Joe’s Weather Blog: We’ll always have Monday (WED-2/1)

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It’s a new month… and we’re now saying goodbye to January, which, in the end, turned into a rather mild month overall for the KC area. We had a couple of chilly stretches (namely the 5th-9th or so…but really with 22 days of above average temperatures…you can’t complain too much…unless you really like the cold. It was another month that featured the continuation of the snow drought in KC. The last time we had above average snow in KC for a month…was actually last FEB. (8.8″). This month could be another struggle. Average (5.3″) might be a tough nut to crack based on the data and longer term trends I’m seeing.

Forecast:

Tonight: Fair skies from KC south…more clouds north though. Lows near 20°

Thursday (Groundhog Day): Chillier with variable clouds. I think our LOCAL groundhog will see his shadow…not so sure about Phil though in PA as there may be some low clouds when the rip him from his burrow. Highs will be colder than average…around 32°-35° or so.

Friday: In and out sunshine and chilly with highs in the 30s

Discussion:

The satellite picture today tells an interesting story as colder air is pressing southwards.

There are parts of the area, south of KC seeing some nice sunshine today…others are seeing filtered sun, while from near KC northwards it’s pretty gray out there.

Notice as well the colder air on the following map up towards NE…this will be oozing southwards into Friday.

 

So we’ve seen our rather typical transition from mild to cool to colder that often occurs in the winter season around these parts.

Monday’s weather (60s) was replaced by 50s yesterday and we’re in the 40s now…and tomorrow>Friday will be in the 30s.

As far as what’s ahead…well we’ll tend to go all over the place through then end of next week. Temperatures will be below average for highs, into Saturday…then we go above average from Sunday>Tuesday…then below average again towards the middle of next week for a few days. It appears as if we may try to briefly tap into the some Arctic air that will be developing across Canada and moving SEwards. We’ll dip into it next WED>THU and it will be cold, and I wouldn’t be shocked if there was a day there that we’re struggling for 30°…but the signs today point to a rather rapid departure of that 2-3 day show of cold air…and a return to a milder weather regime heading towards the middle of the month.

Just take a look at the GFS ensembles…showing the temperature departures over the next 16 days…notice how we seeing more and more red showing up towards the bottom panels…

gefs_t2anom_16_conus_1

For snow lovers locally and my snow forecast of 20″…it’s starting to be a nail in the snow season coffin. The 1st nail arrived and was hammered in towards mid December when that cold pattern never produced any real snow around these parts…I was counting on 5″ or so…and was the basis of increasing my snow forecast Thanksgiving week. I had 15″…then got worried about what I was seeing for the 1st part of DEC…and upped my totals. As I mentioned though and wrote about…if we didn’t get the snow in the 2 week stretch…I’d be over forecasting the totals…and right now that part looks like it may bear fruit. For snow lovers…it’s been and will be an ugly pattern locally for quite some time.

Meanwhile here is a look at the month of January…

Another way to look back is to see how the country did for every day this month…

This is our snowiest month…but when you see this look on the EURO ensembles from last night, and it may look even worse today…it’s not a great look for snowlovers. Focus more on the green bars in the following chart.

capture

The chart above goes out to 240 hours (10 days). Hour 168 is next Tuesday evening.

It does show a little something something on Saturday though…and I guess I’ll get more into that tomorrow as a VERY weak system comes into the Plains with weak lift and perhaps just enough moisture return to maybe give us some sort of wintry precip…if it can overcome the dry air that will be an issue for awhile on Saturday and IF our temperatures don’t warm up that much.

If you’re wondering where the snow is though (of any significance) check out this listing of the Top 20 cities (with at least 100,000 population) via goldensnowglobe.com

capture

Nice showing by Grand Rapids, MI. Compared to average though…aside from Billings, many of those cities are not exactly shoveling a ton this winter compared to average

The lack of snow, combined with the prolonged period of lessor cold contributes to less heating demand (along with more efficient ways of getting heat). I saw this tweet that shows the long term trends in something called gas weighted heating degree days (GWHDD).

On a more personal and weather related note…yesterday some of my old college friends from St Louis University were reminiscing about about this storm that occurred in 1982.

I remember that school was closed for 4 days…and I also remember that it was the 1st time I ever experienced THUNDERSNOW to my recollection. It was just pouring snow as I was walking through the quad that night and it was thundering at the same time…it was very cool. My job at school was driving a school bus from one campus to another and I remember that another driver and I had to go into Illinois somewhere to pick up nuns who were stranded at a retreat. I remember driving back and forth amazed at all the semis that were stranded and/or jack-knifed off the side of the road and in the median.

Meanwhile this year the snow drought is real…and even in NE…they’re having issues too!

It seems just north of I-80 has been the snow sweet spot in the Plains. Sioux Falls, SD has had 26″ of snow this season…that’s a bit above average for them.

That’s it for today..we’ll get more into the Saturday chances tomorrow afternoon. Our feature photo comes from Jessica Miller in Grain Valley. it was taken by her daughter!

capture

Have a great Wednesday!

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