Today’s Difficult Severe Weather Forecast

/Today’s Difficult Severe Weather Forecast

Today’s Difficult Severe Weather Forecast

Good morning bloggers,

We will begin todays blog with the rainfall amount from south Overland Park. Sunny The Weather Dog shows us the 2.04″ that has fallen from this storm as of early this morning. KCI Airport had over 3″ and the amounts varied quite a bit depending on if you were in the direct path of the cores of these thunderstorms or not. The rainfall rates were in the 2 to 3″ per hour level and today will likely have similar results.

The radar this morning is pretty dry across Kansas. The longer it takes for thunderstorms to form, the more likely it is that the sun will come out and warm things up a bit. It is now May 19th and today poses some very difficult challenges.

Yesterday, the SPC forecast of the High Risk actually verified in the high risk area, but it just didn’t live up to what a High Risk is supposed to mean. This is actually a good thing as we avoided a major disaster.  Here are the storm reports from Thursday:

19 tornado reports and 351 total reports are still a lot, but not quite what a major outbreak is usually expected to produce. This would likely not be considered a major severe weather outbreak.

The models are all over the place on the prediction of what will happen today.  Let’s look at the 8 AM surface map and see if we can identify anything important:


The SPC could very well be undergoing today as much as it overdid yesterday. I am not sure yet as todays set up is so complex. Take a look:

It could go from a very slight risk to major severe thunderstorms very quickly.  This rarely happens, but there have been other rather slight risk days that have blown into very bad days. One of the Moore, OK tornado days was one of them when there was a rather slight risk that suddenly came together. We just have to monitor how this sets up today because there is a very strong storm system aloft to our west.

Thunderstorms did just start forming south and west of Emporia as I was finishing this blog entry. So, let’s monitor this new development and see how warm it gets out ahead of it.

Thank you for participating and sharing in this weather experience. IT’S FRIDAY!



2017-05-20T11:04:25+00:00 May 19th, 2017|General|61 Comments


  1. Anonymous May 19, 2017 at 7:54 am - Reply

    1.1″ in NW Lawrence.

  2. LSMike(Cowboys) May 19, 2017 at 7:56 am - Reply

    Never seen a rain gage like that!! Where you get that Gary?

    • Michael Casteel May 19, 2017 at 7:59 am - Reply

      you can order them from Productive Alternatives Its called an All Weather Rain Gauge.

    • Urbanity May 19, 2017 at 8:32 am - Reply

      LS, the AWRG, it’s the only rain gauge us real weather guys use, tri-coated double strand rigid eco-polyurethane, formed and shaped in the fires of Mordor, diamond based lead propagated ink for non-fade encryption, it’s unblemishable and indestructible, and you can also find them at Walgreen’s located just under the plastic water guns.

  3. j-ox May 19, 2017 at 7:56 am - Reply

    1.1″ in NW Lawrence.

  4. Michael Casteel May 19, 2017 at 7:57 am - Reply

    Hey Gary I got a rain gauge exactly like that one! They are awesome and super accurate. I recorded exactly 1″ this morning up in Maryville. Looks like we will miss the severe stuff up this way. Pretty cool this morning. 55 degrees at 6:30a.m. BRRRR stay safe Bloggers and have a great weekend!

  5. LSMike(Cowboys) May 19, 2017 at 8:14 am - Reply

    Sun poking out downtown

  6. Urbanity May 19, 2017 at 8:39 am - Reply

    Yesterday was interesting, the storms EXPLODED in central Kansas below the warm front, yet like I was saying earlier that day, the cold cloudy day did not leave enough unstable air in place as the warm front moved north. It was still a powerful system but the storms seemed to fire further north than expected, and when they hit the stable atmosphere, and the wind farm, they went poof. I live near the windfarm west of Ellsworth, and can say we had barely a sprinkle as the initial explosion of storms moved through, but then we received some moderate rain later for and hour or so. I would suspect we had less than an inch, maybe less than half an inch. The more impressive looking storm was the tailing end of the system as it moved out, the wall cloud was very impressive, as was the brief rainfall.

  7. Kstater May 19, 2017 at 8:53 am - Reply

    I had a feeling today would be more a heavy rain event than a severe weather event and it looks like that will be the case. We had some crazy winds last night right before 10 here in Lawrence.

