Joe’s Weather Blog: How Cold Can It Get?

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The “storm” of yesterday is now becoming a distant memory…and the even more bitter cold air is becoming a looming future in the central Plains over the next 5 days.

A lot to go over once again this afternoon so thanks for reading the FOX 4 Weather Blog and many thanks for taking the time yesterday amongst all the football games and holiday cheer for reading as well.

Overall the storm yesterday again did about what was expected…it was a fluffy snow that at times, because of it’s “sugary” nature had a tough time accumulating. Overall though it seems 1-3″ was a solid forecast with somewhat higher totals across NW MO and NE KS.

The NWS in Pleasant Hill came out with this map today verifying the snow totals…

So with that storm out of the picture for us…it’s now in the process of cranking away across the NE part of the country already cancelling some 1700+ flights into or within the USA including over 300 @ Chicago O’Hare.

This storm will turn into a big snowmaker back east…travel there tomorrow is going to be near impossible with the blizzard like or actual blizzard conditions expected there. Here is a rough idea of the snow amounts for the NE part of the country…some parts of MA may end up with 15-20″ of fresh powder that probably will be impossible to measure because of all the wind expected.


Blizzard Warnings are in effect for most of Long Island, NY and the east coast of MA. Elsewhere Winter Storm Warnings are in effect as well for most of the NE part of the country


OK so now you know what’s ahead for the eastern part of the country…now let’s focus in on us.

This afternoon skies are mostly sunny here…just to our west though there is a deck of clouds…check out this image from NEXLAB


Click on that image to make it larger…

The snow that we have on the ground will virtually disappear over the next couple of days. Tomorrow is an interesting day…1) it will get VERY windy. Winds just above the surface tomorrow will be ripping at close to 60 MPH…with enough sunshine the atmosphere will get very “mixed” and stirred up. Remember it was a week ago when I wrote about this phenomena and why the models were underestimating the warm-up that was coming and which verified nicely. The same thing may happen again tomorrow…however, some of that potential warmth will be go into chewing away at the 1-3″ of snow we have on the ground right now. IF we didn’t have the snow…we shoot for 60° tomorrow…the question is how much of an effect will that snow have on depressing the temperatures tomorrow. My guess is a run to 38-43° is likely, assuming enough sunshine…and there is some upside to that.

Now let’s focus on the subject of the blog…how cold will it get here. I don’t think we’re going to break records out of this…but boy it’s going to be impressive none the less. Two waves of cold air will move in and the 2nd will be air from the North Pole! The 1st wave comes in on Saturday…the 2nd is coming later Sunday into Sunday night and MON AM.

There is the potential with the 2nd shot of cold air, that we can get another accumulating snow out of the transition. As the cold arctic air pushes through the upper Midwest towards the KC area a vigorous disturbance will be moving through the region. The combination of the two could yield another fluffy accumulating snow here in the KC area.

The potential snow on the ground combined with the arctic hammer coming in…means a plunge int he temperatures MON into TUE. The coldest I think will be Monday AM. By later Monday night/Tuesday south winds will move back into the region slowing or halting our temperature drop after a brutally cold Monday.

Temperatures MON AM have the potential to be down to MINUS 5-MINUS 10° and some of our model data today suggest the potential could be below -15°. I’m hesitate to jump on that right now, because the only way that happens is IF we have snow on the ground MON AM.  Take a look at the GFS forecast…


Now take a look at the EURO…which thinks there is going to be a good deal of snow on the ground…in a word WOW!


At this point I think we’re going MINUS 8° for MON AM. Highs on Monday should be in the single digits. The record low on Monday is -13 in 1912. The average low is 20°. So we’ll be some 30° below average…pretty impressive. Here are the TOP 10 coldest LOWS in KC weather history for thins coming Monday!


Then the next issue is how fast we drop MON evening before south winds slow the drop or even allow temperatures to warm up a bit. We potentially go below 0° into early TUE AM before perhaps stopping or slowly rising before daybreak Tuesday as the core of the cold moves away. Needless to say this will be one of our coldest 1/6 days in KC weather history!

As a matter of fact…here are the TOP 10 coldest highs 1/6’s in our weather history…


My feeling is that 6° will be the high on Monday. Let’s see how I do…I privately told a colleague of mine a few days ago that was my number and I’m sticking to it! Assuming that happens, it would be our 3rd coldest 1/6 in KC weather history for highs.

We’ll “moderate” Tuesday, if you can call it that…but then again it will be in the 20s so we’ll take it…then we need to watch for another pesky system sometime on Wednesday as some moisture is brought northwards into the cold air.

OK that’s it for today. Have a great Friday…and remember it will be WINDY!


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