Joe’s Weather Blog: Snow likely + cold guaranteed (WED-1/4)

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A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for all the FOX 4 viewing area for tonight and Thursday morning..clouds are on the increase as I type this and there may already be a few flurries falling in parts of NE KS and NW MO. Important to note that our KC issues won’t occur until later this evening.

Forecast: (10:15 pm Update)

Tonight: Snow has been falling across N MO for much of the evening where amounts have already teetered over 1″. Areas on the south side of KC though are just now starting to see flurries. I don’t see any real reason to alter the current forecast from the last few days. The chances of over 3″ of snow appears to be north of KC proper towards the 36 highway corridor. So the forecast remains snow overnight and increasing in steadiness in the wee hours of the morning. Lows near 10°. Accumulations: around 2″ for most of KC…with the potential of a 3″ total towards 36 highway into N MO.

Thursday: There may be some additional light non-accumulating snow in the morning hours (an additional 1/4″?)…then cloudy for most of the day with some breaks hopefully in the afternoon. Highs only in the teens.

Friday: Cold in the morning with the potential of sub-zero lows…some could tank to -10° (or lower) assuming there is a solid 1-3″ snow field out there. Highs recover with sunshine to around 20°

Discussion:

Everything more or less is going according to plan…as clouds have started to thicken up as you can tell by the latest satellite picture…

This has actually happened rapidly in the last couple of hours…

Radar is showing some early echoes but again a LOT of this is initially going to evaporate…we call it “virga” and you can actually see this process going on this afternoon…it’s snowing up there and falling towards the ground…but the flakes evaporate in most cases before they reach the earth.

The cloud bases locally are around 13,000 feet up…so that tells me that at 2PM their is still considerable dry air from the ground upwards past 10,000 feet. This needs to be overcome before we get into the snow business. The longer that takes into tonight…the less snow overall we get. The faster it happens…the more snow we get.

So with all that said…this still looks like our typical 1-2″ event for KC proper with some minor upside to that across parts of N MO…some may see upwards of 3″ I think. It will be a dry and fluffy snow that will be very powdery. Why? When temperatures in the atmosphere are so chilly the snow is more powdery. The folks up at Snow Creek will be loving this I think…plus with another 5 days of cold weather ahead…they’re in good shape for the weekend.

Let’s start with radar…

The Winter Weather Advisory continues areawide…the counties colored in the blue-purple are the ones in the advisory.

Regional radar, at least this afternoon offers a better perspective…

The 2PM surface map shows snow actually reaching the ground…but way out in Nebraska…

sfc

2PM surface map…temperatures are in RED…dew points are in GREEN…the farther the spread between them…the drier the surface air

Now let’s use the HRRR model that should give us a good idea of the snow arrivals and intensity timeline…via IA State

There’s probably about a 3-4 hour window of decent accumulating snow in there…and also notice how it takes awhile south of I-70 to get going.

Again I think for KC proper 2″ is a pretty good bet…areas farther south of KC…from Ottawa to Butler to Clinton southwards will only see a dusting to 1″

IF there is a heavier band in there somewhere…with the snow ratios being what they are (less overall atmospheric moisture turns into more snow than usual) somebody is going to come in with a 3″+ total. It could be around KC…or potentially to the north of here.

I think in the big picture I’m expecting something similar to what happened in the last snow event in KC minus the winds and the ice. What falls will immediately be snow and it will stick. The flakes should be pretty small on average BUT there will be that 2-4 hour window where those flakes will be bigger and that’s the best accumulating snow window…this again should be done by the AM rush mostly…so road crews will have an opportunity to get some things done before rush hour begins in earnest. It will be a slow go though and I’m advising leaving yourself extra time.

At this point I expect there to be school closings. I can’t promise how widespread it will be…but there should be some…and conceivably on Friday AM as well in the outlying areas especially because of the cold temperatures.

As I’ve mentioned before this air mass is similar to the one in December…so sub-zero lows look likely to me assuming clear skies into Friday AM. Some could drop below minus 10° in the outlying areas. I expect lows to be 0 to -5° in the KC area with some downside potential.

For those wanting warmer air…it’s coming…we should get above freezing on Monday…then surge into the 50s(!) Tuesday.

Our feature photo comes from Donna Hayes Gordon…up in Camden Point, MO

15822966_10154438810814825_1652164915953328285_n

I may try and FB live tonight at around 10PM or so…also there may be a blog update sometime around 10PM or earlier if need be.

Joe

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