Saturday, August 5, 2017 at 5:16pm CDT:
Another big event setting up – Storms are firing in KC area where it is 65 degrees at 4 PM at KCI Airport, and also Wichita as 100 degree temperatures lurk just to the southwest of Wichita. It is 70 degrees in Lawrence, our high so far, following about 0.65 inches in thunder and rain this morning. A Flash flood watch is in effect for the area from Topeka through Lawrence and eastward across the KC area. This is a rather remarkable set-up, as seen graphically below..
How will we miss this time?
Satellite image at 4:15 PM.
Surface reports at 4:23 PM.. It is 65 rain-cooled degrees at KCI, 70 in Lawrence and Topeka, 80 in Emporia, 90 in Chanute and 100 degrees just southwest of Wichita. These hot and moist south and southwest winds are riding up and over the cooler surface air to the north as a surface low develops over west-central Kansas. This should be interesting..
Radar image at 4:49 PM: Strong surface based convection down in the Wichita area. Less strong elevated convection brings some heavy thundershowers from the Leavenworth across the northland of KC and on into central and eastern sections of the metro. They are on their way to more flooding over in KC already.
Satellite image at 5:15 PM.
Small storm developing north of Lawrence and moving eastward toward KC. Surfaced based convection that initiated in Wichita area moving northeastward over cooler air and becoming ‘elevated convection.’ Elevated convection from KC area southeastward across much of Missouri. All we see from Lawrence is a low overcast, similar to a stratus deck along the California coast!
7:15 PM: Storm tops from the south move overhead while elevated storms form in a narrow band just to the north of Lawrence, ‘training’ eastward toward KC in a narrow zone that has already picked up a lot of rain. We remain dry so far at our location in southwest Lawrence.
This is at about 7:17 PM, roughly the same time as previous satellite image. Radar shows a narrow band of elevated storms forming just northwest of Lawrence, pushing eastward toward KC but also expanding. Surface-based convection to the south may be intercepting some of the northward flowing moisture.
7:43 PM: Quite a bit of development of the elevated convection in the last half hour.
8:16 PM – A few drops starting to fall.. Meanwhile, a flash-flood warning is already in effect for Leavenworth County just to our northeast and also much of the KC metro. Development continues to expand and fill in, so we might get a good dousing here in south Lawrence yet!
8:45 PM: New blob moves in from the west. Moderate to heavy rain and lightning/thunder, which started measuring at about 8:35 PM. In ten minutes, there is 0.17 inches of new precipitation so far in the electronic bucket.
9:01 PM – 0.36 inches in the last 25 minutes. Only 0.30 inches per hour qualifies as ‘heavy rain,’ so it’s coming down pretty good. About time! At this point, we have passed the one inch mark for the day so far. In KC, the flash-flood warning has been extended southward and covers the entire metro area.
9:17 PM – The blob continues and develops farther south even. Now up to 0.64 inches since the start at about 8:35 PM, that is within 42 minutes, with very heavy rain continuing to fall. New development out past Salina, or over 125 miles to the west. Water runs from curb to curb in front of our place with the street essentially a shallow river.
Back end of the blob is nearing, signaling a lull in the rainfall. We have received 1.24 inches within 56 minutes. Most of the blob has yet to pass across southern sections of the KC metro. More strong echoes appear to be pointing toward the KC ‘northland’ as well. Wichita is also getting a lot with the surface based convection that continues to the south. And a new blob has formed half way between Topeka and Wichita near Emporia. The Emporia Airport already got a good dousing with over 3 inches reported there with the storms this morning.
9:54 PM: Only sprinkles here at the house. Electronic gauge stopped tipping at 9:42 PM with 1.42 inches recorded in one hour and 6 minutes. Up to 2.09 inches for the day. Very heavy rain continues just north of town and flash-flood warnings have been extended up in that area. Probably twice as much rain has fallen in an east-west swath just a few miles north of town based on the duration in that area. Weaker development to the west but if it comes over, it could be significant. Unfortunately, the automated rain measuring equipment at the Lawrence Airport is not working again today. So, this significant rainfall event will be missed at the Lawrence Airport, a semi-regular occurrence!
10:25 PM: Convection pushing southward more rapidly now with cells moving a bit south of due east. Another 0.13 inches has fallen, bringing the total this evening to 1.55 inches and 2.22 inches for the day. Still some hints of development upstream, but most of it is probably over in Lawrence, if past history in these sorts of events is any guide. While not much to look at, this event has been a good solid soaker. Time for bed now..