weather

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Recent controversy surrounding the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity has put Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in the nation's limelight. Today, we get an update on the 4-month-old committee.

Last week, Amazon announced that it's looking for a new city for its second headquarters. Could KC be that city? And do we want to be the kind of city that Amazon would make us?

Then: wildfires out west, tropical storms and floods. We hear from people who have personal connections to climate devastation in Florida and Texas.

Guests:

Texas Military Department

Dozens of people from Kansas and Missouri are on their way to the Gulf Coast of Texas as Tropical Storm Harvey continues to batter Houston and other parts of southeastern Texas.

Katie Bernard / KCUR 89.3

Historic flooding on July 27 led to a dramatic water rescue at the popular Coach's Bar and Grill in south Kansas City. High water also caused major damage to businesses in the same strip near 103rd Street and Wornall Road.

Now, the properties' owners have decided "it is just not worth it" to restore the 103 Square complex. 

The City of Grandview

The Little Blue River is causing big problems for the City of Grandview — more than $1.3 million worth to be exact. 

Heavy rains caused major flooding across the metro Thursday, and Grandview officials say they may end up needing state or federal help to clean up the damage. 

"Unfortunately, we might get to the point where we might qualify for some state or federal assistance because there’s so much damage," Grandview Communications Manager Valarie Poindexter said. 

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

This story was updated with additional information at 1:32 p.m. 

Heavy rains overnight caused severe flooding in parts of the Kansas City metropolitan area. 

In some areas of downtown, the rain at times fell at a rate of 2.5 inches per hour, according to the National Weather Service. Southern Cass County and parts of Lafayette County saw up to nine inches. 

Flooding was still widespread Thursday afternoon across the metro area, especially across portions of Wyandotte, Johnson and Jackson counties. 

Amy Jeffries / KCUR 89.3

UPDATED at 4:50 p.m. Monday, July 24.

Generators were buzzing in backyards across the Kansas City metro after severe thunderstorms knocked out power to tens of thousands Saturday night.

As of about 3 p.m. Monday, about 19,000 Kansas City Power & Light customers were still waiting for the lights to come back on.

The National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, Missouri, issued a Flash Flood Warning for counties in northwest and north-central Missouri Thursday morning after a string of severe storms dumped up to a foot of rain in the area, starting Wednesday night. 

Brian Ellison / KCUR 89.3

UPDATED Monday, 8 a.m.: More than 12,000 people remain without power Monday morning after storms this weekend damaged trees and power lines across the Kansas City metro area.

Kansas City Power & Light crews are continuing to repair power lines and restore power to customers. That work is slower with these storms than others, according to a Kansas City Power and Light official.

“There were a high number of individual outages so that’s why this restoration is taking a little bit longer than what we’ve seen in some other storms,” said Courtney Hughley, Kansas City Power and Light spokesperson. 

Did you know John Adam's wife, Abigail, would hang wet laundry in the Public Audience Chamber? Or that Abraham Lincoln never slept in the Lincoln Bedroom? West Wing Reports founder and White House beat journalist Paul Brandus shares a history of The Oval Office and what it is like to cover the Trump administration.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Along with another day of rain in the Kansas City area, water levels continue to rise across Missouri, causing flooding and dozens of road closures. While southern and eastern Missouri continue to experience serious flooding the Kansas City area has not seen much impact. 

The closest flooding to Kansas City has occurred on the Missouri River at Napoleon about thirty miles east.

Heavy rainfall and thunderstorms over the weekend caused record high flooding in southern Missouri, leading Governor Eric Greitens to declare a state of emergency.

Maj. Geoff Legler / Oklahoma National Guard

Donald Trump took over the Oval Office two months ago, and his trade policies are having an effect. Today, we'll find out how his search for better deals is creating divisions in Dawson County, Nebraska. Then, learn how building techniques, borrowed from construction practices in hurricane zones, can help Tornado Alley homes stand up to spring's strong winds.

C.J. Janovy / KCUR 89.3

After the EF-3 tornado that destroyed homes in Oak Grove, Missouri, residents of the damaged neighborhoods were mostly in good spirits Tuesday afternoon – happy to be alive and grateful for neighbors who were helping clean up.

Jennifer Swartz’s home on South Clinton Street was gone. She and her husband were having dinner in Lee’s Summit when the storm hit on Monday night. When they tried to return home, they hit a blockade and drove to Independence, where they spent the night with her husband's parents.

Twitter / Missouri Highway Patrol

From Olathe, Kansas, to Oak Grove, Missouri, Tuesday morning, metro-area residents were surveying damage and catching their breath after a line of severe storms rolled through Monday night, causing widespread damage but no major injuries or deaths. 

