Kansas City, get your green thumbs ready, It’s time to plant. There are no freezes in the forecast for the next two weeks, and the latest freeze on record is May 6th. In other words, start planting!
Let me show you how rare it is to have freeze after April 24th. Check out the graphic below. The latest freeze in Kansas City’s recorded history is May 6th, 1944. Only four freezes have been recorded in May since 1895.
Kansas City weather records go back 124 years and there’s only been nine freezes on or after April 24th. In other words, we have roughly a 7% chance of seeing a freeze the rest of this Spring. I’d say the odds are in our favor. Now let me show you why.
As I said at the beginning of this blog, there are no freezes in the forecast between now and May 8th. Yes, next week’s average temperatures may end up cooler than average but that’s because rain is in the forecast almost every day next week.
Clouds and rain tend to hold down afternoon highs. Cloudy skies also keep overnight lows, near or slightly above average. Here’s a look at the forecast lows and weather conditions expected for the next seven mornings in the Kansas City metro area.
The average low this time of year is 46 to 48 degrees. Many mornings through this weekend and into the start of next week are ABOVE average. Plus, in order to get a freeze, we would have to have a really cold blast of air hit us and I just don’t see any really cold air lurking over the northern United States or southern Canada to make me worry!
Longer range computer models are hinting at a ridge of high pressure aloft building over the southwestern third of the continental U.S. between May 3rd and May 6th. You can see the ridge highlighted in orange on the map below. Air piles up in this type of pattern. As the air sinks, it warms. The more air piles up the hotter it gets.
Weather patterns like this are more often seen in the Summer. Summer time ridges like this can result in several days of 100-degree plus weather for cities under the center of the ridge. I don’t think that will happen with this early season ridge. Notice the main branch of the jet stream has moved to the northern plains, allowing for warmer air to spread as far north as Kansas City. Cooler air in green is north of jet stream. This is certainly a sign of consistent warmer days ahead.
What does this mean for Kansas City, Denver, Dallas and other cities in the southern plains and desert southwest? It means these areas are favored for above average temperatures. Here is the latest 8 to 14 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.
A weather pattern like this during Summer would like result in a dry spell that would last several days. But at this time of year, the ridge won’t be as strong, so it could still rain, especially near the edges of the high-pressure dome.
These “ridge runners” ride along the edges of these high-pressure systems bringing rounds of rain and thunderstorms. The edge of a ridge can be where a frontal boundary stalls and repeated chances of rain can be found in these locations. The CPC’s extended rainfall map places most of the upper Midwest and western half of the nation in an area favored for near or above average rainfall.
Plenty of rain, plenty of warm air. Kansas City, it’s time to plant. May the odds be ever in your favor and we won’t likely see another freeze until late October.