Joe’s Weather Blog: Tuesday snow update (FRI-1/29)

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So in case you didn’t know…yesterday I decided to join Facebook. Yes I know…it’s about 10 years too late…but I just wanted to make sure it was going to catch on. I hear it’s pretty popular with everybody…so I figured what the heck. So do me a favor an come on by and “like” me. You don’t have to super “like” me or super duper “like” me…but a simple “like” will be just fine.

Here is my facebook page

Forecast:

Tonight: Clear and pleasant for late January…lows well into 30s

Saturday: Partly sunny and a pinch cooler but still well above average. Highs well into the 50s

Sunday: Variable clouds. The may be a weird little shower or two out there in the morning, especially up north. Highs will be cooler…probably only in the 60s.

Discussion:

So time is a bit short this afternoon. I’m heading out to Royals Fanfest in less than 1 hour…so somehow I either have to type fast (typo alert [moreso than usual]) or be more concise (that will never happen).

Won’t bother talking much about the weekend…

Onto the situation for early next week.

So you obviously have heard about a potential winter storm. Things are not necessarily any more clear today than they were yesterday BUT I continue to see some indications about what I’ve been preaching this week in terms of where the storm’s track may end up…and that is edging to the south somewhat.

For areas from St Joseph northwards…the odds are starting to tilt in you favor about a pretty significant snow, with lots of blowing snow at that. It’s not a slam dunk…but I continue to favor that scenario right now.

For the KC metro area…it appears to me that we are starting to get more and more into a snowier scenario. Does that mean we will get the core of the storm. Maybe not (but yes it’s still VERY possible, but there should be some decent wrap around snow with the storm…and IF nothing else…that should lay down something worthwhile for snow lovers…plus it would be a wind blown snow.

Let’s remember, and the reason why it’s still tough to go all in (although I have more than my big toe in the water on this as you’re probably well aware of) is that the storm is still NOT a storm. It’s basically several pieces of wind dynamics in the atmosphere  that will come together and create a actual upper level storm over the weekend in California.

On the water vapor picture it looks like this…

wv

 

These pieces will come together over the weekend as I mentioned…and start to form into a more coherent system…

displayMod.php

This map is for Monday morning…notice the “U” shape in the SW part of the US

So from there it will continue to organize and come into the Plains Monday night into Tuesday

displayMod.php

Tuesday morning map…showing the upper level storm circulation. The core is in central KS

At the surface there should be a surface storm developing and moving towards the ESE…from KS.

displayMod.php

See the low pressure area in KS…snow should fall to the north of that low…also notice the wind speeds in blue. Parts of central KS may see a blizzard out of this.

Now the question is how cold will we be here. Some model data is still trying to keep us a little warm. I still feel this may be an error in the data…and since I’m favoring a colder trend to the forecast…the surface storm may trend a bit farther southwards.

What really needs to happen though is that we need to get the entire atmosphere to cool down a bit more…with regards to that…we need to see somewhat colder air above push south…so that the lower part of the atmosphere is conducive for snowflakes to fall…and for that we need to track the area of low pressure at around the 5000′ level…and this is where there are still issues for snow lovers…

Notice that above us…the closed black lines, which indicate where the circulation is above us…is still a bit to the north in terms of latitude…this means we have air that’s above 32° as an issue above the surface…not good for snow lovers…

gfs_z850_uv_t_west_17

Valid for 6AM Tuesday: See the circulation in central KS…notice how the yellow/orange contours are up the state line…that is above freezing air indicated by the model at that level (about 5,000′)

Now let’s go 12 hours later…and boom!

gfs_z850_uv_t_west_19

Colder air quickly wrapping into the area

The graphics above are via WeatherBell.

Now suppose that 5000′ circulation is about 75-100 miles south…then a big snow thump is at hand for KC…

As is we should still get an accumulating snow on the back side of this. I see no reason why I should change my forecast thoughts…

Friday Update: (no changes from yesterday)

Under 3″ snow: 35% chance

Over 3″ snow: 65% chance

To play a little more…over 6″ of snow…35% chance (for 4 days out…that is a VERY significant chance)

To play even further into the “absurd for KC range”…over 12” of snow…15% chance

Joe

 

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1 Comment

  • Patrick Trudel (@sedsinkc)

    Joe, I actually went to Facebook today to “like” your page. Consider yourself special, because I’ve been off Facebook for the past 3 months and plan to stay off, unless you put an important update on your page or I get an email notification an old friend of mine has passed away or something of that nature. You are more optimistic about next week’s storm than I. I foresee a scenario where KC can wave at the heavy snow as it brushes by us, leaving us with just enough to whiten the ground and blow around a little, a couple inches max. I hope you’re right and I’m incorrect because you’re the expert. *smiley face*