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Joe’s Weather Blog: Wednesday snow update (MON-12/5)

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Good afternoon and thanks for taking a few minutes reading the FOX 4 Weather Blog. This will be a shorter blog compared to the last few ones… so that’s good for you! I’ll mainly be focusing on two things: the cold weather that will be moving into the area on Wednesday and also the snow potential that, while there, may not be amounting to a lot for the area. So let’s get into it.

Forecast:

Tonight: Clear-variably cloudy and chilly with lows in the 20s

Tuesday: Not as mild…but not terrible for December with highs around 40°

Wednesday: Clouds with some light snow developing. Accumulations look to be under 1″ for most. Some may squeak out a bit more. Temperatures will be near 30°. The farther north you go…odds favor less accumulation. Temperatures will be dropping a bit in the afternoon.

Discussion:

Interesting things in the model department as the cold weather is a “lock” for the region while the accumulating snow chances continue but the amounts are not looking too healthy.

Let’s start with the cold air…yes and a lot. The 2PM surface map shows a cold front moving through the northern Plains with some pretty chilly air behind it…and a lot of wind. This air arrives later tonight. This is the 1st step down of cold that I’m expecting.

sfc

The next step…the the big one…and that moves in on Wednesday as some of this air in western Canada…comes roaring in.

The temperatures in the map below are in RED…

It’s a bit easier to see this when we get above the earth’s surface…lets go up to about 3000′. You can see these air masses a bit better. The 1st map is for tomorrow at 6PM…showing the 1st push of chilly air on top of the area.

gfs_t925_conus2_7

Now watch that 2nd area up towards Canada…that whooshes in on Wednesday.

gfs_t925_conus2_13

This map is valid Thursday before sunrise

Now this all plays a role in the snow situation. I’ve been concerned about the timing of the snow in terms of how it would come in with the arctic front. It appears though that the air coming in will be a bit faster and not timed perfectly which is what I was concerned about. This has ramifications for the amount of snow we get.

Initially the snow that moves towards us (mostly light) will evaporate as it gets closer to the state line…since the air will be dry above us Wednesday morning. This I was expecting. I was also expecting the wave that was going to generate the snow would be strong enough to saturate the atmosphere quicker and we’d be better primed for some longer and stronger snow bands.

The data today is becoming more overwhelming in that the wave that’s coming will not be as strong or as “functional”. This means that the snows will be lighter…this means that it will take a bit longer to saturate the dry air mass ahead of it…this means that we’ll be chewing up some of the snow for this process…which all means that the snow production WON”T be as good for us.

I still think we should be thinking some accumulations…but there is no way, based on the situation above that anybody can get much more than 2-3″…while most probably end up with a dusting to maybe 2″.

The only way this changes is IF the wave coming through the Plains is stronger…and perhaps a bit quicker. Timing the accumulations…appears the best chance of accumulating snow will be after AM rush on Wednesday. PM Rush though may well be impacted…and when you consider we really haven’t had snowy roads in a couple of years…and this being the 1st possible event of the year…those always are bad combinations.

One other note…it’s conceivable that the snow bands streaking eastwards through KS aren’t strong enough to saturate the atmosphere above us…and instead we end up with very little accumulation <1″. That is very much on the table I think.

The bottom line is that LOW amounts seem to be the most prudent way to go with this at the current time.

Additional notes…with a lack of snow cover…FRI AM won’t be as cold…perhaps more in the 5-10° range…still cold though…we should moderate over the weekend…especially Sunday as strong south winds kick in….I mentioned this the other day but there is going to be a big reloading of cold (really cold) air in Canada next week…those air masses get here one way or the other…so it’s going to be interesting seeing what happens through mid month.

I was really counting on us getting several+ inches of snow by mid month as part of my winter forecast. We’ll see. IF we don’t…we’ll revisit it again on the 1st day of winter.

Our feature photo comes from Linneaus, MO taken by Missy Hayes of the snow from yesterday morning.

15356692_10210979900203897_2625203802401330361_n

Joe

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