On behalf of all of us in the FOX 4 Weather Center, Michelle, Mike, Karli and yours truly we hope all of you have a wonderful holiday season and joyous New Year!
Mother Nature, unlike most of us, will not be taking a day off over the next couple of days. There is a lot of weather work to be done, and before it’s over, parts of the country may have a rather nasty severe weather outbreak, including the potential for tornadoes, while other parts of the country may need a yardstick to measure all the snow that will fall over the next couple of days. regardless of all that, most of the country, east of the Rockies will be rather chilly with the exception of the southeast part of the country.
Meanwhile back in KC, it will be cold and occasionally gray. We’ve now been below freezing since 4PM yesterday and I’m wondering how many hours straight of 32° or below weather we’ll endure before we see moderating temperatures. It could be awhile, because every indication is that between the future clouds and the colder air oozing into the region temperatures will continue to run below average for the next 5 days or so. Yesterday I mentioned that through Saturday we were running 8.6° above average, well because of yesterday’s chill, we’re now down to 8° above average readings for the month, and that number will continue to be chipped away rather handily as the month finishes off.
As mentioned earlier, things are going to be active. Let’s start with the potential of severe weather. This is all ties to our western storm system that is now moving and intensifying towards UT/NV. This storm will head towards the Red River of TX/OK tomorrow then curl up towards the SE of St Louis and then head towards Cincinnati. Take a look at the forecast of the storm, using the 500 mb maps (apprx. 18,000 feet). You can clearly see the storm strengthen as it moves towards Memphis, TN.
As that storm tomorrow interacts with plenty of Gulf moisture residing towards E TX/LA/MS/AL/GA the moisture combined with the sun and the fanning of the air aloft, SE of the upper level storm, will create intense updrafts and that will turn thunderstorms into violent storms. The SPC has been talking about this for the past few days and they have upgraded this region to a moderate risk of severe weather including strong, long tracked tornadoes. Here is their outlook from 7AM this morning. For the latest information, go to their website.
So big concerns down there, and for those hitting the road or with relatives and friends in that outlined area tomorrow, make sure that they are fully aware of the situation. There is going to be a lot of shear in the lower part of the atmosphere (below 10,000 feet) so the situation is VERY concerning.
On the colder side of the storm, there will be snow, and potentially a lot of it. Here is the AM NAM model showing the snowfall potential.
There are some healthy totals in there, well over 1 foot in some areas. Focus your attention towards St Louis. Look at how sharp that gradient between no snow and a ton of snow is. Here is a close up map showing the area that I talked about.
That is essentially a forecast off the model from NW of St Louis…nearly nothing to about 50-75 miles south of STL…with close to 10-16″ of snow. I absolutely would hate being on the air giving a 0-16″ forecast, but in reality that might be the right forecast for the viewing area. Just think of a 50-75 mile track change and how that would blow the forecast.
Here is what the forecasters in St Louis are thinking at this point.
Meanwhile for those traveling farther eastwards, you may want to rethink those plans unless you leave today and are in no hurry to get back. Here is the forecast from the NWS in Paducah, KY.
So a lot going on through the MS and OH Valley over the next few days. As the storm moves into the NE part of the country, this should be an interior snowstorm as opposed to a coastal snowstorm later Wednesday into Thursday.
Since 1950 we’ve had 10 “official” White Christmas’ here in KC. That is defined by having 1″ of snow or more on the ground on Christmas Day whether from snow that day or from a previous storm. Of course the last one was in 2009 when we had a major snowstorm on Christmas eve that lasted into Christmas morning. That was an epic Christmas storm that will be remembered for a long time!
Well that’s it for today. Odds are I won’t get a blog together tomorrow as I’ll be celebrating with family, then I’ll be covering the evening shows from Wednesday through the weekend so I’ll fire the blog up again Wednesday sometime.
Thanks for making the FOX 4 Weather Blog one of the most popular features (on an almost daily basis) on fox4kc.com.