Thursday, March 26, 2015

2015 Severe Weather Round 1

Kelly Kemnitz - Wichita
8 miles SE of Stillwater, OK
Wednesday was just a taste of what's to come as we move through the spring months in Kansas. At the end of last week, I did a blog entry regarding the slow start to storm season. But as we saw yesterday, things can escalate very quickly with just the right combination of moisture, wind, and a low pressure system.
Tornado near Sand Springs - courtesy Jeff Piotrowski
Unfortunately, there was loss of life near Sand Springs, OK. The tornado will likely get a rating today when the damage assessment crews get a chance to comb through the debris. There was another tornado that touched down in Moore, OK too. It wasn't down very long, but there were some tremendous power flashes and some vehicles that were badly damaged. I have no idea why Moore, OK is such a magnet for severe storms and tornadoes. It doesn't seem fair how much they've been through in the last 10 years.

The severe weather risk basically ends for the remainder of the week. The pattern is going to change again and we will get back to some quiet weather heading into the weekend. We will have to watch for a storm to move in from the southwest during the middle of next week. Right now, the forecast models keep most of the rain and storms to our south in Oklahoma and Texas, but there's still plenty of time for things to change. Sure would be nice to get some more rain into Kansas.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rain, hail, thunderstorms & a severe threat Wednesday

Some might say that spring is officially here now that we've had our first thunderstorms in Kansas. Granted, the rain that fell Monday night didn't amount to much, but just seeing the lightning and hearing thunder was music to many ears. Storms on Tuesday produced some hail near Kansas City and down through western Missouri. How about a bowl full of popcorn, eh, I mean hail?
courtesy KMBC (hail from western Missouri)
New data came in late Tuesday evening and it suggests that our chances for rain and isolated storms will be better than what was earlier forecast. A cold front will slide through the state Wednesday and as it encounters some higher humidity, storms will begin developing during the afternoon and evening hours. The better ingredients for severe weather are still coming together in Oklahoma and western Arkansas, but small hail is possible over south central and southeast Kansas.
Rain showers west and north. T-storms trying to develop south
Heavier rainfall expected in southeast Kansas Wednesday evening
Main threat for severe weather will be in eastern Oklahoma
Any rain showers that develop in western and northern Kansas will be very light, but it's moisture nonetheless. Late Wednesday night, the rain will end statewide as the storm pulls away.

Our chances for widespread moisture don't look so good Friday - early next week. But we could be in for some more stormy weather in the middle of next week. Stay tuned for that.

Shocker fans in Cleveland getting ready for the big game Thursday are in for some cold weather. There is a chance for snow (believe it or not) Friday. Probably won't be very much, but in late March, it's not that uncommon to still find some snow in areas to the north and east of Kansas. Will be exciting to see how the Shockers do tomorrow.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Storm chances are back


Spring is finally here and we are coming off of a pretty nice weekend for most of the state. We are seeing a return of severe drought now to southwest Kansas. The rainfall last week won't be enough to keep the drought from expanding. As we've said before, it will take a steady diet of rainfall to get things to improve.

We do have a chance to see some of our first thunderstorms in Kansas coming up Monday night. It doesn't appear that severe weather will be a big concern, but given the setup, some hail will be possible with stronger storms that do develop.
Areas to the east of the warm front have the best chance for storms Monday night

Tuesday will bring a much better chance for severe storms to Missouri, eastern Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Hail and wind will once again be the primary threats. Some of the same areas will be in the focus for storms again Wednesday.

Something to watch at the end of the week will be some colder air sliding south across the central and northern Plains. Gardeners beware, temperatures will likely fall below freezing for Friday and Saturday morning. There is a chance for some light snow in western Kansas.

Plenty to keep an eye on this week for sure.

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