Joe’s Weather Blog: A little rain (finally) and bigger changes (SAT-12/16)
Good Saturday morning…I’m guessing when the Chiefs saw their football schedule that a home game in mid December raised some eyebrows about the weather potential…but here we are looking at a bright and sunny (but windy) day with temperatures maxing out between 60-65°…in mid December no less. That’s pretty darn good. I can promise you that next Sunday’s game with Miami will be colder…but then again next Sunday is Christmas Eve (wow!). Time is flying and the weather pattern will be adjusting to a colder one in the longer term…after Wednesday.
Today: Sunny, windy and warm for mid December. The record is 68° and we won’t get there…but temperatures in the 60-65° are still very doable. The winds will need to be gusting though to 20-35 MPH for this to happen.
Tonight: Increasing clouds as the night moves along…but the game weather will be breezy and “mild” with temperatures in the 50s. With the winds though…it will feel cooler. Lows will drop into the 40s towards daybreak.
Sunday: Well we’re going to get some rain during the first part of the day. Rainfall amounts mostly look under 1/4″ for the KC area, but some areas towards the Lakes region should do better…perhaps closer to 1/2″+ the farther south you go. Highs should end up well into the 40s. Some patches of drizzle are possible Sunday night as well
Monday: Sort of a tricky day…because of clouds that may hang around…but IF they manage to clear out…we should get back into the 50s for highs
First off a note of thanks for reading yesterday’s blog/mini-rant about the state of Christmas long range forecasting…nice comments in the blog plus some nice comments from some fellow colleagues of mine who got in touch with me…I’m not alone in my concerns…so that was nice to see and hear about.
Also a reminder that you can check out my FB page (Joe Lauria Fox 4 Meteorologist) for more (and perhaps easier) interaction with me and also my real passion is Twitter (fantastic for weather information-knowledge) and I’m way more obsessed with that platform than FB. So follow along on Twitter @fox4wx
Now that that is taken care of…
Hey we’re going to get some rain…it’s been a stat that I’ve mentioned numerous times over the last few weeks…but the period from 10/23 through today is the driest ever recorded in KC weather history going back to the 1880s. To clarify that though…it’s the driest 10/23-12/16 time frame.
Hopefully tomorrow’s rain system coming through helps us out a bit…
It’s actually coming up from Mexico…at least the upper level wave is…and you can see it on the water vapor loop this morning via Rutgers…
See that little area towards the SW part of TX that’s rotating…and also notice the moisture streaming up into the Red River area…that will be moving towards the KC region and towards the I-44 corridor especially later tonight into Sunday.
So for what feels like the 1st time in forever…I actually am going to enclose the regional radar for you…so you can see this moving our way tonight especially. Not a lot happening down there this morning…but IF you look tonight there should be something more interesting to follow along.
Right now it looks like the rain should arrive near or before daybreak. The system itself should be weakening as it moves from but while it’s still somewhat healthy…rain will develop towards the SW of KC…and that rain will spread into the region.
Here is a look at the NAM model which will auto-update as new data becomes available…so no matter when you read this blog…the latest data will appear for you. If you’re not familiar with looking at the next piece of data…it shows the precipitation…the surface pressure…you can find areas of low pressure and high pressure by looking at the isobars (the black lines of equal pressure) and also the “tjhickness” lines. I don’t want to get to into that today…but the more solid RED line shows the approximate rain/snow line. Notice that line stays well north of the KC region
Also a note about the time references…06Z is 12AM…12Z is 6AM…18Z is Noon and 00Z is 6PM.
You can see that we really don’t get into the best part of the wave…that is confined towards south MO into AR. Not bad though for them because that drought down there is becoming more and more of an issue.
That’s “extreme” drought conditions for most of AR…
Rainfall amounts locally appear to be around or under 1/3″ or so…some, especially the farther north you go will get considerably less it appears…
So basically it’s going to help out the cracks in the ground a bit…and since the soils are not frozen over…we should soak in that moisture. We’ll take what we can get.
The problem with this is that there are still NO major storms showing up for the foreseeable future. There are changes though likely heading toward the later part of the week.
As we warm up from MON>WED…another wave will move out of TX and towards AR…this will bring some additional moisture in the atmosphere towards our region WED>THU…
Why that is important is that a seasonably strong cold front will be sweeping through the region on Thursday. The timing appears to be sometime in the later morning hours (this will change probably). So a slow down of a few hours means 50s are possible…a speedup means falling temperatures are likely in the afternoon especially. As the front cuts underneath the moisture we may get some frozen precipitation to fall with the colder air sweeping in at the same time…the better chances of any snow may wait till later in the day or Thursday night…how much moisture is left around as this is happening will determine any accumulations…there is a path that some could see at least a wind blown coating of snow…perhaps more favoring N MO though…speculation at this point…and I’m typically NOT a fan of these set-ups because when the cold air comes in…it comes in hard and fast and typically pushes the best moisture away faster than what the models think.
We’ll get more into that in a couple of more days.
The colder air coming towards THU will linger for quite some time…but again I’m reminding myself of a lack of snow cover through the Plains and upper Midwest…
I’m not sure how much snow we’re going to see…fill in that HUGE gaping snow free area from the western Plains up through the western Dakotas into the Eastern Rockies.
So we’ll basically have pretty cold air coming and flowing over mostly barre ground..which given some sunshine will tend to moderate…I think a run of temperatures around 32° or so is likely with lows at night potentially into the single digits depending on the cloud situation.
As far as the Christmas Week forecast goes…there really is no need to get overly worked up about any possibilities at this point. There is potential for winter weather…but again there is going to be a lot of cold dry air around the region that will have to be dealt with. I can still see a path of getting snow (despite model data that is still not so great looking) but it seems that there is always something that keeps the best moisture away from the region for whatever reason. About the only positive that I can find at this point is the available cold for whatever comes our way (if there is anything to come our way).
Really the key to this whole snow potential thing…is going to be the dominance of a particular jet stream with the cold air in place. Should the northern stream coming straight out of Canada dominate the Plains…this means the best moisture will get shunted well south…should the sub-tropical jet stream still be flowing overhead or really close by…at least we can entertain some snow chances but then we may be fighting dry air…weakening waves coming up from the SW…blah…blah…blah.
Right now at least…it’s not a great look for snow lovers in my opinion. Again still some potential but boy there needs to be some structural changes to the weather pattern for this to come together for something of noteworthiness (more than 1″ let’s say) or of significance (more than 3″).
It would stink of TX has a better chance of a White Christmas…compared to most of the Plains region.
Our feature photo comes from Sandra Summers-Hanaway out towards Bates city, MO
I may take a blog day off tomorrow…I’ll see how I feel in the afternoon.