Here we are the day before the eclipse. I was hoping to get an early morning view of the moon with Venus above, as was seen in spectacular fashion before sunrise yesterday, but was at work in the yard ‘pre-tripping’ my bus. A fellow worker (whom I did not even know) and I gazed in wonderment at the beautiful site, in a crystal clear pre-sunrise sky, as we realized that in two days and about 6 hours time, this thin crescent moon would be blocking the sun – or at least 99.2 percent of it here in Lawrence. Unfortunately, this morning, storms tried to push in from the northwest. This completely blocked the view of the moon and Venus this morning. At the same time, the storms just barely missed when they halted their southeastward progression just to the north of town and turned eastward and weakened. Below is the rainfall pattern from overnight and early this morning:
Topeka Radar Estimated Precipitation overnight and early this morning up to 7:22 AM. More than one inch of rain is estimated in the green area about 15-20 miles northwest to north of Lawrence, but there was not a drop at our location. Tomorrow we plan to go to Pawnee County, Nebraska, near the small town of Table Rock, to watch the eclipse at the centerline from a farm field. That spot, indicated above, is also in an area that had a radar estimate of an inch or more of rainfall overnight. Hopefully it will not be muddy tomorrow! But the ground around here soaks up water like a sponge, so by tomorrow it should be fine – if there is no more precipitation.
4 AM – Storms propagating southeastward to our north with a double outflow boundary (surge of rain-cooled air) pushing southward (blue lines) with new cells developing behind.. but it looks like the main storms will miss to the north and east.
5 AM – Storms generating still and approaching Lawrence – it looks like we will get wet after all!
5:30 AM – Still waiting.. but the advancing storms have stalled and are no longer pushing southward, but rather, directly eastward instead..
6 AM – And the approaching thunderstorm misses as it pushes eastward and weakens! Well, a small blob near Topeka might still clip us, but the whole thing is weakening now..
6:30 AM – Nope, the Topeka blob missed, too, and that’s all she wrote! Another near hit (but a miss) for Lawrence! However, a trace was noted at the Lawrence Airport, 0.15 inches in north Topeka, 76 hundredths at Kansas City International (MCI) and 42 hundredths at the downtown airport in KC (MKC). The south KC metro also missed. Meanwhile, rolls of thunder were heard with lightning just to the north but not a drop of rainfall at our place. None of our seven station CoCoRaHS sites in Lawrence measured either. Well over an inch of rainfall was measured at two CoCoRaHS stations in Jefferson County, about 20 miles to the north of Lawrence. It’s a good thing our neighbor turned on the automatic sprinklers for this morning here in the condo complex after all!
Mosaic above: Upper left – looking north at 6:30 AM, or about the time of the last radar image as the last of the now decaying storms passes by to the north.
Upper right: View northwest with yours truly looking to the east for the moon, Venus and sun and seeing nothing but overcast skies..
Center right – View northeast about 6:50 AM.. Still a bit of lightning in this last dying storm cell.
Lower left – View to the east.. Solid mid-level overcast.
Lower right – View to the southeast.. Outflow boundary cumulous clouds build but there is no longer sufficient energy for storm development.
About 20 miles north of Lawrence, CoCoRaHS sites in Oskaloosa reported 1.28 inches and McLouth 1.42 inches from this morning’s storms.
Kansas City Radar Precipitation Estimate overnight up to 4 PM today. Over an inch of rain fell where the approaching storms stalled about 20 miles north of town (red and yellow zone just to the north).
All eyes are now on the weather conditions and cloud outlook for eclipse day tomorrow. At this point, it is not shaping up to be very favorable for eclipse viewing around here, yet there is still a chance of a view. More on this on the next post!