A Record February Storm Begins-Weather Blog

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The dry slot has now moved into the region as expected and the snow accumulations for the KC area will stop for the next 4-6 hours or so until what’s left of the back side of the storm moves our way. Before that though there will still be some light precipitation in the form of some light snow or evening freezing drizzle/mist for the rest of the afternoon. Amounts have been in the 8-10″ range (average) with some isolated 12″ reports coming in. We could pick up an additional 1-3″ this evening with the backside of the storm. Everything should wind down from the SW to the NE towards midnight or so.

I just finished the Noon show and will be doing hourly cut-ins this afternoon but will start another blog after 2PM and try and get it posted by 3PM or so.

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I need to start working on my noon show but wanted to give you a quick update while I had a moment. Numerous reports of 4-7″ of snow in just about 3 hours from the KC metro area with one report of 12″ already down towards Richmond, MO. The heavy snow with an occasional rumble will continue for the next few hours and there will be a slackening in the snowfall rates later this AM or early this afternoon. However the back side of the storm will move in later today and the snow will increase again. All told many will get close to 10-14″ from the metro northwards.

More early this afternoon. What a storm…and considering I remember writing a blog about a fantasy snowstorm when this storm was located near Japan about 8-9 days ago…it’s been impressive and now is no fantasy! It’s come almost 9000 miles or so and now it’s arrived in the region…impressive for sure!

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And so it has started…snow with thunder, lightning and reports of sleet well south of the metro.

As expected the snow briefly got going earlier but now the snow rates have gone way up and FOX 4 Warn indicates that it is going to be a long day for all. Some hit the roads a bit earlier today to get to work but now the accidents are piling up according to Nick Vasos and FOX 4 Warn is indicating quite a bit of lightning towards the south of I-70…as a matter of fact that’s about the most lightning I’ve seen associated with snow in a long time!

This will be an ongoing blog this AM and PM, I’m at work now and I’ll off/on keep blogging till later tonight so it’s going to be a long day. Check back in often.

So here is what’s going on. The storm’s leading edge is obviously here now, the atmosphere has saturated. Last night before I went to bed after the KU game (what a game!) I looked outside and skies we’re almost totally clear! Well obviously things have changed dramatically.

Our models are still cranking out about 1″ in total liquid precipitation…that would equate to about 10-12″ of snow for the hardest hit areas and that could be from the metro northwards. Farther south sleet will be a complication to the forecast and will cut totals. Here is the RAP model thoughts for total snow out of this.

My feeling is that those numbers are a bit high from Anderson-Linn-Pettis counties on the south side because of the sleet factor but I think you get the idea of widespread 8+” of snowfall with higher totals in spots…probably up to 10-12″ depending on the thundersnows!

If you click on this link you can see a satellite animation of the storm down towards New Mexico. There are no real track changes necessary from my previous thoughts so see yesterday’s blog for additional details.

Something interesting that I mentioned a couple of days ago. The record for snow on this date (2/21) is about 5.1″ set a few years ago in 2010 and the record for a daily snow in February is 11.8″ in 1900. We should at the least break our record for 2/21 (today)…we’ll see about our all-time record for February but it is doable.

I’ll get more of a blog together as the AM moves along. As of 7AM thunder with sleet and freezing rain is being reported in Joplin. Emporia has had 7.5″ already and Osawatomie has had 3″ already!. Reports of 4″ in the Richmond and Lyndon, KS area and 3.5″ west of Rich Hill, MO.

Here is some snow climatology from the NWS in Pleasant Hill.

The last time Kansas City officially measured 12" of snow was
January 18-19 in 1962 (14.0"). The most recent snowfall greater than
10" was February 24-25 in 1993 (11.1").

Top 10 snowfalls for Kansas City

1. 24.2"...Mar 22-24 1912 
2. 15.8"...Feb 11-12 1894
3. 14.6"...Jan 20-21 1958
4. 14.0"...Jan 18-19 1962
5. 13.8"...Mar 14-15 1960
6. 13.7"...Jan 8-9 1930
7. 13.0"...Feb 27-28 1900
8. 12.3"...Mar 29-31 1926
9. 12.2"...Dec 23-24 1918
10. 11.9"...Mar 3-5 1915

Top 5 daily February snowfalls for Kansas City

1. 11.8"...27th 1900
2. 10.5"...4th 1915
3. 8.7"...23rd 1990
4. 8.6"...2nd 1960
5. 8.0"...15th 1960

Joe

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