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Storm chances looking better for Thursday

Since storms are first expected to develop late Wednesday in the high plains of western Kansas and western Nebraska, that puts a lot of uncertainty into the timing of the cold front and dryline on Thursday itself for eastern Kansas.

Storms have tendency to give fronts an added "push" to the east. Which for us, would mean an earlier arrival time. If the front arrives earlier in the day on Thursday, we would have less time to see moisture return into the area, lower temperatures at that time of the day and ultimately lower (and less intense) storm chances.

However, all indications from the speed of the overall system that has now moved inland over the Pacific Northwest is that the cold front and dryline will push east into Northeast Kansas by mid- to late-afternoon hours on Thursday. With that, the storm chances will be maximized along and just east of the front during the second half of the day.

Although October is typically a pretty quiet month, set ups like Thursdays are not out of the realm of possibility. With the surface low pressure forming northwest of us, our winds will be from the south and southeast for a long enough period of time to bring higher levels of moisture back into the area prior to the front's arrival. With daytime heating peaking out ahead of the front, we'll see warm, humid air ahead of a surface cold front and possibly even a dryline just ahead of the front. Those features are capable of lifting the air and triggering thunderstorms is the overall conditions are primed.

It does appear that the conditions will be moderately favorable for strong to severe storms. Main threats appear to be high winds and large hail, although there may even be a brief window early in the event for a few storms to spawn tornadoes.

September 29, 2009

Weather Watch

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