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Tracking Today’s Storm & The Bigger Picture

Good morning bloggers,

A storm system is tracking across southern Kansas this morning. This is the upper level storm that I am talking about and you can clearly see this on the infrared satellite picture this morning. Take a look:

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The upper level low was near Dodge City, KS early this morning and this system will be tracking to near or just south of downtown Kansas City this afternoon.  Here is a look at the 500 mb flow valid at 4 PM today:

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As this system approaches some areas of rain and drizzle will be increasing and some heavier showers are likely along the path and near the path of the upper level low.  After this system moves by the weather pattern continues to evolve.  The cycling pattern is right now moving through the first cycle of this years pattern and it is still evolving. There are some important factors to consider. Let’s take a look at two of the influences that will be very important to monitor and track from week to week as winter approaches.

Influences On The Cycling Pattern:

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Between now and Saturday a rather big vortex forms over northern Canada. There is no blocking at all and this is showing up on the AO and NAO indexes right now:

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AO stands for Arctic Oscillation and NAO stands for North Atlantic Oscillation. When the AO and NAO are in the positive this will almost always indicate that there will be limited blocking to no blocking aloft and this can be a major influence on whether cold air can develop over the Arctic region and surge south. In an AO positive winter the chance of major Arctic air masses blasting deep to the south is much lower than during an AO and NAO negative winter.  As you can see, the AO and NAO are trending positive and it shows up on the forecast 500 mb map valid on Saturday shown above.

AO POSITIVE

This is a graphic we discussed in the past few winter forecasts.  We must continue to monitor these indexes. An early season positive sign is not a good factor, but it is VERY EARLY in the season and we will  be monitoring this daily and keeping you updated.

Where is ENSO going? ENSO stands for El Niño/Southern Oscillation.  The recent forecasts over the past few weeks have been for a La Niña to develop and it very well may, but in the past two weeks the Niño 4 and 3.4 regions have warmed up.  The 3.4 region, that is located near the central tropical Pacific Ocean, is the region most used to indicate whether or not it will be a La Niña or El Niño. This area has warmed from -.6°C to zero degrees Celsius in the past two weeks. This is a strong trend to neutral conditions, but most of the models still show a trend back to colder.

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As you can see there is a lot to consider as we put together our winter forecast in the next six weeks. We must be patient.  The pattern is just now beginning to set up.  We will continue this discussion as we learn a lot more in the next few weeks.

What do these early indicators mean?

  • An AO positive and NAO positive point in the warm winter direction.  But will they stay positive?
  • A neutral ENSO is neither here nor there on winter temperatures
  • The cycling pattern is the most important factor to consider and we are just learning more in the next two to three critical weeks

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today: An increasing chance of rain with a nearly 100% chance rain begins falling by noon in most areas. Rain was already increasing at 8 AM as this storm system approached from the southwest. There will be a pretty nice breeze from the west and northwest at 10-20 mph. Temperatures in the 40s with wind chills in the 30s
  • Tonight: Cloudy with rain ending early. Low: 42°
  • Wednesday:  Cloudy with some afternoon sunshine trying to break out. High:  59°

Have a great day and thank you for sharing in this Action Weather Blog experience featuring Weather2020 and the cycling pattern.

Gary

A Developing Cyclone

Good morning bloggers,

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today:  Increasing clouds after a sunny start. Northeast winds 10-17 mph. High:  73°
  • Tonight: Rain likely with a nearly 100% chance by midnight. There is a chance of a thunderstorm. Low:  50°
  • Tuesday:  Cloudy and much colder with light rain or drizzle lingering into the afternoon. North winds with temperatures dropping into the 40s with wind chills in the 30s.

We awaken on this Monday morning with a clear blue sky over Kansas City. The remnants of Nate are moving over the northeastern United States, and it is snowing over Colorado rather significantly this morning.  Here is the 7 AM Satellite Picture:

SAT_EUS_WVENH

A developing cyclone is in progress this morning and it will continue into Tuesday.  What is a cyclone?  Did you know that a hurricane is a cyclone?  In meteorology, a cyclone is defined to be any large scale system that rotates around a strong center of low pressure.  Cyclones are characterized by spiraling winds rotating inward towards this center of low pressure.  We are seeing something developing over western Colorado this morning that we did not see all of last fall when the cycling pattern developed in 2016-2017. This may very well be exhibit A for this years pattern and it certainly will be fun to watch today.

