The remnants of a tropical storm and a severe weather threat all in the same day - that doesn’t happen too often in Kansas City, but it’s happening Tuesday.
What’s left of Tropical Storm Cristobal is spinning toward KC this evening. Cristobal was downgraded to a tropical depression Monday afternoon and is forecast to remain a tropical depression as it crosses Missouri on Tuesday.
Crisotbal’s winds have weakened to less than 39 miles an hour, but it’s still bringing a lot of rain to parts of central Missouri. Take a look at this swath of heavy rain forecast to move along Highway 65 from the Arkansas state line to the Iowa state line, right through Missouri. The Kansas side of the state line will not see any rain from Cristobal, and officially at Kansas City International airport only a mere hundredth of an inch of rain may be recorded.
Cristobal is just one part of the weather story for Tuesday. The tropical depression exits Missouri late in the morning, but we are not done with the threat of rain or even severe weather. Nope, an upper level storm is chasing Cristobal across the plains.
The natural spin in the atmosphere associated with an upper low and the potential for heat and instability make Tuesday a day where isolated supercell thunderstorms may develop during the late afternoon and evening hours. Our in-house computer model is picking up on these signals. For instance, check out this radar simulation for Tuesday evening. See the bright red cell just south of KC. That’s what we mean when we say isolated strong or severe supercell thunderstorms.
So, if a supercell is able to form, we will have enough wind shear aloft and backing winds at the surface to produce rotating thunderstorms. The lack of heat and instability may limit the severe weather threat, but we will have to see how it sets up Tuesday afternoon.
The Storm Prediction Center is concerned enough that the SPC has placed a small risk for tornado over the Kansas City area and a slightly elevated risk for a tornado over northeast Kansas.
Either way Tuesday will be unusual day across Missouri and Kansas. Oh, I forget to mention a high wind watch is in effect for Tuesday night and Wednesday morning for parts of eastern Kansas. Strong winds will blow across the area as Cristobal and the upper level low pressure area move away. Tuesday is going to be an interesting day.