Joe’s Weather Blog: Clock ticking on the warmth (SUN-12/3)

Good afternoon…another day with temperatures running nicely above average in the KC region. Readings as I type this are around 60° despite the filtered sunshine this afternoon. The low clouds never materialized but should start to come together later tonight and be an issue through the 1st part of the day on Monday. The bigger story tomorrow,a side from another day with temperatures 15°+ above average is the cold front that will be moving into the region. As I’ve written about though…this is a seasonably strong front from December and really will just notch us closer to average Tuesday into Wednesday.



Forecast:

Tonight: Partly cloudy…Temperatures may drop into the 50s…but then steady out and perhaps even creep up towards daybreak Monday to near 60°! Turning windy as well with gusts possible to over 30 MPH.

Monday: AM low clouds with perhaps a few patches of drizzle or some fast moving showers. Another windy day, with gusts to 35+ MPH possible in the AM…then 30+ MPH gusts in the PM. There should be more sunshine in the afternoon.

Tuesday: Partly cloudy and chillier…breezy too with highs in the 45° range.



Discussion:

Not sure where to start…I’ve written about the colder weather for quite some time…we’ve talked about the increasing dryness out there…and I’ve written about the warmth for the last few weeks…

So let’s start with the snow situation but take a more national look at things because there will be some big changes to the map I’m about to show you over the next 7 days or so…especially well north of here and towards the Great Lakes region as the colder air dumps into the USA, affecting the Plains and eastern portion of the country.

Here is the current snow map for the nation as a whole. Less than 10% of the country is under a blanket of snow which is interesting…

To be fair November into early December snows can be rather transient…but over the next 10 days, typically we start boosting those numbers.

Now remember how warm it was last year coming into December. There was actually more than twice as much snow on the ground last year compared to this year (on today’s date).

 

Certainly the northern Plains and the Rockies were in better shape last year…

The website used above for the charts only has date going back to 2003…the last time we had this little snow on the ground nationwide was back in 2012. It should be noted that particular winter still cranked out almost 32″ of snow! (we got crushed with 20″+ in February)

So there isn’t much snow (now) but things change a bit over the next few days…look what’s on tap for areas towards the north of the KC region…

Forecasts from the morning via the NWS show widespread 2-6″ snows across the upper Midwest through Wednesday.

There are numerous winter weather alerts for areas up there as well.

Graphic via Pivotal Weather

So at least there is snow on the map.

As we, here in KC make the transition…there won’t be snow…at least not for the the next few days. Rain, of any consequence will also be somewhat hard to come by as well. There should be some areas of drizzle or a few passing showers tomorrow…especially farther to the SE of KC. We probably won’t get much…despite the front moving through the area. One main reason…there will be little moisture to tap into above 4-5,000 feet or so. So what moisture we have will be “shallow”.

That moisture though is showing up in the form of clouds across OK and TX…these will be flying north tonight aided by strong winds above the surface. Winds above us will be blowing at 50-60 MPH (at least) so it will take no time for that cloud cover to fly northwards overnight.

So the shallow moisture may help us  a bit with some drizzle or something but not a lot more aside from that locally…perhaps there might be 1/4″ totals SE of the metro towards the Lakes and then better activity towards eastern MO.

The front comes through…the winds switch around lunch and the temperatures slowly fall…with NW winds starting to drag in cooler air…but again this will be seasonable air only…nothing worse than that. It won’t be in the 60s…more like mid 40s or so.

Then additional cold fronts will come through after Wednesday and that will usher in chillier temperatures. There could always be a few flurries with these things but nothing to write home about. We’ll never really totally get into the colder air masses coming into the country. The worst of the cold will be deflected towards the Lakes region and while we’ll continue to be vulnerable to cold fronts through mid month…there is going to be some decent downsloping happening in the Plains that will allow some days to warm up to near or even above seasonable levels.

In retrospect this cold wave…really isn’t going to be a HUGE deal for the area. Yes…it’ll be chilly for a few days…but sustained cold with such a fast moving series of air masses and with no snow of significance around the region…doesn’t lend itself to prolonged day in and day out cold. You can sort of get a sense of this by looking at the 5000′ temperature anomalies for a 5 day period form the 7th through the 12th (Thursday>next Monday)…notice where the core of the coldest air is (relative to average)…and notice our location with regard to that “core”…right on the western edge.

By the way…that’s a lot of warmth in the western third of the US…so when the flow does flatten out…that will have an easier time spreading east.

So basically we go down to seasonal levels on TUE>WED…get a bit colder THU> FRI…we may be all over the place over the weekend…go back down…then just bounce around the following week (perhaps leaning milder at some point) when this pattern starts to relax.

Another concern is the lack of moisture. I refrain from showing 16 day forecasts off the GFS model (especially) BUT I do find extremes one way or another somewhat noteworthy…

You need moisture for any real snows…and that may be in short supply through the middle of the month…if not longer.

Finally,,,ICYMI…a look a the 5th Annual Lighting Of The Joe…hopefully it will put a smile on your face.

Our feature photo of the day comes from Joan Buie Thornbrugh

No blog Monday…have an early start to go to a school.

Joe

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