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 March 26, 2007

Rain this week!

Good afternoon everyone,

The weather pattern is just fascinating me? Why? Because I have never seen anything like this before in my entire weather life. I have been watching 500 mb charts since I was a kid. Dr. George Fishbeck was my idol growing up in Los Angeles and he would show the 500 mb charts as he was so excited about a change coming our way. This weather pattern is still the same one that set up last October and November as it continues to cycle. One point I make in my theory is that "every year is unique", so this pattern has NEVER happened before. But, what is going on now is almost identical to what happened towards the end of December (in other words it is unique to this year and this year only). We are now getting to see the spring version of the pattern. And, watch this pattern, that is about to produce some wild April swings in temperatures and probably some significant rain, in July! An extremely weak version of this pattern will still exist and just when everyone else thinks summer is here, watch out.

Now to this week! A weak upper level system over Texas is sending an unstable airmass our way. We will have a good chance of showers and thunderstorms beginning this afternoon. The chance of heavier rain and thunderstorms comes in tonight and Tuesday with the severe weather threat not really there. There is NO RISK of severe thunderstorms according to the SPC (Storm Prediction Center).

Look below at the precipitation forecasts from the GFS. The first map is the 48 hours ending Wednesday morning. The second precipitation forecast is for the period ending Saturday night. If this verifies then we will have had around 2 to 3 inches of rain. But, there are various factors that are still a bit iffy that could completely change this potential. I will talk about these below the maps.

precip 48hr.gif
GFS Precip forecast between now and Wednesday

precip thu-sat.gif
Precip forecast between Thursday and Saturday night

The turquois blue color is around 1.25 inches. The red is 2 inches or more.

Now, after this system moves by on Tuesday night the weather pattern has a chance to get quite interesting with the severe weather threat remaining very low, but the rain threat rather impressive. A strong system is forecast to blast into the Rockies, but then slow down and split into two parts. The southern branch wave could produce a lot of rain near by later this week, but the question is will it do what the GFS predicts? There isn't support from other models at this point. But, if you believe in my theory then I lean heavily in the GFS direction of an upper low closing off and slowly moving across. We should have a better feel for this within 24 hours. The map below shows the upper low that has formed, but remember this is still just fantasy.

500 Thu eve.gif

Have a great day!


Posted by at March 26, 2007 11:51 AM


Gary your theory fascinates me also. I am a believer in it and it will be interesting to see how the GFS plays out. I am hoping for rain and it looks like we will get it this week. Do you see April going cooler than normal? Also you talked about July, I haven't been able to watch your spring forecast yet but another source that I read put out a spring/summer forecast and has Eastern Kansas normal in temps but slightly above precip. Can't wait for you summer forecast and the uniqueness of this year. Thanks, Michael/Topeka/Berryton

Summer is always more delicate to forecast with such weak flow. But, we will try to have one by sometime in May.


Posted by: michael huffman at March 26, 2007 12:09 PM

Exciting stuff - any chances for April snow-showers? :)

There is a chance!


Posted by: Rick at March 26, 2007 12:30 PM

Rain in July! YEAH! I hate the summer dry spells and huge water bills...

But will it rain in June?


Posted by: Linda at March 26, 2007 1:31 PM


I have written before - Global warming - it has changed our climate right at Kansas City. I have continually watched these systems dry up as they get to this area. We are dry again. You and others have had rain in the forecast for a week and we got one rain event. I am watching this again - it is drying up again.
Global warming - we just came off the warmest winter worldwide in the history of record keeping.

I don't think you will be saying this all spring, but yes last week was disappointing on the rain. It is this year's pattern though and not Global Warming.


Posted by: David Seibold at March 26, 2007 1:35 PM

So are you saying there will be very little chance for severe weather this week?

Yes, but Thursday and Friday will have to be watched for some changes.


Posted by: Grant at March 26, 2007 1:42 PM

Wow what a nice May... Oh, I mean March day;)
It's gonna feel weird having to bring the jackets, and coats back out in April with all the warmth and humidity in March, I think we may be in for a very humid summer, not ecxeptionally hot per se, at least not early on, but humid. Storms are starting to pop up on the radar right now! I hope we get some good rumblers tonight, it will also be interesting how cold it could get in April with all the plants tricked into blooming real early, I mean were about to have leaves out on the trees BEFORE April. I remember some years where it is almost May before the trees really start getting green!!
Thanks for your time!
Nick in (humid) St. Joe!

