Another Difficult Weather Pattern To Forecast Over The Plains

/Another Difficult Weather Pattern To Forecast Over The Plains

Another Difficult Weather Pattern To Forecast Over The Plains

Good morning bloggers,

I hope everyone is having a great start to the week. The pattern continues to cycle according to the LRC.  We have been forecasting that the last third of the month  of May  has the best chance of being wetter near KC.  The part of the pattern that produced  the April 13-16 stormy period will be cycling back through near the end of the month.  The biggest outbreak of this pattern (the pattern begins in October and lasts through September) happened on April 3rd, and that part of the pattern is due in around the 20th of this month as well.  Between now and then there are some other systems that will potentially have a few severe weather risks, but they aren’t the bigger ones that have happened. We are in the forecast quieter period right now. There are a few chances in this next  7 days, however, but they are quite challenging to the weather forecaster. We will discuss each chance of thunderstorms as they show up from day to day.  Let’s begin today by looking at the past 90 days:

Screen Shot 2018-05-06 at 3.59.16 PM

The cold April really created the past 90-day anomalies to show up cold from Montana southeast to Missouri. The dry areas across Kansas continued despite some rain events that has caused the drought to contract a bit back over Kansas, across northwest Oklahoma into the Texas Panhandle.  The same pattern has continued the struggle to produce consistent rains to end that drought, and this week will be another test.

Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 7.08.20 AMThe European Model suddenly went into a rather dry forecast over these next ten days. While it appears to be a somewhat active pattern, the trend on most of the models has been a bit drier. This forecast map on the left shows the European Model rainfall forecast over the next ten days ending on May 17th.  Look closely at that pattern on this forecast rainfall map.  Now, compare it to what has happened over the past 90 days.  It’s as if the same pattern is continuing. Well, we know that it is because the same pattern that setup last fall is continuing to cycle today centered in the 47-48 day cycle range.  There are a few chances for thunderstorms in the next week across the plains. The most likely  areas that will have the heaviest rainfall will be all around the driest areas.  A few thunderstorms will sneak into the drought plagued region as well, so let’s see how each set up evolves.

This next map shows the zoomed in rainfall forecast from the same European Model:

Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 7.08.41 AM

This forecast map shows spotty totals, fairly low 10-day rainfall totals over northeastern KS and northwestern MO, while at the same time there are higher totals just to the north and off to the east.

The SPC outlook for Tuesday:


There is some potential for a few severe thunderstorms in this marginal risk area.  Given the time of the year, we will be monitoring this closely. The models have varied from having these thunderstorms form just west of KC, to having them form just east of KC.  Let’s see how this sets up tomorrow. Then next weekend is interesting, but the storm system is just not organizing properly; I mean it just isn’t looking that likely for KC to be in the right spot for thunderstorms despite a slow moving front in the area. We will analyze these set ups in the next few blogs, and on 41 Action News.

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today: A rather calm and beautiful day. Expect a mostly sunny sky with light winds.  High:  81°
  • Tonight:  Mostly clear with a low in the upper 50s to near 60°
  • Tuesday:  Periods of clouds with a 30% chance of thunderstorms.  Thunderstorms will develop, but will they form north and east of KC, and thus miss us, or will they form overhead or just west. This is our big forecast challenge for tomorrow.  Expect southeast winds 10-20 mph. High:  81°
  • Wednesday:  A gorgeous spring day with west winds at 10 -20 mph. Mostly sunny with a high of 86°

Have a great day. Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day reading the Action Weather Blog featuring Weather2020 and the LRC. Go over to the Weather2020 blog to join in the conversation.


2018-05-08T07:38:47+00:00May 7th, 2018|General|15 Comments


  1. Three7s May 7, 2018 at 9:02 am - Reply

    In shorter words, nothing going on weather-wise until this weekend at the earliest. Gotcha!

  2. REAL HUMEDUDE May 7, 2018 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Kurt – how much rain did you end up with last week? We got about 8/10″, al the corn is popping and looking good down here. Pastures all growing like gang busters and creeks flowing strong. Will need something this week to keep the dust down, these warmer sunny days really dry it out fast. Some places forecasting several changes this week, others not so optimistic. I bet there are a couple sneaky storms around this week, hope everybody gets what they need.

  3. Kurt May 7, 2018 at 9:53 am - Reply

    I got a total of 2.22 last week, however the St. Joseph reporting station only reported 1.04 (I think), definitely much less than me. However, we are still at about 33% of average year-to-date. It was enough to get the corn that’s been planted to sprout but really still quite dry up here. For now we are really green, but it will be a struggle to keep things watered and some ponds from drying up and the crops to grow with this pattern.

  4. Lary Gezak May 7, 2018 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Think we may be able to hit 90 Wednesday with enough sunshine…

    • Gary May 7, 2018 at 10:36 am - Reply

      I agree. We have, what we call a U, where we are in the warm sector, and depending on clouds, and I don’t think there will be any, then 90 is possible.


      • Nick May 7, 2018 at 3:22 pm - Reply

        yea I noticed that we have been running abit warmer than model/NWS forecasts, we were suppossed to fail to hit 80F today( a few days ago the gfs had us looking pretty cool today I think) but here it is still 82F at 3 pm and yesterday St. Joe hit 87F ( suddenly it has been pretty warm lately, no big heat but a steady simmer, ( today is a full week I believe where St. Joe has hit at least 80F everyday) I too wonder if that suedo high that had been causing storms to physically move in a clockwise fashion around us( there have been several times where a surface low would move SW to NE to our northwest, then turn east, and south and dive from NW to SE to our east) will “pop” in the summer and become a spot where an anticyclone will want to anchor its self( at least from time to time) either way, at least we did get some rain with a few rounds of thunderstorms last week for a total of near 1.20 inch in St. Joe I hope that we can at least beat the drought back, but we will see.

  5. Jim May 7, 2018 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Has a weather person ever said a forecast was easy? “Got this one in the bag” No, you haven’t. It’s just called weather.

    • Gary May 7, 2018 at 10:36 am - Reply


      Todays forecast is easy! LOL

      • Jim May 7, 2018 at 12:47 pm - Reply

        Got me there.

  6. Rockdoc May 7, 2018 at 10:49 am - Reply

    I bet the hardest part of today’s forecast is determining what the EOI will be….LOL…. That being said, it looks like early next week will be dry and starting to warm up again after the weekend cool-down. I’m hopeful that this verifies since I will be out in the field for several days and do not want any storms.

  7. Anonymous by choice May 7, 2018 at 11:38 am - Reply

    Mower Mike #WETDROUGHT

  8. Tdogg May 7, 2018 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    I still hold out hope for one more snow!

  9. VERNON T. TAGGERT May 7, 2018 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    I have in my notes that a storm from February 4 was supposed to cycle back around on Wednesday, looks like it is happening.

  10. Kurt May 7, 2018 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Appears to be a weak version of the storm this week, looks like a later summer pattern that we’ve had around here with very dry conditions. This doesn’t look like the popcorn type storms with high humidity – at least with those you had a chance of a hit or miss downpour and eventually hoped to win out.

    Water, water, water. Yards will really need to water with these warmer temps.

  11. Mr. Pete May 7, 2018 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    EOI is awesome. Took advantage of it. Cool and no bugs.

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