Weekend Storms – A running blog

1:05a Update
The SPC has updated their outlook for Sunday. In doing so, they have now placed the Northern section of our viewing area into the Moderate Risk zone. This means there is higher confidence in seeing some larger storms.

I still believe the afternoon timeframe is on track. But this new update from the SPC leads me to believe they are buying more into a solution like the RPM was spitting out: a large bowing segment dropping into the area, which would produce damaging winds over 70mph and perhaps large hail. To be honest, a few tornadoes would be possible as well, perhaps right along the state line. At this point, it’s still a bit too soon to nail down those features. But signals are pointing to a larger risk of severe weather just to the North of KC.

Kalee will be working later this morning and will have a forecast update during the morning newscast.
I will look over the 12z info and give another update in the late morning. I will then likely head to the station so that I can be on-site and prepared for whatever the atmosphere tosses at us.

9pm Update
Getting a first look at the new information for tomorrow. The first thing I’m thinking is: highly conditional. The 00z NAM model remains very quiet for us. It is suggesting that a quick little shower grazes though NW Missouri in the afternoon. Here is just one image, for the 4p timeframe.

On the other side of the coin, the RPM model is still screaming for storms in the area. This is the second run today to show a large, bow-like swath of storms moving over KC. This is from the 21z model run…

*HOWEVER*. I am just now able to see the output of the 00z run and it has backed off of the storms by a lot. The RPM is flip-flopping every run. I don’t like that. Gives me very low confidence in this model. So the NAM is staying consistent, but strangely quiet. Whereas the RPM cannot make up its mind. This is why JUST relying on the models can be tough.

I think we will get ourselves into another “wait & see” game for Sunday. I don’t like that. I want to give you a better confidence forecast than that. But I truly believe we have to wait and see where the sunshine sets up and then where the initial convection gets going. What does my gut say? I have a strong feeling SOMETHING will drift into our coverage area by the afternoon. And I have a feeling there could be a big storm somewhere; a storm that produces strong winds and perhaps large hail.

What should we takeaway for Sunday? Here’s are a few points to remember:
2 PM

I will leave you with another radar rainfall estimate. This should now be showing all the rain from earlier today. I have included a legend on the left side so you can get a better idea of the color coding.

7p Update
Quickly wanted to share with you the new radar estimated rainfall amounts. These have been updated since the last time I showed them. Pretty impressive numbers in Miami & Linn counties.

And here are the “official reports” from the NWS.
1 PM

As you can clearly see, there is a large spread in the numbers. Rain does not fall in uniform over large areas. Plus, the reporting sites are like little targets. The heaviest of the rain has to fall right into that collection bucket. Seriously, there could be a heavy downpour a block away from one of those rain gauge units and it may only read 0.25″. But a backyard rain gauge right under the heavy downpour shows 2.5″. Huge difference.
Also, while we’re talking about this, it is very similar in the Winter. This is why one person can say they had 8″ of snow at their place, but someone else just a mile away may have only had 2″. Just another reason why forecasting precip is never easy and any/all precip forecasts MUST allow for error. Nobody (man or machine) can predict an exact amount to a given location. All numbers must be used as a guide.

6:00p Update
At this time, the rain has moved out the Metro and we should be dry for the rest of tonight. One tiny cell has tried to redevelop near Leavenworth, but is already falling apart.
Heavier storms continue on the Eastern edge of our coverage area. This, however, continues to move East and as we go through the evening, it will decrease. I expect a bulk of the Severe Thunderstorm Watch to be cancelled soon.

4:40p Update
Reports via viewers and the NWS indicate some lucky locales picked up an inch to 1.25″ of rainfall. Early radar estimates are showing 1 to 1.6″ mainly South of the Metro. But this does not include what’s falling right now. I will have rainfall updates tonight at 10p. In the meantime, the back edge of the rain is getting closer to KC. We should be rain free in KC around 6p.

4:25p Update
No severe weather at this time, but storms may occasionally produce winds near 50mph. That’s enough to bring down some small tree branches and move around lightweight patio furniture. On the radar image below, notice the clearing to the West. Once this activity passes, we should be done for the night. But as I mentioned in my original update, we have another chance for severe weather again tomorrow afternoon.

