Joe’s Wx Blog: Cold, rain & snow

Posted on: 12:13 pm, March 16, 2013, by , updated on: 09:47am, March 17, 2013

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9:30 PM Update: 1st model of the night combined with the latest RAP model is NOT impressive at all with snow totals and I’ve done some minor revisions and basically expect little if any metro accums, which is the same as before. I’ve essentially mentioned that IF there are any decent grassy (accums 2″ or less) it would be off towards the east of the metro. Odds are most are all drizzle/light rain by the mid AM hours and temperatures through the event should be above freezing. As of this writing while radar is looking impressive to the west of the metro, ALL of that is evaporating in the dry atmosphere so it will take time for us to saturate up overnight tonight and with the snow window pretty small to begin with, another reason to NOT be optimistic about much of an accumulation. I’ll watch it carefully tonight and get you another update in the AM hours. JL

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I have to admit after yesterday’s record setting high of 83° at KCI, this blog really doesn’t have much good weather to talk about because while the systems that are heading this way will have some tricks up their sleeves, one thing for sure is that the next 10 days or so look cold for late March when typically the average high approaches 60° or so. I’ll post more map info about that later in the blog. First things first.

Yesterday we saw record highs in Kansas City, Topeka, Springfield, West Plains, St. Joseph Russell, Salina, Dodge City, Tribune and Hill City…what a day it was…and today this is how the day is going so far.

sfc

The temperatures are in RED if you click on the image above to make it larger. I also outlined the isotherms in CYAN which show the 20s, 30s, and 40s. There may be a few thin spots in the clouds but overall gray skies are expected for the rest of the day.

It won’t really get any better tomorrow but things are coming into somewhat better focus if you will and while any snow that falls or should I say is expected to fall shouldn’t create too many problems because of the warm road temperatures some accumulations are not out of the question.

The key to this whole forecast for tomorrow is going to be the strength of a what “should be” weak disturbance that will move eastwards along the I-70 corridor. As this disturbance comes our way, the winds just above the surface will allow moisture to move in and develop overhead. The other key to the forecast is where the thicker moisture set’s up. areas north of KC will probably be too far north to see anything at all while KC southwards should have a period of about 6-8 hours of rain/snow mix or even mostly snow. This will occur later tonight, after midnight and should rapidly wind down around 9-11AM tomorrow. This may give the KC St Patrick Parade a shot of being mostly dry (some drizzle?) but it still will be raw with temperatures in the 30s.

As far as accumulations go I think N MO,, from St Joseph northwards is out of the woods on this one. Should we see the majority of the precip be in that time frame, what accumulations we get will have to occur before 9AM, because after that my guess is that everything will start melting and it’s very possible that IF you sleep in till noon or so tomorrow, when you wake up, you may never know it snowed since a lot/all would have melted.

The main concern for snow accumulations will be from KCI through the Pleasant Hill area, because there should be a band of snow that set’s up in that corridor. The Hi-res NAM has come out with this solution that shows anywhere from a minor slush to about 2″ of snow.

ScreenHunter_02 Mar. 16 11.50

At this point this seems like a reasonable solution to me. The GFS is more bullish on the precip amounts but not as much for the snowfall.

How can this “storm” surprise us. Well IF it’s stronger and there is better moisture convergence on top of us aloft that could generate heavier snowfall rates. Should that occur then it’s possible that the snowfall could overcome the “warm” ground conditions and then we could have some extra problems. At this point I’m not anticipating that but will be watching for the potential with the new data later this evening. There is also the potential that this area of precip could slide a little farther southwards and effect the southern part of the metro more than the northern part. So it will be tricky to figure out and there is bust potential as usual.

It has snowed before on st Patrick’s Day. We’ve had 5 measurable snows going back to the 1880s and the most recent one was back in 1988 (25 years ago) when we had 7/10″. The record for the most is back in 1958 with 1.2″.  Also I should mention that the last time the temperature was below 40° was back in 1993 when it was 30° (yikes!). It did snow on the 18th and 19th that year too.

Another tidbit of quick research for you…our good friend, Punxsutawney Phil, forecasted an “early spring” back on 2/2. Well since then we’ve had 20+” of snow and our average temperature is running about 1.6° below average. So much for the furry rodent and his “predictions”.

If you’re hoping for warmth this coming week, this next map will not be something you want to look at. It shows the average temperatures from tomorrow through next Sunday and the news is not good.

ScreenHunter_03 Mar. 16 11.58

Click on that image to make the scale on the right more readable…but again it is chilly. the GFS does show some warmer air towards the end of the month, the EURO really doesn’t do this through the 26th or so…maybe something after that, but it will be a process.

That’s it for now, should there be any changes I’ll let you know on the air and then in the blog this evening. Time to root for my St Louis University Billikens as they play Butler again. we’ve beaten them twice and are trying to get a 4 seed in the NCAA brackets tomorrow afternoon.

Joe

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