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Hazy Sky and Increasing Rain Chances

Good Saturday bloggers,

We are following two main weather events today. The first is the haze in the sky and the second is the chance of rain early next week.

The haze is smoke from the wildfires in California combined with smoke from fires in western Canada.

Here is a visible satellite image from 7 PM Friday. The fuzzy items are clearly smoke in the sky. You can see the monsoon thunderstorms embedded in the smoke.

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Here is a look at the satellite from 7 PM Friday in the middle of the USA. You can see the smoke, rather thick, from northwest Kansas to Minnesota. Minneapolis had air quality warnings.

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How is that smoke from western North America getting to the middle of the USA? The image below shows the explanation. It is the upper level flow. An anticyclone, also called and upper level high or “heat wave creating machine”, is located over the northern Rockies. The flow around the high is clockwise. So, the smoke tracks from the western USA, north to western Canada where it combines with more smoke from the wildfires in western Canada. The smoke then turns east into central Canada then south into the northern USA. The flow keeps the smoke drifting south into Kansas and Missouri. This flow will persist all weekend.

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Where is the smoke Saturday morning? It was located from northern Kansas to northern Missouri, northward into Canada. It does not look as thick, since the satellite is not picking it up as well due to the sun not being high enough in the sky. It is drifting south about 10-20 miles per hour and will arrive in KC by afternoon. It will likely be around all weekend, so this evening the sunset may have an interesting reddish hue.

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Now lets turn our attention to the chance of rain. The main jet stream is flowing well to the north across Canada, but does dip south over the eastern USA. The systems that brought our scattered downpours Thursday and Friday drifted south and are combining to form an upper low over Texas.

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The upper low will become more defined Sunday as it drifts northwest. There will be northward drifting areas of rain and thunderstorms across southern Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

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The upper low on Monday is forecast to be in Kansas, by all models. This would likely bring a larger area of rain and thunderstorms to eastern Kansas and western Missouri Monday into Tuesday.

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This is the rainfall forecast for today through Tuesday. The rain in our area does not start until Monday, but my goodness, this is a sight for sore eyes.

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When we zoom in you can see mostly consistent rainfall totals from Maryville, MO to Pleasanton, KS, east to Sedalia, MO and west to Emporia, KS.

We have had rainfall events where all locations get rain this season. But, some get 0.01″, 0.50″, 2.00″-4.00″ and everything in between. Also, the heavier amounts are in the minority. This is different, where all locations receive at least 0.40″-0.50″.

If this pans out, it will not end the drought, it will not even dent the drought, but is is a step in the right direction. It would need to be followed by more events. There actually are more chances next week, but let’s just get this first one under our belt.  This is still a slam dunk. As we know it is 36-48 hours away. So, we will check in Sunday and hope the data remains consistent.

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Have a great weekend.

Jeff Penner

Better Rain Chances Next Week…We Shall See

Good Friday bloggers,

We had a few thunderstorms on Thursday and we will have a few around today, especially south of I-70. The weekend weather will be bad for the drought, but good for the pool. As we go through the weekend we will be tracking a system forming in the southern Plains. This system will head north next week and attempt to bring us some rain.

Here is the weekend forecast. Now let’s see what potential we have for rain next week.

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FRIDAY: Highs will be in the upper 80s to low 90s. A few thunderstorms will form along and south of I-70 after 1-2 PM. This data has them west of Warrensburg to west of Clinton. They could form just about anywhere, but mostly south of I-70. Temperatures will drop to the 70s if you get under one of these downpours. If you have outdoor plans this evening, such as the Royals-Cardinals game, the weather looks very good with temperatures dropping from the 80s to 70s as any thunderstorms drift south and away.

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SATURDAY: It will be a nice summer day with sunshine, light winds and highs around 90°. It is a great day to head to the pool.

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SUNDAY: It will be dry with lows 65°-70°, highs around 90° along with high clouds around here. Rain and thunderstorms, heavy at times, will be occurring across southern Oklahoma and Texas as a storm system forms down there. This storm system is due in part to the system that dropped south over us on Thursday. Also, a few thunderstorms may form in the afternoon across southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri.