The RPM forecast model is posted below, showing how the radar MAY look at about 7:30p tomorrow. As always, this just a model, it should be used as a guide and not a definite outcome of what will happen. The takeaway? Bowing storms out of Iowa, which would lead to some very strong winds. It is worth nothing, the RPM lately has been off by about two hours. So while this is saying 7:30p, something tells me it may happen a little sooner than that. In any event, this is all conditional on where convection sets up in Iowa tomorrow midday. The slightest change will alter everything.

3:25p Update
Thunderstorms off to the South and East of the Metro KC area will continue to move to the NE. I’ve circled the wide area of just rain that is now heading for the greater Metro area. Those who have not seen rain yet likely will as this advances closer.

2:30p Update
A Severe T-Storm Watch has been issued until 9pm tonight.
2 PM

2:25p Update
T-Storms are on the Eastern side of the Metro, getting set to impact those at the stadium watching the Royals. A fair amount of thunder & lightning in those storms as well. Meanwhile, about 65 miles to the SW, there is a wall of rain headed this way. I expect the t-storms to continue to move to the NE and produce small hail (near pea size) at gusty winds near 50mph. Already reports of power outages in Belton.
The rain to the SW will push this way as well and I expect that to show up in the Metro around 4:30p or so.


1:15p Update
Keeping this quick for right now. I just got into the station about 20 minutes ago. I am looking at all the new info as it’s coming out. On the way in, the clouds were certainly a lot thicker than they were a couple hours ago. This could be a GOOD thing. Limiting the amount of sun that hits the Earth will result in less energy being available for bigger storms.
Here’s the current satellite image…

And here is the radar:

Earlier this morning, the SPC was thinking about issuing a T-Storm Watch for part of the area. As of this writing, they have yet to do so. Below is their previous image showing what area they were referencing.

On another note. I do not think we are 100% in the clear for Sunday. The SPC has just added a Moderate risk area in Iowa. Latest models are showing storms dropping out of Iowa into our region by Sunday afternoon. Indications are they could be strong to severe.

While I hate to be the one to squash anyone’s weekend plans, the fact is: we have chances for storms. I encourage you to keep updated on the forecast *AND* be kind enough to alert others. If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably a weather junkie and already have a leg up on most people. But your brother, sister, aunt, uncle, next door neighbor, etc may not. Before they throw a massive pool party or something of that nature, make sure they know what the forecast looks like.

I’ll be on air with the latest at 5 & 6p tonight. I will try to update this blog post when I can throughout the weekend. You can also get updates from me on Twitter. Be safe.

Saturday Storm Chances

Good Morning Bloggers!

Alright who sprayed the edge of the rain and made it disappear? The storms moving east into the area is rapidly falling apart this morning.  A few showers will move in this morning, but not much rain out of it and no severe weather is expected this morning.


We will still have clouds and scattered showers through the morning, but most of the area will stay dry.  The clouds can still inhibit the threat for severe weather later this afternoon, but losing the rain isn’t helping.  Another line of storms will move in from the west later this afternoon along and ahead of cold front. Don’t cancel any outdoor plans because as the line pushes east it does weaken a little bit even this afternoon.  We will still watch for a few strong thunderstorms with strong winds and hail being the main threat.  Keep an eye on the sky later on or look at radar here and there.  This is very much a now casting event, so we will watch how this unfolds.


A few thunderstorms south of I-70 Sunday, but most of us will stay dry.  Another round of showers and thunderstorms will move in overnight Sunday into Monday morning and then again Monday night.


After the rain moves out on Tuesday morning, we will set up for an amazing holiday week.  High pressure will be in control of our weather with cooler  temperatures and dew points will drop so it won’t be as humid.  The Fourth of July forecast looks great, but we will keep a close eye on it throughout the week.



Rain is up for the month but down for the year

Good morning Bloggers,

DAILY ISOLATED T-STORMS: We have isolated rain/storm chances today into the weekend.


WEEKEND STRONG STORMS: Saturday we may see stronger and possibly severe  weather for Saturday… stay tuned.


RAIN TOTALS SO FAR: Let’s recap the rainfall totals for the month and year


For the month of June we are above 2 inches. We have received 6.41 inches of rainfall for the month thus far. By this point, we generally see 4.40 inches of rain.

However, we are in a deficit for the year.  We should normally see 18.23 inches by this time, yet we’ve only received 15.03 inches.

HOT AND HUMID TODAY:  Daytime high will reach the mid 80s, right where we should be for this time of year. We have an isolated shower and t-storm chance this afternoon, so most of the area will not see any rain, but will feel the heat the humidity.



