Joe’s Blog: Snow On The Way…With Arctic Air

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8PM Update:

No need to spend too much time on this…a look at the radar loop shows it all and tells the story I was expecting to be told…the radar echoes fell apart (weakened) as they moved through the KC Metro. Amounts have been around 1″ in spots and while there will be some additional “sugary” type snow…it will be difficult to accumulate. Additional accumulations should be 1/2″ or less…bring most to about 1″ and change around the KC area. Amounts across N MO have been in the 3-5″ range as well as parts of NE KS. This storm was just not in the “cards” for us and with such a short snow window and the falling apart radar echoes…well it was what it was.

Also don’t be fooled by the radar loop showing all that snow coming back together again to the SE of the metro…yes there is snow but it’s not nearly as impressive as what it looks like on radar. Remember I wrote about the whys to this earlier today.

Unless something bizarre happens…that’s it for tonight. Have a great night and remember how cold it will be at daybreak tomorrow and also tomorrow afternoon as a Wind chill Advisory is in effect.


3PM Update:

Skies remain cloudy and we’re still at least 3-4 hours away from accumulating snow in the KC Metro area I feel. The future radar maps that I posted this AM and I’ll post the updated future radar images off the HRRR towards the end of this update. These images will automatically update as the model is updated during the course of the afternoon and evening. Snow is breaking out across N MO now…St Joe has had moderate snow for a while and here is an image from NW MO State in the Maryville, MO area.

Here is the view from St Joseph as of 4:15 or so…from their Civic Center Park web cam…

So far, through 2:45 PM here are the snowfall reports that I’ve seen through N MO and north central KS…

ScreenHunter_65 Jan. 01 14.44

The radar from the NWS in Topeka is doing what I thought it would. To the untrained eye, when the snow is far away from the radar site…it looks a lot worse than it is in terms of intensity. That’s because the radar beam is detecting the snow higher in the clouds…while some of that snow isn’t even reaching the ground. Then as the snow edges closer to the radar it “appears” to be weakening. In reality it was never that “strong” to begin with…

Again this band of snow to the west will take a while to get into the KC area…at least the real accumulating snow will…so we’ll be fine through the rest of the afternoon I think.

Perhaps at leas the best way of “seeing” what’s going on to the west and north of here is by looking at the airport reports coming in. There have been a few moderate to heavy snow reports from that area through SE NE over the past couple of hours. something to watch…but at this point I see little reason to alter my earlier thoughts as far as amounts go.

OK so with that said let’s get into the future radar run off the HRRR…again this is JUST a model but so far so good with the way it’s handling the timing of the snow into the KC area. This is from IA State and typically update every few hours…

Again notice what I think the key to the snowfall forecast is…the weakening trend that’s expected to the band as it moves through the KC area this evening…that will be something to watch on radar. Should the band NOT weaken…3+” can occur…right now I still expect a weakening trend and will just deal with nowcasting the snow when it gets closer into the KC area…

So let’s put together a timeline for you…

Now-11PM: Snow overspreads the KC area from the NW to the SE and from the W>E. The “best” accumulating snow for any one area is about 3-4 hours worth. It will be fluffy and easily shoveled. You folks to the SE of the KC area…Warrensburg/Sedalia/Pleasanton/Butler…won’t get into the “good” band till around 8-10 PM. There may be a few snow showers ahead of the main band.

After 11PM: Snow moves towards the east, south and SE of the KC region…colder air continues to pour through the region with slowly falling temperatures.

I would NOT be surprised, assuming we have clear skies that parts of the KC metro tank to -5° by or just after daybreak and N MO gets down to at least -10° as skies clear and the winds drop off. It’s a decent set-up with fresh snowcover.

Tomorrow is dry but bitterly cold with highs around 10° or so…one wonders just how cold next Monday will be considering that airmass moving in may produce near historic cold weather for parts of the country. The ALL-TIME record low for Chicago, IL is -27° set on January 20, 1985. They also had a then wind chill factor of -60°. Wow!

