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Random rumbles may be as “bad” as it gets

Second verse, same as the first… a little bit louder and your bubble it will burst. I took creative licence with the lyric.

Some thunderstorms are likely overnight tonight, but the bark may be the worst thing about them. Latest trends today indicate the threat for severe weather Tuesday afternoon will not happen in our area. Let’s break this down (and not like M.C. Hammer did in the 90s).

This is the area to watch for storm development tonight after about 9/10pm.
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Most of the guidance agrees that this will be the area to focus on for thunderstorms to get going once all the dynamics get into place.
The latest look at the high resolution HRRR model claims the radar will look like this by midnight.
HRRRMidnight

The NAM takes a similar approach, but says the activity hangs back a little more to the West.
NAM Midnight

So I will stick with saying that the area highlighted below has the best chance to hear thunderstorms tonight.
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If you sleep through most noise, then you may not hear this stuff tonight. At worst, maybe one or two stronger cell develop that produce small hail. That looks to be it for the threat tonight.

On Tuesday afternoon, there will likely be redevelopment of thunderstorms late in the day (after 5pm), but only our far Southeastern counties have the chance of seeing anything.
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This is what the NAM believes will happen tomorrow at 6pm.
NAM 6pm

And this is our in-house Powercast model, showing tomorrow night, which keeps things a little more West.
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This is not to say it’s impossible for a storm to form farther West and even North, but the trend has been to push the activity more and more out of our coverage area.

With all this thunderstorm talk, it’s a good idea to remember that severe weather is around the bend for us. Coming up in a couple weeks, we’ll have our annual severe weather special air. Gary will present his forecast for the Spring and our team will give you some tips on how to be prepared for severe weather season. Plan to watch or at least set the DVR!

In the meantime, I invite you to check out my Weather Wise segment on KSHB.com. In most of the videos, I answer your questions. However, this week and next week I will focus on severe weather. In the latest video, I debunk some common myths about tornadoes.
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I will continue to keep eyes on the radar tonight and provide updates as needed. The takeaway from all of this is: it will NOT be a severe weather outbreak. Anyone talking it up that way should be slapped with a “Hype” sign and then promptly tarred and feathered. Do they still do that anywhere? I digress.

You’ll be able to find weather updates (as needed) on my Twitter feed, and of course a complete check of the radar  on our 10pm newscast tonight.
-JD

Dry Today, Thunderstorms Tonight

Good Monday bloggers,

A cold front is moving through as I am writing this at 7 AM.  This front has dropped temperatures more than I thought.  It is in the 30s at KCI.  This front will stall and become a warm front this evening.  The front in combination with a system from the Rockies will generate thunderstorms this evening in central Kansas.  They will head our way later tonight.  These will be the first flashes of lightning in our area since October 9th, 165 days ago.  The new data is trending towards less rain, but we should still see some beneficial amounts.

Lets go through the next 24 hours and also talk about the chance of severe weather Tuesday.

7 AM MONDAY CONDITIONS:  The cold front is still heading south and will stall in southern Kansas and southern Missouri this afternoon.

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3 PM MONDAY: The clouds will be increasing and the rain gauges will still be at 0.00″  It will be cooler with highs in the low 60s.

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MIDNIGHT TONIGHT: Thunderstorms will be moving in from central Kansas.  A few thunderstorms will have very heavy rain and small hail.

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5 AM TUESDAY: The thunderstorms will be moving through and to the east.  Rainfall totals will be in the .25″ to 1″ range.  There is a trend towards the lower totals, but thunderstorms can add up faster than the models say.  Lets hope for the heavier amounts, we need it.  There may be an isolated thunderstorm with a quarter sized hail report.  This would mean do not be surprised if there is 1-2 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings

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7 AM TUESDAY: The rain and thunderstorms exit with left over drizzle and a few showers.  Rainfall totals: .25-1″.

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OK, now on to the the threat of severe weather Tuesday afternoon.  There are growing signs that the colder air will hold tough and the warm sector will be over southern Missouri. This would mean the best chance of severe weather would be located from I-44 south.  In our area we would see drizzle and a few showers and thunderstorms.  Also, there is a trend towards this system not really coming together until it is further east.  This is NOT set in stone and will need further updating. Meteorologist JD Rudd will be in this afternoon and night with an update on the NOW KC at 4 pm and on 41 Action News at 5,6 and 10.  Gary is back Tuesday.

TUESDAY 5 PM: This is our latest thinking with 40s and 50s north of the front to 60s and 70s south.

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Have a great week and enjoy the thunderstorms.