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MONDAY: The storm system will head north and a nice area of rain and thunderstorms will likely affect most of Kansas and Oklahoma. Before we get even remotely excited that this will bring widespread rain to our drought stricken areas, keep in mind these areas below have seen decent rain this summer. Then, as the rain tracks into eastern Kansas and western Missouri it becomes scattered or falls apart. The rain will most likely become scattered as it moves in later Monday into Tuesday. Could it be a widespread event? Sure. Have we asked this question before? Sure. Have we had a widespread event during the spring and summer? NO. We will watch this one over the weekend and see how the data trends, but we know the most likely scenario.

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After the system exits we will go into northwest flow, which means more chances of thunderstorms. LOL.

Have a great weekend and let’s hope this next rain chance steps out of the box.

Jeff Penner

Hurricane Hector, The Mahomes Era Begins, Tailgating T-Storms?

Good afternoon bloggers,

First of all I am still in Hawaii. This was my first two week vacation in 33 years; in other words, the first two week vacation since I started my career. Yes, I am relaxed, and ready to come back to KC tomorrow. But, first Hurricane Hector is almost due south of me, take a look:

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Hector iis influencing Hawaii with high surf, as I am watching surfers deal with 10 to 12 foot waves.  And, we are now in the circulation of the storm and there has been an influence that I notice strongly, but I am not sure if anyone else around me is noticing. The clouds are so different today, with some interesting showers forming.  I am loving it.

Okay, let’s look at early next week before I get to today.  Look at the European Model solution for late Tuesday:

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The white areas next to the red show 1 to 2 inches of rain from a slow moving upper low that will spin by.  The Euro also showed NOTHING for today. Take a look at the 3:30 PM radar:

 

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These thunderstorms were moving south, so this likely means it will be dry for tailgating, but I am not there, so I am not able to look outside, so let me know.  Rule #1 of forecasting is always look outside, because you never know.

I will be back at work Monday. There has been a lot going on and I should come back refreshed and ready to go, until my next vacation in a week……….just kidding.

Have a great evening. Let me know how Mahomes looks in this first preseason game as our new leader. Thank you for reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go over to the Weather2020.com site to join in the conversation.

Garyy

Weird System to Watch

Good Wednesday bloggers,

The weather forecast through Monday is not too difficult. Partly to mostly sunny, highs around 90, lows 65-70 with one slight chance of rain. The one chance is Friday as a weak cold front drifts south.

The forecast for next Tuesday-Thursday is a bit more interesting as we will track two features. The first one is a weird system forming in the southwest Plains and the second is a cold front with a system coming in from the northwest.

Today we had a very weak disturbance drift south and it generated some very small, pulsing downpours in eastern Kansas. They are drifting south and may last until 10 PM. These may be the world’s smallest thunderstorms.

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The next chance for a few thunderstorms is on Friday as a weak cold front drifts south. I may have been generous in calling this a cold front.  It is more likely a surface trough as there is really no temperature change behind this alleged front.

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The feature that has a chance to bring us our next chance of at least scattered showers and thunderstorms is a weird upper low forming in the southwest Plains over the weekend. This data is from the 18Z NAM, and as I am writing this blog, the 18Z GFS is showing this feature develop over the weekend. Next Tuesday-Thursday we will see this low head northeast bringing an increased chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms. If it wanted to, it could be a widespread rain event. But, we know better. The only way we go for a widespread event is if we see evidence of it forming the day of the chance of rain. This is still the same ridiculous weather pattern.

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Have a great night and we will see how the new data trends with this next, weird system.

Jeff Penner

Mostly Paltry Rainfall

Good Tuesday bloggers,

Well, the rain played out pretty much how we thought. There were many locations that received under 0.50″ of rain. A few locations in KC saw 1″ to 2″ of rain. Northern Missouri, did see more amounts in the 1″-2″ range. The St. Joseph area saw 2″ to 4″ of rain!

Look at this photo of a rain gauge in St. Joseph. Thank you Jay Archer. That’s exciting!

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Here are some radar estimated rainfall totals from around the area. Remember, your rain gauge may read different as these are radar estimates.

Northern Missouri was the big winner for sure, but 5-10 more of these events is needed to end the drought and there are zero in the forecast.

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Locations south of I-70 did not see much either with amounts in the 0.10″ to 0.80″ range. There was a 1″ to 3″ pocket southwest of Ottawa.

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Rainfall in the Kansas City area was mostly around 0.25″ to 0.50″. There were some pockets that saw less than 0.10″ and a few lucky locations received 1″ to 2″.

