Morning Clouds, then Sunny and Pleasant

Thursday, October 12th:  Morning low cloudiness gave way to sunny and pleasant conditions today.  The high today at the Lawrence Airport was 73 and the morning low 43.  My personal weather station also reached a high of 73 with a low of 47.  South breezes brought an increase in moisture in the air with the dew point rising from around 52 at noon to around 60 by sunset.

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A broad area of low cloudiness reached to far eastern Kansas, including the Lawrence area, at 9:45 AM Thursday.  By midday the clouds gave way to sunny skies and pleasant temperatures.  To our west, a cirrus jet streak associated with the next western upper trough extends from northeast Utah across Wyoming.   Some standing lenticular wave clouds are seen east of the Front Range in Colorado, extending northward toward east of the Black Hills.

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Checking in on the North Bay fires in California an hour later, at 8:45 PDT, plumes of smoke extend from very active fires southward past San Francisco and the San Mateo County Coast, then off shore for hundreds of miles.

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At 3:45 PM Thursday, clear skies are over Kansas and most of  Missouri.  To the west rain has fallen across much of Oregon with over a half inch in the northwest and around a quarter inch in central sections of western Oregon.  Too bad none of this made it into California.  In fact, a dry off shore flow continues over California  as seen by the clear skies off the coast and the smoke plume extending from the North Bay fires due south, off shore.   It was not as warm in the fire zone today with temps in Santa Rosa reaching the mid to upper 70s after a morning low of about 40.  However, humidity was low in the afternoon, dropping to as low as 12 percent at 3 PM with a temperature of 75 and a dew point of 20.  Winds were light at the airport, but a dry north flow continued at higher elevations.

 

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4:45 PM PDT Thursday smoke plume check:  Heavy smoke originating from the North SF Bay Area streams southward over much of the SF Bay area, then southward along the coast, moving off shore completely around Santa Cruz and continuing southward out to sea.  Less prolific smoke plumes to the north.  Fires in the Sierra are going, too, especially the fire just south of Sequoia National Park where the higher elevation allows the smoke to catch west winds aloft.  Same with a smaller plume not far from Lake Tahoe.  A thiner, lower-level plume spreading southward over the east and south San Joaquin Valley appears to be associated with fires in the Yosemite area.   To the north, clouds and some rain in western Oregon is forecast to remain to the north of California, where no rain is in the forecast until possibly some light rainfall in some areas around 5 to 7 days out.  

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The Thursday evening 500 MB chart shows upper waves rotating through the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies and a mild, dry southwest flow over Kansas.

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Thursday evening’s 850 MB chart (about 5,000 feet up) shows the dry, northerly still offshore flow over California and a fairly strong southwest flow over Kansas, ahead of the broad upper trough over the northern intermountain west.  Some lower level moisture over Texas and Oklahoma is poised to move over our area Friday as well, bringing higher humidity along with  warmer temperatures.

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At jet stream level Thursday evening, a very strong southwest jet is to our northwest with moderately strong winds over northeast Kansas as well.  As the stronger jet approaches eastern Kansas, we should start to see changes in our weather by late Friday.

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