Same Pattern, Tough Rainfall Forecast

Good Tuesday bloggers,

It is no secret that we need rain as the drought is increasing, north of I-70, in Missouri and continues across much of Kansas. It is also no secret that we have come to this position due to the weather pattern that set up in October and November and continues to cycle.


Let’s think back to what has been going on. First, we had set ups during the winter where it could have easily snowed more than 2-3″ as lack of Arctic air was not an issue. And, when those situations arose we had computer data, two to four days out, that was all over the place. Some data would have us with a major snowstorm (2″-6″), while at the same time there was data that had nothing for the same set up! We know how that turned out. The model that had nothing or the least amount of snow was the winner 100% of the time. This was likely due to the fact that we are in a part of the country where the storm systems are dysfunctional and the storm systems were mostly small scale around here.

May 25th saw 2″-4″ of rain in most locations south of the river with flash flooding in Independence. Again, this was a relatively small scale event. Then, this last weekend we tracked a huge complex of thunderstorms in Nebraska southeast into eastern Kansas and western Missouri. And, what happened? It fell apart in our area and produced 50-70 mph winds as the thunderstorms were collapsing.

So, we have a history of seeing localized very heavy rain to almost nothing in the Spring and as far the winter was concerned every single snow set up turned out to be a dud.

Now, here we go again. Thursday-Saturday we have a set up where disturbances will track out of the Rockies and head out into the Plains. These disturbances will interact with heat, humidity and a stalled front. The front will be wavering between I-80 and I-70. This set up along with the time of year is a recipe for thunderstorms, no matter what the pattern. However, we know this pattern and we have computer data just 2-3 days out that is all over the place.

Here is the rainfall forecast through Friday from the three main models we look at.

00Z TUESDAY EUROPEAN: The EURO has a trace to .10″ over all of Kansas and Missouri. This is a bit hard to believe as the upper level waves are there on all the models and it would be shocking to see no thunderstorms anywhere.


6Z TUESDAY GFS: This model does have much more thunderstorm activity than the EURO, but weakens them as they approach. Sound familiar? Remember, this is thunderstorm complex weather and any localized location can see more than 3″ of rain.


6Z TUESDAY NAM: This is the most exciting for our area with 3″-8″ of rain forecast right over KC. It arrives at this solution by first bringing thunderstorms south-southwest from Iowa Wednesday night followed by new thunderstorms forming on the left over boundary from the upper level waves. This is not unrealistic as the flow is weak and thunderstorm complexes could turn south-southwest. This is similar to the rainfall pattern from may 25th.


What do we believe? Well, the EURO seems too dry and at this moment we are throwing this out. It is June, there are waves, the dew point is near 70°, no way there are not thunderstorms in the region. The GFS and NAM have solutions that have occurred this season, so both are possible. The bottom line is that we are in a wait and see, on how this sets up. But, the NAM 7″+ bulls eye is not unrealistic, but the location of that bulls eye is up in the air at this moment.

Stay Tuned!

Jeff Penner

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