Shed the sweaters & fire up the fans

For the first time in a long time, I am looking forward to seeing my electric bill next month. A whole week with highs in the 70s gave many A/Cs a break across the area. When it comes to saving money, many will be thankful for that. Then again, the money saved might go into offsetting the energy that will be used this coming week. Summer looks to finally wake up and return to the area. Before we start talking about that, let’s get a handle on what’s going on today.

As expected, puffy cumulus clouds have formed around the greater KC area. No threat of rain from these clouds. Although I am sure at times it may look like it WANTS to rain. We won’t be that lucky today. And when it comes to temperatures, while it is a little warmer today, we’re still well below where we should be for this time of year.

Kansas City *should* get above 80° today and that will be the first time that’s happened since last Sunday. Incredible to think about. We had five days in a row with highs below 80°…in middle July! That’s got to be some kind of a record, right? Well… no, not really. But it is a little rare.

The last time we had five days in a row of highs less than 80° in July was back in 2004.  Before that, it happened in 1998. Of the other times in which we’ve had five days in a row below 80°, most happen toward the end of the month. That struck me as interesting. Is there some kind of decade pattern here? Tough to say.

Gary and I did some research the other day, and just looking at this year to last year, we have really gotten a break from the Summertime heat. The graphic below is for the month of July through the 18th of the month.
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But going back one year prior (2012) was the year we were scorching almost every day in July. In that year, we had 14 days of highs at or above 100°. We have yet to heat the century mark this year and it’s looking more and more like it may not happen. If I were a betting man, I’d guess we may touch 100° once, but very briefly (perhaps for one hour). Again, that’s just me free-thinking; not based off any kind of hard science or pattern.

With that said, we are moving more into a Summer-like setup across the area for the week ahead. A bit of a “ridge” in the atmosphere will setup over Kansas. This ridge, or bubble, in the atmosphere will basically allow us to heat up pretty quickly. What about rain? It does not appear to me that we’ll be under the center of this ridge, nor will it be that strong of a ridge. Sometimes in the summer (when I worked in Wichita) we’d call it a “death ridge” because the overall ridge in the atmosphere was so high and strong, there was no way any rain/storms would happen and we’d just sit there and cook all day.
In regards to this coming week, the KC area appears to be on the fringe of the ridge. I believe that will allow us a small chance for heat-of-the-day storms to develop (particularly) on Monday & Tuesday. These would be very isolated and it’d be like playing the Weather Lottery: many will hope and wish, but few will win.
Come Wednesday & Thursday, the ridge may lose some of its strength, this would allow us a better chance for rain & thunderstorms to form.
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Obviously, that’s still a few days away and things may still change as we get more into the week. What I do think will happen is an increase in the heat & humidity. As of today, this is how I see things playing out:

Needless to say, the A/Cs will be working again this week. And those with pool plans, this should be perfect weather for you. As you make plans to be outside, drink plenty of water and be sure to stay away of signs of heat exhaustion.

Have a nice evening and I will see you tonight on 41 Action News.

Temperature Trend is Up

Good Saturday morning bloggers,

Did you notice the haze on Friday and again this morning?  This is smoke at about 30,000 feet from fires in northwest Canada and the Pacific Northwest.  The smoke came down on northwest flow, now it seems to be stuck or drifting around.  We will see if it drifts out, but the flow aloft is weak, so it will likely be in our sky for awhile.  Also, we will begin to pick up haze from the heat, humidity and stagnant air. So, it looks like a hazy few days.


We have had 5 straight days with highs in the 70s!  It has not been very good pool weather.  This is about to change as an anticyclone expands north and east into the Plains.  The anticyclone is the opposite of a cyclone, a storm system.  We sometimes call the anticyclone the “heat wave creator”.  We will likely fall short of a heat wave as the center of the anticyclone stays to the west.  We will see highs in the low to mid 90s next week.



Now, even though we may fall short of a heat wave, there is little chance of rain until the end of next week.  So, if you want to keep the lawn green, a day or two of sprinklers will be needed.  The good news is that more cold fronts and rain chances arrive at the end of next week and will last into August.

The warming trend begins today.  Here are maps of the highs today, Sunday and Monday.

HIGHS SATURDAY:  We will reach the low 80s






Enjoy the warmer summer weather and have a great weekend.



