Severe Weather Risks, Most Likely Southeast Of KC

/Severe Weather Risks, Most Likely Southeast Of KC

Severe Weather Risks, Most Likely Southeast Of KC

Good morning bloggers,

A strong storm is developing as it crosses the western states and intensifies over the plains. The Storm Prediction Center and the National Weather Service are wording our severe weather risks strongly. And, I don’t blame them, as there are many ingredients seemingly coming together. But, remember, it is this years pattern. Near KC, it has been anything but typical and this storm fits the mold.  Here are the risks:

day2otlk_0600This is the Day 2 severe weather risk on the left, and this is Day 3 on the right.  Kansas City is placed in the slight risk with the enhanced risk in the Kansas City television viewing area on tomorrows risk, and then the risk shifts east on Saturday.

day3otlk_0730Colder air will blast back into the plains on Saturday as this storm matures and closes off.

As I said, many of the ingredients are coming together to produce the conditions for the Storm Prediction Centers risk areas, but something is still off in our area. I am not going to say there is no chance of severe weather. If anything does develop, if a cumulonimbus cloud can break through the cap, then we may have one big supercell to track west and northwest of KC Friday evening. The chance of this happening, however, seems quite low to me.  Let’s take a look at the surface forecast from last nights GFS and NAM models:



Now, if one would believe this 100%, then there is no chance of severe thunderstorms in our area at all.  On the GFS, nothing develops. And, on the NAM that thin line forms, and then it falls apart an hour or so later. Now, we have to see how this trends. There is a lot of energy coming in.



Again, just looking at the surface pattern and this upper level energy, I do not blame the SPC and NWS for having some strong wording. I, myself, will cover this set up meticulously. But, I lean strongly in the direction of it not quite coming together in our area. We had a set up similar to this a couple of weeks ago and all of the thunderstorms formed way southeast of our region. We already have a history of this.  Now, when this pattern returns in 47 days, this is when it should light up over our area due to the late May and early June seasonal difference to the pattern.

Kansas City Weather Timeline:

  • Today:  Mostly sunny, warm, and windy. South winds 15-30 mph and gusty. High:  82°
  • Tonight: Increasing clouds becoming cloudy. Windy with south winds 10-25 mph. Low:  67°
  • Friday:  Periods of clouds with a chance of a few weak showers or thunderstorms.  The chance of measurable rain is 50%.  High:  76°
  • Friday Night:  Partly cloudy with the wind shifting to the west and northwest.  Turning colder with a 20% chance of a thunderstorm.  Low:  47°
  • Saturday: Periods of clouds and colder with a 20% chance of showers. High:  49°
  • Sunday: Cloudy with a few snowflakes or raindrops possible in the morning. High:  45°

We still have to monitor Sunday closely for where the upper low redevelops as it begins moving east. There is still a possibility of some snow for the third Sunday in a row.

Thank you for sharing in this weather experience. Go over to and click on the blog over there to join in the conversation. Have a great Thursday.


2018-04-13T07:42:04+00:00April 12th, 2018|General|55 Comments


  1. VERNON T. TAGGERT April 12, 2018 at 8:40 am - Reply

    Gary, most excellent, I’m thinking the end of May the “Tonganoxie Split” won’t happen!

    • JG April 12, 2018 at 9:17 am - Reply

      I love it when someone mentions the “Tonganoxie Split”. It is a real thing and I have mentioning for years when storms approach Kansas City then split around us and then form east of Kansas City. It would be interesting to know why this happens, but it happens often enough there is a term for it.

      • Richard April 12, 2018 at 9:57 am - Reply

        I think Dan Henry coined that phrase. Because, well because it does seem to happen a lot

      • REAL HUMEDUDE April 12, 2018 at 10:35 am - Reply

        It’s actually 100% BS. It’s all in your head. No matter where you live, you have a perception that the storms miss you, classic convective rainfall patterns are frequently spotty. The tonganoxie split is no more a phenomenon than the Hume half step1, St.Joe shufffle, or Salina side step. #JTF (JUST THE FACTS)

        • Screaming Yellow Zonker April 12, 2018 at 10:47 am - Reply


          • Screaming Yellow Zonker April 12, 2018 at 10:49 am - Reply

            Me again. Ask Topeka about “Burnett’s Mound” and the tornado of 1966.

        • ClassyCat April 12, 2018 at 11:56 am - Reply

          Totally agree.

  2. NoSnowflake April 12, 2018 at 8:51 am - Reply

    So you feel fairly confident that May 30, 2018 (47 days from tomorrow, Friday, April 13) will be a significant severe weather outbreak for the KC region?

