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Great weekend ahead & we talk storm stats

It is kinda nice when the calendar and the atmosphere are in sync. Not only is it Friday, but it’s also “officially” the first day of Spring. All things considered, you couldn’t ask for better weather. I know… some want more rain. It’s coming.

For the weekend, we should see highs around or just above 70° both days and a fair amount of sunshine. There is a chance for a late day shower on Sunday, thanks to a system that will be in Eastern Nebraska. To those headed toward Omaha for the big basketball game Sunday, here’s what to expect.
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Closer to home, Sporting KC has a match tomorrow night. It should a fantastic night for soccer. If you cannot make it to Sporting Park, catch the game on 38 The Spot.
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Indications still suggest some morning rain showers Monday. However, I do not see temps getting as cold in the morning, so the fears of snow/rain mix have greatly decreased.

By Tuesday, a warm front will lift across the area, followed by a cold front sweeping in quickly from the West. Depending on the timing, we could get our first rumbles of thunder of the season. Some have already asked: is there a chance for severe weather? I’ll put it this way: between March and June, there’s always a “chance” of severe weather when a cold front comes rolling through.
As of right now, nothing stands out to me. But it is all about timing. If that warm front arrives early enough and we get some daytime heating, then the cold front passes through at the right time, yes, there could be a few stronger storms that develop. For now, I’m just calling for a chance of thunderstorms. Tuesday is still four days away.

Speaking of severe weather, it’s been a while since any has visited the area. I compiled these stats on Thursday, take a look how long it’s been since we’ve had a thunderstorm warning for the area.
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And it’s been a while since there was a tornado warning as well.
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For some parts of Northeast Kansas, it has been 288 days! No kidding there.

The fine folks over at the Iowa Environmental Mesonet published this map, showing the various National Weather Service (NWS) offices and how long it’s been since each office has issued a tornado warning. Considering how the plains is supposed to be an active area, it’s been a while.

TorWarns
The Topeka NWS office is the one that really stands out. Amazing.

Statistically speaking, March is not a very active tornado month for the KC area. However, business picks up in April and May.
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So while it’s been nice getting the needed rain, before too long we’ll be seeing–and hearing–the real sign of Spring: thunderstorms. I know some cannot wait for that. However, be mindful that your storm joy can bring total devastation to someone else. It’s a delicate balance.

We will continue to update the forecast as we move closer to Tuesday. Check back with us and be mindful of those who simply want to scare you in order to get you to watch or read their product. You’ll probably hear how the “sky is going to fall” from the usual suspects.

Have a great weekend,
-JD

PS: For those wondering, yes, the blogs have been a little short this week. Lots of extra things happening behind the scenes that I’m excited to share with you soon. For perspective, let me give you a timeline of my average work day this week.

Noon – arrive at the station & start gathering items I’ll need for the day (my earpiece, clipboard, forecast worksheet, fill up water bottle)
12:30p – Start looking over all the model info and being the forecast process; do any needed research for specialized graphics to use on TV
1:30p – Start working on a few graphics (temperature maps, Powercasts, etc)
1:45p – Attend daily news layout meeting to discuss format of shows & where my “hits” (aka: on air segments) will be
2:00p – Back to forecasting and graphic making, occasionally assist in troubleshooting small items on a side project
2:15p – Make sure I’ve tweeted something and checked Facebook page. Push out updates as I see fit
3:00p – Time to go comb my hair and put on makeup, then get wired up and begin shooting web video forecast & evening TV teases
3:15p – Edit said videos
3:30p – Write up a unique synopsis of what I think I am going to say on air, add it to our Closed Captioning system for the 4, 5, & 6p newscasts
4:00p – The Now KC begins. While working this show, continue to build graphics, add in closed captioning, & update the website forecast
5:00p – 5pm Newscast
5:30p – Double check all i’s and t’s have been crossed in terms of daily work (is the web updated, have I Tweeted & Facebooked, is there any new forecast info I can check)
5:40p – Work on new graphics for the 6pm newscast, begin writing a blog
5:55p – Live 6p tease in the studio
6:00p – 6pm Newscast
6:30p – Start work on “Special Project” (that I can’t mention much about yet)
7:30p – Forcefully stop my work and go eat some food
7:45p – Finish out the blog if I haven’t done so already
8:00p – Continue working on the Special Project as well as start looking over new forecast information
8:30p – Make new graphics for the 10p newscast
9:00p – Make any changes to the forecast, start working on discussion note to next meteorologist on duty
9:30p – Record new web forecast video. Edit it and also update website forecast text
9:45p – Finish any new graphics, get set for mic check, double check my hair and makeup
10:00p – 10p Newscast
10:25p – Finish note to next meteorologist, save out graphics that can be used again on the morning show
10:35p – Wrap up any unfinished work on the Special Project
10:45p – Begin to power down computers and clean up work area; double check all tasks for the day have been completed
11:00p – Head home

