A Tropical System May Have Influences Farther North

Good morning bloggers,

Let’s begin today’s blog with a national look at the weather pattern and how a developing weak tropical storm will likely influence the weather pattern. I have been monitoring the pattern closely to see if this tropical system will actually influence the weather forecast for areas as far north as Kansas City, and I am confident now that it actually will have at least a subtle impact. Let’s take a look.

National Weather Picture


This first map, above, shows the developing surface weather pattern valid at 7 PM Wednesday. The GFS model is showing the tropical system approaching the Louisiana/Texas coast line, and at the same time there is a much larger scale system developing over Nebraska. This Nebraska system is a synoptic scale storm that spans 1,000 miles or more with its frontal systems, while the tropical system is much smaller scale spanning a few hundred miles. As the tropical system moves north the influence on the larger scale feature may seem subtle, but it is likely going to be a factor into where thunderstorms form, how the precipitation pattern develops, and more. If there was no tropical system, this central plains storm would not be developing as shown on these next few maps.


This second map shows the tropical system now inland over eastern Texas. The front over Nebraska will have gone through a transition with some effects that are rather subtle showing up as the circulation from the tropical system moves inland. One important note: The strength of the tropical system before it crossed the coast is important. If it has developed a very strong circulation, then it is likely to have this impact or bigger on the flow. If it ends up weaker or takes a different track, then the influences may not be as great.

The front on the map above moves south, and take a look at where it is forecast to be located by 7 AM Friday:


On this next map, above, you can see some of the subtle, yet perhaps not so subtle affects from the circulation from the tropical system. The front begins to wrap around the tropical system, and then it jumps south. Take a look at this 7 PM forecast:


This really becomes interesting on Friday. Just look at this forecast map. It is just a forecast, but only three mornings away.  What is left of the tropical systems actually in Missouri on this forecast map. The cold front will have either surged south, or redeveloped with the tropical system influence.  A week ago, this front was looking like another severe weather producing system, and it still may be so, but the tropical low may reduce that threat a bit farther north.

Kansas City Weather Time-Line:

  • Today:  Sunny and hot. High: 91°
  • Tonight:  A few evening clouds. There is a weak wind shift line near the area, but any chance of thunderstorms appears extremely low. So, it should be dry for the big Royals game against the Red Sox with light winds and a first pitch temperature around 88 degrees.
  • Wednesday:  Mostly sunny and hotter. High: 93°
  • Thursday: Mostly sunny and hot. High:  94°
  • Friday:  Mostly cloudy with a 50% chance of rain or thunderstorms. High:  84°

Have a great day. Let us let this sort itself out in the next 24 hours and look into the trends in tomorrow’s blog. Thank you for sharing in this weather experience. We will be opening comments on this blog sometime next week. For  now, you can join in the conversation on Weather2020.com.


A Tropical System Is Developing In The Gulf

Good morning bloggers,

A tropical system is forming near the Yucatan Peninsula and may become a tropical storm today as it drifts into the Gulf of Mexico.  Around two weeks ago Meteorologist Jeremy Nelson, who learned about the LRC while working here in KC and is now the Chief Meteorologist at WJCL in Savannah, GA called me and asked me about the cycle length of the LRC. He noticed that there would likely be a tropical system forming by looking at the previous two LRC Cycles.  After our discussion he made this forecast and shared it with his viewers.  The National Hurricane Center then came out with this prediction over the weekend. This is a great example of how the LRC can help in making longer range predictions way ahead of traditional methods being used. Wow, look at what Jeremy showed on the air and how similar it is to what the NHC put out over this past weekend:


Here is this mornings enhanced satellite picture taken from Weathertap.com:


There is a lot to see on this satellite picture.  There was another complex of thunderstorms over northeastern Texas, and you can see the high cloud tops enhanced near the Yucatan Peninsula.  Active storm systems were tracking across the northeast Pacific Ocean, and we will be monitoring that system closely as we move through this week. Jeff Penner showed the cycling pattern well in yesterdays blog entry.

The Developing Pattern:


The models have varying tracks for where this tropical system will cross the coastline.  The map above shows the system intensifying as it moves north tonight and tomorrow over the warm Gulf of Mexico waters.  The GFS then takes it north into Louisiana and Alabama, while the NAM and European Model take it farther west:



Let’s see how it develops today.  While this is all going on Kansas City is under a band of late spring cloud cover. Summer begins in two days! Have a great day and thank you for participating sharing in this weather experience .


Calmer for a Few Days

Happy Father’s day bloggers,

We have completed a five day period where there were chances of thunderstorms, some severe and boy did we get it.  We have some calmer days ahead before it gets active again.  Let’s go through what has occurred, the calmer days and the return of thunderstorm chances.  We will do a LRC check as we look into the active weather’s return.

Here are the severe weather reports from Saturday night.  The tornadoes were confined to Wisconsin even though we had a brief tornado warning Saturday night around Odessa.

Severe Weather June 17 2017


As we look at the severe reports closer in you can see a path along I-70 and some to the north as there was one main severe thunderstorm that crossed KC.  There was a second severe thunderstorm in Platte county, but it weakened as it moved east.