Jeff

Cooler Monday, storm chances Tuesday

The madness of March isn’t just for the hardwood. While the wheat may be a little more sweet in Wichita tonight, the atmosphere looks to provide a show if its own by Tuesday.

First things first: Monday.

We could see a couple of weak showers and perhaps a rumble or two of thunder early Monday morning in Northwestern Missouri. This doesn’t look like much of anything, but in the event someone around St. Joseph hears a couple low rumbles, do not be surprised. The 18z NAM suggests this is how the radar may look at about 3am:
3am NAM

Most of Monday will be dry and cooler, with highs in the lower 60s. Overall, a fine day but nothing compared to this weekend. An afternoon pop-up shower or two is possible in Eastern Kansas, but would be isolated should it happen. The best time to see that would be after about 4pm.

Business picks up by Monday night as we’ll watch for showers and thunderstorms to develop in Central Kansas after 9pm and then move to the East-Northeast. Going back to the NAM again, this is what it believes the radar will look like at 11pm Monday:
11pm Monday

To be blunt and fair: the models will likely change a few times before Tuesday, so those trying to pinpoint a bullseye area are welcome to keep guessing. Don’t forget how we were treated this winter. Just because the temperatures are warmer, doesn’t mean we won’t be chasing geese here and there with the computer guidance. I have a feeling we’ll see this a few times this storm season: models will say one thing two days out, and then something else the day before.

As it all stands right now, I think we have a shot at some thunderstorms Monday night after 11pm to the North of KC. The best chance for thunder will be in the very early morning hours of Tuesday, primarily in the area I’ve highlighted.
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Again, I do not see this being a severe outbreak, but given the cold air aloft, there could be a fair amount of thunder and lightning. Thus, there may be a lot of bark but little bite Tuesday morning.
I think we could wind up seeing some very heavy rain along the Iowa/Missouri line with this batch of thunderstorms too. It’s possible we get some non-severe hail out of this as well. If we were to get one severe t-storm warning, it would not surprise me. It’d like be based on hail and for a cell that quickly pulses up. Overall, painting with a broad brush, many of us should not experience severe weather Tuesday morning. Severe being a storm with hail over 1″ in diameter and/or wind over 58mph.

The biggest question is: how much do we recover in the afternoon? If clouds and rain linger into the early afternoon, this would limit our chances for redevelopment later in the day Tuesday for a second round of storms.
However, given some of the upper dynamics depicted by the latest guidance, we have to allow for the chance of redevelopment. And should it get going, this is where we could see our first severe storms of the season.

Here again, I have highlighted the area that I think has better chances at seeing severe weather Tuesday afternoon to evening. The 4p to 8p window is for development of the storms, not how long they will last. Should the storms get going early, the should leave early. Conversely, if things start later, the storms may linger a bit longer.
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If this activity does materialize, these storms could produce a good amount of lightning as well as some severe hail and strong winds.
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As you can see, my concern for tornadoes is low right now. It would mainly be a hail and wind event.
I think the takeaway for Tuesday is this:
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Just as fast as we jump into strong thunderstorms, we revert back to late Winter for the second half of the weekend. Indications are that we’ll have highs in just the 40s and lows in the 20s.
This is how the Euro model sees temperatures by Saturday morning.
Euro Saturday
Hey, at least we aren’t the only ones getting the cold.

The tug-o-war between Spring and Winter will likely continue for the next couple of weeks before Spring ultimately wins out. Unless, of course, Winter decides to pull an upset and send Spring packing for the year…Madness!

I’ll be in for Gary one more time Monday and have an updated forecast starting at 4pm. Catch Kalee Monday morning & Jeff at Midday, then Gary is back Tuesday. Our team will keep you updated and informed on all of this.

-JD

Changes Around the Corner

Good Sunday bloggers,

Today will be yet another gorgeous day with highs in the mid 70s and a 5-15 mph wind.  Enjoy today as rain and thunderstorm chances increase and colder air moves in.  This is the nicest day of the next 7 days.

This is how the day started with a beautiful sunrise over the Sprint Center.

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The changes begin with a weak system Monday morning.  There will be a few showers for the morning rush hour as the cold front drifts through.

7 AM MONDAY:

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This weak front is the trigger for the bigger changes.  The cold front will stall across southern Kansas and Missouri and become a stronger warm front.  This warm front will be south of our area Monday night as the first in a series of disturbances heads east out of the Rockies.  This will create thunderstorms Monday night in the cooler air across Kansas and Missouri.  The peak of the activity will bee around 2 AM Monday night-Tuesday morning.  Some of the thunderstorms will have very heavy rain and small hail.  A few may contain marginally severe hail. Rainfall in most areas will be .25″ to 1″.  There will be some localized areas that have the potential of 2-3″ of rain.

