FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -- There are several rain chances headed our way. Let me emphasize chances, just like the last two weeks, rain chances don’t always translate into rain in your backyard. Sure, it rains in parts of eastern Kansas and western Missouri, but it seems as if some of us keep missing out on generous rain.
Well, here we are again with a similar setup possibly resulting in a similar fate. I’ll blame it on the pesky northwest flow of the jet stream winds. The blue arrows on the graphic below show you the direction the winds are blowing high above the earth’s surface.
Thunderstorm complexes tend to move in the direction of these high-altitude winds. Go back and look at the graphic above. Do you see the area of clouds over western Montana, west of Billings? This is the weather disturbance that is forecast to turn into a thunderstorm complex and track toward Kansas City on Thursday.
Check out this radar simulation valid for Thursday at 2 p.m.
The thunderstorm complex will be weakening as it gets closer to the metro on Thursday. Right now, we’ll leave the rain chance at 50%, but remember, it might not be a lot of rain and some areas east and south of Kansas City could get very little or no rain at all.
The Storm Prediction Center’s opinion sides with stronger thunderstorms in central Kansas early Thursday, weakening the closer they get to Kansas City.
That’s Thursday’s setup. Let’s talk about Friday. Go back and look at the first graphic again. I’ve added in a stationary front. It’s stationary because it’s moving at less than seven miles an hour. In order for Kansas City to get a lot of rain, this front will need to move north, closer to Kansas City by Friday night. But will it?
If tomorrow’s area of rain is strong enough, it will push the stationary boundary farther south. If the thunderstorm complex is weaker, than the front will have a better chance of lifting closer to Kansas City and interacting with the northwest winds aloft.
Stationary boundaries are areas of convergence, in other words, where north and south winds meet or converge. Add in extra lift from the winds aloft and you’ve got the potential setup for heavy rain.
Our in-house computer model likes this solution and is painting a heavy strip of rain right through Kansas City Friday night into Saturday morning.
A stalled front, daytime heating and strong winds aloft are not only a recipe for flash flooding, but also a recipe for damaging wind gusts and large hail. The Friday evening surface setup has the SPC, or the Storm Prediction Center, highlighting our area as one to watch for scattered, short lived intense thunderstorms that could produce up to two-inch hail.
Of course, this all depends on the impact of Thursday’s thunderstorms and where the stationary front is located Friday evening and where the winds aloft decide to set up.
In other words, don’t be surprised if the severe weather area shifts north or south by Friday. Even if it shifts, Kansas City will still have a chance for rain. We’ll be watching the setup. We hope you will too.