Grab some popcorn

No rainfall this morning. We were a little suspicious from the get-go of the alleged MCS event impacting Kansas City. As discussed on the midday program Tuesday, it was entirely possible the whole thing would dive into Oklahoma. Well, that’s what happened. Yes, one of our computer models showed an event impacting KC. But as we say a lot, it was just one opinion and NOT a “for-sure” promise. We kept the chance of rain at 60%, meaning our confidence was low. Had we taken that up to an 80 or 90%, that would be the indication we had more confidence in it happening.
If that bigger event materialized, it would have traveled East down I-70 and right into KC. My thought is the activity that happened in Southern Kansas (where Wichita picked up record rainfall yesterday) altered the potential for that MCS to cruise East.
For most of us this morning, it was just simply a nice start to the day. I don’t think many are going to complain about that.

The visible satellite picture above shows the high cloud cover we have near KC. Meantime, you can see the leftover rain clouds in Oklahoma.

At this point, I see no reason why this afternoon will not be like the last two. Meaning? We’ll likely pop a few isolated thunderstorms in the heat of the day. I do not foresee severe weather at all today, but just be prepared for a stray storm between about 3pm and 7pm.
2 PM

A few of the short-range models are picking up on this…

While I don’t think this is the EXACT way it will shape up, it’s got a handle on it at least. We’ve seen this the last couple of days. Nothing widespread or organized is showing up. Just don’t be surprised to see more isolated thunderstorms this afternoon.

I am seeing some signals that something a little more organized could get going overnight into tomorrow morning in Eastern Missouri. A warm front should begin to lift across the state overnight and since we’ll be lifting air, I could see this generating some thunderstorms. We’ll continue to go over the newest forecast information and give an update later today. Gary will be on air starting at 4p today. I’m about to go on air for our Midday program; see ya there!


Enjoy today…the heat is coming back

9:30p Update
The radar is quiet, the clouds are breaking apart and we are headed for a pretty comfortable evening. Thanks to that late-day sunshine, our highs DID top the 80 degree mark for a short period of time.
Given the ground moisture, light winds and clearing sky, I would not be surprised if there were isolated areas of patchy fog early Tuesday morning. But as soon as the sun starts to rise, that should mix out.

I’m looking over all the new forecast stuff right now and I still have to say: I’m not terribly impressed with meaningful rain chances Tuesday or Wednesday. An “MCS” will likely form in Kansas Tuesday night, but given the wind setup just above the surface, it appears to take a dive into SE Kansas by early Wednesday morning.
There is still the potential for scattered sprinkles and showers in the afternoon on Wednesday, but right now nothing looks promising. The latest Powercast model indicates sprinkles are possible Wednesday, but not “for sure”.

Let’s focus on tonight for now and enjoy the fact we can sleep with the windows open and be comfortable. Have a great night and I’ll see you at 10p on 41 Action News.

4:30p Update
Small line of storms has formed in far NE Kansas and NW Missouri. This is slowly moving to the South/Southeast right now. I am not seeing a big threat of severe weather here. However, the NWS reports some people have spotted cold air funnels, like the one below.
While these may look ominous, they pose little threat since they are very weak and rarely make contact with the ground.

I believe this activity was spawned due to the break in the clouds we had in that area. You can see it in the previous satellite picture farther down the page.
Will it hold together and impact KC? It will be close. But my gut tells me it will begin to fall apart as it gets here. There could be *one* part of the line that sustains and pushes into the city. Overall, this activity is moving at a good clip, so if/when a shower gets into the city, I do not expect it to last long.
The latest still to go on 41 Action News.

3p Post

As expected, the clouds have hung around the area and helped to keep a lid on the temperatures. The visible satellite from outer space shows the coverage of these clouds.
There are a few breaks here and there up near the Hiawatha area and around St. Joseph. But for many areas the cloud should hold tough through the evening.

1 PM
Temperatures are responding to the decreased cloud cover in those select areas. Notice how Manhattan and St. Joseph are at 80°, whereas places like KCI and Olathe are in the mid 70s. The forecast high from last night of 79 appears to be on target for KCI. As mentioned last night, however, all it will take is for those clouds to break a little sooner and we could zoom up another degree or two.

