important feature to monitor. On Saturday there was 98 degree to 100 degree heat with dew points near 80 degrees to fuel the thunderstorms. Let’s see how much energy is developing as we move into this evening in this somewhat different set up.

Thank you for participating in this weather experience and watch 41 Action news www.kshb.com and we will keep you updated. We are also having some great discussions over on the Weather2020 blog as we have combined efforts to make this weather experience more fun for all of us weather enthusiasts.  Have a great Wednesday.

Gary

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