Rain wraps up tonight

As expected, the light to moderate rainfall has been drifting across the area today. Getting a good soaking rain helps out in so many ways. I know not everyone is a fan of the rain, but we need it; badly. It’s already helping the grass look a bit greener.
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So far tonight, this is what the rainfall totals look like in the last 48 hours.
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I’ve also had a viewer report from 3 miles West of Leavenworth of 0.44″ total for the last two days. In typical fashion, your personal rain gauge may vary slightly.

The rain should depart the area later tonight. One final band should pass through this evening. Right now, it’s over the Southern Kansas area.
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Given the moisture in the ground and light wind for Friday morning, it’s possible we wind up with low clouds and even a little patchy fog. I expect that to be gone by the afternoon with sunshine returning to many areas. Temperatures should respond to that March sunshine. For those who did not get much moisture, it should really warm up.

If you like Friday, you’ll love the weekend. Check out the setup for Saturday.
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I think we’ll see more of the same on Sunday.

For the first half of the week, we will continue with small shower chances. And I cannot rule out some flurries or a light wintry mix along the Iowa state line early Monday. Again, I do not see meaningful accumulations out of this and for many, it’ll just be light rain.

Tomorrow I plan to go in detail about our lack of severe weather in the area this year. Some of the numbers may surprise you. It’s only a matter of time before the rain brings friends: thunder, hail, tornadoes. Severe season inches closer.

I’m off to the Red Cross tonight to speak to their volunteers and to talk a little bit about my win on Let’s Ask American last fall. Still cannot believe I was able to raise $27,500 for disaster relief. I know it will go to good use with the Red Cross.

Soak up the rain,
JD

Not happy with the rain today–just wait

If you haven’t refreshed the radar at least ten times today, you’re not a real weather geek. Everyone has been watching the radar to see where the rain is/was falling. Here this evening, the rain is pulling off to the East. But not before another small batch of light showers drifts over the Metro.
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I expect showers to linger through about 9pm or so for the Metro as this whole thing advances East.

As of publishing time, these are the rainfall amounts so far today:
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I know, many aren’t happy with this. You’d like to see a little more rain; I understand. I mentioned on air last night that the Wednesday moisture may only turn out to be a tenth of an inch to under a half inch at best, based on the info I saw right before air time. As many of you know, we are lagging on liquid moisture for the year.

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Much like the popular golf game on The Price is Right, we get a second chance at rain tomorrow. Latest indications suggest another swath of rain will move over the area. This is how the radar may look tomorrow if the NAM is right.
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Our in-house models are lining up similar to this, so there is decent confidence we’ll see a few pockets of moderate rainfall at times. That said, like today, I don’t expect this to drop copious amounts of rain. Another tenth to a third of an inch seems plausible. This would bring two-day totals to around a quarter if not a half inch. Not everywhere for everyone, but in general. Please keep that in mind.

