The summer weather pattern is undergoing some type of transition. I’m not 100% sure what that transition is yet. Is it a more permanent change toward a fall weather pattern? Or, is it simply summer colliding with brief, weak shots of cool air from Canada?
Regardless, the battle between summer and fall will result in some severe weather set-ups. And one of these set-ups looks likely for Monday. The Storm Prediction Center is already targeting our area for an “Enhanced” risk of severe weather.
The “Enhanced” area is the orange shaded region on the map above. This is where numerous severe thunderstorms will be possible beginning Monday late afternoon or early evening. This is a region where a cold front buts up against some warm, unstable air.
Notice the thunderstorms forming right on the front late Monday. These thunderstorms are more widespread and have the capability of lasting longer and being more intense. Enhanced areas of severe weather have to be watched because a few, brief but damaging tornadoes, could form in this zone. That’s not to say this will happen Monday evening. The bigger threat will be damaging wind gusts and quarter-sized or larger hail.
The data we analyze suggests an extremely high amount of instability in the “Enhanced” area Monday afternoon. This means thunderstorms will form rapidly. Initially the thunderstorms could start to rotate. Rotation increases the thunderstorms capability of producing large hail. These thunderstorms could either collapse quickly, creating damaging wind gusts, or clusters of thunderstorms could form a line and pose a high wind threat farther south in the “Enhanced” Risk area.
I looked at our in-house Power Outage Index model. This model looks for the possibility of severe wind gusts greater than 58 miles per hour. Judging by the amount of instability, the Power Outage Index suggests a higher than average threat of power outages Monday evening because of strong wind gusts.
This graphic might look ominous but let me explain what each color means. See the yellow shaded area? Anywhere within the yellow shaded area there is a chance for isolated power outages. In the orange shaded area, there is a chance for a moderate amount of power outages. And within the red shaded area there could be widespread power outages.
That doesn’t mean the whole red shaded area will experience wide spread power outages. Instead the graphic illustrates how strong winds will across this entire area increasing the threat for power outages. Strong jet stream winds will help the thunderstorms move rapidly and some of this energy could be transferred to the surface and that could help create stronger wind gusts.
Faster jet stream winds can help the air rise within a thunderstorm and can help a thunderstorm become an efficient rainmaker. Our in-house data suggests more than an inch of rain is possible, especially across northern Missouri. At the same time, a few cities on the Kansas side seem to miss out on heavy rain this time.
More rain on top of what has already been a wetter than average year. Here’s a tweet from the National Weather Service, Pleasant Hill office that puts into perspective how much rain has fallen over the last 11 months.
Will we break the record? It looks likely but we’ll have to wait and see if this active weather pattern continues through September. We know it will continue through Monday. So, make sure you have a way to get weather warnings.
If you don’t have the Storm Track 5 weather app you should download it. And have a plan of where to go for shelter if severe weather strikes where you work or live or go to school. We will be watching the weather set up Monday and will bring you the latest watches and warnings.