  8. Anonymous May 19, 2017 at 8:55 am - Reply

    Tossed out 1″ this morning. Had rain, thunder and lighting but no hail that I know of. 87th and Antioch in OP

  9. George May 19, 2017 at 8:57 am - Reply

    Had a big branch down in the neighbors yard as well blocking part of my street.

  10. REAL HUMEDUDE May 19, 2017 at 9:11 am - Reply

    I was very lucky to miss the big rains last night, only got about 1/2″ of nice moderate showers. If I can dodge another bullet today my campout wont be a big mud fest, that’s a big IF. Already storms developing even though our atmosphere would normally be totally taxed, a big indicator how strong this storm system really is. Incredible how we can lack a storm this strong all year until the Spring time, this is the another absolute monster ULL. Can you imagine the blizzard if this had been a winter storm? Or the one earlier this week? It was another beastly system. As long as these can trail a cold front later in the summer we will survive the longer dry stretches and heat.

  11. Craig May 19, 2017 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Gary, I have a question.
    Much concern yesterday about explosive development because there was no cap. However, maybe the lack of cap saved the day simply because so many storms developed so quickly that outflows etc muddled up the atmosphere and drained instability.
    Could it be that the most dangerous days involve at least a moderate cap that is only broken late in the process by the oncoming upper-air dynamics?

    • ClassyCat May 19, 2017 at 10:20 am - Reply

      That’s an great question Craig. I always thought big cap, no possibility of violent weather. You may have a great point with that.

  12. Ravi Kondapalli May 19, 2017 at 9:16 am - Reply

    It was fascinating watching the radar last night. The storms from Oklahoma were moving really fast. I have not seen a line of storms that moved through so quickly. Just as I was anticipating them to hit the metro around midnight they were here the next time I refreshed the radar. Overall not much impact in South JoCo apart from a few heavy bursts of rain.

    • Gary May 19, 2017 at 11:13 am - Reply

      Watch radar now. It will be fascinating again. There is a strong wave moving our way.


      • Jason May 19, 2017 at 12:13 pm - Reply

        This mean more 70mph wind gusts?

  13. Jason May 19, 2017 at 9:54 am - Reply

    1.1″ south of Lawrence. Trees/limbs down everywhere on my drive to work. Those wind gusts were strong! I was worried my Purple Martin poles would snap. Hoping no 70mph gusts tonight.

  14. Kurt May 19, 2017 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Just a glorious 1.9 inches of rain, no hail or extreme winds just a good old fashioned thunderstorm and many hours of a gentle to moderate rain. Didn’t wash any ruts and most of it really soaked in good. Awesome to finally get a decent rain.

    • REAL HUMEDUDE May 19, 2017 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      Another nice dose headed your way Kurt, get those soils saturated!

  15. Farmermike May 19, 2017 at 10:22 am - Reply

    another 1.60″ here at the farm — month total now at 7.40″

    • REAL HUMEDUDE May 19, 2017 at 11:44 am - Reply

      Ouch! Your drowning up there man! I hope you don’t have too much water sitting in the fields, that’s way too much rain.

  16. REAL HUMEDUDE May 19, 2017 at 12:05 pm - Reply


  17. blue flash May 19, 2017 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    1.95″ in west central Independence. Very strong winds but not reaching severe criteria. No hail, thank goodness, we just had a new roof put on in December from the last major hailstorm.

  18. MJ May 19, 2017 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    Sun poking out in East Ind.

  19. Mr. Pete May 19, 2017 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    Gary how much rain will we see today/ tomorrow?

  20. Rockdoc May 19, 2017 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    Gary, You mentioned on the surface map that there is an inverted trough. My question is how might this impact the weather set up for today. You had indicated it is complex.

    I had to look that up and read about it, so if anyone else is curious here is a good explanation, but it does not say what, if any, impact it would have on storm systems.

    You can see the inverted trough here along with dew points for 4 pm today. There also appears to be a cap in place looking at the temps for the 850mb and 700mb layers. There is a difference of about 5 degrees C with the 700mb layer being much cooler.