    • JoeK April 12, 2018 at 8:59 am - Reply


  3. Lary Gezak April 12, 2018 at 9:10 am - Reply

    The storms will be scattered in nature, but the ingredients are there for supercell development. Friday night is definitely worth monitoring, don’t think we should completely downplay it.

  4. Kurt April 12, 2018 at 9:11 am - Reply

    I don’t know how anyone can pinpoint a significant severe weather outbreak in a particular region in 47 days, yes a system like this one will move through the area 47 days from now, but the specific impacts and where the exact setup will be can’t be pinpointed to any one region. Heck there are those of you that are very optimistic about the dry/drought conditions easing up here; but I am really skeptical this is going to occur. I hope those seasonal differences can make a difference, but it looks like the favored locations continue to be north of here and off to the southeast and east.

    I think it’s going to be a struggle and we are now well over 2.5 inches behind year to date and soon to get to 3 inches behind year to date as the next 3 months are the wetter periods up here.

    • Metroid April 12, 2018 at 10:36 am - Reply

      “We don’t call ourselves the best forecasters in the world for nothing. Over the past 5 years Weather2020 has shown an accuracy of 76.9% for forecasts up to 200 days out. We have predicted massive hurricanes months in advance as well as spot on temperatures for major events.”

    • REAL HUMEDUDE April 12, 2018 at 10:39 am - Reply

      Kurt, you’re 1 thunderstorm away from erasing that deficit. We haven’t had much in thunderstorm dept this year, once they start piping more frequently your going to get drenched this Spring. And that’s not even considering the perpetual NW flow we have experienced this year, that’s going to be blasting us with MCS later in the summer. Almost a slam dunk bro, just be patient for the thunderstorms

  5. NoSnowflake April 12, 2018 at 9:20 am - Reply

    What does Gary think regarding drought conditions? It seems now we’re really into the heart of the calendar when the LRC should be the MOST useful — he has what, 6+ months of ‘cycles’ now tracked…so the next few months, the LRC should be the most accurate, no?

    I know in the fall, it is the least useful because a ‘new pattern’ sets up.

    So with that backdrop, what does Gary have to say about the drought: will the dry conditions expand/worsen, or contract/improve?

    • Richard April 12, 2018 at 10:00 am - Reply

      Their Spring special will air next Thursday night.
      Maybe they will address the drought / no drought issue

  6. DanT April 12, 2018 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Gary I see that you mention the cap being in place for tomorrow. As the the system moves in is the thinking the cap may not break until after the dry line (lower dew points) moves past the KC viewing area? However the deep layer shear and low level shear look impressive from what I’ve looked at so far.
    Also, moisture does not look great with upper 50’s to maybe lower 60’s dew points for our area.

  7. Richard April 12, 2018 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Friday the 13th.
    Hope its not damaging storms for anyone.
    I like storms as much as some on here, but never wish destructive storms on anyone.

    • LYITC41 April 12, 2018 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      No tornadoes please, for sure. Sorry chasers.

  8. Jim April 12, 2018 at 10:33 am - Reply

    Great post today, thanks.

  9. Anonymous April 12, 2018 at 11:04 am - Reply

    I used to live in Columbia, MO, and storms would frequently steer around us, so much so that it was called the Boone County Shield.

  10. Weatherby Tom April 12, 2018 at 11:05 am - Reply

    I used to live in Columbia, MO, and storms would frequently steer around us, so much so, that it was referred to as the “Boone County Shield”

    • REAL HUMEDUDE April 12, 2018 at 11:24 am - Reply

      Every place has that perception due to the incoherent patterns of thunderstorms. They pulse, die, reorganize , so frustrating to watch them miss when you really need rain. Truely, we have ALL been there, watching a storm come oh so close, like somebody wanted to tease you while giving the neighbor down the road the rain. I’ve seen as much as 1″ fall just 1 mile away while I got only drops, really?!?!?

      • Screaming Yellow Zonker April 12, 2018 at 6:30 pm - Reply

        The portion of the earth’s surface that is densely populated is barely a postage stamp compared to the portion that is rural. This is why people get the impression that tornadoes “steer around” cities. It’s a matter of statistics. I read that a tornado strikes the same square mile in Tornado Alley once every 700 years. Tornadoes don’t care if that square mile is densely populated or not. But it’s rare for them to hit densely populated areas because there are so few densely populated areas.

        The whole “they’re attracted to trailer parks” thing is a matter of statistics as well. Most tornadoes are not strong enough to knock down a well-built house (I remember Gary said this right before the 2003 tornado, ha!) But even a weak one will bow a trailer around. This is wy some people think they are “attracted to trailer parks.” No; trailers just sustain damage in a lot of tornadoes where houses don’t. Matter of statistics.

