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 March 28, 2007

"Rain and severe weather potential"

Good afternoon everyone,

Low clouds and fog "advected" in from the south southwest. This is what we call "advection fog" because it didn't develop over us it moved (advected) in.

When the week began we thought there could be a lot of rain. Looking back further, last week also looked quite wet. Well, we are sort of still waiting for a widespread heavy rain event. I think it is coming, but where will the heaviest rain fall? I am expecting everyone to get 1/2 inch of rain at the very minimum by Saturday but a few of us may get close to 3 inches of rain. Look below at the evolution of this storm.

500 fri am.gif GFS 500 mb valid Friday morning

The above map shows the upper level low with all of its features. It has many disturbances rotating around it. The first one is passing through us by this time on Friday morning. Between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning at least one round of showers & thunderstorms will likely have passed through. Then, below you can see the surface low forming on the cold front in Oklahoma. This surface low is now forecast to track over the KS/OK border to near Kansas City by 3 or 4 AM Saturday. This is being created by a strong wave rotating around the main upper low. This will likely produce some severe thunderstorms and a band of very heavy rain.

GFS sfc Fri evening.gif GFS surface valid Friday evening

GFS sfs midnight Fri night.gif GFS surface valid Fri Night/Sat Morning at 1 AM

Finally, the map below is the NAM forecast rainfall by Saturday morning. The GFS has similar amounts with 1 to 3 inches predicted all around us. However, there are still some problems with this. My feeling is that the Kansas City metro area will have over one inch of rain before this is over. Severe thunderstorms will be somewhat likely with the main threat large hail with so many thunderstorms around. But, each day must be looked at closely. There will be some potential for an outbreak in Oklahoma into southern Kansas Friday evening. And, we will have to pay very close attention to this. And, there is also a chance late Thursday, but Friday looks more impressive to me.

Precip ending Sat.gif NAM Forecast precip by Sat Morning

We will be making some special graphics tonight on the newscasts and then Brett and Jeremy will be tracking these developments on Thursday morning. The models should begin converging on what will happen. After this goes by a strong cold front will approach on opening day for the Royals. Right now it appears nice on Monday, but much colder by Tuesday.

Have a great day. We will get to your questions later.


Posted by at March 28, 2007 10:53 AM


I finally got to the spotter training last night in Riverside. A great presentation by the NWS and there were 260 in attendance.
I noticed you mention Friday looking "more impressive" to you. Any idea on time of day? Are we looking at during the afternoon, evening or overnight? Or is it too early to tell?

Right now it looks like late evening or overnight for us. Let's see how it sets up.


Posted by: Matt P at March 28, 2007 12:48 PM


Do you still think we will have that hard freeze? Thanks.

Yes! I truly believe we will once or twice in April. I hope that it ends up near 30 or higher so it doesn't kill off anything.


Posted by: Bruce at March 28, 2007 12:56 PM

WOW!! Some more exciting weather that we can possibly look forward to. Now we all have something to write and talk about. Good luck getting this all figured out. Have a great week.

We have had this storm before a couple of times. I am worried that most of the rain will track just west of us. I hope not. It would only take a slight shift east.


Posted by: Monica at March 28, 2007 1:59 PM

When did this part of the cycle happen before?

I know your theory says we're in the third (or fourth?) round of the cycle for this year. You mentioned it is somewhere around 45 days long...yet, the 500mb chart from 45 days ago looks nothing like today's. Same for the chart from 90 days ago. So in trying to understand specifics, I'd like to know what dates do match up.

Specifically, what 2006/2007 dates do line up with this system from early February, late December, and mid-November?

You really need to look closer at the late December maps. We are literally going through that part of the cycle. This storm has happened before.


Posted by: Jake at March 28, 2007 3:10 PM

That tornado watch out west looks pretty impressive. It definitely says the SPC must be expecting some big things from this. The amazing thing is that in western South Dakota there is a tornado watch right next to a winter storm watch. I'm finding the midwest weather more and more amazing.

We have seen this multiple times this year already with the severe weather threat in the same spot as the winter weather threat.


Posted by: Matt P at March 28, 2007 4:18 PM

Wow, the "fake May" continues! We had that advection fog this morning which lifted and then dissipated, leaving behind some cirrus and some cumulus clouds. It looks like the rain chances have gone up, so we will see, hopefully this thing doesn't try to pull any fast ones!
The models still look like they bring the systems coming out of the northwest and put is into a northerly to northwest flow aloft later, but with some small disturbances that undercut the ridge to the west.
Thanks for your time!
Nick in(continued warm/moist) St. Joe!!!

The latest NAM pulls a fast one on us. Please no! But, it is so similar to the GFS that I am concerned that the surface low will track west of KC. This would place the heaviest rain west of the track. But, maybe it will track further east.


Posted by: Nick Rau at March 28, 2007 4:26 PM

Wow, that is impressive. Do you think that we will see Severe Storms? I know you said westhern KS, but still. It's 79degrees here now at home. It's more likely 80,81,or82 now. Now, when this cycle returns, do you think it will be the same thing or possibly more severe or just the same thing. I do think we could see some small flooding. But, ya never know.