Here is the surface map from 7 AM this morning:

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The cyclone aloft may be over western Colorado, but the surface cyclone is farther east and it was centered near Dodge City, KS as I was writing this blog entry early this morning.  If you ever wonder how the cycling pattern can produce one result in October, a different result when the pattern cycles back through in December, and then a very different result again in May or June, this is a good example. At this time of the year, the surface cyclone is forming in response to that strong wave over Colorado.  The placement of the surface features will be different in the future cycle versions of this storm system and they are very predictable, but also certainly challenging.

Now, what will happen with this system? Take a look at the midnight forecast:

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There are many solutions for how the rain pattern will set up this evening. Let’s watch this evolve and I will have live updates on KSHB.com and on 41 Action News at 4, 5, 6, 6:30, and 10 PM tonight.  I am back to work after a nice vacation.  This will be a fun storm to track.  Let us know if you have any questions and you can join in the conversation on the Weather2020.com blog. Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the cycling pattern.  I am on Sports Radio 810 right now, so I will check in later to see if you have any comments or questions.

Gary

Tracking Three Weather Features

Good Sunday bloggers,

We are tracking three weather features, two storm systems and Nate. Nate is rapidly weakening, but the remnants will track over New York City on Monday, so there may very well be flight delays.  Storm system #1 is racing northeast through eastern Canada and this was the system that affected the Plains and Midwest last week.  Storm #2 is now in the Pacific Northwest, digging southeast into the southern Rockies by Monday.  This system will then track northeast into the Plains and Midwest Monday night and Tuesday, bringing a big change to our weather. Let’s go through Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and track these big weather changes as storm system #2 moves in.

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SUNDAY: The weather will be calm and comfortable today with highs 75° to 80°, a light wind and low humidity with abundant sunshine.  A weak cold front will slip in tonight ahead of quite a change.

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MONDAY MORNING: Look how quickly things change as the storm system is dropping south through the Rockies.  Snow is likely in Denver with temperatures in the 30s.  KC will still have decent weather, with lows in the 50s, a clear sky and light wind.

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MONDAY AFTERNOON: The system begins to head out in to the Plains.  A cold rain is falling from Nebraska to northwest Kansas with temperatures in the 40s.  It will be in the 80s to near 90° from northeast Oklahoma to southern Missouri. KC will see increasing clouds with temperatures in the 70s, 60s possible in northwest Missouri.

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MONDAY NIGHT: The storm continues to get its act together and KC starts to see rain with an increasing north wind.  It looks like our area will be in the cold air.

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TUESDAY MORNING: The cold, wind driven rain will likely be in our area with temperatures in the 40s.  This is not set in stone, but there is a strong trend in this direction.

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TUESDAY AFTERNOON: The storm system is moving northeast through Missouri with our area stuck in the 40s, with rain and a brisk north wind.  Yes, we stay in the 40s all day Tuesday with wind and rain.  It is time to pull out the warmer clothes, but do not put away the shorts as warmer air will return by the end of the week.  Southeast Missouri may have severe weather as highs will be in the 70s and 80s with copious Gulf of Mexico moisture.

Now, the details of how much rain will fall in our area, in the colder air, is not set in stone as it could be .10″ to .50″ or as much as .25″ to 1″.  The exact track of the storm system is not set yet, so this surface map projection is subject to change which means the placement of the cold and warm air may shift by 50-100 miles.

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Gary will update this blog Monday morning with the latest data on this big change.

Have a great week ahead.

Jeff Penner

Two Storm Systems and a Hurricane

Good Saturday bloggers,

We are having an active start to October and the very early stages of the new weather pattern that is now evolving.  We are tracking two storm systems and unbelievably another USA land falling hurricane.

Here is a look at Hurricane Nate and storm system #1 as of early Saturday morning.

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Let’s focus on storm system #1 first. The center of the storm system as of early Saturday was tracking across southeast Nebraska and extreme northern Missouri.  This storm system was stalled in the western USA for the last several days and it was spitting out numerous thunderstorm producing disturbances along a stalled front.  Rainfall was quite significant in parts of the Plains this last week.

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Here are radar estimated rainfall totals since Monday.  The heaviest rain occurred from the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles to eastern Kansas northeast to Iowa.  The bulls eyes of rain was about 4″ to 6″.

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When we look closer in to our area the heaviest rain occurred from southeast Nebraska to northern Missouri with amounts 3″ to 6″.

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Here are some more rainfall totals with St. Joseph to Gallatin to Chillicothe seeing 1″ to 4″ of rain.

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Finally, here are some totals in the Kansas City area.  Amounts have ranged from .50″ to around 2″ to 2.50″.

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Now that we have looked at what has occurred, let’s look at what is on the way.

SATURDAY 4 PM: It will be hard to tell we had a storm system move by earlier in the day as there will hardly be a cloud in the sky, temperatures near 70° and less wind, from the west at 10-15 mph.

