Joe’s Wx Blog: “March Sadness” snow rolls on

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7PM Update:

Well it’s about time to wrap up this storm system…the highest snow totals or what I cal the Top 4 Snow totals…get it…FOX 4…hey I on;y have had a few hours of sleep since 4AM Saturday morning…were impressive and verified my forecast somewhat. Take a look.


So how was the forecast…I thought I’d spend a minute showing you the forecast that I went with yesterday and show you the reality…it wasn’t perfect for some areas NE of the KC Metro region, but for KC it was pretty darn good. 1st the forecast off of yesterday’s morning’s blog…

Now take a look at reality from the NWS reported snow totals…


For the KC Metro…a solid forecast…for the NE part of our viewing area I overestimated the snow and for areas near the Lakes region I underestimated the snow yesterday AM but got that taken care of I think with the afternoon update graphic…so overall while not perfect…pretty darn solid, especially with the timing and the consistency of the main part of the storm.

So how rare was this snowstorm…well the last time we had a significant snow in late March was…wait for it…only 3 years ago! On March 20th in 2010 we had a record daily snow of 7.3″…so really not that long ago!

I’m going to call it a night on the blog and just want to thank everybody again for coming to the FOX 4 Weather blog for your updates and explainers. it’s obviously and not unusually been the most popular click on the website during all this crazy weather over the last month or so and I appreciate your reading my thoughts and explanations.

have a great night!



10:30 AM Update:

Everything has gone pretty much according to plan as far as the snowstorm has progressed. Metro snow totals are in the 5 to almost 9″ range and from that standpoint I couldn’t be happier with the forecast for the last several days. So with that said I’m sure some areas won’t work out, and when all the totals are done coming in tonight we’ll try and evaluate it tomorrow when the snow is done.

Here are some snow maps for you showing the snow totals through 10AM or so. It’s only 2 hours worth of data to filter out the older reports and with the additional snow this AM…the under-reporting that was occurring.

Let’s start with the metro totals…

ScreenHunter_01 Mar. 24 09.42

Now let’s move onto the KS side…

ScreenHunter_02 Mar. 24 09.43

Now switch across the state line to the MO side…

ScreenHunter_03 Mar. 24 09.43

I’ll be curious to see how the totals rack up across areas on the MO side, closer to the Sedalia area since their in some decent banded snow as I type this.

By the way, our earlier thundersnows have moves towards the STL area as they are getting pounded with thunder and snow as I type this. here is What they’re expecting today…

As far as Monday goes, yes some additional snow is not out of the question and while accumulations won’t be that impressive, another 1/2-1″ of snow is not out of the question…although with the snow not coming down to hard, most of the accums would just be on top of the snow that’s out there. Since the roads will have plenty of treatment on them, it should melt rather nicely on the treated paved surfaces…

There are no real changes to the early AM blog needed concerning the timeline…so scroll down for more on the specifics…

More in the afternoon!


Now I know what some are thinking…no please don’t name the storm…I’m not really just trying to have a little fun at 5AM in the morning, and since my Billikens from St Louis University got clobbered yesterday I am a little sad today…but what a great run it was this year…but I digress.

Snow is coming down like crazy now as as temperatures drop off into the 30° range, any melting that was taking place a few hours ago has stopped and now everything is accumulating, and in some cases pretty darn fast. Snowfall rates are near 1-2″/hour in places around the metro accumulations and total snow accums thus far are in the 3-5″ range now with more coming through the mid morning hours before things wind down and slowly and intermittently taper off later this AM. Visibilities are also in the 1/4-3/4 mile range, indicative of the heavy snow that’s falling out there. Here is a look at radar showing the snow in the KC region…

Accumulations have been slower down south of here, and with the speed of the storm moving through SW MO, I’m not sure if anyone down there will get over 10″, but I really don’t want to change that at this point…maybe in a few more hours or so.

Speaking of the storm, Jane asked my last night which model was winning the fight and by midnight or so, it became clear to me that the NAM model was handling the core of the storm better in the runs from yesterday afternoon. the storm now is located near Joplin and will continue to move off towards the ENE through the day today. Here is a look at the latest model showing the storm’s core at about 18K feet up…I think you can see it clearly getting stronger as it approaches the St Louis area…

Another thing to notice on the above animation, is the additional energy diving in behind this storm for Monday, and yes we have additional snow in the forecast on Monday, although I don’t think it will stick with temperatures in the 30-35° range during the day on Monday.

Now take a look at the forecasted precipitation off the NAM model. This is easy to understand when you know that the thicker RED line represents the approximate rain/snow line…give or take a bit.

Remember in the world of weather we use a different time reference…so when you see 0Z it’s 7PM, 06Z is 1AM, 12Z is 7AM and 18Z is 1PM.

You can see that as this morning wears along the bulk of the heaviest precip will start to settle towards the SE and E of KC but it will take a few hours. Every panel above represents the amount of accumulated “liquid” equivalent over the previous 3 hours. To compound the issue the amounts are in mm and not inches but I think you can make out the heavier areas heading towards the St Louis area today.

Winter Storm warnings will continue into the afternoon today, although as expected some of the far NW counties that were under a warning have been reduced to a Winter Weather Advisory sine the snow won’t amount as high up there as opposed to from the KC area southwards.

There are some flights scheduled to leave from KCI today but there are also a lot of cancellations today so check ahead if your trying to get out of town this AM…it should loosen up this afternoon. Also for those awaiting loved ones to return from spring break…a lot of flights last night were cancelled coming into the KC area…so they may be enjoying an extra day or two trying to get back home.

So here is an updated timeline…for total accumulations see the previous blog for the map because I won’t change it much during the 7AM show this morning.

Now through 9AM: Heavy snow at times will pile up as the “core” of the storm slides well south of the KC area. Snow rates will drop off towards the end of this period. Temperatures will be in the upper 20s and winds will continue to blow the snow a bit from the N at 15-25 MPH or so.

9AM-Noon: Snow will lighten up considerably and the bulk of the accumulation for KC will be winding down. The heaviest of the snows will slide off towards the E and ESE of the KC area and move into central and eastern MO towards lunch time. Final accumulations will be in the 6-10″ range for the metro, with most seeing about 8″ or so. Winds continue from the N at 15-25 MPH

Noon-6PM: Snow becomes more intermittent and ‘showery” in nature, although there still may be some bands out there, especially on the MO side of the state line. While not widespread, some accumulations, under 1″, are possible from the bands as the storm just won’t quit for some.

6PM-Midnight: Scattered snow flurries and maybe a snow shower or two. Accumulations will be minor, if any.

While a bunch of clouds are expected tomorrow and parts of Tuesday, right now I’m not expecting any additional snow accumulations on either of those two days.

Finally I wanted to leave you with a couple of pretty pictures taken by Nattapong Assalee one of our viewers…I know this storm is a MAJOR pain, but there are pretty pictures out there if you’re into photography, and this may be the last opportunity for another 9+ months so get out there and send those shots to the…or grab our apps and upload them from there.

Have a great day and I’ll get another update to you after our coverage ends this AM…we’re thinking about extending our coverage to 10AM and sliding FOX News Sunday to 10AM so don’t let that be a surprise to you.


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