Next Storm System, A Miss

Good Wednesday bloggers,

We broke a record low this morning for the second straight day.  We dropped to 55°, which broke the old record of 57° set in 1985.  A large Canadian surface high pressure has been in control.  The humidity has been low, so with the clear nights, temperatures are allowed to drop with good radiational cooling conditions.

The next two nights will not be clear and the surface high will be drifting away so our winds become light from the southeast.  The reason we are not going to have a clear sky that there is a storm system dropping southeast into western Nebraska from the northern Rockies.  This storm system will bring some great rainfall to the western and southern Plains.  They still need every drop.  Amounts will run .50″-2″ with some spots seeing 2″-5″.

MAP #1: Water vapor image from 11 AM Wednesday


Based on all of the new data, this storm will track too far south and west of our area to bring much rain.  We will see lots of clouds Thursday and Friday.  We may see a brief shower Thursday night into Friday or perhaps some drizzle.  Thursday will see a thickening overcast, but should stay dry.  Friday is looking like a cloudy day with highs near 70 as the low level moisture from the storm to the south gets transported north.

Here is a break down of the weather for the next two days from our latest Powercast.

MAP #2: Thursday at 7 AM.  Heavy rain and thunderstorms will be occurring across Oklahoma and southeast Kansas, while we stay dry with a partly to mostly cloudy sky.


MAP #3: Thursday at 3 PM.  We are mostly cloudy as the rain continues from Wichita to Tulsa to Springfield.  Out highs will reach the mid to upper 70s, a nice day.


MAP #4: Friday at 5 PM.  There is very little rain around, but the sky is mostly cloudy. It looks like it will be a low overcast and perhaps some drizzle.  So, Friday will struggle to reach 70°.


If you are wondering when we will return to decent pool weather, (It needs to be 85° or higher and humid for me to swim!) it will be this weekend as highs reach the low 80s Saturday and near 90° on Sunday.

One other issue.  Since, we are missing this wet storm, there is not much rain in the forecast for the next 7-10 days.  So, if you want to keep your yard green, you will need the sprinklers.

Have a great day and rest of your week.


A Montana Storm Has Our Attention

Good evening bloggers,

There is a storm spinning in Montana, as you can see on this Water Vapor Satellite picture from 4:16 PM Tuesday.  The models are all handling this system in their own ways and the solutions vary widely.  This storm is forecast to move southeast across Kansas Thursday and then turn east.  How will it impact our area?


The latest NAM model has another new solution, but still has some rain sneaking into the south side of Kansas City. We have a tough forecast ahead of us and Kalee will begin with an update at 4:30 AM.


A record-setting morning

Good morning Bloggers,

Let me start by asking how are you liking these refreshing and cool temperatures this morning?

Preliminary reports show that we broke two records this morning, one at KCI and Lawrence. At KCI, the low temperature bottomed out at 54° and in Lawrence temperatures bottomed out to 53°.

Here are the previous records for a few areas:



After this cool morning we are in store a cool and sunny afternoon.

Temps will continue to stay below average.

by the hour tues

High pressure will stay over the region today and into tomorrow.  Therefore, cool nights and cool days will continue.


Enjoy the next fall-like temperatures, because we warm back up this weekend and into early next week.


Have a great day!




Welcome Fall to July

Good Morning Bloggers!

We have a great morning with sunshine and temperatures in the upper 60s to lower 70s.  Now the strong cold front we have been talking about for several days is dipping south into northern Missouri.  Here is a look at the surface map:


Showers and thunderstorms will fire along and ahead of the front as it sinks to the south.  We are already seeing showers and thunderstorms in NW MO/NE KS right now.  This is a still shot of ESP Live radar as of 8 AM:


We will watch to see if this rain continues as it pushes south towards the Kansas City metro area.  It looks like the showers and thunderstorms will be dropping into the KC Metro area by around noon and here is a still shot of our Powercast at about 10 AM  and it is mainly along and north of I-70.  Rainfall totals from today won’t be much with a half inch being the most in the rain gauge.


Temperatures are tricky today because of the rain chance this afternoon.  We will warm up quickly until noon and then we will drop when the rain moves into the area.  Here is a look at the hour by hour forecast I put together.  If we see the rain then our temperatures will drop to the upper 60s or lower 70s for the early afternoon and then once the rain moves out we will warm up a little bit.


Then welcome Fall! Tomorrow morning you may need a jacket as you head off to work in the morning.  Temperatures will start off in the lower 50s and could be we break a record?  We will have to wait and see!