Rainfall from last night was decent in many (but not all) areas. The official reports from the NWS look like this:
3 PM
Of course, your mileage may vary a bit. I saw radar estimates last last night of 2-3″ in some spots close to the Metro area.

Speaking of numbers, I did some number crunching today. Man, we are really putting a good dent in the drought this month. Again, these numbers come from official reporting locations and can vary once you go 10 miles outside of the given city. But, this shows us how wet this June has been.
Each of the major reporting sites in our coverage area is above average on rainfall for the month so far. Not bad.

With all this rain, some yards may need mowing. Thanks to the cooler temps today, this might be a good time to get it done! You may still have to dodge a stray shower South of the Metro tonight, but I don’t see it being too widespread at all. Or, you could always try to get it done tomorrow morning. Depending on when you have to be at work, of course.

Hey, maybe you’re thinking that pesky lawn mowing stuff can wait because the Royals are playing tonight. I wouldn’t blame you! If you plan to make the drive to Kauffman Stadium, here’s what to expect.
There is still a slim chance a shower floats by, but it does not appear to be anything significant.

The heat will return for Tuesday and based on the early info I’ve gathered from the forecast charts, it looks like Summer is eager to set in across the area. Wonder how much longer until we see 100° in the area…it might not be too long at all. I’m working on the forecast information and graphic making right now. I’ll have the latest starting at 4p this afternoon on 41 Action News.

Your air conditioner thanks you for the break today.

Dry Start to the Week

Good Morning Bloggers!


Great sunrise this morning after the rain fell apart.  We did get a good amount of rain overnight though and here is a look at the rainfall totals from yesterday into the overnight hours:


The cold front that has been slowly moving through this morning is now in the southern part of our viewing area.  It will stall out there this afternoon, so we may have a few showers and thunderstorms pop up, but it will be for areas south of I-70. Here is the surface map and you can see the front:



Most of us will stay dry for the rest of the day AND it will be COOLER!   Temperatures will stay in the upper 70s and lower 80s this afternoon, so enjoy the outdoors.  The heat returns Tuesday through the weekend with temperatures in the upper 80s and lower 90s.  There will be several chances for rain between now and the weekend as well.  We will talk about those chances tomorrow.  Enjoy today!

Kalee Dionne


Sunday night storms

Midnight Update
The rain is still falling in parts of the Metro, but the severe threat is over. Everything continues to drift to the South/Southeast. The main t-storms have pushed out of the area and the light to moderate rain remains. Those in KC North and points North, are pretty much done for the night. However, those South of I-70 (and those in the Marshall vicinity) will continue to see precip for a little while tonight.

I have not seen any new rainfall reports but the radar suggests a pretty good swath of .75″ or higher. The reports and official observations will filter in by morning so be sure to watch Kalee and 41 Action News Today for the latest.

Recall earlier this week we started talking about a system that could bring heavy, soaking rain to the area Sunday night and Monday. It appear this is that system and it arrived just a tad early. So we’re getting the rain tonight instead of tomorrow. As long as the ground gets a good drink, it doesn’t really matter when it falls!

Have a great night and I will see you again starting at 4p Monday.

9p Update
Rain & storms materialized and moved right through the city. As expected, it has produced heavy rain and some strong winds. Here’s a quick update of the radar.
This line will continue to slowly work its way South and dump some heavy rain. I’ve taken reports of 1-2″ of rain from the Atchison, and the radar estimate amounts near 3.50″ in the Hiawatha area. The radar also suggests 2.30″ just to the SW of St. Joseph.

I’m also watching the activity in Western Kansas. There is a chance this tries to get to our area overnight, but I have a feeling it will wind up diving to the South and impact areas such as Tulsa for Monday morning.

At this rate, when it comes to Monday, it appears more and more like we’ll just see a cloudy sky with a few hit & miss storms possible in the afternoon (but not widespread). I’m looking over the new info now and will have the latest forecast tonight at 10p on 41 Action News.
If you have any photos from the rain/storms tonight, feel free to share them on our webpage or Facebook page!

Sunday afternoon update

Typed at 3:15p

Been keeping eyes on the radar all afternoon; those who follow on Twitter have seen that. And while earlier in the day, the Storm Prediction Center was mulling over issuing a T-Storm Watch, it has yet to happen. That said, I do still believe we have a shot at a few storms later tonight.
The radar right now looks like this:

The activity in Northern Missouri is pushing off to the East. But I am watching two other areas. The first being in Western Iowa. That development appears to be trying to move to the Southeast. Also, in the last few minutes, new storms have bubbled in Northcentral Kansas, North of my hometown of Salina.