    Also, thanks to the folks who indicated what type of rain gauge that is and where to find it. I found it for sale here:

    Well, we may end up needing our duck feet after today…..have a great Friday everyone!

    • Gary May 19, 2017 at 4:09 pm - Reply

      The inverted trough actually was a good indicator that we were not going to destablize and that the risk shifted way south. There was a chance that we could clear out and warm up, which didn’t happen. The inverted trough is more indicative of being into the colder air.

      The next band of rain may develop just after sunset. It will most likely target the south and east sides of KC with KC on the edge. Let’s see how it evolves.


  21. Jill May 19, 2017 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    Strong wave of storms coming from Emporia. Once it passes through in a few hours will we see any more rain today?

  22. REAL HUMEDUDE May 19, 2017 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    Any chance this big wave coming up now essentially is the main show for the afternoon amd evening?
    I’m thinking it will work the atmosphere over pretty good, limiting anything we get after this wave goes throught. I’m hoping that’s the case anyways, I need it to start drying out ASAP!!
    Hrrr develops another wave behind this, just not sure of I buy that or if this system is strong enough to get activity going regardless of atmospheric instability available

    • Bill in Lawrence May 19, 2017 at 2:18 pm - Reply


      I 100% agree with you.

      I am only a hobbyist on a good day and probably way off here, but I just don’t see severe weather or any flash flooding being an issue at least here in the Lawrence area. This wave is even weakening as it approaches Lawrence and I will venture that I wind up with at tops 1/2 an inch from this wave and with the looks of the radar now, that may just be it.

      I picked up just over an inch last night with some pretty strong winds but if I do indeed only pick up another 1/2 inch, then this storm will be 1.5 inches which will put me at just under 3 inches for the month. That is plenty of rain for the grass and the crops and thanks to a freak down pour the last week of April my pond is full so I am not complaining nor crying drought.

      However, if if I do indeed wind up with the 1.5 inches from this storm, that will be the 3rd storm in a row the models as late as 24 hours before the event showed flooding rains which in reality were much less; I mean last week they showed me with 3 inches and I got .10. My point is, that this LRC is really showing its real colors with these past few storm systems that have under performed for this immediate area. I am close to two inches below average for the month of May and way below average for the year; if you take out two events in April things look much differently.

      I am not crying drought and I have stated on here many times that I have thought there were enough players to keep us from a 2012 repeat and I think you are seeing that now; just enough rain in between some dry and windy stretches to keep us going. However, model outputs depicting 3-5 inches of rain for any single event or for a 4-5 day stretch in my humble opinion need to be taken with a serious grain of salt.

      Again, I am probably totally wrong on all this and this storm will probably produce another wave of rain tonight; however, I will still call my area getting 1.5 inches for this storm based on how all but 2 events have panned out in this LRC since October.

      Just some thoughts

      Bill in Washington Creek Valley in Lawrence

      • Baseball Mike May 19, 2017 at 2:38 pm - Reply

        Bill it is absolutely amazing that we are probably 25-30 miles apart and I have now recorded for Colorado State as an observer of precip over 20 inches since January 1-it is raining here moderately this afternoon. Take care and hope your school year has wound down.


        • Bill in Lawrence May 19, 2017 at 3:04 pm - Reply

          Baseball Mike:

          Great to hear from you!! Actually grading research papers right now and needed a bit of a break so here I am on the blog LOL

          I have had plenty of rain and SW parts Lawrence are having a deluge right now that will probably drop a good inch to inch and half so my above post is about as wrong as one could be on a weather blog!!

          Hope all is well in retirement!!

          Bill in Washington Creek Valley in Lawrence

      • REAL HUMEDUDE May 19, 2017 at 2:41 pm - Reply

        Bill – but local areas have gotten 5-7″ rains from a couple of these systems, albeit not in your vicinity. Happy to hear your pond is full, that was quite a process wasn’t it? All depends on your watershed, I’m lucky to have about 150 acres that drains into my pit, so it only takes 1 big rain to fill her up even if it’s multiple feet low. It was 6′ low in 2012, Isaac filled her back up in 1 event.

