FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) - We need rain. It seems lately most of us in the Kansas City area can’t buy a drop of rain.
Last Thursday, thunderstorms looked certain as they approached the area from Nebraska. The storms fell apart in the middle of the night and all we picked up was .04” of rain at Kansas City International Airport.
Over the weekend the metro was under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch, yet no rain was officially measured. We came close as a couple of rotating supercells spun over eastern Kansas but fell apart as they approached the west side of the metro Kansas City area. So that leaves us with a growing area of abnormally dry soils and in some cases, a moderate drought is developing.
We need rain. It rained hard on the first day of the month. 1.20” of rain officially in Kansas City. Some of us saw two-plus inches of rain. But since that heavy rain event, a scant .04” of rain has fallen in Kansas City and that was almost a week ago.
That’s why our area is seeing dry and drought conditions spreading across the region. Take a look at the stats below. Since the first of the month, we are nearly an inch under normal. We are behind for the Summer season, more than four inches behind and the deficit for year now sits at three and half inches of rain.
We need rain, but will it rain this week? There is hope, but will it happen? Our hope comes from this storm moving across the northern Rockies. The steering currents aloft will push the storm across the northern tier of the U.S. this week.
The storm is dragging a cold front that will get close to northern Missouri and northeastern Kansas Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Our chance of rain comes as this front approaches and some upper level energy interacts with the front and the copious moisture in the atmosphere.
I think I’ve established by now in this blog that we need rain, but where will it most likely rain this week? The Storm Prediction Center has outlined an area of Iowa and northern Missouri for the potential for a few severe thunderstorms between Tuesday evening and Wednesday. Why there?
The weak cold front on the map above is forecast to reach southern Iowa or northern Missouri before it begins stalling Tuesday evening. So thunderstorms are forecast to develop near the front and the front will likely reach the area shaded in yellow on the map below overnight into Wednesday morning. So you could say areas along and north of Highway 36 in northern Kansas and northern Missouri have the best chance of seeing more than just a few rain showers.
The front will be working with ample moisture. In fact, there will be enough water vapor sitting over northern Missouri that if all of it fell to earth there would be more than two inches of rain. The Weather Prediction Center, a branch of the National Weather Service, watches for areas of excessive rainfall and posts weekly rainfall outlooks. The WPC has northern Missouri pegged to get up to two inches of rain if not more. Here is the WPC’s latest rainfall outlook issued Monday evening.
So does this mean the rest of us won’t see any rain this week? I’m telling you there’s a chance that could happen if you live south of Interstate 70. Or if it does rain on your backyard it won’t be more than a half inch and most of that could fall in about a two-hour period Wednesday morning.
Here’s a look at a piece of data that specifically tries to predict the evolution of thunderstorms and attempts to pin down the timing. If this radar simulation plays out, then a few strong thunderstorms with beneficial rainfall could move through the heart of metro Kansas City Wednesday morning.
That’s just one piece of data. There are other computer simulations that keep the rain north of I-70 and in some cases closer to highway 36. But this is a higher resolution forecast simulation and this particular model has done well, except for last week, with overnight thunderstorms so far this summer. So I think we can all agree we need rain and heading to the middle of the week there is at least hope we can briefly break this dry spell. Let’s see how things are setting up Tuesday night and that will give us a better idea of how things will play out Wednesday morning.