Severe Weather Risks Next Two Days

Good morning bloggers,

This weekends storm is directly related to the part of the pattern that produced this severe weather 47 days before this weekend on April 3rd:

180403_rpts_filteredEach dot represents a severe weather report. On April 3, 2018 the Mississippi River Valley was the target of one of the biggest severe weather outbreaks of this season.  The LRC sets up each fall in early October.  This part of the cycling pattern has cycled through four previous times and as we moved into spring it produced the set up for this outbreak.  Now that it is mid-May, a shift to the north and west would be expected.

The Storm Prediction Center has this risk out for tomorrow:

day2otlk_0600Severe thunderstorms are expected to develop across the central plains into the lower Missouri Valley Saturday. Very large hail and damaging winds are the primary threats.  An upper ridge is expected to shift into the Mississippi Valley Saturday which will allow a plume of very unstable air to spread north across the southern and central plains into the lower Missouri Valley. Both the NAM and GFS suggest a corridor of stronger 500 mb flow that will translate across the Texas south plains into the southeast part of Nebraska by late afternoon as a mid-level storm ejects into western Kansas.  This will create the conditions for severe thunderstorm eruption near the developing surface low.

Here is the surface forecast from the GFS model:


And, then by 1 AM this GFS model shows the following:


After this time frame, the GFS does model a southward propagating MCS, or complex of thunderstorms that makes it to Kansas City.  I sure hope it makes it this far south as many areas still need rain.

Have a fantastic Friday and thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  We will go in-depth on 41 Action News tonight.


Rainfall Amounts Vary Widely Again

Good morning bloggers,

The official rainfall total will come in at 1.73″ at KCI Airport. This had to have been the highest total in the area, or close to it. If you got underneath one of the thunderstorms, then this type of rain fell. But, all around the high totals were other areas that got missed and big time.  Many spots had no rainfall at all yesterday.  Here are two of the extremes:



The weather pattern continues to be a difficult one to describe when it comes to the Kansas City area.  This set up for Saturday is quite interesting. Let’s take a look.


The trend on the models is for a solution more like this above. There is a storm coming out of the southwestern United States, and like most of our storm systems in this 2017-2018 LRC this next storm will go through the quasi-permanant ridge that has caused the drought over northwest Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle that stretches out to near KC.  Storm systems go through this ridge and are forced to go through a transition. This causes our weather patterns to be difficult to describe and explain, and is the reason we still have not been able to have any wide spread heavy rain events. Oh, there have been a few heavy rain events around KC in the past few weeks, but many of us continue to be way below average on rainfall. And, this storm is caught in that transition as well.  It does produce this set up, however, and significant severe weather is possible late Saturday and Saturday night. This storm is directly related to the pattern that produced one of the bigger outbreaks of the LRC year. which begins in October. That outbreak happened 47 days before this weekend.


The Storm Prediction Center has the risk right now confined to that area northeast of the surface low.  If this storm was not going through one of those ridges, it would produce a much bigger severe weather risk, but something is still a bit off on this storm system and I really would like to have another day to see how the models are trending.

Today’s Weather Video:


Weather Video On May 17 from Weather2020 on Vimeo.

Here we are in Kansas City, right underneath an upper low this morning, and it is dry.  There could have easily been a spinning area of downpours over our area this morning. But, there isn’t and the frustrations mount for those of us fascinated by the weather or needing rain on the lawn. Well, it is still fascinating.  Watch the video, it will take just a few minutes.

Saturday Graduation Party Forecast:

  • Morning: There is a 30% chance of morning thunderstorms. They should be out of here before noon.
  • Afternoon: There is only a 10% chance of afternoon thunderstorms.  So, at this moment it looks good for the afternoon or early evening graduation parties. High: 86°
  • Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy with a 50% chance of thunderstorms. A few may be severe.   The best chance in KC arrives after 10 PM.

Thank you for spending a few minutes reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.  Have a great day!  Here is the link to the Weather2020 blog if you want to ask questions or join the conversation and share in this weather experience, or just read what your weather friends are saying:  Weather2020 Blog


Hurricane Season Will Be Active With Multiple United States Landfalls

Good morning bloggers,

Weather2020 has completed a 17-year analysis of hurricane seasons and this provides the confidence to make accurate weather forecasts for the prediction of tropical storms and hurricanes.  This is going to be a very active year around the United States and we already know the likely tracks of many potential tropical storms of which a few will strengthen into hurricanes.  There is a hot spot as I will show below. Here is the press release going out. Go to Facebook or Twitter and share it with your friends to help spread this important information:

Press Release

The hot spot for this season, issued in December, is targeting this area:

Hot spot

In January, I spoke at the AMS conference in Austin, TX showing the likely track of one of the signature tropical systems that is likely going to form in each LRC cycle, but the strongest will be likely in late August or early September. There are many others that we have identified as well, and we are forecasting at least seven named storms to affect the United States with four hurricanes and potentially two major hurricanes making landfall most likely in this hot spot.  The tropical waters are still a bit too cool to support the development of any significant tropical activity,  but this will change dramatically in the next two to three weeks as water temperatures rise.  Water temperatures really need to be 80 degrees or higher and they are just getting to that level right now.  There is a tropical system right in the middle of the hot spot right now, and when this part of the pattern cycles back through in 47 and 94 days, then it will produce a good chance of a tropical storm or hurricane.  We have been targeting the end of May for a different system to track near or west of Florida. And, this is the one I presented to my peers in May to be a major storm in late August.

This Weeks Weather

The northeast just got hit by a major severe weather outbreak in the past two days, one of the biggest of the season. And, this is directly related to an outbreak that happened on March 28th, or 47 days earlier.  One of the biggest outbreaks of the year occurred on April 3rd, and this lines up with this weekend.  Let’s take a look:


The set up for Saturday in the upper levels is quite similar to what has happened in each LRC Cycle this year, so four other previous times. We are in the fifth cycle of this years pattern. Let’s see how this sets up for Saturday evening.  Kansas City may have a few rain showers later today, but the drought continues to build overhead and there is one month left of what would be considered our wettest 30-day stretch on average.  There are chances showing up, but as we all just experienced; we just got missed again, like we did all winter long.

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today:  Sunny this morning with cumulus clouds growing and building later this morning through the afternoon. A weak upper level storm will move overhead tonight and this will likely help produce a few showers and possibly even a thunderstorm. The chance at any one location is up to 30%, but many areas will likely stay dry again today. High:  80°
  • Thursday:  Mostly sunny with late morning through afternoon clouds. High: 81°

Thank you for sharing in this weather experience featuring Weather2020 and the cycling pattern.  Go over to the Weather2020 blog to join in the conversation.


Somehow Kansas City Gets Missed Again

Good morning bloggers,

You can’t make this up.  This years LRC continues leave us baffled.  The thunderstorm activity yesterday is just another chapter on this years weather pattern that left Kansas City with only 7.7″ of snow for the entire winter. Oh, we were not alone in the lower snowfall totals:

  •  Amarillo, TX had no snow for the first time in their recorded history. They average 17.8″
  • Dodge City, KS had 3.6″ of snow (21″ average)
  • Wichita, KS had 2.0″ of snow (14.9″ average)
  • Oklahoma City, OK had 0.4″ of snow (7.6″ average)
  • St. Louis, MO had 7.1″ of snow (17.7″ average)

So, Kansas City was not alone in the lack of snowfall. We share this statistic with many cities in our region.  But, last nights rain was just ridiculous.  A whopping 0.02″ fell at KCI Airport. Thunderstorms formed just east of the city and organized into a complex of thunderstorms one county away before it tracked to the Mississippi River near St. Louis by evening.  Then thunderstorms were scattered all over the place. Amazingly, Wichita, KS also got missed with only receiving 0.25″ of rain. Here are the estimated rainfall totals from the past 24 hours:

Screen Shot 2018-05-15 at 6.42.22 AM

As you can see, it was most of the Kansas City viewing area that was missed. There were spots that had no rain at all just northwest of the city.  And, look at the next ten day forecast from last nights GFS model:


The drought plagued region to our southwest is forecast to get wet.  This is not a good forecast as we are now moving through what should be the wettest time of the year.  We just keep missing these chances.

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today: A few periods of clouds mixed with some sun shining through. The chance of measurable rain is less than 20%.  High: 81°
  • Tonight:  Clear with light winds from the north.  Low:  63°
  • Wednesday:  Mostly sunny with a few periods of clouds. High:  81°
  • Thursday:  Mostly sunny with a few afternoon clouds.  High:  81°
  • Friday:  Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of thunderstorms. High: 84°
  • Saturday:  Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of thunderstorms. High:  87°

Have a great day and thank you for sharing in this weather experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go over to the Weather2020 blog and join in the conversation. How does the lack of rain affect you? I grew up in Southern California, so I spent 18 years of my life in a region that had very little rain at times. But, some of my favorite weather memories are from the 1977-1978 and 1978-1979 winters that had tons of rain and exciting weather patterns when I was 16 to 17 years old. In those years Los Angeles had 10 to 15 inches of rain in a month several times.  Kansas City has had under 8′ of rain all year so far.  Right now, frustrations continue to mount for us weather enthusiasts.  There has been very little severe weather, very little rain, and we continue to have to explain how and why things are missing us, instead of the much more exciting explanations of how we will get hit by exciting weather set-ups.



