Joe’s Weather Blog: Snowy Snake Saturday set-up (THU-3/9)

Good afternoon…with some thunderstorms rumbling through the area…we’ve got a classic battle between spring and winter shaping up over the next 5 days. There will be a few opportunities for snow…and unfortunately the colder temperatures may be damaging to the early budding trees/flora that is in the process of sprouting.

Forecast: 

This afternoon: After some scattered storms from KC southwards early this afternoon, skies will become partly cloudy. Temperatures will be around 70°.

Tonight: Increasing clouds and somewhat cooler with lows in the 30s

Friday: Becoming mostly cloudy and cooler with highs in the 40s

Saturday: Snow arrives in the morning. There will be bands of heavier accumulating snow in the region…but pinpointing the location of those bands isn’t possible at this point. Temperatures in the AM will be 25-30° or so…tehn be closer to 32-34° in the mid-late afternoon.

Discussion:

Quite the interesting weather scenario(s) playing out over the next week or so. Winter is fighting to hang on after a mild last 5+ weeks in the region. There will be cold air…the issue is getting the proper alignment of lift into to the colder air mass. There will be snow in the area and while the northern parts of MO and KS stand a better chance of getting more of an accumulation than perhaps any other area…I’m not writing anything off.

My various concerns that I wrote about yesterday are still present. This should be (on Saturday) a fast hitting system that lasts for under 6 hours in any one spot. There will also be initially some dry air in the region that will need to be overcome. I’m seeing the models trying to resolve that issue. The typically wet GFS model is crazy bullish with snow amounts, especially from KC northwards…while other model data is much less at this point.

It will be cold enough to stick though and there will be heavier bands developing and moving southwards…again though where these bands set up won’t be determined until at the earliest Friday evening with any modicum of confidence…but more likely Saturday towards daybreak when stuff is actually showing up on radar closer to home.

Yesterday I wrote about some negatives to snow amounts…today let’s talk about the positives…

  1. There will actually be some OK moisture through the atmosphere. This is revealed by looking at the PW or Precipitable Water which measures this information. It’s not that bad actually…and that is somewhat not unusual in the month of March.
  2. There is going to be “lifting” happening and with the moisture and the temperature profile cold through the lower part of the atmosphere…we should be looking at majority or all snow in KC.
  3. Timing for best snow for KC appears to be in the 7AM-12PM frame…the lifting seems to really move away rather quickly as the afternoon moves along.
  4. As mentioned the GFS model, in particular is rather bullish in terms of the amounts of liquid it’s spitting out. IF we have even a 10:1 ratio of liquid to snow (1″ liquid=10″ snow) you can see how it would add up quickly.

The images above are courtesy Pivotal Weather.

So I think really in terms of accumulation…it comes down to the intensity of the snow. I think sometimes weather folks get themselves in a rabbit hole of grass vs pavement amounts…in my opinion…really the bottom line is IF it snows hard enough…it will stick. Perhaps initially only to the grass and car tops…but IF it’s hard enough, and IF the roads are untreated…it will stick to the roads too. It will also melt faster in the afternoon on the roads as well.

There is another chance of something wintry later Sunday into early Monday. That is sort of the same deal as we’re in a fast NW flow and these clippers are coming through the region. They typically arrive faster than what the model guidance suggests from a few days out as well. I also wonder whether or not the atmosphere will be as cold later in the weekend as it will be on Saturday morning but odds are it will be cold enough for snow again or some sort of combo

As I mentioned yesterday, in MY opinion…we’re still looking at our typical KC winter event right now, typical compared to the last couple of winters and at this point I’m more or less in the dusting to 2″ preliminary mindset…just like yesterday.

More on the situation in tomorrow’s blog.

Our feature photo comes from Todd A Surprise of the pretty sunrise from yesterday!

Joe

 

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