Get ready for some stormy days and perhaps stormy nights. A storm in the Pacific northwest is moving inland Tuesday afternoon. As it heads into the inter-mountain west, a warm front, currently near the Red River of Texas and Oklahoma, will begin moving north toward Kansas City.
As it stands Tuesday afternoon, the Storm Prediction Center has placed a large chunk of the southern and central plains under some kind of risk. The Kansas City metro area could see a round of thunderstorms late Wednesday morning into the early afternoon. But it depends on the location of the warm front that I mentioned in the first sentence of this blog.
The warm front might not make it to Kansas City until Wednesday evening. If it plays out that way, then it may not rain in KC until Wednesday night or even Thursday morning.
Below is the severe weather outlook, effective from 7 a.m. Wednesday to 7 a.m. Thursday.
I’ve superimposed a simulation of what radar might look like Wednesday evening. I chose this time because you can see on the map above that most of the thunderstorms are inside the enhanced severe weather risk over southwestern Oklahoma and west Texas. There isn’t much happening here in the Kansas City area at that time. But overnight into Wednesday morning, as the low-level jet stream strengthens and the warm fronts arrives, showers and thunderstorms may develop in northeast Kansas or northwest Missouri. Not a slam dunk but if these thunderstorms can fire up in this area, the main threat would be large hail.
Thursday is a different story. Thursday, as weak front sags into northern Missouri and northeast Kansas, there is a chance for additional thunderstorms. Personally, I like this chance of thunderstorms better than Wednesday’s set-up. Anytime you have a front involved, you’ve got forcing or something to give the air a little extra lift and get a parcel of air rising. So watch out Thursday, radar could look like this at some point during the day.
Those thunderstorms also fall inside an area the Storm Prediction Center has outlined as a slight risk area. Thursday’s risk would once again concentrate on large hail with attendant threat of gusty, damaging winds. The tornado threat is low this week thanks to weak winds aloft limiting the amount of shear or turning in the atmosphere. However, the weak winds aloft could lead to slower moving thunderstorms and that could lead to thunderstorms producing heavy rains, sometimes over the same areas.
Here’s a look at the rainfall guidance from the Weather Prediction Center. Notice a large part of Missouri falls under a 2 to 4-to-5-inch rain contour.
So, the cool air is moving out, but the trade-off is some wet and stormy weather through Saturday. There is a bright spot at the end of the tunnel. Next week looks warmer with highs in the mid-80s and below average rainfall. That will make the grass and mosquitoes grow!