Spring begins on Friday and it’s like the atmosphere knows it. Sunshine returns and temperatures should pop up into the 60s. Saturday appears to be the best day, with highs around 70.
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To peek a bit ahead, we have small rain chances for Monday and again next Wednesday. I still think it’s possible we see a wet snowflake early Monday morning along the Iowa/Missouri line. However, it should not amount to much of anything.

If you plan to spend Thursday at home, under a blanket, watching the rain… I envy you! Here’s to hoping those wanting the rain, get a fair amount at their location.
-JD

Here Comes the Rain!

Good Wednesday bloggers,

Finally, we are getting some rain.  This ends the fire danger for now, washes off the yucky salty streets, sidewalks and parking lots.  Also, helps the yard, especially if you put fertilizer down.

The main area of rain is still to the south, but it is headed north then will stall for awhile.  We need this.  Tonight the rain will taper to showers and drizzle, before it intensifies again Thursday.

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It looks like rainfall totals 40-50 mile either side of I-70 will range from .50″ to .80″, some spots could see 1″.  This is great news.  The rain exits Thursday night, leading to a very nice Friday.

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Meteorologist JD Rudd will have an update later today.

Have a great day and go sing in the rain!

Jeff

Rain to reign on Wednesday

We’ve been talking about it for a while and now as we draw closer, the odds appear to be going up faster than the temperatures dropped today: rain. Wednesdays should bring some much needed rain to the area. The latest indications suggest those who live South of I-70 have the best shot at some good soaking rain, while those more along the Iowa & Missouri line will not see much.

Right now, the feeling is that the rain will move into the Metro KC area around the lunch hour Wednesday. The general window will be from 11a-1p for the rain to start. From there, it may wind up raining at least off and off through the better part of the afternoon.
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So where is this system tonight? We have to look to the South in parts of Texas. The water vapor image really picks up on the activity.
sat_wv_us_loop-12

I expect that swirl to gyrate this way overnight into Wednesday morning. No rain expected overnight, but it will be cold. Lows should fall to around freezing tonight. Had that moisture arrived sooner, we could be talking a little snow in the forecast!
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So I think the area in light green has the lower chances of seeing some spotty showers here and there. The area in dark green, that’s where I think we’ll see periods of actual rain in the afternoon.
Despite the clouds, we should warm into the low 40s tomorrow. Then, once the rain starts falling, we may slip to right around 40°. Thus, it will be a cold rain.

Looking around the region, you can see the effect that rain will have on our temperatures.
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When it comes to Thursday, there could be some lingering showers here and there. Overall, I’m not too impressed with Thursday’s chances until after sunset. Then we’ll have watch a little slug of moisture move in from Central Kansas. That bit of rain may slide straight East and stay South of I-70.

As far as amounts go for Wednesday, a general tenth of an inch to as much as just over 3/4 of an inch are certainly possible. The best location to see the heavier rain would be on the Missouri side, just South of I-70. This is just one suggestion, but it’s from the RPM model.
RainAmounts

We’ll take any rain the atmosphere decides to give us, that’s for sure.

Kalee is in tomorrow morning and will have the latest update for you, then Jeff will be tracking the radar at midday, and I’m back for the 4, 5, 6, & 10p newscasts. My advice: take the rain gear with you when you leave for work or school. You may not need it then, but coming back home you will!

-JD

Record highs today; cooler Tuesday

Pop of bottle & shower yourself in champagne. We broke a couple records today and no glue is going to fix them.
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Both KCI & St. Joseph set records on this day in 2012, and both with 82°. Today, both records were broken and it (thankfully) was not with the same reading.
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So when was the last time we popped up above 80? Well, you have to go back a little bit…
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If you think it was warm here, look to our West and Northwest; even hotter in parts of Nebraska today.
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So how common is it to see 80s this time of year? It’s not impossible, but it does seem just a tad rare.
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Speaking of rare, I know many out there have fired up the grills over the last couple days. Just continue to use extra care because it is so dry right now, a wildfire could ignite with the smallest ember.

