Joe’s Wx Blog: Snow risk continues

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION: SCHOOL DAY AT THE K HAS BEEN POSTPONED TILL JUNE 12. DUE TO THE WEATHER FORECAST AND FOR THE SAFETY OF THE CHILDREN AND THE PARTICIPANTS AND SINCE THE SHOW IS SO COMPLEX TO PUT ON WE ARE RESCHEDULING. WE APOLOGIZE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE AND ADDITIONAL DETAILS ARE HERE. IF YOU KNOW ANYBODY PLANNING ON GOING TO THE SCHOOL DAY FUNCTION PLEASE ALERT THEM SO THEY KNOW. AT THIS POINT THE GAME IS STILL SCHEDULED FOR THE AFTERNOON WEATHER PERMITTING.

THE KC AMS/NWA MEETING HAS ALSO BEEN CANCELLED FOR WEDNESDAY NIGHT @ AMERISTAR CASINO. AGAIN THE KC AMS APOLOGIZES FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE AND WE MAY TRY TO RESCHEDULE THIS AGAIN IN JUNE

First a School Day @ The K update…we’ll be making an announcement later today concerning the status of school Day @ The K. We’re hopeful we can continue but obviously the forecast looks horrendous and we don’t want to put the kiddos in jeopardy (over 13,000!) being outside in winter-like conditions. As the new data comes in we’ll have discussions with the Royals and try to figure out something. Hopefully the show can go on.

Also concerning the KC AMS/NWA meeting @ Ameristar…odds are favoring that meeting to be cancelled. That will be determined later today as well. I will update the blog as the decisions are made. Also for some silly reason I wrote a couple of times that this was at the Argosy…not sure why I did that…it’s scheduled for the Ameristar Casino…again this is VERY tentative. Check back into the blog this afternoon for updates as well as on Twitter (fox4wx) and also our FB page.

All this craziness is coming about because of this VERY unusual weather pattern that is unfolding before our very eyes. Last night the models got to be very bullish cranking out snow…and not just a little snow either. Some models were suggesting upwards of 3-6″+ for part of the area, especially just to the NW of the KC metro region. In reality the models were actually more bullish but I cut the numbers substantially and lowered the snowfall rations given that we’re going into May and temperatures are forecasted to be in the mid-upper 30s. I’m not sure if it was tragic or hilarious or astonishing. It’s certainly nothing I’ve ever seen in my 30+ years of watching the weather.

This past Sunday I was very aggressive with the warm air lingering into Wednesday and that reasoning (despite some model forecasts) seems to be accurate as temperatures will stay warm today through at least a good chunk of the day tomorrow. When they do tank, they will tank hard and fast through. We’re talking a 30° drop possible over the course of a couple of hours as the cold front moves on through. The exact timing on that is still an issue but odds favor later in the day (after lunch) for that remarkable feat to occur for this time of the year.

This airmass that moves in potentially will set records but there is still a lot of questions about where our future upper level storm eventually takes shape and the models continue to be all over the place. The positioning of that feature will really go a long way in determining whether or not we’re decent but still below average over the weekend (EURO/early AM NAM model thoughts) or if it’s crummy and rainy/showery per the GFS model. The model discrepancies make this a tough call and these upper level storms when the do close off certainly have a mind of their own in terms of where they end up actually closing off and then wallowing around. Take a look at the 6 models that I’m looking at fore the weekend forecast and notice the positioning of the closed off storm. By the way when we refer to closed off stationary upper level storms/lows-they are called that because they are in a sense separated from the main jetstream so that there is nothing to move them along. Click on this image to make it larger.

ScreenHunter_05 Apr. 30 08.12

So what are we looking at here…on the left side are the GFS (top) and the GFS ensembles (a blend of all the GFS model runs). In the middle (top) is the EURO model and below it is the EURO ensembles and then on the right side top is the Canadian model and below the Canadian ensembles. Look closely and you can clearly see how the position of the storm fluctuates around the Midwest is the most dire, the EURO the most encouraging and the Canadian is somewhere in between. My feeling is that the GFS model (upper left) is the one that is off the most with the storm in AR. So that leaves the others to pick from. Typically the best approach is to blend all the remaining data together as a forecast thought for the weekend. This would then place the low over the weekend somewhere in IA…this would mean a mixed bag over the weekend leaning towards a lot of clouds with temperatures in the 50s to near 60°. The threat of at least a few showers would certainly be there, especially the farther north you go.

Now let’s backtrack and talk about the weather on later Wednesday into Thursday. As the cold front comes into the region, most of the rain will be behind the front due to the airmass ahead of the front being warm aloft (the cap). So this reduces our t/storm chances somewhat (or at least the severe weather chances). The highest risk of rain is between 3PM Wednesday into Thursday 6PM or so. The timing of the temperature plunge looks to be sometime between 4-8PM. Temperatures ahead of the plunge may soar to 75°+ degrees from KC southwards with some 80s not out of the question in the area. Behind the front temperatures will be closer to 40° in NW MO! You can see how the airmass will abruptly change when the winds switch directions. This next map shows the airmasses very nicely. It’s valid early Wednesday afternoon. Notice the contrast…it really is impressive for early May! Click on it to make the numbers more readable.

ScreenHunter_06 Apr. 30 08.34

My feeling is that IF there are any flakes the highest chance would be THU into FRI AM and this would be connected to the colder air rushing in with the precip falling behind the front and then on Friday to the upper level storm developing and chilling the airmass down. This though is still somewhat questionable but increasingly likely (AM Update). The latest NAM suggests the precip could start to mix with and turn to a sleet/snow as early as 8-9AM THU and then be all snow near lunch. If the trends continue some slushy accumulations may be possible somewhere in the region. I can’t believe I just typed that.

So there you have it. I’ve never in all my years remember seeing anything like in May before so it will be fascinating to see how this all plays out.

Joe

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