Thunderstorm Forecast Update

Good Monday night bloggers,

This has been another day with thunderstorms in the forecast that has been tough to figure out. It now looks like we have a decent idea on how this will evolve through the night into Tuesday.

The models are terrible in forecasting precipitation, and especially thunderstorms. Now, the models, especially 6-24 hours out are much better at picking up disturbances moving through the flow. So, it is time to use real meteorology and not just look at precipitation output. Precipitation, and in this case, showers and thunderstorms, form along and ahead of upper level disturbances, waves. Sometimes, the models get confused with precipitation forecasts.

We had a well defined wave that moved to KC around noon and thunderstorms exploded in Jackson county before becoming a severe cluster in central Missouri during the afternoon. This is wave #1. The new 18z data is now picking up on a second wave, now in the Rockies.

Here are the two waves as of 430 PM. The first one is moving towards the Mississippi river, while the second one is over Colorado. The second one is timed to arrive between midnight and 7 AM. So, we are expecting new thunderstorms after midnight and these have the chance to be widespread with a low severe threat.


The thunderstorms in between the two waves are being caused by various boundaries left over from thunderstorms Sunday night and a cold front drifting south. These scattered thunderstorms may be severe at times this evening with large hail and damaging winds the main threats.


Let’s take a look at the latest short range data that seems to have a decent handle on the situation.

MONDAY 8 PM: Wave #1 is in Illinois as wave #2 is moving into western Kansas. You can see the scattered showers and thunderstorms in eastern Kansas and western Missouri. Again, some thunderstorms may be severe with large hail and brief damaging wind gusts.


MIDNIGHT: The second wave is quite well defined west of Wichita. Eastern Kansas and western Missouri are still having a few lingering showers and thunderstorms at this time with the severe threat quite low as daytime heating is gone. This second wave will likely move east-northeast and affect our area with much needed rain between midnight and 7 AM. Let’s hope it holds together so we can receive beneficial rain.


TUESDAY 3 AM: This would be great news as widespread rain and thunderstorms overspread the area. The chance of severe weather will be quite low at this time, but wind gusts to 40-50 mph are possible if this is right.



NOW TO MIDNIGHT: Scattered showers and thunderstorms, a few may be severe with temperatures dropping into the 70s

MIDNIGHT TO 7 AM: A good chance of rain and thunderstorms with some wind gusts to 40-50 mph. Total rainfall would be .25″ to 1″ with some locations seeing 2″+. Lows in the 60s.

7 AM TO NOON TUESDAY: Any rain exits quickly leading to a nice day with highs around 80.

If we miss the rain tonight, then chances stay low until the weekend. Now, Wednesday through Friday may see daily scattered showers and thunderstorms, but nothing organized as it stands now.

Have a great night,


We Are Entering The Wettest Time Of The Year On Average

Good morning bloggers,

As Jeff showed yesterday, it is very dry across the plains.  This could change fast, but the pressure is on this next month.  The wettest 30-day stretch on average in Kansas City is from around mid-May to mid-June.  The models continue to show high rainfall amounts in the 3 to 6 inch range during the next 15 days near Kansas City.  A day like today is important for these higher totals.  Today appears to have the best chance of thunderstorms during the work week, and we will look into this set up in just a second. Here are the weather pattern events that are on the LRC potential radar:

  • One of the biggest severe weather outbreaks of the season happened on April 3, 2018.  This part of the pattern cycles through in the next week.  Will it produce again? It has started to show up on some of the models, and it is due back sometime later this week into the weekend.
  • The tropical system in the Gulf forming now is right on schedule, and the one that has been showing up around the 24th to 30th is one of the signature storms we have been monitoring for and it will likely form. It is May, so a tropical depression or a tropical storm is possible, but it is still early. A hurricane this early is almost unheard of, so not expected, but let’s see how it develops. Our forecast of a system forming before the end of the month was issued months ago.  This part of the pattern will cycle back through in mid-July, and then in the late August to early September time frame.  Florida and the northeast Gulf of Mexico is the target
  • This end of the month period is also a period of time we have forecasted the return of the April 12 – April 17 severe weather set-ups.  Expect this part of the pattern to also return about the time that tropical system is developing