        The Chicago newspaper didn’t help a few years ago when it came out with an article saying “they don’t hit downtown Chicago because heat islands and skyscrapers” which is also b.s. Tornadoes have hit downtown Brooklyn, Fort Worth, Nashville, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, and ISt. Louis I don’t know how many times. It’s just harder for them to do as much damage to reinforced concrete as to wood-frame houses.

        May Gary correct me if I’m wrong! If Gary says I’m wrong I’ll eat crow on here publicly.

        • Gary April 12, 2018 at 11:59 pm - Reply

          I would say you pretty much hit your points on the nose! Tornadoes are quite small. I hadn’t seen that statistic about the chance of a square mile getting hit is around once every 700 years. I like that stat.


  11. Roger April 12, 2018 at 11:48 am - Reply

    Unfortunately, central Kansas is 8-14 inches below normal in the last 12 months. Around 50-60% of normal. In my opinion, areas like St. Joseph, Topeka, Manhattan, Salina, Hutchinson, Wichita, Dodge City, Garden City, Woodward, and Amarillo have less than a 50% chance of drought-relieving rains (NE part) to less than 25% (SW part) into the summer.

  12. WeathermanKumke April 12, 2018 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Yay finally got put in the enhanced risk. Even got the “strong tornado is possible” wording Keyed up over northern Missouri into Iowa.

  13. ginapuff April 12, 2018 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    The 12:50pm updated day 2 outlook expands the enhanced threat area north and slightly west.

  14. Lary Gezak April 12, 2018 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Here we go, we have been included in the enhanced risk for tomorrow!

  15. Lary Gezak April 12, 2018 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    WOW! Read the SPC discussion for Northern MO:

    An increasingly favorable environment for severe storms is forecast
    to evolve during the day Friday, across the northern extent of the
    warm sector, ahead of the advancing cold front. As the deepening
    upper system shifts slowly eastward, a very strong deep-layer wind
    field will overspread the evolving warm sector. Diurnal heating
    combined with low-level moistening beneath cooling mid-level
    temperatures will result in moderate destabilization during the
    afternoon, with MUCAPE up to 1500-2000 J/kg from eastern KS to
    southeast NE and southern IA.

    Operational and CAM output suggest discrete storm development will
    occur by late afternoon near the southeast NE low and southward
    along the cold front and dry line. These storms will track quickly
    to the north-northeast as strengthening deep-layer wind fields
    spread across the warm sector. The environment will support
    strong/rotating updrafts, with very large hail and a tornado threat
    expected. A strong tornado or two will be possible, especially
    across parts of northern MO into southern IA. Farther north, very
    steep midlevel lapse rates associated with the EML suggest hail,
    some very large, will be possible north of the warm front, with a
    marginal risk extending into far southern MN.

    • Gary April 12, 2018 at 1:12 pm - Reply

      The environment is definitely very favorable. I agree. It will only take one or two thunderstorms to pop and it could be significant. For the chance of a thunderstorm at any one location, it is actually rather small, but the chance of the entire area of having one or two supercells is a bit higher. So, we must pay close attention tomorrow.


      • Jack April 12, 2018 at 1:41 pm - Reply

        Looking at the 12z nam, it definitely puts kc on the western end of a good envionment for severe weather, the shear is very high, dew points in the 60’s, cape values 1000-1500. Tornado probabilities definitely look to be higher in Arkansas, but don’t want to rule anything out in kc. It would not shock me if there was a moderate risk in the Arkansas for tornadoes.

        My question is, why are we not in the prime spot? We are much closer to the triple point. Also the GFS painted quite a bit of cloud cover, are you worried about cloud cover? Thanks, Gary


  16. Rockdoc April 12, 2018 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    I’m glad DanT mentioned the shear. Pretty good, especially just to our west along a line, say Topeka up to the Missouri/Iowa/Nebraska junction. Cape looks pretty good from about 4pm through 7pm. The cap is up at the 700mb height. The Skew-T charts show the potential for tornados between 4-7pm, as well as hail.

    I hope it’s not going to be real bad around 5pm since this is about when my flight gets in. Looking at winds and wind shear values and directions suggests it could be a very bumpy decent into Kansas City.

  17. Roger April 12, 2018 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    While the severe threat seems to be increasing for western MO, the wildfire danger is probably 10 to 20 times more likely.