Severe Weather June 17 2017 Close


On June 13th we officially had received 0.03″ of rain at KCI, well, since then we have seen 2.81″ and have practically caught up to where we should be for this time of month.  Saturday KCI received 1.62″ of rain and did you know we average 0.17″ of rain per day this time of year.  We are just coming out of the wettest time of year on average.



This is the Father’s day sunrise in KC, what a beautiful start to the day and a beautiful end to a very active period of weather.  So, now what is next?



SEVERE RISKS SUNDAY: The severe threat is well to the south as the cold front from Saturday pushes away from the middle of the USA.



SUNDAY: A surface high pressure will be moving in from western Kansas and with winds blowing away and clockwise around a surface high in the northern hemisphere we will be seeing a northwest wind which brings in cooler and less humid conditions.



MONDAY: The surface high pressure will still be in control, so we are in for more nice weather as highs reach the low 80s.  The humidity will remain in check as we see a westerly breeze.  There will be a few clouds around.



TUESDAY: The surface high pressure will still be near by, so the nice weather will continue.  It will warm to near 90° as our winds continue from the west and southwest, but the humidity will stay tolerable.  Thunderstorms in western Kansas will not reach here Tuesday night and Wednesday, but they may Thursday and Friday.  Let’s talk about that and show how this fits LRC 2016-17.



Here is the upper level flow forecast for Thursday, June 22nd.  Let’s look at the three features labelled below.  The first one is a positively tilted trough in the Rockies, a ridge near the west coast of North America and a small wave in the Tennessee Valley moving into the southeast USA.  The small wave may be a combination of a system from the west and tropical system forming in the Caribbean Sea.  We will have more on the tropical system this week.

June 22 2017


Here is the 500 mb flow from April 24th.  As you know Gary has been discussing the cycle length quite a bit this year and we have determined it is around 59 days.  So, June 22nd and April 24th are 59 days apart and look at the three features.  One is the positively tilted trough moving in the Rockies, two is the ridge near the west coast of North America and three is the system moving through the southeast.

Now, there are seasonal difference as the southeast system is deeper in April, but remember it may be a very wet storm this week as it combines with a tropical system.  The jet stream is undercutting the ridge off of North America in April, but in June it is weaker and cannot do that, so more energy goes up and over the ridge, but the big features are in general in the same location.


Apr 24 2017


So, the GFS and the LRC are in agreement and this gives us confidence in the forecast for this period.  This means we have increased chances of thunderstorms Wednesday night-Friday as the Rockies trough moves east and interacts with summer heat and humidity.


Have a great week and again Happy Father’s day.

Jeff Penner

Severe Thunderstorms Hit KC, What Is Next?

Good Saturday morning bloggers,

We broke through the ice last night ending what was becoming a dry month of June. Well, no longer as huge thunderstorms formed, fed by high dew points around 75 to 77 degrees Friday night.  These thunderstorms were really large and produced winds up to 88 mph over parts of northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas.

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The above satellite pictures show what this ‘monster” turned into. These are the enhanced water vapor satellite pictures from 4:30 AM this morning.  There was one last thunderstorm that was potentially severe at 7 AM this morning over southern Johnson county Kansas.

Today’s Severe Weather Risk:



There is an enhanced risk of severe thunderstorms again today. Yesterday’s weather developed about as we expected with that developing area over northern Nebraska. It then grew into the strongest line of thunderstorms of the year in the Kansas City region and it about wore me out last night on 41 Action News.  Then, I awaken to this big thunderstorm this morning, so what is next?  We will be monitoring a developing and strengthening cold front. Moisture will be pooling ahead and near this front and with the rain that just fell, there may be dew points of 80 degrees which will provide tremendous fuel for any thunderstorms that form.


Before we see thunderstorms these 80° dew points will combine with highs in the 90s making for heat index values of 102° to 110°.  So, we are in an Excessive Heat Warning.


Let’s go through this crazy weather day as we have heat and thunderstorms in the forecast.

4 PM SATURDAY: A surface trough will be located near KC as the cold front approaches from the north.  At this time it will be sweltering with highs in the 90s along with the extreme humidity.  There should be no thunderstorms on radar.



7 PM SATURDAY: The cold front merges with the trough and we should see rapid thunderstorm development in our region.  Large hail and damaging winds are the main threats.  So, if you are out between 4 PM ad 7 PM be aware of rapidly changing weather conditions.



2 AM SUNDAY: The cold front will surge south and take the severe weather threat with it.  However, there will be lingering showers and thunderstorms behind the front and these will likely not be severe, but small hail is not out of the question.



FATHER’S DAY: The rain will end by 4-5 AM in the morning leading to a fantastic Father’s day forecast.  It will be mostly sunny, less humid and cooler with highs 75° to 80°. An amazing turnaround from the weather today.


Have a great weekend and keep an eye to the sky this afternoon and evening.

Gary and Jeff

Thunderstorms Turning Towards KC

Good late Friday evening bloggers,

A strong to severe line of thunderstorms developed just before sunset and it is turning towards KC. We will be monitoring closely to see if this holds together, but conditions are favorable for it to do so. Take a look:




The SPC upgraded the risk to moderate this evening. Wow! I will be on 41Action News and you can comment over at Weather2020.com.