Looking Deep Into The Early Week Setups

/Looking Deep Into The Early Week Setups

Looking Deep Into The Early Week Setups

Good morning bloggers,

The weather pattern is going to be quite fascinating this week as a series of storm systems come into the western states and track out over the plains into the Great Lakes. There will be severe weather risks and each day will be interesting to analyze. There will be problems with capping aloft, timing of waves, and picking out the most likely location for storm chasers to converge.

Before we begin with an analysis of the next few days, let’s start with a look at rainfall in Kansas City since this years LRC set up:

Kansas City International Airport Rainfall:

Weather2020 forecasted a dry first half of May and a stormier second half of May. This forecast is verifying quite well. Kansas City has only had 0.89″ in this first half of the month. The average first half of May rainfall amount is 2.56″. It has been rather dry and we need some rain and soon.  It is in the forecast later this week.  And, look at the difference from last year to this year. Let’s say Kansas City gets four more inches of rain this month, which is a possibility, this would still place us 12 inches under a year ago during the LRC season.

The set ups this week:

The outlook above is from todays SPC outlook, and the one below shows the severe weather outlook for Tuesday:

There will be some warm air aloft that will expand over the plains the next two days. This may limit the explosion of thunderstorms. The capping layer aloft can be a very big factor and we have to monitor this closely. Look at this set up for Tuesday at the surface:

Storm chasers will be way out west today, and then Tuesday, the set up is really looking impressive out over the western third of Kansas south into Oklahoma, and then northeast along that front in Nebraska and Iowa. Take a look at the dew point forecast from the NAM model:

If you look closely you can see the dry line clearly over western Kansas south into the eastern Texas Panhandle.  And, notice the lower dew points forecast to develop due to some sinking air over eastern Kansas and western Missouri south into Arkansas. There is a lot to think about and analyze here.

When is the cap most likely going to break? When this wave approaches and moves out over this warm and humid air mass, but look where it is at 7 PM Tuesday.

The cap breaking energy will be finally moving out over the plains near or after sunset Tuesday evening.  The cap would at this point finally break. There is certainly a chance it breaks earlier than this time frame, and for storm chasers this would be essential. If it doesn’t break before sunset, then there would be nothing to see in the daylight hours.

From the SPC:

“A strong cap should inhibit convection through much of the day. By late afternoon, strong heating along the dryline and increasing forcing for ascent should result in at least isolated supercell thunderstorm development from southwest NE through western KS into the eastern TX Panhandle.  If richer moisture does in fact exist that far west, a tornado threat also will increase with these storms.  After 00z, stronger forcing for ascent will overspread the region and further development is expected southward along the dryline.”

Today and Tuesday have the developing cap issues. Wednesday will be on the back side of this strong lead wave of energy, and then we will look into the set ups for later in the week.

Have a great day and thank you for participating in this weather experience.


2017-05-16T10:26:15+00:00 May 15th, 2017|General|20 Comments


  1. Three7s May 15, 2017 at 8:13 am - Reply

    The setup this week is getting a lot of hype nationally. I think the main area is going to be Central Kansas south into Oklahoma. That’s where the triple point looks like it will be.

  2. REAL HUMEDUDE May 15, 2017 at 8:45 am - Reply

    Any hope this storm system is pulling away by Saturday afternoon? TWC has Thunderstorms Saturday, and then a rain event Saturday night into Sunday ,making my “campout” more like a “washout”. I’ve seen GFS waffle on this a few times from the storm lasting into Sunday, to it pulling away to the east by Saturday. So seems like we still don’t know what this storm will do?

    • 2doghouse May 15, 2017 at 9:00 am - Reply

      This is where I am at too. I need to make a judgement call on a party for Sunday!

    • Gary May 15, 2017 at 9:08 am - Reply

      TWC always seems to side with the European Model. This model has been just horrible this entire LRC. Some years the Euro is superior and others like this one it is just bad. The Euro slows the end of the week storm down by an entire 24 to 36 hours. If that happens, then the rain chances increase substantially as a result of more south flow aloft with a stronger southern wave. I am not ruling this solution out yet, but it is an outlier. The other models have been much more progressive, still wet Friday night into Saturday morning, but then it blows by. This cycle has been quite similar to January, in LRC Cycle 2. If I just use January, then this system should be more progressive.