The National Weather Service says two tornadoes touched down near Oak Grove and Smithville and officials are set to survey damage there and in Olathe. Schools in Odessa, Oak Grove and Lee’s Summit canceled classes Tuesday due to continued power outages and damage to some buildings. 

National Weather Service Pleasant Hill Kansas City/Pleasant Hill / Facebook

"For those wishing for an oak mite apocalypse, you'll get your wish Sunday morning (11/20) when lows hit the mid-20s."

This quip was posted on the National Weather Service's Facebook page last autumn by Forecaster Mike July. Some people have a knack for knowing exactly what an audience is looking for in a weather forecast. For many, July is one of those people.

KC Streetcar Authority

Over the icy weekend, Kansas City’s downtown streetcar service not only kept to schedule, it ran after-hours to stop ice build-up on overhead lines.

After the last passengers disembarked, up to two streetcars were kept running overnight to keep power-lines ice-free.

Donna Mandelbaum, communications manager for the Kansas City Streetcar Authority, says the trolley cars can run continuously if necessary.

Natalie Curtis / Flickr--CC

An ice storm is expected to move across the Kansas City metro starting Friday, bringing sleet, freezing rain and likely hazardous road conditions.

The National Weather Service issued an ice storm advisory for the metro beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, prompting many schools and universities to suspend classes and activities for the day. 

Districts that have canceled classes include Belton public schools, Grandview public schools, Olathe public schools and Gardner/Edgerton public schools.

Vincent Chow / Flickr -- CC

From 60 degrees to a winter weather advisory in just a couple of days: yes, the weather here can be manic. A chat with Mike July, who recently retired from the National Weather Service office in KC, about the art of forecasting ... and about his witty social media posts.

Then, in 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. gave a surprising speech at K-State. We'll hear about the impression it left on Kansans.

file photo / Kansas News Service

A storm moved across the Kansas City area late Wednesday and early Thursday bringing light to moderate snowfall.

Due to the weather, many schools have canceled or delayed classes. Including, Academie Lafayette, Benjamin Banneker Elementary, Hickman Mills Schools, Independence Public Schools, Kansas City Public Schools and Center School District.

Check kmbc.com for a full list of closings.

Paul Downey / Flickr - CC

Climate change is a global phenomenon, and when we think about climate change we tend to think about the greater global implications. Like how will increasing ocean temperatures affect glaciers and coastal communities? But how will climate change impact our local communities? How will Kansas City change? 

The rebuilding of Joplin after a devastating tornado struck in 2011 was generally applauded as a textbook example of how to take care of people when disaster hits. However, homeowners and businesses on the East Coast are still struggling in the aftermath of 2012's Hurricane Sandy. 

Guests:

Courtesy Photo: Kansas City Zoo

Yes, it's going to be a warm weekend, but at 11 o'clock Saturday morning, you'll be treated to something special if you're at the Kansas City Zoo. Some of the zoo's penguins will be parading around the Helzberg Penguin Plaza, greeting guests.

"The birds actually seem to like it," says Director of Zoological Operations, Sean Putney."When we go in to get them, they don't quite smile, but when we walk toward the door, they follow us immediately." 

With large hail, rain and even one confirmed tornado sweeping through the Kansas City area Thursday, local Twitter users took to their cell phones with the hashtag #kswx to capture photos of the swirling, gray skies.

We put together a few highlights — or lowlights depending on your tolerance for storms — of the weather.

Much of metro Kansas City is experiencing severe weather with multiple watches and warnings throughout the listening area.

“Some of these storms are capable of producing tornadoes," says Bill Bunting, chief of forecast operations at the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. "All of them are capable of producing damaging winds in excess of 60 miles per hour and large hail, and we’ve had reports of up to baseball-size hail over Northeast Kansas.”

Bill Anderson / KCUR 89.3

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.”

@TwistedSkiesWx

Tuesday promises to be a wild day for weather in and around the Kansas City metro. But breathless TV forecasts and an endless social media stream of predictions and warnings may have you confused. 

This graphic produced by the National Weather Service in Kansas City sums up neatly both when and where you should be looking for severe weather: 

It’s been a mild winter in Kansas City's metro, and the lack of snow and unseasonably warm temperatures have been enjoyed by many. For people who garden, however, those conditions can present challenges.

Guests:

KCUR 89.3

An anticipated winter storm moved through the Kansas City metro Tuesday, bringing snow and ice in the early afternoon with the possibility of continuing snowfall throughout the evening commute.

Many schools and churches canceled evening activities or let students out early. Here is a list of those closures from The Kansas City Star.

Heavy rainfall and swollen rivers have caused major flooding in Missouri and southern Illinois, leading to voluntary evacuations and road closures. The governors of both states have declared a state of emergency, and water levels on the Mississippi River shattered records. While this story is still developing, here are the main things you need to know about the recent floods.

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