The trees usually green up during these two weeks, but it isn't May. Get ready for January soon.


Posted by: Nick Rau at March 26, 2007 2:55 PM

One thing I like about your blog is that people don't come on here and try to scare people with their "logic." Case in point, I was reading the "other guy's" blog earlier. You should see some of the stuff people posted on there; talking about a significant severe weather even on Thursday. They just let them post what they want and really don't respond. That's the kind of irresponsibility you referred to. Thursday is three days away and some of those people are already talking about it like it's Armageddon. Jeez.



Posted by: Justin at March 26, 2007 3:35 PM

Rain looks severe, but the animate feature on the radar stopped RIGHT before I wanted to see it. So, Do you think us over here by the Legends will see any good rainfall. I just love thunderstorms, especially severe.

Just thunderstorms are fine with me. This is very strange. There were some torrential downpours and yet many areas were dry. Hopefully this trends more to everyone getting wet. We need a little more rain for the soil moisture content.


Posted by: Alden at March 26, 2007 4:46 PM


I was watching a heavy band of rain moving in from the South today and saw it vanish away just as it reached Johnson County. Could you explain this? I don't know how many times I've seen this happen here. So often storms seem to lose strength, break up, and go "poof" just as they head into the KC metro area. It seems like the conditions around here have to be JUST RIGHT for storms to hold together and produce REAL rain amounts. Sure, certain spots here and there get rain, but for the most part, wide rain events just don't seem to happen very often. Frustrating.

Thanks for your time.

Kris Wells
Olathe, KS

It was quite widespread to our northwest. Tuesday and then later in the week have some very good chances, but the freaky misses over the city right now seem to be happening too often.


Posted by: Kris Wells at March 26, 2007 4:53 PM

Are you still seeing signs of a potential late freeze in April with the cold part of the pattern coming again? Will the April pattern be similar to February but with less cold air?

It should be very similar to mid January to mid February. So, the chance of a late freeze is very high.


Posted by: Devin at March 26, 2007 4:53 PM

Good Afternoon Gary,

I wanted to pop in with a hello, and say watching this Spring actively cycle through a new entire pattern than last time this year is quite something. Last year if I remember correctly, instead of the large airmass storms we see moving eastward out of the West, There would be small cold pockets of energy break off and mix with unusually mild moist air and produce some very early weird severe wx and an erratic Spring.

This so far seems to be an entirely different scenario and aside from that early bout with tornadoes & hail a few weeks back, it's different, a entirely different feel. If you look at these storm systems, they are taking the same exact tracks that had us pulling hair for significant snow a couple months back! Now we will watch with fascination the cycles running through a different season with this current pattern and rains being the player with maybe a few surprises.

As I have shared with you before, I too am a Dr. Fishbeck fan going way back from So. California as well, I think of him often and I can see him twitching that full mustache left and right and saying " stay tuned " =) enjoy your Spring and the changing sky show Gary, and keep looking up!


I will! Thanks.


Posted by: SkyMan at March 26, 2007 4:56 PM

Hey! The rain went around us AGAIN!! I hope there is still a chance of rain overnight.


The latest computer models keep the rain going all around us and it will be amazing to see if this happens. I sure hope not.


Posted by: David, Lenexa at March 26, 2007 5:17 PM

I had a brief heavy downpour at 151st and Mur-Len in Olathe at about 4:15 PM, but it only amounted to 0.03 inches. Also, how much more rain should I expect tonight and Tuesday? Thanks, Eswar.

We could get anywhere from .10" to 1.25". Which spot will you be in?


Posted by: Eswar at March 26, 2007 5:44 PM

Gary, how much snow do you expect in April? Is there a chance July could be well below average temp. wise and well above in precip? Hey, kinda nice not having to run heat or A.C. in the digs! Just a shout out from all of us that enjoy this wonderfully temperate weather. Peace, out. Greg.

