FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -- There was talk of rain as the week began. Computer projections painted a wide swath of two inches of rain for our area between last Monday and this upcoming weekend. This guidance took us down a path of repeated rainfall that promised to keep the rivers and streams bursting at their seams.
It's now Wednesday. The repeated rains never happened and it's not going to happen. So what caused this monumental shift? Summer happened. That's right, our weather pattern jumped right ahead to Summer. I showed the shift in a blog earlier this week. It makes absolute sense. Here's that graphic again, which shows the jet stream's forecasted placement for Wednesday, June 5th (today).
The blue and green areas illustrate wind speeds at 25,000 feet. This is about halfway up through our atmosphere and generally is a good indicator of the wind flow aloft. This fast moving river of air steers the storm systems across the country and can provide an essential ingredient in severe weather set ups. The jet stream's position this week is where it typically resides during the Summer months.
So yeah, it's not shocking that it hasn't rained a lot this week. And here's the good news. It's not going to rain a lot, except in isolated areas that experience a thunderstorm that can put down a quick inch of two of rain. This evening is a good example of what we can expect through this weekend and for most of next week. For instance, we have a severe thunderstorm watch in effect until 10:00PM. It doesn’t cover the whole area just a handful of counties over northern Missouri.
The last couple of days we’ve had a lot of fuel for example, humidity and heat, to for explosive thunderstorms to develop but you need to something to start the fire. Monday, we had a little spin go by that started the air rising and as a result we had scattered thunderstorms. Wednesday evening, we have a weak frontal boundary. Fronts are called "mechanisms of uplift." They can cause a parcel of air to rise. Once it's moving upward then thunderstorms can develop.
Thursday afternoon appears to offer a chance for showers and thunderstorms. An upper level storm will spin over Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. Low pressure is another "mechanism of uplift" that helps the air rise. We will have just enough influence from this low pressure area to give Kansas City a chance for random rumbles of thunder Thursday afternoon into Friday morning.
There are much higher rain chances over southern Kansas and southern Missouri and even higher chances over parts of Texas and all of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. We are farther from the low so here in Kansas City and surrounding areas should just expect scattered showers and thunderstorms to "POP UP" Thursday afternoon into Friday morning. Most of Saturday and Sunday look dry.
All in all, as I said at the top of the blog, excessive flooding rains, except in very localized areas, are not expected through the weekend. Here is latest rainfall outlook for the next seven days.
That rainfall forecast looks a lot better than it did when the week began. Summer is settling in. By July, rain may be hard to find. Believe it not in a couple of weeks, unless you live a flooded river or stream, you might hope for rain. But this break is just we what we need, for now.