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SUNDAY: After lows in the 50s, perhaps a few 40s we will jump to around 80°.  Nate will be racing through the Tennessee Valley, more on Nate below.  The Chiefs will be getting ready to beat the Texans in Houston on Sunday night Football in America, on 41 Action News.  Nate will not have an impact in Houston.  That is the last thing Houston needs, another hurricane.

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MONDAY: This is a look at storm system #2.  It is most interesting as snow is likely in Denver with temperatures in the 30s while temperatures rise well into the 80s to low 90s  in Oklahoma and Texas.  Our area will have a nice day ahead of the system with highs in the 70s.  Monday night and Tuesday will see the storm system track east and our rain chances will increase as much cooler air moves in.  We will have more on this Sunday.

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HURRICANE NATE UPDATE:

As of the 7 AM update Nate was a category 1 hurricane with winds of 85 mph.  The Gulf of Mexico is quite warm so Nate will not weaken and it would not be a surprise if it strengthened to a minimal category 2 which would mean winds of 96 mph or greater.

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The latest official track from the Hurricane Center has Nate making landfall around midnight tonight near Biloxi, Mississippi.  Again, Nate may become a minimal category 2.

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Nate is moving quickly which is good news, so inland flooding will not be a major issue like it was in Central America.  Monday night, the remnants of Nate will be racing through New England and out to sea where it will not re-strengthen.

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Have a great weekend,

Jeff Penner

 

Watch the beginning of this years cycling pattern

Good morning bloggers,

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • This morning: A few rain showers and mostly cloudy.  South winds 5-15 mph.  The chance of measurable rain is 60% early, then dropping to 20% by noon. Temperatures warming into the 70s.
  • This afternoon: The chance of rain goes down to near zero.  South winds 10-20 mph, warm and muggy, with a few breaks of sunshine.  High:  79°
  • Friday Night Lights In The Big Town:  Partly cloudy and dry for the football games. The chance of rain goes up to 80% after midnight.  Low:  60°
  • Saturday:  Rain ending early, then a few breaks of afternoon sunshine and dry.  High:  70°
  • Sunday:  A great fall day, warm, with increasing humidity. High: Near 80°

The weather pattern is now setting up for the winter, but we have to experience the next six to ten weeks before making too many conclusions.  Here is a first look into this developing pattern, and we look at Tropical Storm Nate as well:

Have a great day and thank you for reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the cycling pattern. Go to Weather2020.com, click on the blog, and let me know if you have any questions.

Gary

Flawed Winter Forecasts Issued Too Early

Good afternoon bloggers,

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Here is a winter forecast issued by ACCU weather, respected by many, not so much by myself.  The cycling weather pattern that we will be experiencing over the winter and through next September is just now beginning.  Day 1 of this next years pattern is likely happening in these next few days. So, how can a forecast be made before the weather pattern sets up? Well, it can be done, but with very little chance of being right. There are things to look at such as the developing weak La Niña, which is still in question, past years that seem similar to now that I believe is 100% flawed, and many other factors that are still unknown such as will the AO and NAO be positive or negative this winter. So, yes, we can look at some of these features and make broad statements. Many winter forecasts have come out already and we just want to stress that the most important factor has yet to show its face. We will learn more soon.

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What is this statement? Really? Okay, let’s use La Niña.  How well did the El Niño/Southern Oscillation do the past two winters over the western United States? I can tell you. The answer is that the forecasts were a complete failure. The exact opposite to the forecasts happened.  In the strongest El Niño ever the forecasts came out for an ending of the drought, but the rain and snow never arrived in California two winters ago.  Then, last winter the forecast for the drought to worsen due to La Niña developing were put out. What happened? The exact opposite happened. The drought didn’t only not continue or expand, but it got obliterated and ended. Why? The answer lies within what we have been sharing with you for 15 years on this very blog.  The cycling pattern set up in such a way that counteracted the ENSO based forecasts.

So, hang on.  We have another few weeks and we will have your winter forecast put out at the right time in late November.  In the mean time let’s watch Tropical Storm Nate get caught in this changing pattern. We will discuss Nate tomorrow.

Rain and a few thunderstorms are beginning to form and there is a good chance of rain in KC overnight. I have just returned to KC and will be going back to work on KSHB-TV, 41 Action News, on Monday. Thank you for spending a few minutes reading the  Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the Cycling Pattern.