I am not expecting any snow in April, I just think there may be a chance with this colder part of the pattern due during the month. But it would be rare if it did happen.


Posted by: Greg at March 26, 2007 6:54 PM

Gary, sorry I didn't share this thought in my prior entry but I saw this after the fact. I found your responses interesting to a couple other bloggers. Initial blogger remembered trees greening up later more towards May. Your response was it isn't May get ready for January soon. In the very next entry the gentlemen indicated his displeasure with another station's blog, calling for a possibility of severe weather, and how irresponsible this was. Are we more likley to have severe weather this time of year or January weather? Just wondering....Peace out. Greg.

We are more likely to have severe weather. And, we may still have some later in the week, but then a January cold front is likely in April.


Posted by: Greg at March 26, 2007 8:02 PM

We always plant a garden with the neighborhood kiddos. It's become quite a tradition. Rules: You have to plant, weed, and hoe. Then you get to pick and eat. They are anxious to start planting. We had kids raking and digging in dirt over the weekend. They were planning out where to plant everything. I think it's way too early to start planting. Now I'm reading about a late April freeze. When can we plant the tomatoes and cucumbers, etc??? I'll pass the word onto the kiddos.

You should always wait to plant the tomatoes until the threat of that last frost is over. Wait until early May.


Posted by: Peggy at March 26, 2007 8:05 PM

Gary, this storm is very odd. I was sure that that the rain was gonna fall for a bit, but instead we got sprinkles in Grain valley, the rain passed, then formed again as it headed up north.. *sigh*

The frustrations continue. O.K., today it should have done this, but the data tonight says the same thing happens tomorrow. It better not.


Posted by: Dave C. at March 26, 2007 8:58 PM

Well, we have had and are having a nice solid rain up here, although I know how you guys in K.C. feel having a good area of rain seemingly "hop" over your area, its irritating!!!
the windows are open and I can hear it pattering away on the sidewalks.
It hit the eighties all the way to Minneapolis today, WOW!! The great lakes region is basking in 70 plus degree weather, hmm this sounds awfully familiar...( hope they have not put their snow blowers away yet;))
Nick in (soggy) St. Joe!!!!

Yes, up there I am certain it will snow again. Enjoy the rain, even though it is light.


Posted by: Nick Rau at March 26, 2007 9:14 PM

Don't get me wrong, I love snow and cold weather as much as anyone. But when March rolls around and we're getting spoiled with 80 degree days, the last thing I want is a cold spell!

It hasn't turned cold yet. We will see how it sets up but I know this pattern well.


Posted by: Marlina at March 26, 2007 9:38 PM

This is Rod in West Central Mn. and I did put the snowblower away on Saturday!!! Record highs throughout the whole state today. The last cycle of the LRC has had an alternate hotcycle followed by a cold cycle and now followed by antother hotcycle. When we get moisture this week it will line up perfectly with the Rain event we had in Mn. at the end of Dec. In our part of the country the saying goes that when the robins return there are three snow events to get through. I won't be surprised when the cold comes in.
This is a great site.
Rod from Mn.

Posted by: Rod at March 26, 2007 10:25 PM

I respectively disagree to your "never seen this pattern before" observation. Not that I think that your wrong, but I have noticed a pattern this year. Go back to 1988. Same type of winter, and same last week of March. If I can/get the chance, I will try to track down some UA maps and see if there is a match. Suffice it to say, for the past few days, I kept on saying deja vu. That would mean a Svr outbreak on Thursday. But, that is just speculation. Let's use science and say probably Friday. That's the joy of forecasting...

Keep it up!!

I lived through the wild year of 87-88. This pattern is not quite like that pattern. I haven't studied the maps, but there are major differences.
Anyway, we will just have to disagree until we have the proof. I will do some searching for that year's maps. I actually have a montage of that years weather on my wall in my office. I am actually looking at it right now. I was in Oklahoma and we had a November snowstorm, two massive winter storms in December, a major January snowstorm and a March snow. This all happened in Oklahoma City. It was an amazing weather pattern that produced and there was very limited frustration like we are having with this pattern.


Posted by: Brent at March 27, 2007 8:41 AM


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