The Dry First Half Of June May Be About To Change

Good morning bloggers,

The weather pattern is fairly active across the northern third of the United States. This activity will attempt to shift south over the next few days. There continue to be many areas that have been very dry during this first half of June. If you remember, it was dry for the first 17 days of May near Kansas City as well, but then it got wet in the last two weeks of May.  Here are the rainfall totals for this month so far across parts of the plains:


Today’s Severe Weather Risk:


The best chance of tornadoes will be up in the northern part of that Enhanced Slight Risk area.  A low pressure system will be tracking across South Dakota today and the thunderstorms will most likely break through the cap near and northeast of the surface low that you can see on this 5 PM forecast below:


Look at today’s tornado climatology:


By one month from now the tornado probabilities diminish significantly, but not down to zero. All you need is some flow aloft during the summer and there still will be some severe thunderstorm set-ups:


The weather pattern evolving this week shows that the heat wave creating machine, the anticyclone as you can see where I placed the H on this map below, is weak and over the desert southwest. There is some pretty strong flow aloft working its way across the Pacific Northwest into the Great Lakes states. This will place the plains in strong enough flow aloft to produce severe thunderstorms over the plains. Each days set up is really complex.


There is a capping layer aloft today that areas south of the surface low will be dealing with. For storm chasers heading out into Nebraska it will likely take quite some time for the cap to break. This year has had these caps a few times but thunderstorms have formed in most of the set ups, so let’s monitor the cap and see if the thunderstorms develop near that cold front. It will be near 100 degrees over western Kansas ahead of that front and that should be enough heat to break it.  Once the thunderstorms form areas off to the east can then see how they organize and track into their areas. For Kansas City we may get some weakening thunderstorms early in the morning on Wednesday.


This weather pattern, for most of this cycling pattern that we have been experiencing since early October, has been one of the most complicated patterns for me to try to describe on the air and in the blog.  Kansas City had a winter where there were many storm systems approaching, but they would most often go through a transition as they moved across the plains.  This has happened with very few exceptions.  This late spring set-up again is showing why we have such a difficult forecast for thunderstorms over eastern Kansas and western Missouri.  Just look at the complexity in tomorrows surface forecast. A weakening cold front will be on Kansas City’s doorstep at 7 PM Wednesday. Thunderstorms will be possible near and ahead of this front. There is a new front, “frontogenesis”, developing over the plains and this will organize into a weak front that will be approaching Thursday. Then, incredibly, the same thing happens late Thursday into Friday with another front developing back to the west over the high plains again. This third front will be stronger and push through early in the weekend.


By Sunday, as you can see on this last map today, a much stronger front finally organizes and pushes through by Sunday. Between now and Saturday night there will be a few chances for thunderstorms and we will just have to see how each day sets up. We pretty much know how today is going to set up, but Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, all have complexities to the forecast, and this is why all of the chances of rain are 50% or less.

Have a great Tuesday and thank you for participating in this weather experience.


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