Friday, June 24, 2022

Well that glimmer worked for some but not others

 If you had a chance to read the last posting I did on the 15th (read it here) I discussed the glimmer of hope from the North American Monsoon (NAM) during the summer.  At the time of the posting there was a NAM on-going and the only hope for precipitation across at least the eastern High Plains would be a shift to the east.  That did happen this past 3 or 4 days.  However, astonishing (at least to me) is that some locations got completely hosed (in a bad way i.e., NO Rain or very little).  Here is a map of the rainfall over a 72 hour period ending yesterday (23rd) morning.

Look how some areas got completely missed!  Nine out of 10 times when this shift occurs everyone gets a least a little bit.  

Even late yesterday and last night there was additional rain across much of northern Kansas.

For today the heat has returned with a vengeance, but fortunately it will be very short lived. From the upper air map from yesterday (when I started writing), there was a weak upper system over California which had brought scattered thunderstorms out there.  

However, that system was weakening and moving northeast.  More importantly was the relatively strong upper system moving east out of southwest Canada.  That will unleash some anonymously "cold" air that will race into the central U.S. this weekend.  With any cloud cover and precipitation, highs may only be in the 60s to low 70s!  As far as precipitation with this cooler airmass, much of the influence might be back to the North American Monsoon.  As of yesterday, there was still a narrow corridor of moisture coming up from Mexico.

Hopefully that will interact with the cooler air and produce widespread rainfall.  The focus will likely be south central and southeast Colorado, New Mexico, and into the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma. There is a lesser chance into far southwest Kansas but hopefully that area will catch it too.  I bet south central Kansas gets it again!

I'm not optimistic for Dodge City though.  Geez, my location has missed about the last dozen events. 

Here is the outlook from the Weather Prediction Center....

Going into August, I have identified some specific dates/periods.  Confidence is not great (given how screwed up this weather pattern is), but at least it's an attempt.  Let's see how it shakes out. Again, confidence is not great.

Per the previous post...

June 26-July 3 For the entire period below normal temps (but a couple  of hotter days mixed in) and normal to above normal rainfall. Specific date June 30 for another complex of storms.

July 4-11  A hotter period with several days, at least, of 100+.  But a few chances of thunderstorms, especially July 7.

July 12-18 A cooling trend with less hot temperatures.  A better than normal chance for thunderstorms, especially July 14-17.

July 25-28 cooler again with a above normal rainfall.

August 3-7 Below normal temps and above normal rainfall.

In between these dates it will likely be HOT and windy!

I won't be able to update again until after the 4th.  Don't blow anything up, especially your fingers!

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

It's looking grim but with one hope

That isn't a very optimistic title to this blog.  Fears of a dry May and June that I had discussed in blog posts during the late winter and early spring are coming to fruition.  The widespread rains a week ago (although not every one benefited) were a blessing and somewhat of a "fluke" in the overall pattern impacting the high plains.  I'm not liking the trend as this may become a run-away-train for the high plains.  In the title "with one hope" appears to be the only chance for a saving grace.  That hope?  The North American Monsoon (NAM).  The NAM has already shown some development and is still set up to become even more active.  You can see that on the upper air chart.

The hope for the high plains is that it shifts periodically eastward at times during the summer.  That certainly does not look to be the case for the near future.  In fact, the upper level ridge (the center of the southeast on the map) looks to expand westward through the weekend and into next week.  That will only exuberate the heat and wind.  I guess that will be good for those lucky ones that have winter wheat to harvest. 

After that wet period earlier in the month, there still has been some rain but really it's been pretty scattered for the high plains with most areas receiving zilch.  Here is a look at what has fallen this past 7 days.

And combine the lack of precipitation this past week with the ridiculous wind combined with hot afternoon temperatures - not a good combination at all. 

The drought monitor was updated just as the last of the heavier rains fell last week and I'm not sure impacts from the rain were incorporated into the drought map.  It doesn't matter....that was short term event whereas the drought is long-term. 

Other than the glimmer of hope for the NAM this summer, I do see a very small chance of a brief pattern change the last few days of June and into the first week of July.  I would bet there were will be some really hot (well over 100 degrees) but hopefully one or two thunderstorms complexes coming off the lee slope of the Rockies, at least for Kansas and Nebraska.  That would also moderate daytime temperatures and increase humidity.  That pattern shift should be temporary.  

Overall I think July will have daily temperatures above normal and precipitation will be below, for most of the area.  August could surprise me.  I've seen late summer shifts that could benefit the area setting up for precipitation into September which would obviously help in the fall planting - and hopefully salvage any warm season crops that may have struggled to survive to that point. 

I'll attempt an update later next week.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

It rained?

Finally over the hardest hit areas of the drought,  "most" locations got quite a bit of rain this week!  But others?  Not so much.

In the previous post on the 26th of May (click here), I mentioned that there would be a lot of mesoscale processes that would dictate the high plains rainfall chances.  Those processes did occur with several Mesoscale Convective Complexes impacting the high plains.  Initially everything was east of the high plains (as the Elevated Mixed Layer or warm air aloft dominated).  But eventually the MCS's developed far enough east that most of the central high plains got some good rain.  Here is what occurred this past 14 days...

And for the past 72 hours....

One of the hardest hit areas of the region (drought perspective) got some really got amounts.  But, there are still those unlucky ones that, in general, missed out on the heavier amounts (my giant pumpkin growing plots included). 

This blog post will have to be cut short with other obligations to tend to.  Going into mid-June, the heat looks to return with some chances for overnight storms for the high plains, but in general it should be relatively dry.  Again, there will be those lucky and unlucky ones.

For the next 7 days, here is the outlook from the Weather Predication Center....

I'll attempt to update with a look into the remainder of the summer.  Maybe by early next week?