If variety is the spice of life, much of Kansas will be eating five-alarm chili the next week. One more day of strong northerly wind today as the upper high that’s been stuck over the upper Great Lakes lumbers to the east. With humidity running in the teens, grassland fires will spread quickly again today and a Red Flag Warning is in effect for the western 2/3 of the state.
As wind calms tonight, conditions become optimal for radiational cooling and the eastern half of the state is expected to drop below freezing. Some areas will see 28 for the low — which is right at the edge of a killing freeze but we’re not expected to be below 28 for more than 4 hours anywhere. Nonetheless a freeze warning is in effect as fresh sprouts and blooming flowers will be easily affected.
Our next weather focus is Monday night through Wednesday. Eastern and southeastern Kansas has a slight risk for severe storms starting Monday night. The risk area pushes west to the I-135 corridor Tuesday and Wednesday. There is significant model disagreement, but with Tuesday and Wednesday now being highlighted by models for the past week we can be relatively confident there will be severe weather in the region — it’s a question of whether it develops in the slower, more northerly fashion depicted by one family of models or the slightly faster, further south solution favored by the other major family. Here’s how the SPC is looking at Tuesday:
The presence of steep lapse rates aloft, diurnal heating of a moist low-level airmass, and gradually strengthening deep-layer shear should support a mix of multicells and supercells capable of producing large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes through Tuesday evening.
Matt and I will be collaborating on a detailed outlook for this event to be posted by this afternoon; some of the details won’t resolve well until the system comes ashore over the weekend and can be well-sampled by the upper air network. Regardless, we’re getting into the part of the year we’d expect storms to be possible, so if you haven’t straightened up your shelter area and freshened your supplies of water and other disaster, this weekend is a great time to check that off your to-do list. While I don’t think we’re looking at a tornado outbreak any of the three days, it is worth noting that Thursday is the 10th anniversary of the day-long tornado event that included the Marquette and Oaklawn tornadoes. We *are* at that time of year.