2 AM TUESDAY:

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The forecast for Tuesday is complicated.  We could see severe thunderstorms, however it is far from set in stone.  The questions are:

1. Where will the warm front be set up?

2. How warm will it become near the front?

3. What is the track of the next disturbance from the Rockies?

4. Where will a surface low track?   I may be missing a question or two.

It will take until later Monday to get this figured out.  There is even a third system for Wednesday that could bring a few new showers/thunderstorms.  Freezes are likely Thursday and Friday, one could be a hard.

All of a sudden it is getting active.  Meteorologist JD Rudd will have an update later today.

Enjoy the Super Sunday.

Jeff

Near Perfect & Our First Thunderstorm

Good Saturday bloggers,

The weather today  for the first full day of Spring will be about as nice as it gets.  We are looking at sunshine, near 70° and a light wind, near perfect!

HIGHS SATURDAY:

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Sunday will warm even more as a small system organizes in Nebraska.  Highs will be near 90° in western Kansas with highs in the 40s and 50s in Iowa.  We will add a bit of Gulf of Mexico moisture and a few showers and thunderstorms will be possible Sunday night-Monday morning, mostly north.

HIGHS SUNDAY:

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SUNDAY AFTERNOON SET UP:  A few showers and thunderstorms may form in eastern Nebraska Sunday evening.

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This weak system will drop south and the cold front will drift through early Monday.  Then on Monday night this front will stall south of I-70 and become a warm front.  Dew points in the mid 50s will surge north and meet the warm front then over ride it Monday night.  This will be the set up for our first thunderstorms since October 9th.

MONDAY 7 AM: We will see a few showers along the cold front.  Most of the rain will be across northeast Missouri.

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LATER MONDAY NIGHT: There they are, the first thunderstorms since 10/09/14.  This model as the heaviest north of I-70, but it could form further south or even further north.  These thunderstorms may have very heavy rain and small hail, but the severe threat is very low.  The thunderstorms will exit quickly Tuesday morning.

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Tuesday will be windy, warmer and more humid.  Then, Wednesday a cold front will push through.  Thunderstorms will likely form on this front and they could become severe.  At this time it looks like the front will be well south and east of KC when this occurs, so I-44 and off to the east will have the best chance for severe weather.  We will be watching this closely and have updates as we get closer.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the near perfect first full day of Spring!

Jeff

Great weekend ahead & we talk storm stats

It is kinda nice when the calendar and the atmosphere are in sync. Not only is it Friday, but it’s also “officially” the first day of Spring. All things considered, you couldn’t ask for better weather. I know… some want more rain. It’s coming.

For the weekend, we should see highs around or just above 70° both days and a fair amount of sunshine. There is a chance for a late day shower on Sunday, thanks to a system that will be in Eastern Nebraska. To those headed toward Omaha for the big basketball game Sunday, here’s what to expect.
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Closer to home, Sporting KC has a match tomorrow night. It should a fantastic night for soccer. If you cannot make it to Sporting Park, catch the game on 38 The Spot.
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Indications still suggest some morning rain showers Monday. However, I do not see temps getting as cold in the morning, so the fears of snow/rain mix have greatly decreased.

By Tuesday, a warm front will lift across the area, followed by a cold front sweeping in quickly from the West. Depending on the timing, we could get our first rumbles of thunder of the season. Some have already asked: is there a chance for severe weather? I’ll put it this way: between March and June, there’s always a “chance” of severe weather when a cold front comes rolling through.
As of right now, nothing stands out to me. But it is all about timing. If that warm front arrives early enough and we get some daytime heating, then the cold front passes through at the right time, yes, there could be a few stronger storms that develop. For now, I’m just calling for a chance of thunderstorms. Tuesday is still four days away.

Speaking of severe weather, it’s been a while since any has visited the area. I compiled these stats on Thursday, take a look how long it’s been since we’ve had a thunderstorm warning for the area.
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And it’s been a while since there was a tornado warning as well.
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For some parts of Northeast Kansas, it has been 288 days! No kidding there.

The fine folks over at the Iowa Environmental Mesonet published this map, showing the various National Weather Service (NWS) offices and how long it’s been since each office has issued a tornado warning. Considering how the plains is supposed to be an active area, it’s been a while.

TorWarns
The Topeka NWS office is the one that really stands out. Amazing.