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Yes, we need much more rain as mostly we just had a piddly event.

The weather pattern the next 5-7 days does not support much rain around here. Now, there may be isolated T-Storms Wednesday with a weak system and Friday with a weak front. But, most rainfall the next 7 days will occur from Oklahoma/Texas east to the southeast USA and north to the Tennessee Valley and eastern Midwest. Temperatures around here will be a bit above average with highs mostly around 90° the next 7 days.

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There is a a front and possible system towards the middle and end of next week that have potential to bring some rain, but we shall see.

Have a great night.

Jeff Penner

Another One of those Rain Events

Good Monday bloggers,

Well, here we go again and again and again and again. This next rain event for tonight and Tuesday is turning into a scattered event and the trend is toward less rain as we get closer to it. Sound familiar?

Here is our latest thinking.

A cold front is drifting south across the Plains and it is a decent front. But, it will become more ill-defined as it heads south which means our rain will be more disorganized. At least we will cool off  Tuesday into Wednesday.

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Here are the disturbances we are tracking as of 4 PM Monday. They will move east into our region later tonight and move out Tuesday morning. These hold our best rain chances for the next 7 days.

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TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT: You can see the heaviest showers and T-Storms are located in southern Iowa. The I-70 corridor has just a few yellow spots, meaning not many heavy rain areas. South of I-70, there is barely any rain.

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TUESDAY: The showers and T-Storms will exit during the morning, leaving a few showers behind during the afternoon. Highs will reach the low to mid 80s as the sun begins to peek out.

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RAINFALL FORECAST: This is a JOKE! Rainfall amounts will be trace to 1″ with the least south of I-70. As it stands now, the heaviest rain looks to occur from southern Iowa to northern Indiana where they are not in drought conditions. It would be nice to shift this thing south by 100-200 miles. It could happen at the last minute, but unlikely. If it does, we will update the blog. We will know later this evening if this could happen.

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A few showers and T-Storms may pop up Wednesday as a second system moves by, but overall we are looking dry into early next week after Tuesday.

Tomorrow is election day, remember to vote.

Have a great night.

Jeff Penner

A Smattering of Rain

Good Sunday bloggers,

We finally have a term for the rainfall pattern this spring and summer, a “smattering.” Before we take a look at the data for the one rain chance during the next 7 days, let’s look at some 2018 rainfall totals from around the area.

Here is the official rainfall total for Kansas City. It is taken at KCI and is most misleading. It shows that we are about 4″ below average rainfall. This is due to a freakish 3.29″ rain event on July 18th. A thin, small band of very heavy downpours stalled right over southern Platte county. There are a few locations around KC with this type of rainfall total, especially in Overland Park. Otherwise, most locations are not even close. See below.

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Olathe is 11″ below average.

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St. Joseph is getting close to a foot below average for the year with a little over 11″ of rain.

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Lawrence is also getting close to a foot below average rainfall.

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What we need to get rid of the drought is 5″-10″ of rain over a few weeks in all locations. What is in the forecast for this week, is not that.

SUNDAY: Today will be hot and humid with a breeze to help a bit. The front that will bring our next rain chance is sitting in Nebraska.

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SUNDAY NIGHT: Thunderstorms will light up in to a widespread event across Nebraska and Iowa where there is no drought at all. Our area will stay dry and mild with lows mostly in the 70s.

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MONDAY: The thunderstorms along I-80 will track east as the cold front sags south. We will have another hot and dry day with highs 95°-100°.

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MONDAY NIGHT-TUESDAY MORNING: The front will be drifting south across the area as disturbances move in from the west. This will create areas of rain and thunderstorms, but not all locations will see decent rain. Yes, here we go again.

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TUESDAY AFTERNOON: If you do not get the rain, at least all locations will see highs in the low to mid 80s. Some locations may stay in the 70s.

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RAINFALL FORECAST THROUGH TUESDAY: This data has the heaviest rain along I-70 and across southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri. The location of the heavier rain could end up anywhere, meaning 50-100 miles farther north or south. It depends on the exact track of the thunderstorms. This is the problem. Instead of having to say the heaviest rain could end up anywhere, it needs to be EVERYWHERE! Could this set up bring a widespread rain event? Sure, there are some models doing that. But, we are very hesitant to go for a widespread event until we see exactly how this is going to evolve. Especially, since we have seen zero widespread rain events this spring and summer.

