FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -- Severe weather season, so far, is kind of quiet, but it could ramp up in a hurry this weekend. Cooler than average temperatures and a lack of humidity have kept a lid on strong storms around Kansas City. Taking a look at the preliminary severe reports this year across the states of Kansas and Missouri you will notice, in both states, most of the severe weather has occurred outside the Kansas City, St. Joe and Topeka areas.
The green dots represent hail reports, the blue dots are reports of wind damage and the red dots represent tornado reports. The closest tornado report to Kansas City, so far this year, was in Franklin County.
But could it change this weekend?
A storm currently off the California coast is getting a lot of attention. Where was the storm Wednesday afternoon? The red arrow in the map below points to the center of the circulation.
Why is the storm getting so much attention? The storm is forecasted to strengthen as it moves into the Rocky Mountains this weekend. Within the storm’s circulation, strong winds aloft are forecasted to develop into a river of fast flowing and rising air from New Mexico all the way into Iowa. I’ve added a wind contour, shaded in green, at 25,000 feet to give you an idea where the “jet stream” winds may be found. The yellow area indicates where the winds will be even faster. This “jet max” will need to be watched as it adds an extra punch to the storm.
The extra punch and the strong winds aloft mean this storm will be capable of producing severe weather somewhere in the blue-shaded area shown below. The timing? Saturday afternoon into Saturday night. What kinds of severe weather? I’ll go into the types of severe weather below the next graphic.
Hail, high winds, flash flooding and even tornadoes will be possible. But let’s break this down.
If you read Alena Lee’s blog on Tuesday, she mentioned a term called CAPE. Remember the higher the CAPE, the more unstable the atmosphere and the better the chance for severe weather. Our computer model guidance differs on the amount of CAPE that will be present Saturday afternoon.
Some of our model guidance suggests it will rain as early as noon, Saturday. Rain and clouds before noon would limit the amount of CAPE and could mean we would face more of a Flash Flood threat.
There would still be a wind and hail threat and a low tornado threat, but less CAPE keep means less of a chance of severe weather.
So what do you do next? At this point, we just ask that you check back here at KCTV5.com as we update the blog. At this point, I wouldn’t cancel any Saturday plans, but I would have a backup plan just in case your graduation open house, picnic, or long bike ride gets interrupted by rain or thunderstorms.