Same Pattern, Tough Rainfall Forecast

/Same Pattern, Tough Rainfall Forecast

Same Pattern, Tough Rainfall Forecast

Good Tuesday bloggers,

It is no secret that we need rain as the drought is increasing, north of I-70, in Missouri and continues across much of Kansas. It is also no secret that we have come to this position due to the weather pattern that set up in October and November and continues to cycle.


Let’s think back to what has been going on. First, we had set ups during the winter where it could have easily snowed more than 2-3″ as lack of Arctic air was not an issue. And, when those situations arose we had computer data, two to four days out, that was all over the place. Some data would have us with a major snowstorm (2″-6″), while at the same time there was data that had nothing for the same set up! We know how that turned out. The model that had nothing or the least amount of snow was the winner 100% of the time. This was likely due to the fact that we are in a part of the country where the storm systems are dysfunctional and the storm systems were mostly small scale around here.

May 25th saw 2″-4″ of rain in most locations south of the river with flash flooding in Independence. Again, this was a relatively small scale event. Then, this last weekend we tracked a huge complex of thunderstorms in Nebraska southeast into eastern Kansas and western Missouri. And, what happened? It fell apart in our area and produced 50-70 mph winds as the thunderstorms were collapsing.

So, we have a history of seeing localized very heavy rain to almost nothing in the Spring and as far the winter was concerned every single snow set up turned out to be a dud.

Now, here we go again. Thursday-Saturday we have a set up where disturbances will track out of the Rockies and head out into the Plains. These disturbances will interact with heat, humidity and a stalled front. The front will be wavering between I-80 and I-70. This set up along with the time of year is a recipe for thunderstorms, no matter what the pattern. However, we know this pattern and we have computer data just 2-3 days out that is all over the place.

Here is the rainfall forecast through Friday from the three main models we look at.

00Z TUESDAY EUROPEAN: The EURO has a trace to .10″ over all of Kansas and Missouri. This is a bit hard to believe as the upper level waves are there on all the models and it would be shocking to see no thunderstorms anywhere.


6Z TUESDAY GFS: This model does have much more thunderstorm activity than the EURO, but weakens them as they approach. Sound familiar? Remember, this is thunderstorm complex weather and any localized location can see more than 3″ of rain.


6Z TUESDAY NAM: This is the most exciting for our area with 3″-8″ of rain forecast right over KC. It arrives at this solution by first bringing thunderstorms south-southwest from Iowa Wednesday night followed by new thunderstorms forming on the left over boundary from the upper level waves. This is not unrealistic as the flow is weak and thunderstorm complexes could turn south-southwest. This is similar to the rainfall pattern from may 25th.


What do we believe? Well, the EURO seems too dry and at this moment we are throwing this out. It is June, there are waves, the dew point is near 70°, no way there are not thunderstorms in the region. The GFS and NAM have solutions that have occurred this season, so both are possible. The bottom line is that we are in a wait and see, on how this sets up. But, the NAM 7″+ bulls eye is not unrealistic, but the location of that bulls eye is up in the air at this moment.

Stay Tuned!

Jeff Penner

2018-06-06T00:37:53+00:00June 5th, 2018|General|14 Comments


  1. Richard June 5, 2018 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Thanks Jeff
    So you are doing the blogs now ?

    I hope that NAM holds for kc in bulls eye !
    The more green the grass and foliage, the longer we can avoid heat waves.

  2. Snow Miser June 5, 2018 at 9:56 am - Reply

    7 inches for KC? Well, I want rain, but not that much! Hope we get a compromise between the GFS and NAM.

    • Snow Miser June 5, 2018 at 9:59 am - Reply

      And the newest NAM has much less than that now. Less than a half inch, to be precise!

  3. Mr. Pete June 5, 2018 at 9:59 am - Reply

    Used to be that Jeff only blogged on the weekend.

    • Richard June 5, 2018 at 10:09 am - Reply

      But Jeff does a great job. Not as detailed where the lrc is concerned, but more of a forecast.
      Easy o follow.

      • LYITC41 June 5, 2018 at 11:53 am - Reply

        Less talk about theories and more about the wx at hand is fine with me. Regarding the drought monitor graphic, I don’t see how it can be as dry as indicated down in Wichita and the surrounding area. I know over the last 2-3 wks I’ve seen many rounds of rain and storms roll through down there on radar. I know they got this graphic from CPC so maybe it was super dry down there before the rains I saw came through. They(CPC) claim drought will either improve or be removed through Aug. across Kansas and Northern MO. That, however, was issued on May 17 so something may have changed since then. Hope not.

  4. Ben June 5, 2018 at 11:50 am - Reply

    Nice write up. The rain in north MO has been so hit and miss. The crops could really use a wide spread 2-3 inch rain event heading in to June. It’s not panic time yet but farmers are def concerned with the dryness

  5. j-ox June 5, 2018 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    Lawrence at 50% = nearly 7.5″ below average. Timely rains have kept the grass green, but subsoils getting dry. Whah waaaaaa.

  6. Roger June 5, 2018 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    Wichita and southcentral Kansas are running 9-15 inches below average in the last 12 months. Short-term (May) had near normal precipitation (4-5 inches). However, there was a 2-3 week period in the middle of the month where only 0.25-0.75 occurred. So, when it did rain (first couple of days of month, last couple days of month), there were some locally heavy rains. However, too many days in between where there was minimal to no rainfall.

  7. f00dl3 June 5, 2018 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Uhoh – Gary’s next week gonna be wet looks like it may not – GFS now only shows 1/2″ rain this week, 4/10″ next week.

    • REAL HUMEDUDE June 5, 2018 at 3:17 pm - Reply

      Who knows? Last few chances of rain the models blew it off, only for the storms to materialize. Heck, last Thursday we had no chance of rain for Saturday, suddenly the models showed a small chance and then the storms actually over performed for our area. They had zero chance of them making it to Farm,but we got 1/3″ Saturday am. Just saying the models don’t handle NW flow well at all, these are small scale short waves and we can’t see them well until about 36hours out. If we see them at all 4-5 days out that’s a good sign something will be in the area. I bet we get rain 2-3 times between Thursday and Sunday.
      One thing I can say almost positively is that this pattern is nothing compared to 2012 Anti-cyclone that just never ended in this part of the country. This is a drier pattern, but not even close to the 12′ drought by miles

      • NoBeachHere June 5, 2018 at 3:28 pm - Reply

        Agree Hume, the nasty high in 2012 set up almost on top of us. 0 chance of rain till late August . Then it took a leftover tropical system to salvage what was left. This years pattern is very frustrating.

  8. Joe June 5, 2018 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    History…i mean the LRC tends to repeat itself == Euro

    • Richard June 5, 2018 at 6:30 pm - Reply

      Jeff said they are ignoring history on this one and kicking the Euro to the curb

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