Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Remembering Greensburg & Mercury transit coming soon

It's hard to believe that the Greensburg tornado was already 9 years ago today. Early May is historically a rough time of year in Kansas with some very violent storms. What was interesting to me that night is how the storm moved up from the south. So many storms move from southwest to northeast, but that storm had more of a northerly track to it. Just look at the damage path from that night. How interesting that it loops around to the northwest before falling apart. It was the first EF5 tornado (on the new Enhanced Fujita Scale)

Our weather won't be capable of producing any kind of violent weather today, tomorrow, or Friday. We are right under a high pressure system in the upper atmosphere, and that will keep us clear and quiet for awhile.

We do have a storm system coming in for Mother's Day weekend. It's a fairly large storm that will be slow to move, and as the system approaches, it becomes a little less organized and starts to weaken some.

The first chances for storms will show up in northern Kansas by Saturday evening. There's a warm front that will be stretched out along and north of I-70, that will be the area to watch in the first part of the weekend. The could be a couple of storms move into southwest Kansas as well, but most of the storms Saturday evening will be isolated.

A little more favorable for scattered storms over much of the state. It's a little less likely for rain the farther west that you go, but the chance is still there. It's not a high chance for severe weather, but I would expect we will have some hail and wind in our state this weekend.

Monday, May 9th the Transit of Mercury across the sun will take place. It starts at 6:12 a.m. (before the sun comes up) and ends at 1:42 p.m. You can't look directly at the sun, but there will be a very small black dot that travels through the lower part of the sphere of the sun. The last time Mercury crossed this path was back in 2006. Venus sometimes has a path that takes it between the Earth and sun, but that won't happen again until 2117. There are several places on the internet where you can watch this online. I'll keep you posted on where you can find this live viewing.

Monday, May 2, 2016

May stats and a shifting pattern this week

Welcome to the month of May as our days continue to get longer (sunrise now around 6:30 and not going down until almost 8:30). This is also one of our wetter months in Kansas, but will this month be as wet as April? Unless there is some major, slow moving storm, I don't think it will be as wet as April. However, there is some new forecast data that is coming and I'm going to take a look at that to see what the end of the month might have in store. 

This week:
Our pattern will be quite different this week as high pressure builds up right over Kansas through the middle of the week. Under it, our temperatures will warm and there won't be any major wind to deal with. Skies will be sunny and we should have some really nice spring weather.

Next developing storm:
We can see the next developing storm system out in the Pacific. This will be a large storm that will spend the rest of the week organizing and getting ready to move east. It's expected to arrive over Mother's Day weekend with chances for rain and thunderstorms by Sunday. The system will be weakening as it approaches Kansas, so I don't expect major rainfall or any big severe weather events to unfold. We will learn so much more about this next storm once it finally comes on shore in the West. It should deliver some more moisture to drought stricken California.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Forecast for May... what's next?

Friday is here and maybe a little hard to believe that we've reached the end of April already. This has been a very generous month of rainfall for us in Kansas. Some areas may have had too much rain, but other areas still need more. Most of the state started the month out well below normal on moisture, but with a few good storms, we are catching up.

Compare the two drought maps (one from the beginning of April and the other from just this week)
The latest drought monitor does not include the heavy rainfall that some parts of Kansas had Tuesday.

So what's coming next as we head into May?

You might recall a few weeks back that in a blog posting, I said after May 3rd, we'd hit some drier and calmer weather for awhile. That still holds true. We have one more system that will come through Monday that might develop some light rain (nothing heavy), and once it slides out, we warm up and dry out. But how long will the drier weather last?

Here's a breakdown:

May 1-3: Unsettled weather continues with a chance for some rain Monday (May 2)

May 4-7: Dry and much warmer. We should go back to above normal temperatures for most of the state

May 8-11: We could have a fairly intense storm system coming through around Mother's Day. This doesn't look like a major severe weather maker for Kansas, but there will be at least a chance for some severe storms to return to the Plains. And there will be more rain coming too.

May 12-16: This period of May looks rather quiet too. Our temperatures will likely be near normal with highs in the 70s and lower 80s. It doesn't look like there will be any big storms coming through during this time. The jet stream should flatten out, which will likely mean some drier (uneventful) weather for much of the area.

May 17-20: It's looking like this stretch of May will be dry and warmer.

May 21-24: Possible storm system setting up across the desert Southwest for this part of May. The jet stream is forecast to take on a more southwest flow aloft, and that could result in potential stormy weather returning to Kansas and surrounding areas. It's not clear if this will mean severe weather, but this will be a period in May that we will have to watch closely to see if something develops out of the pattern change.

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