Overview

Midwest weather is crazy!  But in a good way.

Perhaps a better word to describe it is ‘changeable.’  The sky varies from day to day and, quite often, throughout the course of one day.  Storms can happen any time of the year, ranging from ‘severe’ thunderstorms in the spring to torrential rain storms in the summer to cold winds, rain, snow or even ice in the winter.   Fall is often the most tranquil part of the year, but even in this generally pleasant season, just about anything can happen.

Within this changeable midwestern climatological realm, each location, city or town, has its own unique weather events that may or may not be experienced in another nearby location.  A storm that hits one city with flooding might miss a neighboring town entirely. A ‘train’ of storms might hit one swath of ground repeatedly and nearly completely miss a neighboring swath of territory 20 miles away.   A spectacular storm may develop just outside of a town or city and not impact that town or city itself – or the other way around. As well, a snowstorm or ice storm may paralyze a 25 to 100 mile-wide swath of ground, yet have minor effects outside of its relatively narrow zone of influence.  In a city the size of Kansas City, half of the area can have a damaging storm of any kind and the other half minor impacts, or none at all.

Even longer term conditions can be variable.  One state in the Midwest can be in drought while a neighboring state is enjoying above average precipitation.  In fact, such can easily occur from one region to another within any single midwestern state – and often does.

The purpose of this blog is to comment on this variability of notable weather events in and around the Topeka-Lawrence-Kansas City region.  This is not a forecast blog that tries to be the ‘most accurate,’ but primarily a description of significant weather events in the area centered around Lawrence as they happen and after the fact, in order to examine how they played out.  Satellite images and radar displays are a major part of this analysis of events, as are maps depicting the precipitation amounts in the area from individual storms.

A significant aspect of this blog will also be to keep tabs on the regional rainfall accumulations over time and to note the variability precipitation from one locale to another over time and with each covered event.  The variety and reliability of the various precipitation data sources themselves will also be described.

Noteworthy or especially interesting weather events occurring outside of the immediate Lawrence area may also be discussed from time to time.  However, this will primarily be a blog documenting storm events in and around the Lawrence, Kansas region.

Prepare to be amused and amazed!