Gary

The 2017-2018 Cycling Weather Pattern Is Beginning To Form

Good morning bloggers,

IMG_1296I am still at Hilton Head Island here in South Carolina. We rented bikes and on our way to lunch yesterday we rode by this baby alligator. It was really only three feet long and maybe the mommy alligator was near by, so we were very careful.  This large lizard, can we call it a lizard because I saw some of them on this trip too, was just across the creek on the other side.  The weather here on the east coast of the United States has been influenced by a rather strong and large high pressure area and there has been an onshore easterly breeze at around 20 mph the entire time I have been here.  I would like to thank Jeff Penner for writing the blogs the past few days and I think this is the longest I have taken off from writing the blog in 15 years, which only lasted around four or five days. I hope everyone is doing well and are you ready for a new weather pattern. Are you ready for a weather pattern that has never happened in the history of earth? Yes, a unique pattern is now setting up.  What ignites this to happen every year around the first week of October? Well, we believe we may know what starts it, but of course this is just an idea we are looking into. The sun sets on the North Pole on the Autumnal Equinox around September 22nd each year. Then it is twilight, in other words it is not dark at the North Pole until around October 5th to 8th, and this is when we have shown and shared with you over these past 15 years in the blog when we believe the pattern begins. It is October 4th, so we are likely in the last few hours of the old pattern and nearly at the beginning of the new pattern which we can clearly see on the models the past few days.

This morning there is a cold front moving through the Kansas City region. Let’s take a look:

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The temperatures dipped to 28 degrees up in northwest Nebraska.  This cooler air mass is shifting south, but this front will be stalling. Take a look at what happens next:

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That big surface high pressure area off of the east coast is still having a major influence with easterly flow across Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. The flow then returns to the south over the western plains and the front near the Oklahoma/Kansas border will be stalling.  After the front stalls it will then begin moving north again, shifting into northern Kansas and Nebraska trailing back into Oklahoma. This will likely lead to some strong to severe thunderstorms north and west of Kansas City Friday evening and then the front will move through by Saturday morning. And, then what happens next will be interesting to track by Monday as a much stronger front is forecast to form. I can’s stress this more, as will be into the new pattern by next week as we always are according to the LRC, now the Cycling Pattern Hypothesis as we submit our work for peer review.  Look how strong this front looks, and it is very different than the types of fronts we experienced in last years pattern.

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That is one strong cold front blasting southeast.  On last nights 00z GFS model there was even snow forecast in KC, but hang on everyone, it is no longer on the later overnight run. Remember the October Surprise on October 22, 1996? So, we are moving into the time of the year where it wouldn’t completely be out of the question, but I just don’t see it yet.

The Changing Pattern:

 

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These two maps above show the changing pattern in the next two weeks. Both maps have troughs inland over the west. As much as I do “like” to see this, it is just on the models. I would prefer to see it actually happen before we jump to conclusions on what it could mean for this up coming snow season in KC.  We have been snow “deprived” over the past three straight winters, so I am hopeful for a better pattern. But, being hopeful means nothing. Let’s see how it sets up.  When I first found the cycling pattern in the 1980s I noticed the most critical three weeks was October 15-November 5, but it is still the entire first cycle of the pattern which must be analyzed which can last from the first week of October into early December or possibly even longer. So, I recommend patience.

Have  a great day and thank you for sharing in this weather experience, this Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the cycling pattern.  Let us know if you have any questions. Go to Weather2020.com and click on the blog to join in the conversation.

Gary

Wavering Front & Oh No, Nate?

Happy Tuesday bloggers,

A cold front is slowly moving southeast across the Plains and will drift through KC tonight with a few showers and thunderstorms, but we do not expect a big rain event.   This front is pretty strong as it separates low 60s from low 80s, but the upper levels today are not set up for big thunderstorms.

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The upper level flow features an upper low in the northern Plains lifting northeast into Canada and a second upper low over western Nevada.  The first upper low is forcing the cold front south.  The second low will head east across the Rockies, Plains and Midwest at the end of the week.  This second low will take our cold front and turn it into a warm front Wednesday night and bring a second cold front Friday night.  These fronts plus this upper low will be generating many areas of rain and thunderstorms, starting Wednesday night.  So, let’s go through the next few days.

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WEDNESDAY: The front will make it to northern Oklahoma and southern Missouri.  It will be in the process of heading back north as a warm front during the afternoon.  So, this means we will have a cloudy sky with a light northeast wind and perhaps a shower.  Temperatures will be in the 60s to low 70s.

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THURSDAY: The front will be back north as warm front and areas of rain and thunderstorms will be likely Wednesday night and Thursday.  There may be showers and thunderstorms south of the warm front as disturbances track in from the southwest. Highs will warm back to the 70s.

