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Colder Air Coming

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Italicized areas are updated WED AM

It’s getting hard to find things to blog about right now. I did dig into some weather stats for you though and in an effort to talk about something, aside from the warm weather for early December I guess it will have to do. By the way, my thoughts about colder weather coming for next week are on target. There are still questions about when but I certainly am expecting colder air to move in, by at the latest, Monday.

So here is a little weather trivia that you can discuss amongst yourselves. Today’s high of 62° @ KCI marks the 252nd day of temperatures 60° or above in 2012. the record for ANY year is 253 days set back in 1946. So we’re one day away from tying this obscure record for warmth in a year. That record may get tied tomorrow IF we get enough sunshine to help the cause. From there though, it may be awhile before we get to those lofty levels again. On the assumption that we’re in the 50s on Thursday due to the clouds I think will be around the region, I expect cooler/colder air to move into the area later Thursday night into the weekend, with a more dramatic drop early next week.

I saw this tweet from @TWCMikeBettes concerning the snow drought that is in progress for many areas of the Midwest. He mentioned that today was the 274th day without measurable snowfall in Des Moines. Trace values for snow don’t count as “measurable” snowfall. Their record is 277 which looks very doable for them. It got me thinking about our “lack” of snowfall around here. So I checked and with some help from the folks in Pleasant Hill, today was the 270th day without “measurable” snow @ KCI. Our record, however is more substantial. We have to go 324 days to tie the record set back in 1954-55 (through 1/17). Recently there was a snow “drought” that lasted 301 days that ended on 12/6/2005. So IF I have my math right we have to wait and go without “measurable” snow through 1/27 to tie that mark and then on the 28th we could break it. I doubt that happens.

Interesting the model data late on Sunday night and through yesterday was suggesting the potential of something “interesting” late Sunday through Monday around the KC area. When I throw that word out…”interesting”…usually you know that I mean snow. Today though the models are backing of on those thoughts somewhat. The EURO still has a glimmer of hope and the Canadian tries to do something, but things just don’t get their act together fast enough. The GFS threw in the towel this afternoon on the prospects so at this point I’m really not mentioning anything on the air about this potential. I figure if it looks more promising later in the week it needs to be addressed. From 6 days out, I really don’t even want to post maps at this point because it seems counter-productive.

One thing, FOR SURE, that will be happening is the temporary plunge of cold air that will sweep through the region early next week. The cold air will be transient and not totally lock in. There is really no snowcover to our immediate NW so the air will be modifying somewhat as it moves towards our area. Now granted it may not be in the 60s or 70s but I do see signs of another slight moderation towards the middle of the month. In other words, as I speculated about over the weekend, this cold air can’t lock into place. So as a result it’s transient at best. basically a lot of minor ups and more decent downs with some well below average days thrown into the mix, and days with mild highs being reduced considerably.

I guess in a sense since we’re seeing a trof dive into the Rockies, that is different from what we’ve seen in some 3+ weeks or so. It’s tough to imagine though, during the next 2-3 months, that we can keep the same type of “pattern” for any length of time. There is just too much jetstream energy and this is the time of the year where changes occur quite frequently because of stronger jetstream winds fueled by large to dramatically large temperature variations from the polar areas towards the sub-tropics and tropic regions.

So the flow will be buckling early next week. This future buckle is connected to a storm in the Gulf Of Alaska that has been constantly re-enforced by energy dropping out of the NW territories and revolving around this same massive upper level storm system. This is the reason why the PAC NW continues to be bombarded with moisture. Finally later Friday into Saturday this whole complex will slide into the western reaches of Canada and then move into the western Rockies on Sunday. From there, there are still questions about what happens. Does the storm stay together and dive farther south then come out as one piece towards our area. Does the storm split into pieces, come out faster and sweep through the region providing little moisture for us. These are things we’ll figure out over the next couple of days. At this point though I’m not too excited.

It should be mentioned that we’re dealing with a storm in the Gulf of Alaska that won’t be sampled from our network of upper air balloon soundings until the weekend. So my suspicion is that some models may indeed bring back the potential for accumulating snow nearby in the next 48 hours. To jump up and down on either solution is just not wise. I was tempted to insert at least some flurries into Monday’s forecast but decided to hold off for another day. The new data out from early this WED AM suggests that whatever is going to happen may blow through the region faster than I thought yesterday. This means that highs on Sunday may be considerably cooler than the mid 40s that I was forecasting last night.  Should this occur, and given how quickly things are moving across the country that would then mean that the coldest air would move out of here a little faster…say by Tuesday afternoon and then we’d moderate a bit more on Wednesday.

One final tidbit/trivia…assuming today (WED) is 60°+…that would be the 1st time in KC weather history that we’ve been 60° for the 1st 5 days of December!


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