Thunderstorms In The Forecast!

Good morning bloggers,

It may look cloudy and cold outside, but we have a warmer tropical air mass that has been transported northward into Kansas City overnight and into early this morning. Temperatures warmed up to 66 degrees before sunrise.  This low level humid air has been the fuel for a few very heavy to strong thunderstorms already this morning. One of them has been tracking over the driest area across northern Missouri.

1There is a slight risk of severe thunderstorm activity today.  This first map shows the slight risk area which does include Kansas City. So far the only marginally severe thunderstorm was tracking into Livingston county just west of Chillicothe between 7 and 8 AM and this is just out of the slight risk area. We are expecting new thunderstorm development this morning and there may be a few very heavy thunderstorms that become strong to marginally severe. These should be developing in a band just west of Kansas City and then they will be tracking eastward. Let’s see where these develop, but as I am writing this a band of showers and thunderstorms was increasing across central Kansas and south into Oklahoma.


Warm & humid air surged in from the south overnight and this is now the fuel for the thunderstorms. Take a look at that surface map, above. We are only about half way through this three day storm that has already produced some nice rainfall totals.  Here are the rainfall totals from Tuesday:


Conditions will become favorable for thunderstorm development between now and noon as a disturbance rotates around the main storm system. And, then later tonight the main storm system will move into Kansas and combine with an advancing cold front to bring wide spread rain with a few very heavy thunderstorms into Thursday morning. This disturbance will pass through in time for it to dry out for the Trick or Treating tomorrow evening. It will be close but the rain should clear the viewing area by 6 PM tomorrow.  Here is the additional rainfall forecast between now and noon tomorrow:


The final rainfall totals may approach or exceed four inches in spots with everyone in the viewing area likely getting at least an inch of rain…..


The storm approaching on Thursday morning, the main storm, is strong and becoming negatively tilted as it approaches us during the morning tomorrow. This means there will likely be tremendous lifting, rising motion, to create very heavy rain and thunderstorms. That will be the finale! We have thunderstorms heading our way this morning and they will arrive before noon.

Have a great day and we will write up a new blog entry this evening.


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  1. Just under an inch for the first day based on my least accurate rain gauge, just west of Liberty. Hope the folks in the areas to the NE get some good totals the next two days.

  2. TStorm warning for King city looks like a northern shift… folks up north need the precip… StJoe Attorney please report in ty…

  3. Could you talk about how this storm could effect us in December regarding the LRC? I’ve heard it could equate to a nice snow storm around Christmas? Thanks!

  4. Seems odd even NWS talking about storm development to the west and southwest…yet nothing on radar. All the storms and now a Severe Tstorm warning is up in northern Mo.

  5. Looks like there are storms popping up out west but they are drifting to the north mainly, not east. There is going to have to be rapid development directly to the south if the metro is going to see the heavy rains around noon as forecasted. I hope we see it happen as additional moisture would be good for everyone.

  6. Gary…. We have our last football game for Liberty Freshman team tonight in Liberty. It starts at 6:30 and there are 2 games for Team A and Team B. Any ideas about what you see happening during that?

  7. Agree. Everything out west is moving north northeast even up into Neb… nothing developing to oursouth. Looks like kc metro will have to wait for later tonight when the front gets closer.

  8. The forecast timeline from this morning was our area would see the bulk of activity late morning and early afternoon. Then development over night into early morning as the actual cold front approaches. Let’s give it time to develop before we call it a bust. There is a lot of day left and a lot of moisture to work with.

  9. The dense fog early this morning up here in St. Joseph dissipated as the storm that is now exiting Linn, Co. tracked just to the north of St. Joe. Now its just drizzle, but the skies are beginning to darken just to the west as the storms are growing. Looks like it may be a rainy late morning and afternoon here!

    My dad, who lives in Marceline, MO just got hit by that storm that is trtacking across the state, and said they got extremely heavy rain and a bunch of quarter sized hail. Looks like that cell briefly intesified right over Linn County. Good stuff! They need the rain!

    Interesting to see how far that cell has traveled! developed this morning around Marysville, KS, and tracked east, and really strengthened as it entered NW Missouri. Became severe, and is now entering Macon County. Thats around 205 miles and still holding strong! That is the first time this seaon I have seen a storm track through this area and survive! Sings of change??