Storm chasers are describing this tornado as the tornado of the year thus far. I do not believe there has been a larger or stronger tornado in 2018, which is amazing. This was an EF-3 that grew to a half mile wide at one point.  It missed major structures, which is great news.  KSHB-TV Meteorologist Gerard Jebaily was in 41 Action News Storm Tracker and I was on the phone with him as we watched this large tornado develop.  There is around one month left in tornado season. Severe weather is still possible during the summer months, but traditional tornado season usually ends around mid-June as the jet stream retreats north and summer arrives.  This has been a very inactive year for tornadoes and severe weather. Take a look at these stats from the SPC:
Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 7.14.30 AM

The number of confirmed tornadoes is quite low, but that number will likely grow a bit. Overall, it has been quiet. There is one month left in traditional tornado season.  Let’s see how these set-ups present themselves, beginning with today.


The tornado risk today, shown above, is quite low for a mid-May severe weather outlook like we see below:


The Storm Prediction Center is not expecting or forecasting tornado risks today, but there is a chance that one or two areas will experience some organized severe thunderstorms in clusters with strong winds and large hail being the main risk types.  The models are all over the place with the placement of where the thunderstorms are being modeled to develop. The latest HRRR model runs have had Kansas City getting missed this evening.  My lawn needs some water, and I am sure many of you are in the same boat. Hey farmers out there, let us know how the dry early season has been for your crops. I know it is early, and we would appreciate any insight and information you can provide. Are you concerned?

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today:  As of 7:45 AM radar showed a thin band of thunderstorms over central Kansas. This is showing a slow moving disturbance moving east and it should be over eastern Kansas by this evening. This is when the best chance of thunderstorms will arrive.  High: 88°
  • Tonight:  A 60% chance of thunderstorms during the evening hours. The chance goes down later.

Have a great start to your day. Go over to the Weather2020.com blog and join in the conversation as we share in this weather experience.


The Struggle for Rain

Happy Mother’s day bloggers,

We are in for another very warm and humid day with little to no rain. This is great news for any outdoor activities, but not so great news for your yard or farm.

We have had a problem with this weather pattern since its formation in October and November. The problem is that when there is a chance of precipitation it often looks like a decent event 2-5 days out. Then, as we get closer to the actual event, the amounts drop off quite a bit. And, guess what, here we go again. We have chances of rain and thunderstorms later tonight, Monday night-Tuesday morning, Wednesday and next weekend. Let’s go over the latest data.

First, where does the Plains stand as far as rainfall for the year? Gary compiled some fascinating statistics for cities around the region.

We are looking at the heart of the drought east of the Rockies. Amarillo has seen less than 1″ of rain all year and remember their snowfall total for the winter was zero! They average about 17″ of snow.


When you shift to central and eastern Oklahoma the drought eases. Oklahoma City and Tulsa are 2″-3.50″ below average and on the edge of the drought.


When we head north to I-80 we see locations such as Grand Island, Omaha and Des Moines are also about 2″-3.50″ below average and on the edge of the drought.


Missouri has quite a rainfall total variety. St. Louis has seen over 17″ of rain, 4″ above average. KC has seen about 10″ less rainfall and we are about 3.50″ below average. St. Joseph has received nearly 14″ less rain this year than St. Louis.


Average rainfall per week across the region is about 1″ west to 2″ east. So, now let’s see if we can get average rainfall the next 5-7 days.

SUNDAY: Once again we have the set up for thunderstorms as a front remains stalled from southwest Kansas to southern Iowa. The warm air aloft (Cap) will hold today, but break a little bit tonight. So, today will be breezy, very warm and humid.


SUNDAY EVENING: Thunderstorms look likely to form in central Kansas. Now, will they make it to eastern Kansas and western Missouri?


MONDAY MORNING: It looks like the thunderstorms will weaken as they move towards KC. We should see some remnants, but we need more than remnants.


MONDAY AFTERNOON AND NIGHT: The set up is there once again for thunderstorms to form to the west and north along the fronts. It looks like they will form. Also, they will be closer, so as they move east we should see some nice thunderstorms Monday night. But, they may be in a weakening phase.


Tuesday is now looking drier and a bit cooler as the cold front above moves through. A weak system may bring scattered showers and thunderstorms Wednesday, but that is now looking like less coverage. Thursday and Friday are now looking drier.

RAINFALL FORECAST THROUGH FRIDAY: The latest data is suggesting amounts will range from .25″-.75″ to 1″-3″. This means some yards and farms will have beneficial rain and others will not. Where will the heaviest rain occur? Well, this data suggests in the big drought areas to the south. KC would see 0.71″ which is 50% of average for a week, not good. Now, all this being said, this is not set in stone as when you are dealing with thunderstorms the locations can change and the models are not good at picking up these changes.