I am still more concerned with Friday night. And, when this part of the pattern returns the flow aloft will be weaker and weaker so it doesn't mean it would be more severe.


Posted by: Alden at March 28, 2007 4:57 PM

Gary, during severe weather season I like to take pictures or video of what is happening in my area. If I get some pics or video this season that I think might be of interest, where can I send those to so that you can maybe share them with viewers? This will probably be my last severe weather season here as I will likely be heading to Phoenix either late this year or early next year where severe weather is about as common as snow. Thanks.

You can either bring it by the station, or we can figure another way to get it to us.

Please stay in touch!


Posted by: Justin at March 28, 2007 5:01 PM

I just watched your forecast for tomorrow, my question is this 1)Do you expect severe weather for tomorrow? If so in what form?
2) On Friday evening/night can we expect tornados? I sure hope not!! Thanks,Robin

I hope not as well. Friday is just too far away to see how it is setting up, so don't worry about it. And, Thursday's threat is slight and the main type would be large hail.


Posted by: Robin at March 28, 2007 5:24 PM

I just wanted to say Thank You for responding so fast. Also wanted to say that you are a wonderful meterologist. Keep up the good work.
Thanks so much,

Thanks, and I can tell that you don't really like severe weather that much. I am with you, but a lot of our bloggers love this time of the year.

Anyway, we will be following this closely. Our weather team is dedicated to provide the absolute best severe weather coverage this spring. So, stay with NBC Action News and we'll keep you advised.


Posted by: Robin at March 28, 2007 5:44 PM

What a tough forecast.

1. Thursday night. Seems to have some decent SCAPEs 1000-1500, good lift, a bit of helocity, and nice QPF through H5-H7. Sheer seems to be a bit of a problem this far east. The Cravens targets central Kansas.

This shot is the initial cold front line.

2. Friday night. Great lift, some decent helocity, very nice QPF H5-H7. MUCAPE seems to be the problem on this day with very little convection projected. Likely due to cloud cover, and a bit of weaker return. Looking at the 10m charts, Thurday has a nice flow of warm moist air 60F/10-15kt from S/SE. Friday has a bit of a shift during the day and a weaker inflow. Dewpoints may be a bit lower into the upper 50s. If we can get some surface warming into the 70s like Thurs and keep some of the 60s dewpoints, then we can get that elusive MUCAPE. Progs are showing low to mid 60s.

I think we will see severe weather within the viewing area, but because of how this system is working, the surface low coming up from OK adds some complexity. I am not sure how much of this will be supercellular..maybe a few discrete..but I am thinking more of linear formation especially on Fri night. Thurs night in my opinion has more potential for supercellular, but may be a bit too far west.

From precip..I am going between 1 and 1.5 inches for the metro area with some higher totals mixed in.

This all said, I will probably blow it. LOL. Glad not to be Gary right now...

We will have to see how it looks in the morning, but Friday still is more impressive. I think near the Oklahoma/Kansas border right now as the surface low is generated. Remember what you learned about the importance of triple points. There could be one down there and then it tracks our way Friday night. I just hope it doesn't pull all the rain northwest of us on Friday night. I would like a nice soaking.

You keep calling it Helocity. I have changed it for you, but it is Helicity. I just had to let you know.


Posted by: Scott at March 28, 2007 6:04 PM


I live near Concordia, KS. Do you think we have a good chance for rain. We have been dry and could really use the rain.

Your weather team is the best! Keep up the good work!



It sure looks like it. Let us know how much you end up with.


Posted by: Reed at March 28, 2007 6:23 PM

I do remeber before when I asked "Can you see the ratings throughout out the year on weatherate.com?". And of course you said I was too worried..... Well, today I went to weatherate.com ya know, just for fun, and when I clicked on the "NEWS" section and went there to see what it had to say. When I found the KSHB one, I realized that it didn't have a "read this" tab. do you know why? Because, I would like to read that to see what it says. Plus, Im sending this to you through lezak@nbcactionnews.com because I didnt want somebody saying "What's Alden's problem with...." LOL?

This is fine to discuss. I just went to the site and I guess they didn't have anything more on our news. There isn't a read tab.

Anyway, the new forecast season started March 1st. The first month is almost complete. I know there have been very tough days to forecast. But, I am confident that we are still leading. Everyone starts at 0.00 on March 1st. The first results come out towards the end of April. They wait until that time because after 6 weeks or so the #1 station in most markets has usually separated itself from the rest of the pack. Most markets are close. I wouldn't be surprised if it is closer this season so far as this has been a challenging month to forecast the weather. The pressure is on and we will no the preliminary results soon.


Posted by: Alden at March 28, 2007 6:35 PM

Hello Mr. Lezak, when is he earliest that you expect thunderstorms in the area.
How is the threat for severe weather looking for tomorrow.

