Joe’s Weather Blog: A Little Of Everything For KC (SAT-1/31)

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Good afternoon…boy there is a lot going on in the world of weather…whether that be in the KC area with all different types of weather heading this way over the next 7+ days…or elsewhere where significant snowstorm is going to develop from the storm that’s diving into the Plains tomorrow. This snowstorm will be considerably worse closer to the I-80 corridor. More on that shortly.

Forecast:

Tonight: Rain continues and there will be some snow into early Sunday AM (potentially even some accums in the KC area as well)…temperatures hold steady 33-36°. My thought process is that we should switch back to mostly rain after 3AM…that better happen or else this forecast will NOT work out.

Tomorrow: Let’s break this down more…

12AM-3AM: Rain/snow for the KC area…snow continues across N MO from St Joe northwards…as of 10PM 1-4″ has been reported up there already. after 3AM my hope is for a transition back to rain in the metro

6AM-9AM: The rain/snow line will start drifting southwards through NE KS and N MO…

9AM-2PM: Whatever rain is left will transition over to snow. Timing out that transition for KC will help (somewhat) in figuring out how much snow we get in the metro in terms of accums. At this point I see no reason to change my thoughts from the past few days. Assuming the transition for KC waits till after 9AM or so…the snow should wind down and really not stick much till it get’s colder after lunch. By then we’ll just have some lighter snow in the region.

2PM-10PM Sunday: My continued concern is the potential that what may be wet or white>wet will turn icy as the temperatures really start to tank. The winds will also be jumping up towards the NNW at 20-35 MPH after lunch. Temperatures towards lunch will still be around 35° then tank to near 20° towards sunset. Hence the concern for flash freezing, especially on bridges and overpasses. Road crews may have their hands full trying to treat surfaces rapidly since pretreatments won’t be as effective. For those heading towards Super Bowl parties and coming back from them at night…please watch the weather carefully.

Monday: Cold with lows near 5° and highs in the 25-30° range. Sunny AM with partly cloudy skies PM.

Discussion:

My thanks to those kind enough to stop by Royals Fanfest. Mark Alford and I were signing and saying hi to all our loyal viewers this morning…special thanks to those kind enough to tell me how much they enjoy my weather blog as well.

Let’s get into things…1st the basics…radar.

 

Quite a bit of rain out there…although not as much (as of this writing) to the SE of KC where some drier air aloft has fought the fight to keep the rain at bay.

The moisture form the southern storm continues to feed into the Plains…and we’re starting to see some rain tallies approach 1/3-1/2″ in the region.

 

IF you look towards MT you can see the next piece of the weather puzzle that will effect the Plains tomorrow and become the big snowstorm north of the KC area. It’s a short wave that will be digging into the Plains over the next 24 hours. The morning balloon launch from Topeka shows that the “warm” air layer (snowflake melting layer) was about 3000′ think or so. This layer should shrink somewhat during the day today (hence some snowfall reports coming from areas north of KC as I write this) then potentially expand again overnight tonight as the wave in MT digs in and allows the lower part of the atmosphere to warm up a pinch. Regardless with temperatures at the surface in the 30s to near 40° whatever falls will not really stick in the KC area. As areas farther north cool off faster overnight and tomorrow (compared to KC) amounts will increase rapidly as you go from 36 highway towards the IA border area.

It really is amazing how close this is to becoming a significant snow for KC…these types of scenarios are can be mishandled by meteorologists because you can see how a relatively small snow melting layer can shrink enough to allow a farther southwards snow trend. NOT expecting that in KC at this point overnight…but will watch just in case.

My feeling is that we may see up to 2″ of snow accumulate in the KC area before switching back to rain in the wee hours of tomorrow AM…this is very tricky needless to say.

Tomorrow is an interesting day. As the wave that I referred to earlier in MT digs into the Plains “warmer” air will move up from the south…so even farther north there could be various snow/rain/snow transitions…you can see how things play out by looking at the 500 mb forecast (18,000′ up or so)

 

The storm though overall won’t really get it’s act together till it passes off towards the east of KC…this means the expanding area of accumulating snow also doesn’t get it’s act together till tomorrow.

I don’t really have a model snowfall map that I’m comfortable showing because the models are having trouble resolving how the surface melting will play into things…for example our high res NAM model suggests the snow will be 6+” deep in Marville, MO by 12AM tomorrow. I think this is somewhat overdone. With that said the counties highlighted in pink are the Winter Storm Warnings. The blueish colors are the Winter Weather Advisories. These advisories may change a bit later this afternoon

 

The other aspect of this weekend will be a fast moving shot of cold air that will wrap into the storm’s circulation tomorrow late AM into afternoon. This is when we’ll need to watch for a transition to snow in the immediate KC area especially and the falling temperatures as outlined in the forecast part of the blog above. I am concerned about the potential for slick conditions to develop tomorrow PM as temperatures tank to near 20° by late afternoon and whatever is wet or white or both will flash freeze, especially on untreated surfaces.

The problem with the rain today is whatever treatment was on the roads are gone now and washed away. So a lot may happen tomorrow afternoon and the crews can’t treat every single place at once…so there is potential trouble tomorrow PM.

One hope would be that the precip will turn off, and the winds and cold dry air will dry the pavement fast enough to keep problems to a minimum. That is a dicey proposition right now. I’m not overly confident that we’ll be drier tomorrow afternoon. If nothing else there may be snow showers in the region as the colder air driving southwards squeezes out the moisture that is still around from the developing storm moving away from the region.

Cold weather is expected on Monday/Wednesday>Thursday. Warm-ups are coming on Tuesday/Friday>Saturday. Areas in N MO may see sub-zero lows Monday AM…5-10° below wouldn’t surprise me where there is decent snow on the ground.

Forecast probabilities:

South of KC from Ottawa-Paola-Harrisonville and Sedalia southwards:

Nothing -1″: 90% Chance

1-2″: 10% Chance

2″+: 0% Chance

The KC metro area:

Dusting to 1″: 50% chance

1″-3″: 45% Chance

3″+: 5% Chance

Holton, KS-Atchison, KS-St Joseph (really on the dividing line)-Chillicothe northwards to IA Border

Nothing to 1″: 5% Chance

1″-4″: 25% Chance

4″+: 70% Chance. Amounts may approach 8″+ in far N MO

Joe

 

 

 

 

 

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