FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -- Daylight continues to shorten and the average highs and lows continue to fall. But Mother Nature missed the memo for the first week of December. Instead of cold, gray December days, we’re staring at a stretch of sunny, mild days this week. Why so mild this week, why so un-December? Simple answer, the jet stream.
There are two main branches of the jet stream. The Polar Jet located about 30,000 feet off the surface usually sets up shop near the U.S. Canadian border this time of year. Its winds can top 110 miles per hour.
The Subtropical Jet stream sits at a higher altitude but is slightly weaker. On the map above, the “Polar Jet” represented with yellow arrows is racing from the Pacific Ocean into the Great Lakes. At the same time, the Subtropical Jet, also represented with yellow arrows, is pumping mild air from the Pacific Ocean near the Baja of California, across the desert southwest and into the southern plains.
This type of flow is called a, “Split Flow.” Between the split jet streams, you can find slow moving weather systems or stagnant weather patterns. The stagnant weather pattern can lead to warmer than average temperatures.
So, here’s what will likely happen this week. The “Low” pressure area off the coast of California, to the left San Francisco, will stall there until another storm kicks it out into southern plains late in the week. The sub-tropical jet will steer the storm.
(Follow the yellow arrows) The mild west to southwest flow aloft also means our area is in store for above average temperatures through Thursday. This means, when the California storm finally makes it to Kansas and Missouri, it will 1) likely be all rain and 2) end up south of the Kansas City area.
Another storm will pass through the region over the weekend. This one appears to strengthen east of Kansas City early next week. So, bottom-line over the next seven days, our area may see a meager tenth of an inch or less of precipitation. The map below paints a nice picture of the corridor of best rain chances over the next seven days.
The next seven days look dry, but again they look mild. Typical mornings now should have a temperature around 26-degrees or slightly colder. If you look at the morning forecast over the next 7-days, an above average trend is expected. Just Friday morning is expected to be colder than average.
That’s good news when it comes to hanging holiday lights, cleaning up after the weekend wind storm and heating bills. If this trend continues, heating bills could be lower this month. That’s unless someone sends Mother Nature the memo next time around.