    Alex Pickman

  10. Look at the radar. Everything is north or south. Metro will get nothing this morning and into the afternoon. This has bust written all over it. But, when you forecast .75 to 3.25 or 1 to 4 inches, there’s no way to be wrong. Mikey, you go ahead and spin it anyway you want.

  11. Hi Alex, yesterday .60 AT 22nd St. and 36 Hwy. this mornong.10 so .70 in the last 27 hours. The good batch to our west will miss St. Joseph to the north the drought continues. Looks like a cold dry winter.

  12. uh? The radar is starting to light up southwest of the KC area? how are you coming to the conclusion of “bust”? lol The forecast’s across the board have been consistent with the storms firing up over the afternoon, after lunch, and this does appear to be the case.

    • gary wrote ‘Conditions will become favorable for thunderstorm development between now and noon as a disturbance rotates around the main storm system. And, then later tonight the main storm system will move into Kansas’ it is between now and noon;not afternoon or after lunch

  13. have a flight out of kci to dallas at 5:30 pm, and then a connecting international flight after that. Gee I hope the weather doesnt screw things up. Happy for the needed rain, but of all days..

  14. The temp has jumped from 59F to 67F within the last hour here in SW Topeka. Warm front has moved north of us.

  15. Everyone relax Mr. Gary has it under control. He is saying 1-4 inches for the ENTIRE viewing area. He has a map above that shows more precise totals. We,ll get rain it just may not rain till later. I bet come tomorrow Mr. Gary,s forecast will be spot on. Keep up the good work Mr. Gary.

  16. Wow you can cut this humidity with a knife imagine if our temperature was warmer this would be a major severe weather outbreak this is just nuts folks but I think this is superstorm Sandy cycling back through…the timing is spot on… this could be one for the record books go ahead and batten down the hatches!!

  17. Impossible not to be cynical about the chances for any more significant rain. Storms and rain moving north, as per usual.

  18. Looks like the batch to our south will generally miss the metro area and will be focused on areas to the east of KC. I’m guessing we won’t see any meaningful rain until late tonight into tomorrow, effectively having the metro miss out on round 2 of 3. I’m not trying to bag on any forecast be either KSHB or anyone on this blog, I’m just giving my opinion.

  19. Looking at current radar it’s comical how apparent this “dome effect” around KC is right now. That echo gap in the Topeka/Emporia/Ottawa area better fill in in the next 2-3 hours or most of KC will get little from this next round.

    • It’s tongue-in-cheek speculation that there is an invisible force field or dome around Kansas City at times that deflects precipitation around the city, part of some sort of gov’t weather experiment or something, lol. It’s really just a reflection of the disgust some of us feel when there’s a good chance of rain and it somehow manages to miss us. Others have called this strange phenomenon the “Tonganoxie split”.

  20. Nice storm up here in St. Joseph! Some small hail just ahead of the very heavy rain. I would not consider this storm very severe at all. There wasnt much of any really strong winds.

    Neat and kind of ominous not being able to see the storm through the fog and listening to the thunder! Lets hope for more!

    Alex Pickman

  21. All I know is that it’s very humid out there and it’s not raining. Looks like the south side of the metro might get some light rain. To bad the lrc can’t be of use since it’s still forming LOL.

    Mowermike did you file yesterdays comments in order to cut and paste them on the 21st of December. I think you should ask Gary for a raise as being the blog secreatry must be a lot of work!

  22. Tongy split is narrowing. Johnson County looks like it’s going to get a heavy shower/storm forming near Baldwin City now.

    • Main vort max looks to pass very close to or just S of KC tomorrow afternoon, so best shot at widespread significant rainfall will probably be late tonight and tomorrow through noon or early afternoon. Still, echoes are filling in SW of KC now so some showers/storms are becoming more likely this afternoon.

  23. Gary,
    Can you provide some commentary on how there can be a massive, continuous line of rain from the Oklahoma/Texas border north through Iowa, yet there is a perfect gap to ensure Kansas City gets absolutely no precipitation?
    The desertification of Kansas City continues.

  24. As I had hoped it would, the gap between the northern and southern rain/storm areas is narrowing and starting to close with activity developing in Johnson, Douglas and Leavenworth counties. Only 1 hour and 30 min approx. since my post giving the rain 2 to 3 hours to fill in the gap or we’d be missed.