Now this evening, I am watching a cold front ooze this way. It shows up pretty well on the current temperature map.
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I do not see this front giving us any rain; sorry. For those chances, you’ll have to wait. But it will cool us down for St. Patrick’s Day. Those partaking in any gatherings or parades will likely want/need a jacket Tuesday. That said, this is not an Arctic plunge of air. We should actually wind up close to average for this time of year, which is 55°. But still, a 25-30 degree drop is always a bit of a shock.

When it comes to rain, the models continue to do what they’ve done all winter: disagree. Based on what I saw today, the better rain chances Wednesday will stay South of I-70. Basically our Southern few counties have the best shot of seeing rain. It may not be much, but it’s something.
As for Thursday… well, that’s where we have issues. Right now, only the NAM is calling for rain. And it wants to put down a fair amount. But the GFS, Euro, & RPM are all saying it does not happen.

We have seen the NAM grab hold of things early and wind up being right. So for now, I will leave the chance of rain in the forecast. But again, it may wind up being where only a few select locales see much of anything.

That said, I will put the chances just a bit above the slight category for Wednesday & Thursday.
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Not too get too far ahead too soon, but there are some hints of rain showers for next Monday. And if the models are right, temperatures would be lurking around the freezing point in the morning. So if the timing works out, I would not be surprised if a few snowflakes tried to flirt with the area. Hey, just because it was 80-some degrees today does not mean Winter is over. Simply on vacation… for now.

I am going to get back to working on some things behind the scenes this evening. Doing some under-the-hood programming and creating. You’ll see the results of this soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

Enjoy your night,
-JD

Increasing Fire Danger

Good Sunday bloggers,

We have been enjoying some great weather this last week with highs in the 60s and 70s.  Monday we will jump into the 80s!  the record is 82° set back in 2012, we are going 84°.

HIGHS TODAY

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HIGHS MONDAY (Highs may reach near 90° across parts of Nebraska and northern Kansas!)  The cold front north of I-80 Monday will head south and bring more seasonable temperatures to our area by St. Patrick’s day.  Tuesday will still be nice with highs in the upper 50s and a northeast breeze 10-20 mph.  It will just feel cool after the ridiculous Monday.

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Why have we been seeing such great weather? Our area has been in weather no mans land.  The main jet stream is well to the north and subtropical moisture and systems are tracking to the south.  These wetter southern systems have come close to us, but have stayed mostly from I-44 south.  This has been the pattern all winter and is why we have not had any big storm systems.

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Wednesday into Thursday one of the southern systems will try to come far enough north for us to see some rain.  It will try to combine with a system from the north.  If this does not happen, we will be dry for many more days.  Lets hope for rain as we really need it.  The warmer temperatures, dry ground, dry air and increasing wind are enhancing the fire danger.

RAINFALL THIS MONTH:

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A Red Flag Warning and Fire Weather Watch are in effect just west and northwest of KC.  This means be cautious of outdoor burning and grilling.  This is quite a contrast from locations east of the Mississippi river where there is flooding from melting snow, rain and ice jams on rivers.

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Have a great day and enjoy the great March weather.

Jeff

The luck will soon run out

Someone’s been kissing the Blarney Stone or growing a few acres of lucky clovers, because this weather has been amazing. It’s been hard to argue with the nice weather we’ve enjoyed lately, especially with some many people in KC for the Big 12 action.
As many of us weather geeks know, the weather this time of year often offers more variety than the ice cream section of the grocery store. So getting it to be sunny & mild, we’ve been lucky.  Ah, but that luck is about to run out.