  23. Anonymous May 19, 2017 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    well the Weather Prediction Center (WPC, formerly HPC) sure changed its course probably due to looking like what was just mentioned (also radar trends). It went from about 2 inches over KC this eve to tomorrow morning to about a 0.5 an inch

  24. David May 19, 2017 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Gary, is this the dry slot approaching and did the storm change course leading to central Nebraska to get more than us now?

  25. Bill in Lawrence May 19, 2017 at 3:01 pm - Reply


    I have probably overstated this quite a bit and in fact as I am typing this Noah’s Ark weather has just come over the top of my school so I should probably just stay away from the Blog for a while!!! LOL Having a real down pour here right now but this down pour at least as it looks on radar is missing my house.

    I am not in any way saying that we are abnormally dry or going into a drought and I hope I have not come across that way. I have had plenty of rain because those 2 April events did happen and I am getting good rain from this system. I think my point is that when the models are depicting area wide 3-5 inches they need to be taken with a grain of salt with this pattern.

    I am going to take a step back again; this LRC has made a pretty big fool out of me LOL

    My pond has bout a 15 acre drain but it is so heavily wooded that in the summer it take a gully washer to really fill it. The rains last July didn’t but a drop in it. I have cleared some stuff out so that has helped. Of course until I can break the dam and build a new one, this is going to be a constant battle!!

    Bill in Washington Creek Valley In Lawrence

  26. David May 19, 2017 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    WPC seems to confirm what others think:

    only 0.25 to 0.5 in KC area. A far cry from the flash flood watch. Seems like radar trends showing this too

  27. reak May 19, 2017 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    Just in case the responses to REAL HUMEDUDE AND Baseball Mike get buried, I want to state that my original post above was about as wrong as one could get regarding this wave; I thought it was weakening as it approached Lawrence but man we just had a 25 min deluge in the SW part of town that put down at least an inch.

    As I have said, once again, the LRC makes me look silly…time to back away from the key board for a while!!

    Bill in Washington Creek Valley in Lawrence

    • MMike May 19, 2017 at 3:51 pm - Reply


      Not at all, there has been the dry periods and Gary has done a good job of picking them out. He did call for 6 storm systems when this all started and he did call for a dry first half of May and a wetter second half. I believe you and him couldn’t imagine a region wide wet April with this year’s LRC, but, it happened and I feel this year’s pattern has been just about perfect for most. Just when it gets a bit dry, a good timed out rain and cooler temps hit. Then we have 10 day periods of dry, which is good for getting things done and enjoying the warmer weather.

      It’s not the amount of rain or the totals, it’s all about timing and this spring has been just about perfect. Obviously too much in areas of MO, but here in KC and Lawrence, talk about a perfect pattern in my opinion.

  28. MMike May 19, 2017 at 3:20 pm - Reply


    Dang you and this drought talk….HA! Just kidding, I fully understand what you are saying and I always do.

    However, I will respectively disagree on your thought that these systems in KS and MO have under performed because of this year’s LRC If you look at a map for KS and MO since the start of Spring, you will find that the majority of both states is above average on spring moisture. Will these same areas end up that way June, 20th, we’ll see. Speaking of that, KC officially averages around 13.2 inches of rain in the spring, we’re above that now and we have 5 weeks of spring left. So, the spring will be labeled as wetter then average for KC and many other locations in KS and MO. Now, there’s always going to be a few spots that miss the heavier surplus convective rains, that happens every year. My argument is that this has been a wet pattern for the majority of KS and MO per the seasonal averages this spring, something that was talked by many wouldn’t be a possibility….

    This pattern produced below average moisture in the Fall and the Winter, hardly a single storm that was as strong as the last 9 this spring. We have had 9 very strong storms since March 20th.

    As far as the models showing heavy rains, well, they’ll never be perfect but 3-3.5 inches of rain fell not to far from you…north side of KC. Lots of pockets over KS too that saw that much. So, the wet look to the data actually happened, it was just maybe not nearly as widespread??

  29. Morgan May 19, 2017 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    Models completely whiffed on today’s rain amounts. Radar looks rather dry with a major dry slot approaching.

  30. j-ox May 19, 2017 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    .65″ from this afternoon’s tropical downpour for a 1.75″ total so far in NW Lawrence.

  31. Jack May 19, 2017 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    What happened to Friday being the day of most concern for severe weather?