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Have a great week.

Jeff Penner

One Main Rain Chance

Good Saturday bloggers,

We are tracking a weak system today that will bring clouds and a few showers. Then, a cold front and system move through Monday-Tuesday. These features will generate showers and thunderstorms, but I am sure you can guess the most likely scenario.

Let’s take a look at how the drought has evolved since May 1st.

The drought on May 1st was quite significant from southwest Kansas and points to the southwest. We were abnormally dry to moderate drought, but nothing a good rain or two couldn’t wipe out.

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Well, here we sit in early August and we are still waiting for that good rain or two, so now look at the drought. It is quite interesting. The drought has vanished from the southwest Plains as there has been many rounds of great rain during the last couple of months. Our drought has really intensified. There are two odd things about this drought. One, is that even though the drought has become more intense, it really has not expanded much. Usually droughts intensify and expand. Second, the exceptional drought in the southwest Plains has ended. Usually when a drought ends there during the summer, we are not in a drought. And, especially when there is no drought to the east. This is a regional drought that is getting worse, again odd.

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We have one main rain chance the next 7 days, and that occurs Monday into Tuesday. Let’s go through the forecast today through Tuesday. There is some heat in there as well.

SATURDAY: A weak disturbance will bring high and mid level clouds along with a few showers and possibly one or two small thunderstorms. Rainfall will be trace to 0.10″. Temperatures will drop to the upper 70s and low 80s if you receive a shower, otherwise highs will reach around 90°.

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SUNDAY: The heat will intensify as highs climb into the mid and possibly upper 90s. The humidity will increase as well, but at least there will be a breeze to take the edge off. The front in Nebraska will start to move south Sunday night.

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MONDAY: This looks like the hottest day of the week, out ahead of the front. Highs will reach 95° to 100° with a decent amount of humidity. There will be less wind as well.

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MONDAY NIGHT-TUESDAY: Here we go again. The cold front is moving south and it looks like the best chance of widespread rain will be across western Kansas and Illinois. Tuesday will see the thunderstorms increase across southeast Kansas and southern Missouri while our region is left with a smattering of rain. Yes, smattering is the new term until we can see evidence of a major rain event.

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RAINFALL FORECAST THROUGH TUESDAY: This is pretty much a visual representation of the term smattering. A few locations will see 0.25″ to 2″ while most will see none to 0.25″. The exact locations of the 0.25″ to 2″ rainfall is still not set in stone, but the bottom line, it is a smattering.

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Have a great weekend.

Jeff Penner

The Monsoon – Tropical Storm Hector – And Why Southern California Weather Is Beautiful & Boring

Good morning bloggers,

I will be leaving for Kauai, Hawaii tomorrow morning.  And, while I am there a potential hurricane will be heading west on a track that will most likely end up south of the Hawaiian Island chain.  Kauai is the farthest west island, and the mountains go just high enough, around 5,000 feet, that the orographic lifting (Mountain lifting) creates conditions for some of the wettest weather on earth.  The most precipitation in the United States and the world falls at Mt. Waialeale on Kauai in Hawaii. It rains an average of 460 inches a year on the tropical island mountain. The mountain peaks at just over 5,000 feet, which is just perfect for creating the conditions for these wet conditions. It is also perfect to create the conditions for too much rain, like what happened early this year, just a few months ago when 28″ of rain fell in less than 24 hours.  The post office on the north shore just opened this week, and now they have this threatening the island:

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This map above shows the Hawaiian Island chain being threatened by a major hurricane within a week.  I will be on that farthest west island of Kauai, which is just north of the system as you can see here clearly.on our analysis there is about a 50% chance this system tracks south of the islands, and close to a 50% chance it tracks north of the islands.  Either way, it will be an interesting storm to watch and monitor, especially since I will be there.  Kauai is that farthest west island. The one where the volcanic eruptions have been ongoing is the farthest west and largest island.  Hawaii rarely takes direct hits from hurricanes.  In 1992, the same year that south Florida was devastated by CAT 5 Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Iniki blasted the island that I am going to, Kauai with 140 mph winds, and the condo that I am staying out was pretty much destroyed.  Iniki stayed over the warmer waters, that are located south of Hawaii, and then turned north right into Kauai.  Hopefully Hector doesn’t quite do that.  Let’s monitor this closely as it becomes a hurricane and tracks west.

