Relief is on the way.
That is, if you consider 90 degrees a relief.
But after multiple days with temperatures hovering near the triple digits, things are about to become more bearable.
“We have a bit of a cold front coming through tonight, and that will bring in a slightly drier air mass heading into Sunday and Monday,” said Jonathan Welsh, a National Weather Service meteorologist. “So we will see some improvement.”
He admitted, however, that “cold front is a very relative term.”
And we have to get through Saturday first.
“Today is going to be kind of the worst of the foreseeable future,” Welsh said. “We’re looking at temperatures approaching the 100-degree mark. And unfortunately, heat index values will be close to 110.”
The last time the temperature in Kansas City hit 100 degrees was Sept. 8, 2013.
“And that could certainly happen today,” Welsh said.
What’s to blame for the oppressive heat?
For one thing, Welsh said, a lack a precipitation. When the surface is dry, the ground is able to heat up a lot faster than it would if it was moist. But the main reason, he said, is an upper-level air pattern that’s enveloping the region.
“We’ve got a lot of sinking air over the area,” he said. “There’s no cloud cover, there’s no rain, and our surface winds are coming out of the southwest, bringing all the warm air and moisture from the south, which increases the heat index.”
Sunday should see some improvement, Welsh said, with highs in the low 90s. But the dew points will be lower, dropping heat index values to the upper 90s.
Monday sounds even better, with highs in the upper 80s to low 90s.
“We will start to get slightly warmer temperatures Wednesday and Thursday,” Welsh said, “but it still won’t be quite as oppressive as what we’re dealing with now.”
And while a nice soaking rain would be nice, don’t get your hopes up, he said. There’s a slight chance of precipitation on Saturday night, he said, with thunderstorms approaching from eastern Kansas around sunset.
“And we do have some off-and-on chances of rain next week,” he said. “But unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot to hang our hat on quite yet.”
The Kansas City area is nearly an inch above average for rainfall this year, but almost an inch-and-a-half below average for the summer and 2.65 inches below average for the month of July, Welsh said.
“The dry trend is certainly starting to show itself,” he said.
We’re not out of the woods when it comes to the stifling heat, either.
“July and August are both very prime suspects for being able to get to 100-degree or higher temperatures,” he said.