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Good morning bloggers,
A record shattering heat wave has developed west of Kansas City and it will spread our way big time tomorrow. The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Watchfor the next few days! Boulder, CO had a high of 102° yesterday. ”This is an extraordinary heat wave”, said Matt Kelsch, who noted that it’s unusual for temperatures to top 100 degrees in Boulder for even two consecutive days. “And this comes after a March, April, and May period that was warmer and drier than normal. Denver, CO reached 105° Monday. Hill City, KS reached a record breaking 114° Sunday and then 111° yesterday. This huge area of hot temperatures will be forced out our way tonight through the end of the week.
EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH
An excessive heat watch is in effect and it will likely be upgraded to a warning soon. This watch means that a prolonged period of hot temperatures is expected in the next few days. The heat combined with high humidity will create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are likely.
- Drink plenty of water
- Stay in an air-conditioned room
- Stay out of the sun
- Check on your neighbors, the elderly and pets
What is going on with this weather pattern? A huge upper level high height area has developed and it is controlling our weather this week. This upper level high is what I call a “heat creating machine” and it is centered over the plains right now. It is forecast to weaken, split and drop south by the weekend, but the damage will have been done by the time this weakening takes place. A huge area of heat is being generated and it is going to move out across the plains into the Great Lakes and Ohio River Valley this week. Let’s take a look at the level of flow around 5,000 feet up, the 850 mb level:
This first map is valid tonight at 7 PM. You can click on any of these images for a larger view. I pointed arrows at the 25°C line and as you can see this extremely warm air is just west of Kansas City by this evening. We had a weak back door front (moving in from the east) move through yesterday afternoon and as a result today will likely stay below 95°F. I can not remember seeing such high temperatures developing and spreading out our way on such a large scale as predicted on this map to the left.
The elevation rises above this level as you move into Colorado and this is why the base map color changes to the darker brown. Western Kansas is practically at the 850 mb level, and Denver, CO is just above the 850 mb level. So, this is why it is easier for the temperatures to reach these higher values out west. But, for Kansas City, our elevation is closer to 1,000 feet. And, we can use the temperature at the 850 mb level to help us decide what the forecast high temperature will be. It is only one of the factors that needs to be considered. This next map on the right shows the 25°C line spreading all the way past Chicago:
This forecast model shows the 30°C line making it all the way into western Illinois. I don’t believe I have ever quite seen this kind of temperature forecast at the 850 mb level. Oh, I have seen 30°C lines make it out into the plains, but just not quite as large scale as this one and if this verifies, then we will likely have 105°F+ highs in our viewing area this week. On this next map on the left the 25°C line spreads all the way into Ohio and Kansas City is in the middle of the axis of the heat Thursday. Once the heat moves in it is going to be very difficult to move it out even if the 850 mb temperatures drop a bit as forecast. The bottom line is that a significant heat wave has begun and it will spread over our area later today into Wednesday and last a while. It will likely reach 100°F Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in our viewing area before we reach the month of July. What does this mean for the rest of the summer? During the winter sometimes we get an Arctic air mass to blast down and the storm systems suddenly can produce snow more easily and the Arctic air can hang around for a while until it gets moved out by a shift in the weather pattern. Well, this obviously didn’t happen last winter as we set the all time record for the lowest amount of snow ever in Kansas City history. We are in the same pattern that produced that low snow total. We are in the same pattern that has produced the warmest October to April in recorded history in Kansas City. And, this pattern is now beginning to produce major heat waves. Once the heat builds in we will need a cold front to move it out. We were fortunate to have last nights cold front back in here and cool us off for 24 hours. The next front is not really showing up at this point. Well, there is one that is forecast to get close to us this weekend, but as it gets here the models have been washing it out and lifting it back north. So, it is something we will be monitoring closely. For now, we know we are going to have at least three days of near 100° heat or likely higher in many spots.
Have a great Tuesday. We will go over the details on 41 Action News today and tonight and I will be in search of that possible change.
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