Have a great day!

Kalee Dionne


So-long Summer…

Cold front moved through the area last night, as expected. It sure did take its sweet time though. That said, radar estimate indicated some areas with 2.50″ to 3.00″ of rainfall (I saw this near the Maryville area). The official reports via the NWS, indicate much smaller values.
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As usual, your backyard measuring device will likely vary just a bit. And no, not everyone got nice, meaningful rain. There will be some areas with cracks in the ground still or dry birdbaths. Ain’t nobody walking this planet that can change that, so all we can do is hope for the next rain chance. Which, oddly enough, is just around the corner.

Here this evening, we have a few smaller thunderstorms ongoing to the South of the Metro, thanks to the lingering cold front.

These storms will continue to move to the East as the evening rolls on. I do not see a threat for rain or thunderstorms in Kansas City. Any outdoor plans you have should be just fine.

A second cold front is advancing to the area as we speak. I expect this to clear the Nebraska/Kansas state line by 7am Monday morning. As it does, there is a chance we see a few storms bubble up along the Iowa/Missouri line. Those would be to the North and Northeast of the Chillicothe area.
By the afternoon, that front will slowly drop South and should be over the Metro area around midday.

Once the front goes through, you’ll know it! So-long to Summer. The humidity should start to decrease and you’ll likely “feel” the air get cooler. Through the evening Monday, temps will drop pretty fast and by the time we get to Tuesday morning, it will be a world of difference for us.
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Sleep with the windows open Monday night, but have a blanket nearby; you may need it. Matter of fact, we will likely set or tie a few record lows Tuesday morning. There are four locations to keep eyes on, two in particular.
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One just happens to be Kansas City, how about that? We are forecast a low Tuesday morning of 53°. If that happens, it would beat out the record of 56° from 1990. Incredible. But it also goes to show that this stuff does happen.

Enjoy your Sunday evening and be sure to catch the latest forecast tonight at 10p on 41 Action News.

Sunday Morning T-Storms & Cold Front #2

Good Sunday morning bloggers,

A band of showers and thunderstorms is tracking through the area this morning as cold front #1 moves through.  We could use the rain after the recent dry and hotter days.  Rainfall amounts are ranging from .05″ to .65″.

MAP #1: Radar from 725 AM Sunday


This area of showers and thunderstorms will move off to the southeast and fall apart by noon.  So, it will be a dry, warm and humid this afternoon as this first cold front is a more typical summer front.

MAP #2: 3 PM Sunday


Cold front #2 arrives Monday and this one is rather strong for July.  Temperatures will fall to near record or record lows behind this front.  There will be scattered showers and thunderstorms accompanying the front, but amounts will be a trace-.50″.

MAP #3: Noon Monday


The front will blow through Monday, so that by evening it will be breezy as the cool blast arrives.  Temperatures will be in the 70s with the humidity dropping.

MAP #4: 7 PM Monday


Lows Tuesday morning will drop to the low to mid 50s.  We are forecasting a low in KC of 54° which would tie a record set back in 1975. What a great break from the heat and humidity!

MAP #5: 7 AM Tuesday, Lows Forecast


Lows will drop to the 40s across much of the corn belt.  This is a bit cool for the corn.  This is July, so the cool spell will moderate and end and after 2-3 days.


Have a great day!


From flip-flops & sweaty, to long-sleeves and comfy

10PM Update
Starting to see activity fire up rapidly along the tri-state line. This will likely be the round of thunderstorms that get your attention overnight.

9PM  Update

The atmosphere has been well behaved in our area tonight. No warnings to speak of, and that’s good. We’ve seen one little cluster of storms move across the state, but it continues to weak as it does. This is the radar as of the top of the hour:

This is part of the weak cold front that is pressing through the region tonight. This front extends all the way back through Kansas.

As that front oozes South, it will likely spark off a few more storms overnight. Part of that will be due to the Low-Level Jet getting involved. And I took a look at the latest Skew-T sounding for KMCI, it indicates there is still a bit of a “cap” in place. [The cap is what we call an invisible layer in the atmosphere that prevents warm air from the surface from rising too high and creating t-storms. Think of it as a lid on a pop bottle. Shake up the bottle and it wants to burst, but the cap prevents this from happening. Remove the cap, and things go crazy. Same sort of situation in the atmosphere. The technical term for the cap is: Convective Inhibition, abbreviated as CIN or CINH. We will sometimes pronounce it as "sin".]

