Weather blog: Heat intensifies across Kansas City before cold front arrives

Posted at 2:57 AM, Jul 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 08:21:03-04

Good Friday bloggers,

We are facing two issues, both of which are getting worse.

First, it is getting too dry. The latest drought monitor came out Thursday and there is now a severe drought (level 3 of 5) along Interstate 70 from around Oak Grove east to Columbia. An expanding moderate drought (level 2 of 5) is growing around the severe drought.


A severe drought covers most of southern Missouri with a pocket of extreme drought (level 4 of 5) in southeast Missouri. The drought in the southwest one-third of the United States continues to rage along and includes much of western Kansas.


The good news is that the main part of the corn belt from Iowa to Ohio through northern Missouri is doing much better as far as drought conditions.

Now, we have some hope for rain arriving to very dry areas next week.

This is the upper-level flow forecast for Monday. This is around 18,000 feet, where we track storm systems and non-storm systems that dictate what goes on at the surface.

The upper-level high ("heat-wave-creating machine") gets squashed to the south as two bigger storm systems (opposite of an upper level high) in Canada force the main jet stream farther south. This opens the door for cooler air and increases thunderstorm chances from Kansas to Ohio and points north.


We are not so confident at this point where the most beneficial rain will fall. We are much more confident that the second of the issues will get solved. That is the "too hot." We should see highs next week mostly in the 80s to low 90s, possibly one day in the 70s if we can get a day of thicker clouds and rain. Locations from southern Kansas to southern Missouri may see a few days next week with highs around 100°. Hopefully, that stays south of our area.

Let's go day by day through Monday, which takes us to the cold front and changes in the weather.

We will have a chance to see the first "official" 100° since July 12, 2018. This means KCI reaching 100° as it is the official reporting station for Kansas City. I have always thought it was odd to make the official reading at a location that is not closer to Kansas City, but that is what we have.

It has been 100° four times this summer in Olathe and two or three times in Lee's Summit. So, reaching 100° at KCI is more of a technicality. There are some signs we may fall a few degrees short of reaching 100° at KCI today as there may be a few clouds.


If we don't reach 100° on Friday, we will Saturday. A stronger southwest breeze will bring in drier air from Oklahoma and Texas. This reason along with the wind bringing in the higher heat from the southern Plains will allow us to make a run at 105°! We are going 103° with this data saying 106°. But, who is counting?


Here is the day where the cold front arrives. I don't have to draw it in as you can see the north winds meeting the south winds right near I-70. Highs will range from around 105° south of the front to temperatures in the 80s north of the front. We are going for a high of 95°, but we could be 105° if the front is an hour or two slower or 85° if the front is an hour or two faster.

Right now, it looks like any thunderstorms will be well north of the front from southern Nebraska to south Iowa, clipping northern Missouri and northeast Kansas.


The front will be stalled in the region and it looks like most of our area will be on the colder side. So, highs will be in the 80s most likely. If we see rain, it could be in the 70s.

Confidence on decent rain and thunderstorm chances is still a big question. We are seeing most data show the thunderstorms 100 miles north of I-70.


Right now I would not count on much rain as it is looking like it may stay well north. That being said, nothing is set yet and it could easily shift to the I-70 corridor.


So, for our two main issues, "too dry" and "too hot," there is a much better chance of taking care of the "too hot" than the "too dry". But, again nothing is set yet.

Have a great weekend. Stay cool, stay healthy!