  18. KS Jones April 12, 2018 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    The area out this way is in the “marginal risk” zone.
    Here’s a link to a map of Topeka’s NWS guesswork.
    Yesterday, the NWS predicted our weather on Saturday would be mostly cloudy, but today they’re giving us a 50% chance of rain & snow. We’ll see how that pans out.

    • KS Jones April 12, 2018 at 7:22 pm - Reply

      The NWS revised their forecat this afternoon, and they bumped our chances for rain & snow to 60% on Saturday (now that includes Friday night & Saturday night as well).
      Friday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely after 7pm. . . Chance of precipitation is 60%.
      Saturday: Rain and snow likely before 4pm, then rain likely between 4pm and 5pm, then rain and snow likely after 5pm. . . Chance of precipitation is 60%.
      Saturday Night: Rain and snow showers likely before 7pm, then a slight chance of snow showers between 7pm and 1am. Cloudy, with a low around 24. . . Chance of precipitation is 60%.

  19. Mr. Pete April 12, 2018 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    What about that Sunday snow?

  20. Craig April 12, 2018 at 2:33 pm - Reply
  21. Roger April 12, 2018 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    Texas and Oklahoma panhandles: upper 90’s to low 100’s, humidity 3-10%. I wonder when the earliest 100 degree temperature has occurred in those states?

  22. Stl78(winon,mn) April 12, 2018 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    Im ready for thunder n lightning but looks as though more snow and wind are in my future😒

  23. Matt April 12, 2018 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    Western Johnson County not under Enhanced Risk yet. Still have 6pm,Midnight,6am,Noon updates.

  24. Matt April 12, 2018 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    Per Weather Channel a 50 percent chance of seen a Tornado in MO.

  25. Phillip April 12, 2018 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    I understand we’ve got a decent shot at severe storms tomorrow. Gary do you have a timeline on when they should start firing? Also, snow looking less likely for Sunday?

    • Gary April 12, 2018 at 8:21 pm - Reply

      The window for potential severe weather is 5 to 9 PM, but I am still leaning to just a slight chance at any one location of even seeing a thunderstorm. But, I have seen slight chances blow up. Let’s see how tomorrow sets up. And, the for the snow, this storm only needs to intensify a bit as it redevelops Saturday night and it would snow in KC. This is something that at this moment also has a fairly low chance. A huge storm, but KC as usual is in one of the hardest locations to predict the precipitation part of the storm.

  26. Matt April 12, 2018 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    Weatherscan on CCI shows no Rain in the forecast for tomorrow.

  27. Three7s April 12, 2018 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    This has boom or bust written all over it. Either a major outbreak or nothing.

    • Lary Gezak April 12, 2018 at 11:35 pm - Reply

      Does not help when 41 Action News is making forecasts such as: “There is a window from 4 pm to 10 pm where there is a 30% chance of storms for about 30 minutes”

      • Gary April 12, 2018 at 11:55 pm - Reply

        What don’t you like about that forecast? Let me know, as it seems to make sense to me. Maybe there is a better way to show it. There is literally around a 30 minute threat of severe weather on Friday evening at each location.


        • Lary Gezak April 13, 2018 at 7:36 am - Reply

          Just playing devil’s advocate here. It’s such a scattered setup that I’m not sure any forecast will be able to completely nail down who gets what.

      • JoeK April 12, 2018 at 11:59 pm - Reply

        I think what he is saying is that due to the nature of the system, when they form, where they form, they will be moving very fast and impacts for a specific area will be short lived ( for our viewing area). The area South and SE of us as well as North , seem to be the target areas. Tomorrow morning will give us a better glimpse of what to expect

      • Dave in LS April 13, 2018 at 12:31 am - Reply

        Wow, I don’t comment much, but your standards for forecasting weather are extremely high. The cap could break at 3:45pm, or it might break at 5pm east of here. That is WEATHER! My forecast for you (I’m just a weather junky) is that the dynamics of this storm are so strong that we see storms first fire along and the triple point and head northeast to NW MO at approx 5:47pm. Then at 6:22pm we will see a line form just before st line, and could be a strong supercell within that line. Approx location of that supercell will be around the blue springs/independence area. That’s my forecast as precise that I can get LOL.

  28. LVmatt April 13, 2018 at 12:04 am - Reply

    Those who knock the LRC there is serious financial gain off it. It has percentages that are superior to other forecasts.

  29. Matt April 13, 2018 at 6:22 am - Reply

    They will form just past I-35 on KS side.

  30. f00dl3 April 13, 2018 at 6:43 am - Reply
  31. Lary Gezak April 13, 2018 at 7:41 am - Reply

    Central Arkansas upgraded to moderate

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