  25. Both 12z NAM and GFS models prog 1.5″+ of rain in KC metro between now and tomorrow night.
    NAM: “”
    GFS: “”

  26. Rained hard here in the Brookside area for about 5 minutes. Still extremely humid. Loving the rain.. the humidity.. not so much.

  27. Seds,

    Yep! Thunderstorms in the metro area. Plenty more to come with this air mass in place. Some said this was a bust and that it wouldn’t rain in the metro later this morning into the afternoon. Well, forecast looks to be right on track.

    Looks like that large thunderstorm may get you at your house Seds. It’s pouring in Northtown right now.

  28. About 11 am a good moderate TSTORM went by, yes i know we were under a warning, when the gust front blasted by it ripped leaves of the trees, but they were orange and yellow. I am in downtown St Joseph so I cannot add to my rain total. I went to NOAA and 11-12 we had .80 at airport 4 miles west of here. Just another downpour and mod and light rain.

  29. Hmmmmmm that’s weird, I believe I see rain outside and can hear some thunder. Oh and looky there the downtown loop is filling in on the radar. Guess Theo is wrong yet again. Hope the sump pump works in your mommy’s basement Theo or your computer stuff that you hide behind could get wet and no longer function.

  30. NOW ON TO WISHCASTING WITH LRC, what happens when this sets up in the cyle number of days unknown, but likely 40-52 it would be third week or so of December, then eary Feb. What carnage could be hurled upon the area, OH THE INSANITY…….

    • OR…the whole system could slide to our south and miss us(general storm track moves south as fall progresses to winter), OR it could be much weaker in the next cycle. Therein lies the problem with using the LRC to make long range weather predictions for a particular area.

  31. trinlivco, you should get a good soaking this afternoon, finally! Large area of heavy rain increasing and moving directly toward Livingston County.

    • Seds,

      YES! I hope he got in on that heavy rain. Good news for northern Mo., they needed it far more then we did down in the city. We still need it down here, but not nearly as bad. There’s going to be plenty of rain with the front and all this moisture in place. Might be some flash flooding problems late today into tomorrow. Lot of juice to work with.

  32. NWS Topeka just tweeted to expect thunderstorm coverage and intensity to increase across eastern KS between now and 3 p.m., with a few storms possibly becoming severe. This is the beginning of Round 2 for KC metro which should arrive this evening with the cold front.

  33. New MD from SPC concerning monitoring for possible weather watch from KC area SW to NW Oklahoma: “”

  34. So interesting how it “filled in” just after passing the Metro. Definite Tonganoxie split on this round!!

  35. You know things are bad when people are all excited about 1″ to 1.5″ of rain from a little run of the mill storm

    • This storm is not over. A line of thunderstorms is developing from St. Joe to near Topeka and SW from there along the cold front. Two more rounds of rain, some of it heavy, are yet to come for KC. Climatologically, KC is arriving at the time of year where 1 to 2 inches of rain from a storm is a healthy amount. It’s not a historical deluge, but who wants that and the flooding it would bring? KC averages 3.16 inches of rain for October but 2.15 inches for November.

  36. After seeing all the rain on radar all around the city and only got one quick round on SE side is very dissappointing. Lees Summit only got .11. Now KC is back in the middle again. Amazing!!!

    • Complex weather setup is causing one area of heavier rain to our north and northeast with the warm front and surface low, while the rain to our south and east is being fueled by rich moisture through the atmosphere due in part to the remnants of a Pacific hurricane combined with instability from the approaching disturbance. Unfortunately, the best, thickest moisture from the remnants of that Pacific hurricane will stay to the south and southeast of Kansas City, so that’s where the heaviest rain is going to continue to fall going forward. Tomorrow’s disturbance now over eastern CO/NM may track just a little too far south for KC to get the heaviest rain from it. The heaviest rain tomorrow will fall along the front, which will be to our southeast by then. But KC should get some “comma head” colder rain tomorrow.

    • The storms line up from just west of Topeka to St. Joseph and the line is moving east at less than 10 mph. That said, with KCI being where it is, the storms will get there sooner than just about anywhere in the metro. The line is about 30 miles NW of the airport at present, so unless the line speeds up you might get out of here before it arrives, unless the flight’s arrival to KCI is already delayed due to bad weather elsewhere. Do you know where your flight out of KCI originates from? You should be able to check your airline’s website to see whether that flight’s arrival at KCI is delayed. There is a lot of less than stellar weather through the central US today, including around DFW.