I’ll update the blog again this evening as we get into the snow…and we’ll see IF the band weakens as it moves through.



Good morning…a lot to go over but before I do…on behalf of everyone at FOX 4 Weather we hope 2014 is a wonderful year for you…and for those who want warm sunny days…I hope you get plenty of those…and for those who want cold snowy days…I hope you get what you want as well. The cold and snowy folks are going to get their wish first as temperatures have been heading down since early this AM…the Arctic air is in place…now we’re just waiting on the snow.

Here is a look at temperatures today…it will be another case where we had a midnight high (36° at KCI) and we’ve been falling ever since…and certainly an afternoon that will be a LOT colder than yesterday. By the way…I overestimated the effects of the cloud cover while recognizing the potential warm-up yesterday…we ended up at 52° for KC…not surprised at all by that given the warmth that I mentioned just above the surface yesterday in the blog.

Take a look at the path temperatures have been on over the past 24 hours…

ScreenHunter_63 Jan. 01 09.38

We’ve had this experience numerous times over the last couple of months. Last weekend I blogged about the various ups and downs we’ve seen…

The Arctic air will continue to bleed into the region today…temperatures are going nowhere at this point…perhaps even down a few degrees….take a look at the 9AM surface map showing what’s going on…the temperatures are in RED.


As the cold air deepens in the atmosphere, the atmosphere’s ability to hold moisture will be decreasing throughout the day and into this evening. That’s important because we have a disturbance moving through the region later this afternoon and tonight that will create a broad area of accumulating snow. Whatever falls later today should stick immediately since temperatures will be 15° or so. Now the question is just how much?

There has been a tendency in the model data in dig the incoming wave just a bit more over the past 24 hours…and perhaps slow it down as well. The two sort of go hand in hand. The air aloft right now is still pretty dry…so it will take a while to saturate the column above us. This process will get a kick though as the disturbance approaches…I’m just saying that we’ll evaporate the leading edge of some of the snow as it moves in. Despite that a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for later today and tonight.

The duration of the snow looks to be 4-6 hours…and while there may be some moderate bands in there that quickly move through…right now I’m not expecting a prolonged period of heavy snow in the KC area. The kicker is that the cold atmosphere will allow the “fluff” factor of the snow to be a little higher. This means it takes less moisture to create more snow amounts. Here is a look at the HRRR model moving the snow through the region…

ScreenHunter_64 Jan

Notice the snow doesn’t really get here till late this afternoon or this evening. Once here it really only snows for a few hours before it moves along…our other short range model the RAP model portrays the same thing while also showing the heavier snows falling across NE KS and NW MO while the snow weakening as it moves through the KC area.

Here is a look at the regional radar. As of this writing the snow is still rather disorganized in the Plains states to the west of the KC area…

In terms of amounts…I’d say a dusting to 2″…but really 1″ will be easy with this I think…and 2″ does have some potential as well…so let’s go with 1-3″ for the KC area as KR mentioned this AM. For areas in NE KS and NW MO and for north central MO…2-5″ is possible. My feeling is KC proper will get 1-3″ out of this.


The snow on the ground combined with what should be clearing skies tonight will lead to lows near to below 0°. How far below 0° we get will be determined by the cloud cover that will be slow to clear out. Faster clearing will allow for colder temperatures…potentially down to -5°…maybe even colder across N MO and NE KS.

Temperatures tomorrow will struggle to 10° for highs, before milder winds start to blow tomorrow night into Friday allowing temperatures to be steady or even rise tomorrow night…and then close in on 32°.

I’m still expecting the coldest air of the season (early season) early next week. Temperatures MON into Tuesday AM will be nasty cold…and there are no changes in what I’ve written about that over the past few days. More on that tomorrow. We’ll also need to watch for additional snow with this on Sunday…which could enhance the cold weather on Monday.

Additional blog updates will come this afternoon as the snow gets closer to the KC area.


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