Joe’s Weather Blog: Bitterly cold air lurks…(THU-12/1)

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So now that one of our warmest Novembers in KC weather history (4th and tied with 2001)…we’ve flipped the calendar to a new month…and with it comes different weather. This December WILL NOT be as warm as last December (December 2015 was 7th warmest). As a matter of fact this could be one of the chillier Decembers we’ve seen overall in the last few years…especially the 1st half of December.

As you may remember 2 weeks ago I sent out a tweet saying that we needed to watch the 1st 10 days of the month for the potential of snow…as we start the month I still feel that’s the case…and the main time that I’m watching is Wednesday the 7th.


Tonight: Fair skies and chilly with lows in the mid 20s

Friday: Mostly sunny and pleasant for early December with highs in the upper 40s

Saturday: increasing clouds and cooler with highs 40-45°. Some rain is possible Saturday late PM into Sunday AM. There may be a few spits of snow in there but temperatures will remain well above 32°.

Sunday: Some rain showers possible in the AM…ending then cloudy skies and seasonable again with highs well into the 40s.


Well let’s wrap of the month of November…and what a mild month it was…4th overall in the warmest Novembers in KC weather history.


We obviously weren’t alone in this…look at some of the November rankings with regard to average monthly temperatures.


The 1’s represent the warmest on record for November…and down the numbers go from there.

A bit farther west…and really not much of a change…you get the idea!


Same as above

Topeka had their warmest November on record…

It was just a warm month everywhere really

The core of the warmth centered across the N Plains states…

Things are going to change…

Next Wednesday will be the transition day to a much colder regime that should last for about 5-10 days or so…I wouldn’t be surprised if maybe we moderate again before Christmas (we’ll see) but I’m promising much colder weather for a few days at least.

Right now it’s pretty cold (for them) in Alaska…

Now obviously it’s supposed to be this cold in AK right now…but there are some -30s running around in the interior of AK…

This cold air is going to start to drain towards the western part of Canada over the weekend…


Using the GFS model for surface temperature anomalies…you can see the greens/purples moving into western Canada Sunday evening

Then by Tuesday their spreading farther SE…that is cold bitter air.


Monday evening. Some cold air is draining into the northern Rockies int the western US

Now take a look at early Wednesday into the Plains…


Cold air rushing in on Wednesday

So once it gets here…it’ll be nasty Wednesday afternoon into Thursday. That football game next Thursday night will be bitterly cold since highs on Thursday may be near 20° or so.

Now about the snow…

December is a month where we should get something from a snow standpoint. Even last December, which was so warm, we still got about 2.5″ of snow (officially at KCI) with an average December temperature of 8.5° above average. So yes it can snow even in a VERY warm month.


In December we average about 4 events of at least .1″ snow with roughly 1 event of at least 1″ via MRCC

I continue to feel that an accumulating snow is possible on Wednesday the 7th.

I see no reason to change my thoughts from yesterday. Yes the model data goes back and forth…and this is certainly not a guarantee on accumulations…but to say model X is right or model y is wrong to me is premature.

What do we know?

  1. No doubt there will be a strong arctic front moving into the area on Wednesday.
  2. A disturbance will be rounding the base of a trough in the atmosphere. The future path of that disturbance will be the key.

Here is the EURO model up towards 18,000 feet or so…showing the wave in question…there will be a swath of snow generated by this wave…

So the two combined CAN produce something more than it looks in my opinion. To be fair the GFS model doesn’t do this…BUT when you look at teh various GFS ensemble runs (remember we’ve been talking about this approach lately)…you can see that even within the model there are some significant differences.


It’s about split with the significant snow (2″+) and not getting much of anything…the point is there are about half the GFS ensembles that support accumulating snow.

This is the reason why my approach today is to be watching this…and NOT to be writing off anything based on the GFS operational run alone.

The EURO model on it’s own is into the snow camp with 6+” of snow. It’s on an island right now…with that said it was the earliest to pick up on the precip chances this weekend…so again don’t close your mind to the potential for Wednesday.

In a way I really would like to see this come to pass (or at least something) because of that tweet I sent out back on the 17th of November.

I’m going to get the cold weather I was expecting…now about the white stuff…we’ll see. I’m somewhat optimistic though right now.


Our feature photo comes from BriE taken in Independence, MO

Have a great day and thanks for reading my weather thoughts for the day.


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