    • Jack May 19, 2017 at 5:08 pm - Reply

      For here in KC?

  32. MMike May 19, 2017 at 5:18 pm - Reply


    Severe weather set-ups are always tricky, we stayed in the clouds and we just received a band of rain. So, that hurt the set-up locally. But, severe weather is all around us in KS and MO, where conditions are more favorable. I’m glad we missed it all.

  33. Rockdoc May 19, 2017 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    Tornado warnings in Central Kansas. Just received severe storm warning for Hutchinson -McPherson area. Large hail and damaging winds. Stay safe in Central KS!

    I get warnings for all project sites which are scattered around KS, MO and NJ.

    It’s chilly out right now in downtown OP. Glad I wore warmer clothes today plus rain gear 😊

  34. Rockdoc May 19, 2017 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Clarification. Tornado Watch for Central Kansas till 10:00 tonight!!!

  35. Tim May 19, 2017 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    To the lawn care experts, i have 2 year old fescue sod. It has looked great with deep dark green using regular scotts fertilizer. New homes had sod put in last month and they turned brown about a week later. Thought maybe it was a fungus. Now my lawn and neighbors is dark green, but with rapidly appearing brown with the undergrowth this week. Notice some brown patches today. Is this normal, or should i be seeking out anti-fungus application tomorrow?

    • MMike May 19, 2017 at 7:33 pm - Reply


      Your yard went through warm/dry shock after being babied with cool and wet, pretty common occurrence this time of year.

      When a yard gets too much moisture plus favorable temps, then goes to high winds and a very warm air mass, shock sets in. Once again, pretty common this time of year.

      Too many folks water too late, you must transition the turf from cool/wet to warm/dry with applications of water. The turf will eventually adapt to warmer days and less watering(summer time)

      Fungus is not a problem right now as we have not been wet for weeks on end with high humidity. Wet and humidity is the main cause for fungus disease.

      You likely have shock opposed to disease, should come out of it with the recent rains and cooler temps coming.

      • Tim May 19, 2017 at 9:18 pm - Reply

        Thanks MMike!!!

    • Joe K May 19, 2017 at 8:14 pm - Reply


      MMike would be the best person to answer this and he normally does a good job at responding to these so if he doesn’t tonight, post it again tomorrow. With that said, I too have experienced this during wet rainy periods and am currently experiencing it. I have been told that excessive water ( rain fall) is normally the cause and that it is a type of mold/fungus. I have never treated my yard and it eventually improves once the weather turns dry. Of course, I could be wrong

  36. Richard May 19, 2017 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    At 6 p.m. your news anchor Mike says “strong storms heading for the metro right now.”
    Why. Because they aren’t.
    Why don’t they wait. let you give the forecast. Which you did.
    Hype from the news anchors is the reason I only watch kshb for your forecast.

    • Joe K May 19, 2017 at 8:16 pm - Reply


      Actually, there are some strong storms heading our way. They don’t look to impact the entire Metro, but will impact some of it.

      • Richard May 20, 2017 at 7:14 am - Reply

        Joe K
        Mike said “right now” (6 p.m.)
        It did not happen. At that time everything was east.
        Oh well. My point was the anchors.

        You almost went into shock ? lol

    • Gary May 20, 2017 at 12:42 am - Reply

      I almost went into shock when they introduced me at 6

  37. Mr. Pete May 19, 2017 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    Here comes the rain again

  38. Dave LS May 19, 2017 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    Hume I hope this is the last round for you. We’ve all had a lot of rain, but down south is getting punched again. Cheers to drying out this weekend

  39. Bill in Lawrence May 20, 2017 at 7:36 am - Reply


    Good chilly Saturday morning to you sir.

    Total of 1.6 inches here in Washington Creek Valley; a perfect drink for everything!!

    I apologize for the what seem to me to be spazzy posts yesterday; one should not post and grade papers at the same time.

    It is finals and graduation week this week for our school (and my oldest son is one of the graduating-can’t believe that!!) and then off to summer projects!!

    Have a great weekend everyone

    Bill in Washington Creek Valley in Lawrence

    • j-ox May 20, 2017 at 9:16 am - Reply

      2.15″ = grand total since Thursday in NW Lawrence.

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