Joe’s Weather Blog: Colder and potentially some snow (THU-12/21)
Good afternoon. Sort of murky out there, and there’s also quite the spread in temperatures from the north to the south this afternoon in our viewing area. More on that in the discussion, but a couple of takeaways for you — 1) Colder air moves in overnight. 2) Clouds hang tough through Friday. 3) Saturday is chilly but fine. 4) Snow threat increases later Saturday evening into Sunday morning. 5) More or less cold weather sticks around through next week.
Tonight: Cloudy with some mist or drizzle possible, falling temperatures and eventually towards daybreak we should drop into the 20s on north winds of 10-15 MPH
Friday: Cloudy and cold with highs only around 32°
Saturday: Some sunshine with increasing PM clouds especially. Chilly with highs around 30°.
Saturday Night: Some snow is possible…especially from the KC area northwards…light accumulations possible as well. Lows around 20°
Sunday: Any snow fades by 9AM…then clouds breaking…chilly with highs around 32°
We’ll start this afternoon with an interesting surface map. If you remember from previous blogs…I talked about the warmer weather for today…and was interested a few days ago in the potential for record warmth…since the record today is our “coolest” record high of the month of 63°. It’s sort of an interesting set-up because the main push of the colder weather for now is more focused towards the Plains and not really down the MO River towards the KC area. Don’t get me wrong…it’s going to get colder.
Note the temperatures in the map below in RED…look how close they’re getting to KC…IF we would’ve had a bit more of a south flow today…we could’ve gotten close! Just a few counties away though and it’s not going to happen.
From here…we head downhill. Note on the map above what’s happening in northern MO and into the I-80 corridor. That’s a taste of the colder weather coming our way on Friday. It starts moving into the region overnight…and just sort of oozes our way on Friday…combined with a wealth of clouds…not a pretty day on tap.
So let’s start jumping ahead and talking about the snow chances over the weekend.
We’ve been watching this time frame for over a week now…the models have had snow…then not…then snow…then not…blah blah blah. I’ve maintained my 20% chance of a White Christmas in KC and I’m not getting off that yet! The data is pointing towards snow…now the question is how long will the dry air chew away at what falls…how long will the snow actually make it to the ground and how long will we get accumulating snow.
The reason why I’m not increasing the White Christmas chances, despite the forecast of snow over the weekend…I’m just not sure, despite the “fluffy” nature of what falls…IF we’re going to get the definition of a White Christmas. We need 1″ of snow on the ground on Christmas Day. I’m just NOT confident in 1″…although parts of the area have a chance…perhaps north of KC.
It’s NOT out of the question though we can have a White Christmas. It would have to snow long enough and decent enough to make that happen…overcome the dry air below and it will immediately stick since it’s going to be cold enough + it will be happening at night. There is still a LOT that would need to come through though…that’s why I don’t want to increase the chances yet!
So the wave that we’re watching is out towards British Columbia. It will be streaking through the Rockies and into the Plains later Saturday. Ahead of this feature however there will be a lot of dry air for whatever comes our way to initially overcome. IF the wave is strong enough though…it will be able to overcome the dry air below the clouds…the atmosphere will saturate up Saturday evening and snow will start to fall.
There is conflict in precisely where the best snow will fall though…there is NO conflict about the coldness of the air mass above us…this yields better “snow ratios”. The colder the air mass the fluffier and lighter weight the snow will be…and vice versa. This will be a light fluffy snow assuming it happens. Right now…I wouldn’t be shocked IF maybe we can squeeze out a solid dusting to 1″ around the KC area…again subject to change…with the potential of some more to the north of KC.
I WANT to emphasize that there could be a minor shift south…and IF that happens there is some upside to the snow totals…perhaps adding another 1″ potential and that’s how you CAN get a White Christmas in KC. The reason for this is that we’re relying somewhat on jet stream dynamics here…and those things notoriously over produce when it comes to snow and these longer and thinner snow bands that will be flying along.
Another note…for Christmas Day…the flow will continue to be fast and furious above us…I do wonder, in addition to a wealth of clouds, if we can’t maybe squeeze out some snow showers on Christmas itself. Right now…tough to see anything more and a dusting on this…but fast flows aloft…combined with subtle waves…with a chilly atmosphere…can support some pockets of snow.
IF there are going to be travel issues…I would think that comes on Sunday through the AM. First snows of the season, considering what’s happened the last couple of years…and depending on the road treatment situation…could create some issues. Please be aware for early tailgaters for the Chiefs game. Heck the sun should come out…perhaps by gametime!
If nothing else…and I’m still NOT overly thrilled by the amount of moisture in the bigger scheme of things for another week or so…at least it’s something to talk about and write about too!
Our feature photo comes from Mary Jo Seever out in Cummings, MO…nice shot of snow…from LAST year. Can we replicate it over the weekend. More on that tomorrow!