It’s been a rainy couple of weeks in Kansas City and the rest of this week promises even more showers and thunderstorms. Why so much rain?
“You know the simple answer? It’s May,” Andy Bailey, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told Steve Kraske on Wednesday’s Up To Date.
Bailey says rainfall so far this season has been above average, but not enough to cause alarm.
“The unusual thing for us here, is to be above normal rainfall and yet have a relatively below normal severe weather season.”
Tuesday night saw more than a dozen tornadoes touch down in Kansas. The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-3 tornado touched down near Dodge City, causing some property damage and injuring two people.
But Bailey noted that Kansas City hasn’t had many warnings so far this season — which could be part of a larger trend.
“Coming off a strong El Niño ... as we’re transitioning into a La Niña out in the Pacific Ocean, that tends to mean we’ll see over the long term fewer severe weather events, and that’s what’s panned out so far this year in the Kansas City area,” Bailey says.
He says that severe weather is still almost impossible to predict on such a local level, so people shouldn’t write this season off just yet. He says it only takes one incident to turn a season around.
“One tornado through the wrong area, producing a lot of devastation would just cement this in most people’s minds as a bad weather season,” Bailey says.
Even though more rain is predicted for the rest of the week, Jud Kneuvean, chief of the emergency management branch for the Kansas City District of the Army Corps of Engineers, says they’re not worried about serious flooding from this system of storms.
“The nice thing about them is that they’re not continuous so you get a little break so water levels come up and then they recede and that really helps us out,” Kneuvean says.
Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter and the associate producer of KCUR's Up To Date. Connect with her on Twitter @larodrig.