Statistically speaking, March is not a very active tornado month for the KC area. However, business picks up in April and May.
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So while it’s been nice getting the needed rain, before too long we’ll be seeing–and hearing–the real sign of Spring: thunderstorms. I know some cannot wait for that. However, be mindful that your storm joy can bring total devastation to someone else. It’s a delicate balance.

We will continue to update the forecast as we move closer to Tuesday. Check back with us and be mindful of those who simply want to scare you in order to get you to watch or read their product. You’ll probably hear how the “sky is going to fall” from the usual suspects.

Have a great weekend,
-JD

PS: For those wondering, yes, the blogs have been a little short this week. Lots of extra things happening behind the scenes that I’m excited to share with you soon. For perspective, let me give you a timeline of my average work day this week.

Noon – arrive at the station & start gathering items I’ll need for the day (my earpiece, clipboard, forecast worksheet, fill up water bottle)
12:30p – Start looking over all the model info and being the forecast process; do any needed research for specialized graphics to use on TV
1:30p – Start working on a few graphics (temperature maps, Powercasts, etc)
1:45p – Attend daily news layout meeting to discuss format of shows & where my “hits” (aka: on air segments) will be
2:00p – Back to forecasting and graphic making, occasionally assist in troubleshooting small items on a side project
2:15p – Make sure I’ve tweeted something and checked Facebook page. Push out updates as I see fit
3:00p – Time to go comb my hair and put on makeup, then get wired up and begin shooting web video forecast & evening TV teases
3:15p – Edit said videos
3:30p – Write up a unique synopsis of what I think I am going to say on air, add it to our Closed Captioning system for the 4, 5, & 6p newscasts
4:00p – The Now KC begins. While working this show, continue to build graphics, add in closed captioning, & update the website forecast
5:00p – 5pm Newscast
5:30p – Double check all i’s and t’s have been crossed in terms of daily work (is the web updated, have I Tweeted & Facebooked, is there any new forecast info I can check)
5:40p – Work on new graphics for the 6pm newscast, begin writing a blog
5:55p – Live 6p tease in the studio
6:00p – 6pm Newscast
6:30p – Start work on “Special Project” (that I can’t mention much about yet)
7:30p – Forcefully stop my work and go eat some food
7:45p – Finish out the blog if I haven’t done so already
8:00p – Continue working on the Special Project as well as start looking over new forecast information
8:30p – Make new graphics for the 10p newscast
9:00p – Make any changes to the forecast, start working on discussion note to next meteorologist on duty
9:30p – Record new web forecast video. Edit it and also update website forecast text
9:45p – Finish any new graphics, get set for mic check, double check my hair and makeup
10:00p – 10p Newscast
10:25p – Finish note to next meteorologist, save out graphics that can be used again on the morning show
10:35p – Wrap up any unfinished work on the Special Project
10:45p – Begin to power down computers and clean up work area; double check all tasks for the day have been completed
11:00p – Head home

Rain wraps up tonight

As expected, the light to moderate rainfall has been drifting across the area today. Getting a good soaking rain helps out in so many ways. I know not everyone is a fan of the rain, but we need it; badly. It’s already helping the grass look a bit greener.
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So far tonight, this is what the rainfall totals look like in the last 48 hours.
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I’ve also had a viewer report from 3 miles West of Leavenworth of 0.44″ total for the last two days. In typical fashion, your personal rain gauge may vary slightly.

The rain should depart the area later tonight. One final band should pass through this evening. Right now, it’s over the Southern Kansas area.
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Given the moisture in the ground and light wind for Friday morning, it’s possible we wind up with low clouds and even a little patchy fog. I expect that to be gone by the afternoon with sunshine returning to many areas. Temperatures should respond to that March sunshine. For those who did not get much moisture, it should really warm up.

If you like Friday, you’ll love the weekend. Check out the setup for Saturday.
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I think we’ll see more of the same on Sunday.

For the first half of the week, we will continue with small shower chances. And I cannot rule out some flurries or a light wintry mix along the Iowa state line early Monday. Again, I do not see meaningful accumulations out of this and for many, it’ll just be light rain.

Tomorrow I plan to go in detail about our lack of severe weather in the area this year. Some of the numbers may surprise you. It’s only a matter of time before the rain brings friends: thunder, hail, tornadoes. Severe season inches closer.

I’m off to the Red Cross tonight to speak to their volunteers and to talk a little bit about my win on Let’s Ask American last fall. Still cannot believe I was able to raise $27,500 for disaster relief. I know it will go to good use with the Red Cross.