  3. Kurt May 15, 2017 at 9:42 am - Reply

    Wow, pretty remarkable the difference is rainfall in two years. I keep watering but really hope we get some good rain soon.

    • REAL HUMEDUDE May 15, 2017 at 11:37 am - Reply

      Even more remarkable that I desperately want the rain the end, and you need it to start! We aren’t even on polar opposites of the state, I’m only halfway down stateline, a bout right snack dab of West Central MO. I’ve had 3.5″ so far this month, I bet we end up with 6 or 7 inches for the month.

      • Kurt May 15, 2017 at 12:15 pm - Reply

        .10 the first 15 days of May, yes send your excess up here. No excuse for farmer’s not to have their crops in up here.

  4. Brad May 15, 2017 at 9:43 am - Reply

    So I’m a bit confused, does tomorrow looks active should the CAP break or is it Thursday the most greater active day???

    • Three7s May 15, 2017 at 10:29 am - Reply

      Tuesday night has a shot at being active if the cap breaks. Thursday has a very low chance of storms. Friday evening/night has outbreak potential.

  5. Tornado Boom Boom May 15, 2017 at 11:09 am - Reply

    are we going to see any of this potential severe weather in the KC area?

    • Gary May 15, 2017 at 5:14 pm - Reply

      I would be shocked if there wasn’t one pretty strong risk for KC. I still think Friday is the most likely day for western Missouri and eastern Kansas. Maybe within the next 24 hours we will be able to narrow in on this.


  6. Craig May 15, 2017 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Hey Gary, I have a question for you…
    If you were going to send Gerard on a field trip tomorrow, where would you send him? Maybe Salina and then start looking SW?

    • Gary May 15, 2017 at 5:10 pm - Reply

      Believe me, he wants to go so badly. We will have to see how it sets up in the morning. The cap looks strong. Some models break it, but will it?


  7. Randy Keller May 15, 2017 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    looks like nebraska is in the bulls eye to me?

    thanks Gary

    Go Sooners!

  8. L.B May 15, 2017 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    a lot of talk about some dry conditions around the area getting some respect now. Where is mower mike to berate them all and tell us how well his mowing is going in his areas? Weather blogs should welcome all opinions wet or dry in my humble opinion

    • Joe K May 15, 2017 at 8:11 pm - Reply


      Not one abnormally dry or drought area in Missouri. Just my humble opinion

  9. L.B May 15, 2017 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    One can be an optimist even in the face of discussing troubling times even if they are not exactly your notion of trouble

  10. L.B May 15, 2017 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    Joe K look beyond your local area it has been discussed here. I will leave it to you to do the research.

    • Joe May 15, 2017 at 9:42 pm - Reply


      Sorry, no abnormally dry or drought in Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois and very small portion in Arkansas and Nebraska. Am I missing something? I realize North West Missouri has had less rain than in Central and Southern Missouri however, they are not in a drought and the sub-soil moisture is in good shape. Of course, this all could change this summer. Respectfully, you may want to do some research as well, you do realize drought conditions are derived on multiple factors and from all over the state, right? Now, beyond using scientific data, we also have a farm not too far from St Joseph ( 30 Miles) and the soil is in good shape, ripped the ground and soil was good and moist beyond the top 4-6 inches. With that said, I used both scientific data and personal observation. How much more research do you want me to do?

  11. Jack May 16, 2017 at 12:31 am - Reply

    Looks like the 0z gfs and nam do not break the cap in Kansas.. convection looks to stay in nebraska and Oklahoma and Texas.. would not be shocked to see biggest risks in Nebraska and Oklahoma and Texas with a minor risk for Central Kansas

    Thursday seems to blow up with storms across Oklahoma and Kansas with a squall line moving in late here in KC.. if that would move out in time it looks like it could maybe set up a day for us here in KC with possible outflow boundaries from the night before… here we go folks.

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