Weather Blog: Chilly May days ahead

Posted at 3:44 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 16:59:44-04

Good Tuesday bloggers,

Today has been quite different than it was on Monday. The big complex of thunderstorms that we had Monday around noon is still active.

It tracked southeast through the Tennessee Valley and onto the Carolinas. Around 24 hours later at noon Tuesday, it was located over the gulf stream of the western Atlantic Ocean. We point to it on the satellite below.

On this satellite you can also see a system over the Midwest and Great Lakes regions with almost no clouds over the southwest U.S.

Now, the pattern is going to get interesting.


Here is the upper level flow for Thursday morning. There are five main features to see.

One, there is a broad ridge in the southwest U.S., which is responsible for the cloudless and hot conditions down there.

Two, there is a small upper low in southwest Montana. This low will track east into the Dakotas by Thursday then turn southeast into our region Thursday night, exiting and weakening Friday. This will bring us a good chance of rain Thursday and Thursday night.

Three, there is a big upper low in southeast Canada.

This is actually a piece of the main Polar Vortex that is located over the North Pole, which is the fourth feature to notice.

The fifth feature is a big upper-level high near Greenland, which is forcing the jet stream south and allowed for a piece of the Polar Vortex to head south.


Here is the upper-level flow for Sunday afternoon. The pattern is really blocked up.

A new upper-level high formed over northwest Canada. These features have aligned the flow in a such a way that it comes from the North Pole to the northern Plains into our region.

So, this means a much-colder-than-average weather pattern until this breaks down. Since colder air will be around, this limits the severe weather chances in a month where it is relatively easy to get severe weather in the Plains and Midwest.

Also, the systems in this flow will have limited moisture. This also reduces the threat of severe weather.

Now, we will see one to two days while this is going on where we could see widespread rain and thunderstorms. Some thunderstorms may even contain hail.

When I mention severe weather, I mean events that have legitimate tornado threats with hail and wind. This blocked pattern is now evolving and will break down at the end of next week.


Let's go through the forecast.

TONIGHT-WEDNESDAY MORNING: A weak system will race south between midnight and 7 a.m. It will bring areas of clouds and perhaps a few light rain showers. Lows will be 45 to 50 degrees along with much less wind than we saw Tuesday.


WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: Another weak system will zip by with clouds and perhaps a light shower or sprinkle. Highs will be in the low to mid-60s with a north wind around 5 to 15 mph.


THURSDAY: The system we showed above in Montana will be tracking southeast across the region, bringing widespread rain with a few thunderstorms.

Temperatures may briefly rise to the low 60s ahead of the rain, but most of the day will be spent in the 50s. You can also see a large cold front heading south. This front will blast south Thursday night into Friday, making Friday a windy and cool day with highs 55-60.


SATURDAY: Eek! Look at the morning temperatures. Lows here will be 35 to 40 degrees with a possible freeze as far south as Kentucky! It is May, so the afternoon will warm back to the 60s.

Average highs this time of year are in the low 70s with average lows in the low 50s. The record low here for Saturday is 35 set back in 1980, so we will be making a run at it.


RAINFALL: KCI received 1.02" of rain on Monday, bringing our monthly total to 1.14". May and June are, on average, the wettest months of the year around here.

The average rainfall for the month is 5.23". We could see .25" to 1" on Thursday.


Have a great rest of your week. Stay healthy.