I am in Southern California right now in my home town of Los Angeles.  The summer monsoon has been producing some spotty showers and thunderstorms the past few days.  These thunderstorms are most likely over the mountains due to what is called orographic lifting, or rising air caused by the mountains.  The thunderstorms also form over the deserts, but rarely over the populated areas of Southern California near the coast. Why?  Look at these next two pictures I snapped:

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In areas near the Atlantic coast and Gulf coast, the water is warm and the humidity is high. This supports unstable air and thunderstorms form much easier. In Southern California, the Alaskan current flows south down the west coast with cool water being transported in from cool northeast Pacific Ocean.  This creates a stable lower layer and prevents the conditions favorable for thunderstorms.  The stable stratus clouds can be seen in both of these pictures, with the monsoon moisture above. The bright white cirrus cloud is actually an indication of the monsoon moisture.  Due to the strength of the upper level high height area, the thunderstorms have been spotty and weak over the mountains and deserts this week.

Rainfall Forecast: Next 15 Days

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Look at the rainfall forecast above closely.  And, notice how 2 to 4 inches of rain are forecast just southeast of San Diego.  This is and example of why it was always so frustrating for me as a young child growing up in LA.  Or, actually I didn’t know any better, and I thought the thunderstorms over the mountains with anvils occasionally spreading out over the coastal sky was exciting.  Once every few years, the monsoon would be strong enough to break through and produce rare coastal rain and thunderstorms, but that stable Pacific Ocean caused cooler lower layers often messed it all up.

Kansas City Weather:

It looks like there are a few light sprinkles or showers early this morning. These will fall apart, and then it will heat up into the 90s the next few days. The drought continues to worsen in our local area, while other areas just to our west have been getting adequate moisture.  The next decent chance of thunderstorms may arrive early next week. Jeff will get you updated over the weekend.  I will check back in from Hawaii in a few days.

Have a great day, and thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather 2020 and the cycling pattern. Go over to the Weather2020 blog and let’s share in this weather experience.

Gary

July Statistics Day

Good Wednesday bloggers,

It is hard to believe it is August 1st. The Chiefs have a home game against the Texans next Thursday, time is flying!  The first of August is also know as “July Statistics Day.” July 2018 was quite interesting and we broke a 5 year streak…Finally! On July 12th, we reached 100°, officially at KCI. This had not occurred since September 8, 2013. The lowest temperature of the month occurred the other day, 59°.  Rainfall was 5.29″, 0.84″ below average. This was misleading as some locations had much less rain which I will show below. Also, 3.29″ of the 5.29″ fell in one day, the 18th, when a freaky thin line of torrential downpours stalled over central Platte county.

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Here are the rainfall totals for July 2018 from around the area. Pleasant Hill and South OP saw some decent rain, but look at Downtown KC, 1.05″!  There were many locations that received around 2″ of rain. So, this is why the drought is getting worse. The rain is simply not widespread enough.

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There are almost no chances of rain through Sunday. There is a front to watch early next week that could bring, scattered T-Storms.

A weak cold front will slip into northern Missouri Thursday morning. A few showers and T-Storms will accompany this front, but certainly no drought busters. The front will stall and head north as a warm front Friday.

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Friday will be hot with highs in the low 90s. Then, Saturday will see more clouds as a system that produces thunderstorms from the Dakotas to New Mexico moves through. Yes, we will get clouds and maybe a sprinkle from the system. The next legitimate chance of thunderstorms is Monday-Tuesday with this front. The most likely scenario, no matter what a model shows, is for us to see scattered decent rainfall amounts.

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Here is the rainfall forecast for the next 7 days. The scattered green areas are around .25″ to 1″ and this falls mostly early next week. The shape outlined in yellow shows where the least amount of rain is forecast to occur. Does this shape look familiar? See below.

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The shape should ring a bell. It is in the shape of the current dry areas across the central and southern Plains. This is not a coincidence. These droughts can feed off themselves as not only are we in the same pattern, but the ground is drier, there is less evapotranspiration and so the thunderstorms tend to fall apart or be in lower coverage. Now, that being said, it does not mean we cant’ see one widespread rain event.  So odd.

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Have a great rest of the week.

Jeff Penner