Thursday, August 21, 2014

Millie's weekend plans & stubborn heat continues

Millie and I will be helping emcee the Heartspring Pediatric Pedalfest this coming Saturday morning in Wichita. It's a fundraising event for children with special needs. Maybe you have a team together and are going to participate. Whether you are riding or just coming out to help, I think we will all be glad this is a morning event, considering the forecast with highs near 100.  If you'll be out there, please track us down and say hi.

As far as our weather is concerned, the forecast isn't going to change much through the upcoming weekend. All week, we've been getting these isolated afternoon and evening storms that briefly produce some hail and high winds, and then collapse. Almost all of them have been in western or northern Kansas, and that will likely be the case again today and tomorrow. The steering winds at 30,000 feet and higher are all basically pointed northeast and that drives most of the activity that develops into Nebraska and surrounding areas. There should be some organized areas of rain developing Friday evening in eastern Colorado and far northwest Kansas, but once again, with the way the upper winds are blowing, there is little chance any of that will make it to central or eastern Kansas. Even if it does, it won't be enough to even settle the dust.

Looking ahead to next week, we are still going to have some hot weather around Kansas. We had hoped a cold front coming through on Sunday would knock the temperatures down 10-15 degrees, but that is looking less likely now as the heat holds on. We will have to keep an eye on the second-half of next week for a storm system to emerge from the western US. It's just interesting so late in the summer season and all of sudden, we find ourselves in weather that we would normally expect in July. That's Kansas for ya.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

35 days left of summer

Yes, I counted and there are only 35 days left of the summer season and then fall will be here. But you won't have to wait that long for the next cold front and change that will be coming in Kansas weather.

It's very interesting to me that just as the kids head back to school, this is when we finally hit our longest hot stretch here in Kansas with 90+ degrees expected through the rest of the week. So far, 9 consecutive days is the longest streak of 90 degree (or hotter) weather for Kansas. But we will likely pass that number late in the week as this large, high pressure system over Arkansas holds nearly stationary. Remember, around the high, the winds blow clockwise. So any storms that try and move our way the next 2 or 3 days will get shoved to the northeast and into Nebraska. I actually think there are some good chances for rain in eastern Colorado late in the week, but the upper level winds will carry them around Kansas.
Forecast for Tuesday - Saturday (Aug. 23)
The forecast rain amounts through Saturday evening clearly show the impact the high pressure will have on the central Plains, driving the majority of heavier rains around our state.

When will this change? A cold front is due into Kansas on Sunday, which will drop the temperatures and bring some chances for storms to the area. Next week shouldn't be as hot as this week is turning out to be. Stay cool!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Weekend summary & storm wrap from last night

In typical August fashion, we are dealing with heat, humidity, wind, and storms, and some of them last night were pretty intense, especially across northern Kansas. Luckily we didn't have any 80+ mph winds like they had in Hastings, NE yesterday evening, but there were several measured winds between 60 and 70. Rainfall amounts from around the area include:
Plainville: 1.05"
Salina: 0.72"
Concordia: 0.66"
Hutch: 0.50"
Jabara Airport: 0.45"
Winfield: 0.41"
Wichita: 0.31"
Hill City: 0.20"
Newton: 0.18"
Smith Center: 0.16'

The lightning last night put on quite the show, and thanks to Dennis Thompson for sending in this wonderful lightning picture from near Wellington. Lightning is so incredible to watch, but it has such tremendous danger too and there's just no way to know where it will strike next. In an average year, there are more lightning fatalities than tornadoes. In 2014, 19 people have been killed by lightning alone, none of them in Kansas.

We will have to watch for spotty storms to pop up again this afternoon and into the evening hours. It shouldn't be widespread and the likelihood of severe storms will be on the lower end of the scale, but we shall see how the afternoon progress.

One thing that you will see during the middle of the week is more wind. We haven't had that many windy days as of late, but gusty winds will be kicking in by Wednesday and Thursday.

Millie and I had a wonderful time at a Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraiser in Newton Saturday evening. I was the emcee for the evening and Millie was the entertainment (mostly walking around and looking for any accidental food drops) She's just warming up her greeting skills for the Kansas State Fair, which begins in less than 3 weeks. Hard to believe.

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