Decent rains coming for some – Others will get short changed

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A moist storm system will bring with it the opportunity to catch up on some much needed rainfall over this weekend before Thanksgiving, but western areas –which need rain the most– are looking increasingly likely to miss most of this next weather system.  The bad news gets worse for those areas which need rain in that this might be November’s last decent shot at rainfall as dry weather looks likely to return in the days that follow.

The latest forecast track for this “warmer” storm system takes it from the Panhandles Saturday morning, then due east to west of Joplin MO Saturday evening.  After reaching the Joplin area, the surface and 5000 ft low are then forecast to take a hard left, lifting into west central IL by Sunday morning and then the UP of Michigan by Monday morning. This may wrap up into a strong surface storm..especially upon reaching northern Illinois.  This track will bring moderate to locally heavy rains to the district from Columbia MO east..while leaving light rains for areas west of Columbia MO and no rain for parts of Kansas and Nebraska. Click on the image below to make it more readable.

The current forecast track of this weekend's surface low.

The current forecast track of this weekend’s surface low.

Let’s take a look at some of this morning’s computer model data for an idea of the rainfall amounts. Click on the images below to make them more readable. First the Canadian model, which clearly wants to track the low further west and north; dragging significant rains further west.  This is NOT a favored solution at this time.

Canadian model total rain through Monday morning.

Canadian model total rain through Monday morning.

Next, this morning’s higher resolution NAM model.  It also wants to shift the storm center further west/north like the Canadian and it also is NOT a favored outcome.

Morning run of the U.S. NAM model

Morning run of the U.S. NAM model

This brings us to the standard U.S. Model.  This is a more reasonable solution based upon what is expected upstream/downstream of us at the jet stream level.  It brings around and inch of rain to points east of Columbia MO and has a sharp cutoff to the west with only a tenth or so for KC/Topeka.

U.S GFS model total rain through Monday morning.

U.S GFS model total rain through Monday morning.

The new “upgraded” GFS which is run at a higher resolution is similar to the operational GFS in placement of the rain, but it is a little more stingy with the total rainfall.  This is might be a little light on the rain totals for eastern areas.

U.S GFSx (experimental)  model total rain through Monday morning.

U.S GFSx (experimental) model total rain through Monday morning.

And finally, the European Model, which is a little heavy on the rainfall totals.

European Forecast Model

European Forecast Model

There has been a southward shift in the track of the low..and any further southward shift might further reduce already scant forecast totals in the Topeka/KC area. The overall good news for the weekend is that there is no threat for accumulating snow or significant ice.  There also has been a trend to slow down the onset of the rains, which gives the atmosphere even more time to warm above freezing.

So to break it all down, here is the weekend outlook as it appears today:

Friday: Cloudy with a chance for drizzle.  Not out of the question to see an isolated slick spot in KC/Topeka as it begins, although this would only be for a short period and any further delay in the rain would eliminate this chance. Otherwise highs climb into the low 40s.

Friday night: Spotty light rain in KC/Topeka with scattered moderate rain from Columbia east.  Steady or slowly rising temperatures after evening lows in the upper 30s.

Saturday: Milder, but cloudy. Spotty light showers in Topeka, scattered light showers in KC. Scattered rains east of KC.  Highs warm into the 50s.

Saturday night/Sunday:  Rain likely and mild from SEMO/SWIL through STL and COU. Light rain likely in KC and scattered showers in Topeka.  Mild..with lows in the 40s and highs in the 50s.

We’ll update thoughts tomorrow.

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