Thursday, September 29, 2016

October preview - First frost potential

The month of October can be an exciting month. It's a month that can have thunderstorms, frost, and even the first snowfall. Take a look at the map. Our average first fall frost usually happens in early October for northwest and some of north central Kansas. It's much later than that (on average) for southern Kansas.

So here are my thoughts on October weather in Kansas. (click on any image to make it larger) I think there is a strong tendency for this to be a very active month with SEVERAL cold fronts coming through. Initially, for the beginning of the month, most of the energy with the storms will go north of Kansas across the northern Plains. What does that mean? Basically, we get wind, some rainfall (not excessive), and changing temperatures, but the more exciting part of the storm goes north of us.

Interesting note - the maps below show Matthew going into the southern Gulf of Mexico and then pushing it toward Mexico. 

Pattern - October 7/8



Some of the computer data in recent days have suggest stormy weather ramping up toward the middle of the month. Where these storms track is something we will watch closely and what makes our job very exciting this time of year. Goodland average 2-3 inches of snow in October. Are we about to see snow in parts of Kansas in October? It's a very risky forecast to make, but I think one of the storms in October will produce at least some snow in northwest Kansas or very nearby. So most of the exciting weather may just come in the middle of the month. Let's keep an eye on this period. This could be the first widespread frost for some. 

If the middle of the month is stormy, it should be followed by a brief period of calming weather where a new storm may form out in the Pacific Northwest. While that may not be a big storm for Kansas, there is at least some possibility of it driving colder air down into our area and maybe giving western Kansas it's first freeze. 





Toward the 2nd half of October, we will continue in an active setup, but the heavier precipitation could stay north and east of us, while we just get the much cooler air filtering south. This kind of pattern wouldn't likely produce much moisture in Kansas, but would yield a chilly end to the month.

Thanks for taking time to read the blog. I very much enjoy looking long range at weather patterns to find clues as to what may be coming our way. It's the part of meteorology that we still have SO much to learn. Our 7 day forecasts have improved greatly in the last 5-8 years. Imagine if we had a 14 or 15 day forecast on the evening news every night?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Beautiful fall weather - next storm on the maps

Our weather this week is just something else. This is the kind of weather most of us would like to bottle up and save for another day or time of year. It's truly the reason I love fall more than any other time of year.


When I got to work yesterday and started looking at the forecast data, one of the things that struck me was the lack of clouds. Consider for a moment that you could hop in the car and drive 1700 miles to the west coast and not see a single cloud. Or you could drive to southern Canada (a little over 900 miles) and still not encounter any clouds. That's a quiet weather pattern.

This all comes at a good time as we wait for the flood waters to go down in Iowa and across the upper Midwest. We still have some puddles and standing water of our own that need to dry up. However, we are hearing from some of you in western Kansas that need a little more rain.


Forecast rainfall - GFS model
Forecast rainfall - European model
The next chance will come with a developing storm that shows up in the west late in the weekend. The storms will get more interesting to watch because (as we saw last week), some of them will start producing different precipitation types. Forecasting will get more difficult as the weather changes become more dramatic. The next storm looks like it could be fairly impressive, but without much humidity, I don't think we are looking at big rainfall.

Tomorrow on the blog, we will take a closer look at October weather. This is usually a time of year where things begin to get interesting.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday wrap up - complete 180 on the weather next week

I hope everyone has a nice weekend. It won't be a washout, but we will have some rain around for part of the weekend. I'll admit, it's a little exciting to see the snow coming down on a Friday night in Colorado. Fall is my favorite time of the year as the seasons begin changing.

Weekend rainfall:
Still looks like the heaviest will be over central and eastern Kansas. There are enough ingredients coming together to expect thunderstorms, but the severe threat will be very low. If something does ramp up and become severe, I don't expect it to last long. If you are west of Hays to Dodge City, this weekend doesn't offer up much rain for you.

What to watch next week:
It will mainly be a quiet week for Kansas, but MUCH cooler than this week has been. Our weekend storm will spin around over the Great Lakes/Upper Midwest and that should keep us in a quiet weather setup.

Could see more tropical development
We will keep an eye on the Pacific! Another tropical storm could form (which would get the name Roslyn) and move toward Baja California. This would be the 3rd or 4th storm to do just that. It's possible some of that leftover moisture could get this far northeast, but still so much uncertainty this far out.

Mars & Saturn: They will be visible in the evening sky if you are looking southwest.

That's it for now. Millie has a big birthday on Sunday and I'll be on the Sunday morning show. Have a good weekend.

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