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How hot will it be in Kansas City this summer? What weather forecast models predict

Climate models from the National Weather Service predict a rainy spring followed by a hot summer in the Kansas City metro area.

The agency’s Climate Prediction Center uses current weather data to predict temperatures and precipitation across the country, Kansas City-based meteorologist Chad Schafer told The Star.

“It uses current and recent data to predict what could happen in the next one to three months or longer,” he said. “The statistical outcome of that would indicate whether we would be above normal, below normal or near normal in terms of temperature and precipitation.”

Here’s a closer look at what these weather models say Kansas Citians can expect in the coming months.

Will it be a wet May in Kansas City?

The Climate Prediction Center’s maps show a 33-40% chance of above-average precipitation across much of the southeastern U.S. and central Midwest in May, including the area around Kansas City.

May is typically the rainiest month of the year in the Kansas City area, according to historical data from 1991 through 2020. The metro averages 7.5 inches of rain — and forecasts suggest more than that may fall this year.

A nationwide precipitation forecast for the month of May predicts higher-than-average precipitation in the Kansas City area on this map from the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center.A nationwide precipitation forecast for the month of May predicts higher-than-average precipitation in the Kansas City area on this map from the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center.

A nationwide precipitation forecast for the month of May predicts higher-than-average precipitation in the Kansas City area on this map from the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.

May is expected to be hotter than average in the eastern US, the Southeast and Texas, but temperatures in Kansas City will not be hotter or cooler than normal that month.

Based on weather data from 1991 through 2020, the average high temperature for May is about 75°F and the average low temperature is 54.3°F. The average mean temperature during that time frame is 64.6°F.

What will the weather be like in the KC area this summer?

Forecast maps for May, June and July show that most of the country, including Kansas City, is on track to have a hotter-than-usual summer compared to data collected over the past thirty years.

“This past year, global average temperatures were already well above what we’ve seen in the last 30 years,” Shafer told The Star, adding that temperature forecasts for this summer are partly driven by global warming.

“It’s much more common to see a graph (for) the next three months where most of the U.S. is at par or slightly to moderately above average in terms of temperature forecast.”

A national temperature forecast for the months of May, June and July 2024 predicts higher-than-average temperatures in the Kansas City region this summer on this map from the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center.A national temperature forecast for the months of May, June and July 2024 predicts higher-than-average temperatures in the Kansas City region this summer on this map from the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center.

A national temperature forecast for the months of May, June and July 2024 predicts higher-than-average temperatures in the Kansas City region this summer on this map from the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.

Most of the U.S., including Kansas City, is not looking to get more or less rain than normal over the next three months.

“That’s pretty common,” Shafer said. “It is significantly more challenging to pinpoint areas where we have more certainty that above-normal or below-normal precipitation will occur.”

That’s because while temperature changes can be predicted using global trends, rain and snow are more localized and harder to predict many months in advance.

Do you have more questions about the weather or climate in Kansas City? Request the Service Journalism team [email protected].