I am working on the latest version of a Powercast. The RPM model continues to handle this the best. The RPM is an exclusive model to certain TV stations and cannot be found online by the public. But it is a great resource to have and gives us another valuable opinion when forecasting the future.

As of this entry, KCI is at 91° which ties with the warmest reading we have had all year. You toss in the humidity, it’s just disgusting out there. Check out the heat index values. This is the kind of weather where you need to make sure you are staying properly hydrated if you will be outside for a long period of time (like a Royals game).

Of course, once the sun starts to set, the temps will ease and it won’t feel as miserable out there. In addition, tonight we have a weak cold front that will press into the area. Given the heat, humidity, and this forcing mechanism, I do believe we could see a few t-storms overnight. The problem I see, however, is that with all the warm air, we’ll have a generous cap in place. Plus, the front isn’t THAT strong. Thus, I am thinking we’ll have a few scattered to isolated storms here and there overnight.
The latest RPM model offers up its opinion:

And the HRRR suggests a similar idea.

That said, between now and midnight, we’ll need to watch along the Iowa/Missouri state line for evening development. Should a storm break through the cap, it may quickly grow and get close to severe strength (a “severe thunderstorm” is defined as having hail quarter size or larger, or winds over 58mph).

There is a TORNADO WATCH in place for Northern Missouri until midnight tonight. As storms are already starting to bubble. This was issued as I was writing the blog. Caused me a bit of delay in publishing. I will continue to monitor this, but my feeling is that the strongest storms will stay in Iowa or at least right along the state line.
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As we look down the line, we have another front set to come through on Monday. This one will be much stronger thanks to the jetstream taking a major dive to the South.
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As you have no doubt heard by now, this will bring a major drop in temperatures for Tuesday and Wednesday especially. Instead of highs in the upper 80s and low 90s, we’ll be in the middle 70s. And those are just afternoon temperatures. Mornings will be in the 50s, so you may need to dig out a light jacket. Crazy, huh?

If you’re wondering, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a dip in the jetstream which has caused a significant decrease in temperatures. Recall these days this year?
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I will continue to monitor things this evening and provide updates as needed.

Two Cold Fronts, One Strong for July

Good Saturday morning bloggers,

Today will likely be the hottest day of the summer, so far as highs reach the low 90s.  We are forecasting a high of 92° which would be the highest official high at KCI this season.  The heat and humidity will end Monday as we track two cold fronts.

MAP #1: Saturday Afternoon


Cold front #1 arrives early Sunday and it will be accompanied by a weakening line of scattered showers and thunderstorms.  This first front will drop highs to the 80s, but the humidity will stay high.

MAP #2: 11 AM Sunday


Cold front #2 arrives Monday.  This is the front we have been talking about for days.  This front will bring record or near record cold lows next week.  Record cold in July is a good thing as it means refreshing and comfortable temperatures.  This second front will be accompanied by a band of showers and a few thunderstorms.  Some spots could see .25″ to 1″.

MAP #3: 3 PM Monday


Tuesday through Thursday of next week will see highs in the 70s with lows in the 50s along with abundant sunshine and low humidity. This is a rare July event to have temperatures that cool with sunshine for 3 days in a row.

Here is the forecast lows and the record lows for next Tuesday-Thursday


Forecast low: 54°  Record low: 54° (1975)


Forecast low: 55°  Record low: 54° (1990)


Forecast low: 58° Record low: 56° (1990)

All three of our forecast lows could be 1 to 3 degrees colder.  Remember, it has never been colder than 52° officially in KC in July since records began.  One of the mornings could break that all time record!

Also, it does dry out quickly this time of year and so far we have not really needed our sprinklers.  These next two cold fronts will bring scattered showers and thunderstorms.  However, due to the big cool/dry air mass settling south, the rain chances are very low the rest of the work week.  The best rain chances during the week will be in the high plains where the Gulf moisture gets pushed west by the big surface high pressure.

In order to keep the yard green you need 1.50″ to 2″ of rain per week.  Last week we did receive 1″ to 2″ of rain, but that was Monday night, so our lawns need a drink.  The rain the next 3 days will likely not be enough to satisfy the yards, except in a few spots.


Our rainfall forecast the next 3 days is a trace to 1″.  This means some yards will see a few drops, while others could see up to an 1″.

Have a great weekend!