  37. a severe thunderstorm watch has been issued till 10pm this evening for areas west and south of the kc area.


  38. Metro has already missed 2 rounds of storms. Wonder how many more it will miss today, tonight & tomorrow? Mower “copy, paste” Mikey, what do you say? Or is it Mower “wet drought” Mikey?

  39. Flash flood watch issued for KC Metro and KS state line counties and points east until 1 p.m. tomorrow.


  41. Isn’t the negative convection pattern the same sort of winter LRC structure that brought us the continuing big snows two years ago. If we’re in a new type of system, does this imply some pretty big snows around the first of the year?

  42. Flash flood watch just issued by NWS Topeka thru tomorrow afternoon as far west as Manhattan (Riley County), KS.

  43. From the Severe Thunderstorm Watch discussion:


  44. New graphic from NWS Pleasant Hill posted to Twitter shows all of KC metro in 1.5 to 2″ rainfall totals from now thru tomorrow afternoon, heaviest on the SE side of the metro. Heaviest swath of predicted rain, which includes KC, extends from E KS NE through NE Missouri into northern Illinois.

    • Seds,

      You know someone always ends up with 4-5 inches in a set-up like this.(if that happens at KCI, they will be above average on precip. for the year) Heck, I think the drought areas up NE of here had 1-3 inches today. I can see some training of echoes with this front and who knows where that will set-up. However, we seem to be in a good zone for heavy rainfall and area wide. Good news. I hope Greek and TR get the most.

      • I agree, there will be training echoes with this setup (that line of storms to our west is training right now) and some people are going to get at least 3 inches of rain and the “lucky ones” may get 5 inches in a few spots. I think just about everyone in KC metro can expect 1 to 2 additional inches of rain. Lots of moisture available at all levels of the atmosphere that can get condensed out by strong convection.

        • I agree as well. the train has left the station. Cho Cho I knew the little engine could. Best part is that we don’t have to hear about Chili getting missed! The drought is over the drought is over!

  45. Two heavy thunderstorms have developed near the NW edge of the rain area south of KC. The closer of the two is just east of Ottawa and moving northeast toward JoCo.

  46. Seds, Yes we got the rain today here in Chillicothe, I have 2.0″ so far in my gauge. Looks like more is coming our way, hope so. This is the largest rain here since May 26. Hope everyone gets the rain they need out of this system. Lets hope the dry pattern has been broken, we will see with the rain forcast for Next Tue, Wed. This rain is very welcome in all of north Missouri. TR

    • Excellent! For better or worse, trinlivco, you’re not done yet. Expect at least 1 to 2 inches more by tomorrow night, and maybe a little more.

    • Usually, I would agree. However, there has been so much cloud cover and rainfall across extreme eastern KS and MO today in the warm sector of this storm that I don’t think we have enough instability to generate severe storms in KC. So far, SPC has not issued an MD concerning a possible watch for KC or points east and south.

  47. That stormed that’s now moving across that’s now moving across the eastern KC suburbs was brief but really intense. We got a quick burst of very (very!) heavy rain, about a minute of dime sized hail, and some wind that knocked a tree branch down in my neighborhood. And of course there are leaves everywhere now. We had one move in around lunchtime that was also pretty heavy.

  48. OK, I am not at home at TJOE recording station from 6:00 am today until 4:00 pm 2.34 inches .80 from 11-12 and .98 from 1-2 add in the official .53 from yesterday and as of

    …. 4pm 2.87 inches….


  49. Where is our trusty weather leader? I sent my flying robot out to look for him but the robot got hit by lightning! Darn it! All this rain and no new blog. Off to fix the robot. I hope I don’t float away.

  50. We just got 2 inches of rain in 45 minutes here in Easton/leavenworth KS. My entire driveway turned into a fast flowing river. It was amazing. We are now up to 4.4 inches of rain for the two day total. Still raining hard & more to come tonight. Glad I’m north of KC and out of the dome.

  51. Only .25″ so far today in north Olathe but that looks like it’s going to change rapidly, another 1-2″ would be great for everybody. Thank God it’s raining in Chillicothe as well!

  52. Well Seds nailed it as these storms have weakened considerably as they approached the metro. Rainfall amounts have gone way down as well with this round. Oh well there’s always tomorrow. I wonder what Billy down on the farm would say about all of this.