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FRIDAY: A round of thunderstorms will be possible in the morning as the warm front lingers, then by afternoon the warm front will be well north as a new cold front moves in with the main system, the second upper low mentioned above.  This round Friday night has the potential to be very heavy and strong. Total rainfall through Saturday will be 1″ to 3″ with a few locations seeing 4″.  There is still time to seed the yard and/or fertilize.

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—————————————————————————————————————————————————–TROPICAL UPDATE: Hurricane season officially runs through the end of November, and we have another system to monitor.  If it forms, it would be named Nate.

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The tropical disturbance we are monitoring is east and north of Central America.

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The latest data has this system moving north and affecting the Gulf coast next week.  If it does, let’s hope it is not much of a system.  It does not have to be a major hurricane.

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This is the area to watch for early next week.  Again, let’s hope this not a major hurricane.

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Have a great rest of your week.

Jeff Penner

Increasing Rain Chances

Good Monday bloggers,

We are having a very not October like day with highs in the 80s and high humidity.  A fall change is not that far away, but it is going to have a very tough time arriving.  The front separating the summer and fall air is heading southeast, but will stall.  Let’s go through the next few days and update the chance and amounts of rainfall.

MONDAY AFTERNOON: There is a decent cold front slicing across the Plains as temperatures range from near 90° in Salina to the 40s in Denver.  Rain and thunderstorms will form along this front tonight, but they will stay well northwest of KC.

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TUESDAY: The front will be moving at a snail’s pace so eastern Kansas and western Missouri will remain in the warm and humid air, but due to thicker low clouds highs will stay in the 70s.  It will also stay mostly dry as the front is still well northwest. Now, that being said a brief shower is not out of the question.

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WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY: The front will head south and stall around I-70.  The exact front location is still unknown, but the location of the front will be key to who sees the heaviest rain.  So, this map represents these days, as areas of rain and thunderstorms will track along this front as disturbances track from southwest to northeast.

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The front will head back north as a warm front Friday as a new cold front arrives Friday night as a main system in the western USA comes out into the Plains and Midwest.  If we are going to have severe weather this week, Friday night would be the best chance along the advancing cold front.

RAINFALL FORECAST: This forecast is still not set in stone as the front stalling location is still not known.  But, you get the idea that much of our region will see 2″ to 4″ of rain through Saturday.  If you end up in an area where the thunderstorms are training, you could end up with more than 4″.

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Have a great night and Tuesday and GO CHIEFS!

Jeff Penner

Hello October!

Happy Sunday,

It is hard to believe that it is October! Since this is the first day of the month, it is the previous month’s statistics day.  So, here is a look back at September 2017.

AVERAGE HIGH: 81.6

AVERAGE LOW: 60.6

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE: 71.1 (+2.9) August was 71.8, so September comes in barely cooler than August, but as of a week ago, September was actually running warmer than August which is not an easy thing to accomplish.

RAINFALL: 2.80″ (-1.82″)

There was one 90 degree day, which occurred on the 21st.

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Now, what will October bring?  We have a pretty good idea for the first 5-7 days, but then, as we know, a brand new pattern is evolving so confidence is quite low.  We will have to follow these changes the next several days, weeks and months.  So, lets focus on the next 5-7 days.

MONDAY PM-TUESDAY AM: Warm and humid air will be surging north as dew points climb to around 70 ahead of an approaching front.  You will be able to feel the humidity for sure and you will be able to see the thicker moisture in the form of low clouds.  The low clouds arrive Monday night.  Highs on Monday will be in the 80s with south winds gusting 25-30 mph and increasing humidity.

Blog 1 Final

TUESDAY PM/NIGHT: The front will be a cold front and slowly moving southeast as southwest flow is set up aloft.  Tuesday will be a mostly dry day, with low clouds, wind and highs in the 70s here in KC and surrounding areas.  Thunderstorms will be forming to the northwest.

Blog 2 Final

WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY: The front will be stalling from around New Mexico to northern Illinois.  The flow will be southwest aloft, parallel to the front. This will set up a 36-48 hour period where rounds of rain and thunderstorms will be tracking southwest to northeast from the southwest Plains to Great Lakes.  This is the recipe for a heavy rain event with minimal severe weather as the flow aloft and instability will be a bit weak.  The best chance of severe weather this week is from Nebraska to Minnesota tonight-Tuesday as the flow aloft will be stronger.

Blog 3 Final

RAINFALL FORECAST NEXT 5-7 DAYS: There is little change in the thinking from Saturday as 2″ to 4″ is likely from the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles northeast to the western Great Lakes.  In these situations you can easily see small areas that receive 4″ to 7″.  This is going to be an interesting week of weather.

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Have a great week and the next blog update will be Monday afternoon.

Jeff Penner