A Storm Front Inches Eastward

September 24th:  It was yet another warm and rather humid day across the eastern half of Kansas on Sunday.  The high at the Lawrence Airport was 90 and the low 66.  The normal high and low for this date is 78 and 51.  This was the sixth straight day of significantly above average temperatures.  The average dew point today was 68, a degree less than yesterday but still humid, as my official ‘oppressive’ threshold of 70 was reached a number of times in the course of the day.

The warm spots in Kansas today were, for the second day in a row, Salina and Manhattan which both came in with highs of 93. Coolest was again Goodland, with a high of 61 and low of 49.  Goodland also received 2.54 inches of rainfall today, on top of the 0.33 inches yesterday, so a good soaking has already occurred in parts of the far west portion of the state.

Elsewhere in western Kansas it was also cooler and somewhat wet today.  Other rainfall reports included Garden City with 1.50 inches, Liberal 0.53 inches, Hill City 0.45 inches and Dodge City with 0.43 inches.

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Satellite image at 4:15 CDT:  The center of the upper trough was bouncing around the state of Utah today, having finally bottomed out in southern Utah and starting to head northeastward this evening.  The upper trough is sending a fetch of moisture from Mexico northward across the central US, including western and central Kansas.

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The 4:15 PM water vapor image shows the band of moisture streaming northward from as far south as the vicinity of Tropical Storm Pilar, near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  A weakness in the moisture stream extends from Kansas across Texas late today, but there is more moisture poised to move northward from Mexico over the next few days.   However, a ‘Rex Block’ exists to our east with an upper low near the Gulf coast and upper high centered over Ontario.   This will result in slow progress of the moisture plume over our region, probably resulting in some locations across eastern Kansas getting a lot of rain over the next few days and other areas largely missing.  In which category will Lawrence reside?  Only the Shadow knows, but I can guess!

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This evening’s 500 MB showing the center of the upper low starting to push northeastward into Wyoming, but part of the upper trough hanging back over northern Arizona.

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At jet stream level, 250 MB, a new upper trough is seen centered over Mississippi and the northern Gulf.   The ridge aloft between the western and southeastern lows lies right over our area, which is connected to an upper high centered around the eastern Great Lakes.  The danger here is this ‘Rex Block’ pattern to our east will keep the moisture plume and frontal band stuck  to our west until the upper support finally ejects northeastward and/or fizzles, leaving large parts of our area dry.  (A brief discussion and definition of the Rex Block and Omega Block patterns can be seen on yesterday’s post.)

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The sun sets behind some dense cirrus to the distant west this evening with some nice ‘feather cirrus’ illuminated closer in and overhead.

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Zooming in on the roosts again – yes – the turkey vultures and gulls are still there, alright!

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The sun has set behind some shower producing clouds to the very distant west.  Some towering cumulous clouds are even seen in the far distance, with increasing cirrus over our region late today.

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Zooming in a bit, some showers to the distant west obscure the setting sun, but rays of sunlight make it through gaps in the clouds and illuminate the haze, resulting in some nice ‘crepuscular rays.’

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