Storm Track 5 Blog: Wednesday morning severe weather explained

Storm damage at 1:30am around 89th and Acuff.
Storm damage at 1:30am around 89th and Acuff.(Debbie Felix)
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 8:18 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Severe weather struck the Kansas City area early this morning and caused major damage throughout the metro and surrounding towns.

We were predicting an area of low pressure with its respective frontal boundary, a cold front, to drive across Northeastern Kansas and Northwestern Missouri overnight into Wednesday early morning.

Yesterday morning, raw data collected from the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere showed signs of instability ahead of the storm system. We knew that this was going to give us an opportunity to produce severe storms or potentially what we call MCSs. This stands for Mesoscale Convective Systems. Basically, an MCS is a storm system that acts like an area of low pressure but is much smaller and develops its own frontal boundary systems but, at the same time, larger than a singular thunderstorm cell.

An MCS can take on a circular shape or a linear shape as it develops. In this case, we produced a linear-shaped MCS, which we call a squall line. As the squall line moved into a pocket of unstable air throughout the viewing area, severe weather began to develop more rapidly.

The energy to the atmosphere measured in the form of CAPE or Convective Available Potential Energy, measured to be near 2000 J/kg. 2500j/kg. This measurement is considered to be high potential energy for the squall line to use. With the aid of both linear wind shear and directional wind shear developing between 0-6 kilometers into the atmosphere, this gave us the correct ingredients to begin rotation, and which lead to potential development of tornadoes.

By 1:15 in the morning, tornado warnings were being issued from Buckner, east of KCMO to the most popular potential tornado location to the south near Overland Park.

The NWS, National Weather Service, is the final say on Tornado confirmation and since this morning, they have not confirmed an actual tornado has touched down.

The NWS will be investigating today and will make a decision as early as today on if Kansas City and/or surrounding areas were indeed impacted by a tornado.