This has become a changeable forecast for the final day of the weekend. Temps will be a little cooler today, thanks to a weak cool front that will move through the area during the early to mid morning hours, switching winds to the northwest. Temps will top out in the upper 60s to mid 70s. Fire danger will be a concern once again today, as winds will run 15-20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.
Things get interesting tonight, as both the HRRR & 3 KM NAM show showers and storms igniting as a weak upper-level wave moves through. Shear values are conducive for rotating updrafts, so storms could produce small hail as they move through. Feel the best chances for this activity will be along and southeast of K-61 highway. Lows tonight will be in the mid 40s.
Morning showers will give way to sunny skies tomorrow, with highs in the upper 60s to lower 70s as winds return to the southeast late in the day. We could see a few showers tomorrow night in central and south-central Kansas as skies become cloudy with moisture returning to the area. Lows will be in the lower 50s.
Tuesday is becoming a forecast headache.
Here is what we know: there will be a strong storm moving out from the Rockies into southwest Nebraska late in the day. With plenty of jet energy overhead, Tuesday will be very windy. On the west side of the dryline, which is expected to be from US 281 to K-14 during peak heating, relative humidities will fall into the 8-15% range with temps potentially making it into the upper 80s to mid 90s and winds up to 50 mph, creating catastrophic to historic fire conditions. A fire weather watch is in effect for all of central and western Kansas for Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night.
East of the dryline, the temps are expected to be a few degrees cooler, but it will also be more humid. The challenging part of the forecast is figuring out whether the dewpoints being modeled (low to mid 60s) will actually come to fruition. The source region for the moisture, the western Gulf of Mexico, currently has dewpoints in the low to mid 50s there, so there is still some room to work with. Our current thinking is that any dew point below 58 degrees will completely shut off the chances for storms on Tuesday, while dewpoints of 60 or higher makes severe weather a greater possibility. There will be abundant wind shear in the atmosphere, with significant shear and good turning in the 0-1 and 0-6 km layers…so any storm that does develop will likely be severe. An enhanced low level jet of 60-70 kts will aid in a tornado threat in the hours surrounding sunset. It is a watch-and-wait situation on Tuesday; it could be a higher-end day, or it could be a blue sky bust. Stay tuned.
The cold front moves through the area Tuesday night and switches winds to the northwest for Wednesday. The remainder of the week is cooler, with another small chance for moisture as we approach Easter.