Soak up the rain,
JD

Not happy with the rain today–just wait

If you haven’t refreshed the radar at least ten times today, you’re not a real weather geek. Everyone has been watching the radar to see where the rain is/was falling. Here this evening, the rain is pulling off to the East. But not before another small batch of light showers drifts over the Metro.
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I expect showers to linger through about 9pm or so for the Metro as this whole thing advances East.

As of publishing time, these are the rainfall amounts so far today:
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I know, many aren’t happy with this. You’d like to see a little more rain; I understand. I mentioned on air last night that the Wednesday moisture may only turn out to be a tenth of an inch to under a half inch at best, based on the info I saw right before air time. As many of you know, we are lagging on liquid moisture for the year.

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Much like the popular golf game on The Price is Right, we get a second chance at rain tomorrow. Latest indications suggest another swath of rain will move over the area. This is how the radar may look tomorrow if the NAM is right.
1pm ThursNAM

Our in-house models are lining up similar to this, so there is decent confidence we’ll see a few pockets of moderate rainfall at times. That said, like today, I don’t expect this to drop copious amounts of rain. Another tenth to a third of an inch seems plausible. This would bring two-day totals to around a quarter if not a half inch. Not everywhere for everyone, but in general. Please keep that in mind.

Spring begins on Friday and it’s like the atmosphere knows it. Sunshine returns and temperatures should pop up into the 60s. Saturday appears to be the best day, with highs around 70.
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To peek a bit ahead, we have small rain chances for Monday and again next Wednesday. I still think it’s possible we see a wet snowflake early Monday morning along the Iowa/Missouri line. However, it should not amount to much of anything.

If you plan to spend Thursday at home, under a blanket, watching the rain… I envy you! Here’s to hoping those wanting the rain, get a fair amount at their location.
-JD

Here Comes the Rain!

Good Wednesday bloggers,

Finally, we are getting some rain.  This ends the fire danger for now, washes off the yucky salty streets, sidewalks and parking lots.  Also, helps the yard, especially if you put fertilizer down.

The main area of rain is still to the south, but it is headed north then will stall for awhile.  We need this.  Tonight the rain will taper to showers and drizzle, before it intensifies again Thursday.

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It looks like rainfall totals 40-50 mile either side of I-70 will range from .50″ to .80″, some spots could see 1″.  This is great news.  The rain exits Thursday night, leading to a very nice Friday.

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Meteorologist JD Rudd will have an update later today.

Have a great day and go sing in the rain!

Jeff

Rain to reign on Wednesday

We’ve been talking about it for a while and now as we draw closer, the odds appear to be going up faster than the temperatures dropped today: rain. Wednesdays should bring some much needed rain to the area. The latest indications suggest those who live South of I-70 have the best shot at some good soaking rain, while those more along the Iowa & Missouri line will not see much.

Right now, the feeling is that the rain will move into the Metro KC area around the lunch hour Wednesday. The general window will be from 11a-1p for the rain to start. From there, it may wind up raining at least off and off through the better part of the afternoon.
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So where is this system tonight? We have to look to the South in parts of Texas. The water vapor image really picks up on the activity.
sat_wv_us_loop-12

I expect that swirl to gyrate this way overnight into Wednesday morning. No rain expected overnight, but it will be cold. Lows should fall to around freezing tonight. Had that moisture arrived sooner, we could be talking a little snow in the forecast!
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So I think the area in light green has the lower chances of seeing some spotty showers here and there. The area in dark green, that’s where I think we’ll see periods of actual rain in the afternoon.
Despite the clouds, we should warm into the low 40s tomorrow. Then, once the rain starts falling, we may slip to right around 40°. Thus, it will be a cold rain.

Looking around the region, you can see the effect that rain will have on our temperatures.
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When it comes to Thursday, there could be some lingering showers here and there. Overall, I’m not too impressed with Thursday’s chances until after sunset. Then we’ll have watch a little slug of moisture move in from Central Kansas. That bit of rain may slide straight East and stay South of I-70.

As far as amounts go for Wednesday, a general tenth of an inch to as much as just over 3/4 of an inch are certainly possible. The best location to see the heavier rain would be on the Missouri side, just South of I-70. This is just one suggestion, but it’s from the RPM model.
RainAmounts

We’ll take any rain the atmosphere decides to give us, that’s for sure.

Kalee is in tomorrow morning and will have the latest update for you, then Jeff will be tracking the radar at midday, and I’m back for the 4, 5, 6, & 10p newscasts. My advice: take the rain gear with you when you leave for work or school. You may not need it then, but coming back home you will!

-JD