Wednesday, October 4: We remained on the cool side of the weak front that passed through the area late yesterday evening, with cloudy skies and light east winds. A 45-minute shot of light rain started around 12:50 PM, and dropped 18 hundredths of an inch at my residence. Dribbles and spits in the afternoon added another hundredth for a total of 0.19 inches up to 00 GMT, or 7 PM. Not too impressive, but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, as they say.
The afternoon high today at the Lawrence airport today was 66 and the morning low 62. Humidity was high with an average dew point of 63. Rainfall reported at the Lawrence Airport was only 0.06 inches.
Some good rains fell in much of central Kansas and even to the east of Lawrence in spots. Below is the radar precipitation estimate out of Kansas City. (Topeka cleared theirs out just before I got to it this evening, one supposes in expectation of heavier rains to come!) The moisture is certainly out there poised to come over us from Mexico, if the upper lift and dynamics can act on it in a reasonably efficient manner. In any event, some areas in the region should get very wet and a flash flood watch has been issued for a broad area to our west and north.
Elsewhere in Kansas, in first place today was Salina with a very substantial 2.83 inches of rainfall in the 24 hours ending at 7 PM. In second place was (drumroll please..) Wichita’s Eisenhower Airport (ICT) with 1.94 inches. Hayes was close behind with 1.92 inches. Liberal was next with 1.42 inches and Winfield reported 1.36 inches. Those were all the inch plus amounts in Kansas today. Amounts were typically variable due to the showery nature of the rainfall swaths, but everyone got at least something, even Lawrence!
Radar precipitation estimate up to 8:18 PM Wednesday. A decent swath of precipitation not far to the south and east of Lawrence today and also to the distant west and east. Jefferson City Airport, Missouri, received 2.79 inches today. Columbia picked up 1.25 inches. Closer to our area, Lees Summit received 1.41 inches and Olathe’s New Century Airport, not far east of Lawrence, received 85 hundredths.
Decent looking dense clouds over eastern Kansas at 9:45 Wednesday morning, but rainfall was lack-luster in the Lawrence to Topeka area. A nearly closed off upper low is spinning over the northern intermountain west. An area of significant snow accumulation is over north-central Montana.
Wow, look at all the snow over north-central Montana, though with a dry streak into the Great Falls area. Very impressive early season snow across what they call up there ‘the eastern slope of the Rockies’ but extending pretty far to the east of that zone, too. Also a pretty good cover of snow in the mountains of northwest Wyoming, with patches of snowfall ringing the low, south rim of the arid Bighorn Basin as well. The High Uintas of northeast Utah also have a decent cover of snow. To the east are low clouds. Thick clouds are producing rain and snow over Idaho associated with the closed off low spinning in that area.
This morning’s 500 MB showing the almost closed off low over the intermountain west. A moist southwest flow is over our region in Kansas, but height values are actually quite high (5,920 meters at TOP) for the 500 MB chart. That would be standard for a typical summer day. Even higher heights over the southeastern US, under the upper high pressure area, where highs were in the mid 80s to near 90.
At jet stream level the ridge is over our region with the surface high centered near south Texas. The stronger jet stream remains to the west and north of eastern Kansas, but still a pretty good flow. Note the interesting strong easterly flow aloft over Washington state.