Have a great week and I hope your yard or farm gets the rain it needs.

Jeff Penner

A Set Up for Widespread Thunderstorms, But….

Good Saturday bloggers,

Today is similar to Friday as we are having scattered morning showers and thunderstorms. The rest of today will be dry, warm and humid.


It is the middle of May which means we are reaching the wettest time of year along with being in the thick of severe weather season. Take a look at this crazy weather set up for today. A front will be stalled basically from western Kansas to northern Missouri and east into Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Temperatures will be in the 40s and 50s north of the front and 80s/90s to the south. This set up in the Plains, this time of year, usually means widespread rain and thunderstorms with severe weather and flooding. Now, we are seeing scattered showers and thunderstorms with little to no severe threat. This is most odd, but we have a “Cap” over this set up. The “Cap” is a layer of warm air at about 10,000 feet. This prevents thunderstorms from forming. So, most thunderstorms this weekend will be along I-80 in the cooler air, while the stalled front stays mostly inactive. Now, we have seen scattered showers and thunderstorms Friday and Saturday mornings, but they have been high based, above the “Cap”, and not associated with the front.



The stalled front and “Cap” remain, so the front will stay inactive. Highs will be in the 80s and 90s south of the front and 50s/60s to the north. Sunday night we will be looking for some thunderstorms to form in the southwest Plains. This is a sign that the “Cap” is breaking as cooler air moves in aloft. Some of these thunderstorms may wander in Monday morning.


Here is the rainfall forecast through Tuesday. You can see most of the rain is from northern Kansas to Iowa into northern Missouri. KC is on the southern edge and most of this rain looks to occur Monday and Tuesday as the “Cap” begins to break.


Here is the rainfall forecast when you add Wednesday-Friday. We are seeing the potential for widespread 1″-4″ rainfall amounts. Let’s see how this evolves, but the front will still be in the area with disturbances wandering out of the Rockies. These features, this time of year, with little to no “Cap” should net daily chances of widespread rain and thunderstorms. The severe threat is low as the flow aloft will be weak. We average about 1.50″ of rain per week, so this rainfall forecast should not be hard to attain given how the pattern is set up.


We need the rain as we are about 3″ below average for the year. KCI is above average for the month, but many locations are not.


Have a great weekend and Happy Mother’s day.

Jeff Penner

Morning Thunderstorms Quickly Moving By

Good morning bloggers,

We have morning thunderstorms. They are elevated, but with a few heavy downpours.   The GFS and the HRRR did the best with this mornings thunderstorm activity, so these will be the models of choice in the next few days.  Here is a picture of Sunny the Weather Dog as the thunderstorms were forming. The bases were pretty high up,  around 10,000 feet. These high based thunderstorms were forming on the edge of the capping layer at around that level.

DSCN4946 (1)

After these morning thunderstorms move by, the potential for redevelopment is rather slim. The GFS model does have a few forming this evening. Again, this model is the only model that picked out this mornings activity the past few days, so we will see about the potential this evening near the front, but the HRRR has this:



The SPC has minimal risks nationwide despite the interesting surface set up. The reason is the fact that the main storm is way out over the western states and it has thrown a ridge over the plains.

Have a great day. Go over to the Weather2020 blog to join in the conversation.


Dry Fronts

Good morning bloggers,

The pattern looks like it should be wet, but instead it continues to be rather dry.  The chance of thunderstorms will increase a little bit after the weekend is over. Between now and then the chances are slight. Take a look at the KC sky this morning:


These bands of higher and middle clouds, high level altostratus, around 14,000 feet above us this morning, indicate that it will be another dry day.  St. Joseph, MO has had 3.62″ of rain this year which is 38% of the average of 9.41″ by todays date.  The surface set up is rather incredible, when you realize the chance of thunderstorms is around 20% at best:


This European Model above shows the dry fronts. Oh, there are areas of precipitation mostly over the higher terrain out west and across the northern plains and upper midwest. The region near the fronts, closer to KC, has very warm air aloft building in around 10,000 feet up and this will likely prevent thunderstorms from forming near the fronts.  By Sunday night and Monday the chances of thunderstorms may go up a bit.

Rainfall Forecast from the Euro Model: Next Ten Days

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 6.58.56 AM

Let’s see how this pattern evolves.  Have a great day and thank you for sharing in this weather experience featuring Weather2020 and the LRC.