We are just in a slight risk for later on Thursday. Right now I don't see anything too impressive, but this is why we must see how it is looking in the morning.


Posted by: Ben Tracy at March 28, 2007 7:34 PM

Hey Gary-
Do you think the tornado threat will be high in the Metro? If so do you think they will be violent long track tornadoes? Might be fun for the chasers but not for me!
Thank you

Not on Thursday. Friday night has some potential, but the serious threat may pass by to our west. So, don't worry about it yet.


Posted by: Nicole H. at March 28, 2007 7:58 PM

You said:
"You really need to look closer at the late December maps. We are literally going through that part of the cycle. This storm has happened before."

Which date(s) in December? And that would be for two cycles ago, correct? What about 1 cycle ago and three cycles ago?

Which specific dates in the other time periods correspond to this storm from the November and February periods?

It's there. This storm is VERY similar to the one at the end of the year. And, the pattern is the same on the other cycles, but every other cycle has been matching up amazingly. The other cycles still have the same pattern, but I would have to spend an hour with you to show you. It is there.


Posted by: Jake at March 28, 2007 7:58 PM

Gary & Team-
Just wanted to thank you all for your dedication. I, like Robin (and Gary) do not care for severe weather. I don't understand all the weather jargon, maps and all of that- I trust you all to tell me when I need to head to the basement.
When we travel on the motorcycle I make sure to check in on the website and blog.
During this season of unstable weather I will continue to check in often.
Thanks again for your accuracy and passion you all have for the weather.

We will keep you advised!


Posted by: tooti roe at March 28, 2007 8:09 PM

There looks to be an awful lot of red watches to the west of us at this time. Will any of those be migrating this way overnight, into tomorrow morning or are they headed off to the north? the northeast?
Looking forward to some nasty rumbles over the next few days!

Posted by: Erin at March 28, 2007 8:44 PM

Did you see the dew point difference between Limon,CO 11F and Goodland,KS 56F. No wonder they are having such strong storms! Are we heading toward a major drop in our dew points tomorrow?

Posted by: Derek at March 28, 2007 9:16 PM


Wow, have you seen western Kansas? There are like 15 Tornado Warnings right now. I don't think I have ever seen that many Tornado Warnings at one time. Wow!!!! What are our chances of being at risk for this?

Posted by: Ryan at March 28, 2007 9:29 PM

I am glad to see others like me that HATE severe weather, I can handle just thunderstorms,but I get all freaked out about tornadoes. Maybe I should move to Arizona!! I know that you will keep us advised but, is there a chance for severe tomorrow? If so what kind? Again Thanks, Robin(who will be sleeping in her basement Friday and maybe tomorrow too):(

The threat of you being hit by a severe thunderstorm is very low today and tonight. Maybe a slightly better chance on Friday night. Just relax and we will track it for you.


Posted by: Robin at March 28, 2007 10:43 PM

Unfortunately, predicting inclement weather is like herding cats or children. I've been looking forward to a good soaking for about a week and a half now and all I've seen in this part of the viewing area is a few sprinkles and a lot of clouds. There is plenty of moisture, where's the trigger? Please tell me there is a good, wide area soaking coming in the near future or the Warrensburg/Sedalia area may be up for more of what mother nature did to us last year--hot and dry. I don't really want to mow my lawn, but if thats the price I have to pay for some rain and storms, then so be it.

Posted by: Mike from Warrensburg at March 28, 2007 10:55 PM

MAN, the high plains are really getting hit hard, at least that area is probably rural enough so there is still a potential that alot of the tornadoes could miss heavily populated areas.
I guess we just have to see what comes. I don't like seeing people getting hurt and their lives destroyed by severe weather, yet it is still a fascinating aspect of weather to me and when its around I can't help but watch it, I have always loved to watch big thunderstorms since I was a kid, the heavy rain, wind and lightning, but I would never take joy out of seeing people get hurt, so that is how I feel about severe weather.
Thanks for your time.
Nick in (warm) St. Joe!!!

Posted by: Nick Rau at March 28, 2007 11:10 PM

Hi Gary: With hurricane season predictions indicating a very active season this year, I started reading about scientific efforts to reduce the damaging impacts of these mega-storms, e.g....cloud seeding, etc...It dawned on me that these hurricanes are in part fueled by increased ocean surface temperatures. I realize that to drop the ocean's surface temperature would take a massive geological event. However, there are cool thermal layers at varying depths in the ocean and if the cooler water could be forced to the surface to reduce the surface temperature slightly, could this measure reduce the strength of a hurricane? I realize the vastness of this undertaking but if we can build countless oil and gas rigs around the world, could we not strategically place these aquathermal pumping stations to protect the millions of lives and trillions in property and businesses. It's only a thought that felt needed to be mentioned. Woody

There is no way at all we can do this. It is like a grain of sand on a sandy beach. Take that one grain of sand and there would be no noticeable difference.


Posted by: Woody Kinney at April 3, 2007 6:00 PM


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