Up top, on the visible satellite,  here is how all of this looks:

You can see the cloud bubbles through Kansas, almost right along I-70 and then down to SW Kansas. There’s certainly enough heat out there to get the puffy clouds going. But will they produce anything? The environment appears ripe for it and whatever does form could produce large hail. At this time, that looks like the biggest threat. The other impact from these storms may be high wind gusts near 50mph. Again, that would be with the storms that decide to form.

I will tell you, after looking over ALL of the afternoon forecast information, none of the models have a very good handle on this. Even the short-range, high-resolution convective models are struggling with initialization (matching up with what’s actually happening right now). When I pull up those various model and see what they said was supposed to be going on at 3p, I was not impressed. This gives me far less confidence in what they spit out as a solution for later on tonight. And over these last few days, there has not been a “go-to” model that’s been getting it right.

For example, look at this image I put together earlier:

The consensus is for storms to be in the area by about 7p tonight. But all of these models failed to pick up on what’s happening now (the activity in Northern Missouri, the thin line forming in West Iowa). So I am suspicious. Even our in-house “Microcast” models (based off the NAM but tinkered with) did not pick up on what’s going on now. And then those models did NOT show anything moving through the area at 7p. Matter of fact, four of the six versions of Microcast said NOTHING moves through KC tonight. So needless to say, if you’re just looking at the models, it’s a head-scratcher.

But studying the radar and the satellite, I *do* think we’ll see storms fire up in Kansas, along that I-70 area. I also have a feeling some of the activity in Iowa will drift to the South and spark a few storms near the Metro. What time? I would still like to believe the 6-8p window is best to start seeing development in our area. Out of all the models, I feel the HRRR has handled things best (certainly not perfect). It actually has the storm North of Salina developing on time and then sort of fills in with storms to the East as the evening wears on. It also depicts storms form along those cumulus clouds in Southwestern KS as well.

Looking ahead…
We had been expecting a good chance of rain for Monday with this next wave passing through. However, the more I look at the data for Monday, the less impressed I am. To be honest, the chances don’t look that great. It will likely be cloudy all day and appear like it WANTS to rain; but something tells me we’ll have some disappointed people out there. There will probably be some pockets of rain, but as of right now, I am not optimistic about “good” rain falling across the area.

I’ll be on air with the forecast tonight at 5p & 10p. In the meantime, I’ll be updating twitter with info as I see it. Meantime, back to work! Still have a lot of graphics to make for the newscast.

Hot and humid with t-storms by this evening

Good morning Bloggers,

The heat goes on… daytime highs will continue to heat to the upper 80s.  It will feel even warmer, with heat index values reaching the mid to upper 90s.


Here are your t-storm chances for today:

rain chances sunday

By the lunch hour today, most of the region will be dry with a mix of sun and clouds.


By the late afternoon, there’s an isolated t-storm chance across the KC metro area, but scattered t-storms are possible across eastern MO and from NE KS to NW MO.


By sundown, scattered t-storms are possible across KC.


Severe weather is possible this afternoon and evening. Large hail and damaging winds are possible



Are you going to Bark at the Park?  Make sure you and your dog stays hydrated.



World Cup fever: Cheering on Team USA at Power and Light? It will be hot there too!


I’d love to see how you are spending your Sunday, so share pics with me on my twitter account @MichelleApon.


The wetter weather pattern likely continues

Good Saturday afternoon bloggers,

I did my presentation of the LRC at the AMS conference, and I posted some excerpts on the Weather2020 site.  It really went over well and I am pleased with the response.  I am currently on the airplane heading back to Kansas City. And, I just analyzed the pattern:


Today is the first day of summer and the weather pattern continues to cycle but weaken.  The jet stream retreats north all the way into late July and early August. As this happens severe weather season usually ends. It has been a rather active ending in Iowa and Nebraska to the north. And, it appears that there will be some more risks up north, and a good chance of some thunderstorms in our area for the next ten days or so which will take us into early July. I love it!

Have a great day, and JD will update you tomorrow.  Here is a look at many of the attendees at the conference:

AMS Entire Group Closer

You can click on the picture for a larger view. Can you pick me out?  I am off through Monday and return on Tuesday.