Good morning Weather2020.com bloggers,
The water vapor satellite picture shows high moisture levels streaming overhead from the southeast. As soon as we reach convective temperature cumulus clouds will rapidly form and showers and thunderstorms are more likely today in this higher moisture profiled atmosphere:
Three straight days of afternoon and evening thunderstorms have left the weather enthusiast with some nice looking cloud features to take in and enjoy. Unfortunately most spots have been left high and dry despite these huge cumulonimbus clouds tracking slowly across from east to west around the stalling upper low. The upper low has weakened, as I will show you below, and there is a stream of moisture approaching from the southeast today. There is an increasing chance of showers and thunderstorms today, and they may form a bit earlier later this morning.
The above cloud is a classic single cell cumulonimbus cloud, with a few enhanced features. The cumulonimbus cloud will start as a small cumulus cloud and eventually grow into cumulus congestus, or towering cumulus. The past three days have been fascinating weather days around Kansas City with conditions favorable for these beautiful clouds. The day has started out without a cloud in the sky, but as the sun warmed up the surface layer of the atmosphere conditions became favorable for cumulus to form and then grow into these beautiful clouds. The top of the cumulonimbus cloud can reach up to 75,000 feet. This one yesterday got up close to 40,000 feet up in the atmosphere, and there was a penetrating top, or overshooting top. And, there was even a hint of snow falling from the anvil, which is the top of the thunderhead.
Watch my video on cumulonimbus clouds: Cumulonimbus Cloud Video Description. This is one of many videos available on the videos tab. The cumulus cloud continues to grow until it reaches the tropopause, or the bottom of the stratosphere where there is an inversion, or the temperature begins warming up.
It took seven days for an upper low to form near the California coast, move east slowly, and then end up near the southern Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas border today. There are disturbances rotating around this low and one of them is approaching the KC viewing area from the east this morning. This will bring a pocket of colder air aloft overhead today and cumulus clouds will likely grow into more wide spread showers and thunderstorms by later this morning or early this afternoon.
Confidence is still shaky on any wide spread heavy rainfall in the next seven days, but there is a good chance that conditions will become favorable for more organized thunderstorm activity by Sunday night. We will talk about the potential for this MCS (Meso-Scale Convective System) activity over the weekend.
Have a great Friday! Let us know if you have any questions or comments.