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Today was the cool day, with highs only topping out in the 60s. … I feel like a weather prude just typing that. … The average this time of year is around 55°. As we head into Sunday, the winds will shift more to the Southwest and that should help plump up the temps like a Ballpark® Frank!
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Then on Monday, it could easily be our warmest day of the season thus far. Computer guidance is clustering around 76-77 degrees. However, continually this week the models have underdone the temperatures by about five to seven degrees. So, I am being a bit bold and pushing our forecast high to 84° on Monday. Is there a chance that’s too much? Yes. But with the way things have been, forecasting above guidance seems to be the way to go.

Those with actual plans on St. Patrick’s Day, it won’t be as nice. A cold front arrives and that is where, ironically enough, our luck starts to take a turn.
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By the middle of the week highs appear to struggle to hit low 50s. Again, hard to complain about that, but after hitting the 80s on Monday, it will be a noticeable change.

We could use some moisture across the area. The latest drought report released this past Thursday shows that we have some dry spots. Up first is Kansas:
MO DM1 (2)

Most of Missouri is doing fine, but you can see the abnormally dry areas creeping into the state.
MO DM1 (1)

And as we’ve talked about before, we are below average for both snowfall and liquid moisture on the year in Kansas City.
While the odds for rain on Wednesday & Thursday do not overly impress me–this doesn’t appear to be a soaker either–we will take any bit of rain the atmosphere is willing to provide. Which, keep in mind, may not be much and will likely not be for everyone.

I get a rare Sunday off as I will be covering for Gary Monday through Friday of this coming week. I don’t know about you, but I plan to fire up the grill. If you do the same, please keep the dry conditions in mind and be very alert while you cook. The only thing that needs flame kisses are the burgers and steaks!

Enjoy the weekend,
-JD

A very small chance for rain

Good Morning Bloggers!

What a day yesterday huh? The best day so far and I took my dog for a walk to enjoy it.  What did you do yesterday?  Today will be another great day with more clouds than yesterday because of moisture moving up from the Gulf of Mexico.  Here is a screen shot of our skyview this morning:

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The chance for rain is extremely small for us here in Kansas City, but better for spots farther to the southeast like Warrensburg, Sedalia and Butler, MO.  Most of the rain is going to stay from Lake of the Ozarks to Columbia down into southeast Missouri.  Our best chance for any rain will be a few small showers after midnight and into the morning rush hour.

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Most of the day Friday will be dry with a mix of sun and clouds later in the afternoon, so I bumped up our high temperature into the upper 60s for Friday.  The weekend will go back to the dry and boring pattern, so it would be nice to get some rain out of this.  The weather is great though for people heading downtown to the Big 12 Basketball Tourney.  Anyone going on this blog?  Here is the forecast for Thursday and Friday if you are planning on going:

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Have a great day!

Kalee Dionne

The best weather day of the year so far!

Good late afternoon bloggers,

First of all, Happy Birthday to JD Rudd!  He took the day off, and boy did he plan the right day to take off. Well, I guess he didn’t plan it, he was born on this day!  Celebrate big JD and we will see you on Thursday.

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The weather pattern features a far retreated jet stream and this is resulting in some really nice weather over much of the nation.  Kansas City may have been in the wrong spot for snow this year, but we are in the right spot for some great weather.  The EOI is a perfect 10 right now.

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There is a weak system meandering around Texas and it is going to strengthen slightly during the next 24 hours. Clouds will likely spread our way with just a few brief showers flying through along and east of the state line on Thursday night into early Friday morning:

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This forecast map is from one of our Powercasts.  There will likely be a band of light rain or rain showers moving north up the state line and KC is once again likely going to be near the northwestern edge of this chance of rain.  I am expecting around 0.01″ near KC, which is enough to barely get the ground wet.  Farther east there will likely be a bit more than this low total.

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We are firmly in the warm phase of this cycling pattern. Are we done with chances of snow, cold, and hard freezes? No, absolutely no. We will have hard freezes, some very cold air again, and possibly a chance of snow within three to four weeks. That first week of baseball season is looking stormy and cold for much of the northeastern third of the nation with KC again just southwest of that potential excitement.  Have a great day!

Gary