Joe’s Weather Blog: Now Focus On The Cold!

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8PM Update:

I just looked outside to see how the clouds were doing and they’re gone from the skies above KC…that’s NOT good for us not to sort of free fall tonight. I’m cutting the low temperature a few more degrees based on the lack of cloud cover. Another surge of cold air is moving through E NE and W IA now and will arrive early in the AM tomorrow. That’s the true arctic airmass that will keep temperatures tomorrow under 5° for KC.

Stay warm…a lot of schools have cancelled for tomorrow.




I know I’m not feeling well when I don’t want to be in front of the computer right now…or on twitter…or really anything. A lack of sleep for a couple of nights combined with a flu is not a good recipe for timely blogging. Sorry about that. Plus I’m watching San Diego advance in the playoffs and getting a bit more cranky as well.

So let’s get into things…the snow from yesterday outperformed my expectations a bit…I was thinking around 2-3″ would just about do it for the KC metro, with the potential for more off to the north and east and SE of the KC area. That aspect seemed OK…I was about 1-2″ of for the KC metro though. Amounts seem to have ranged from about 2-4″ in the heart of the KC area. I’m not going to beat myself up to much though about it. Here are the totals received through 3PM…click on that image to make it larger!

ScreenHunter_06 Jan. 05 15.09

Now the cold. Take a look at this map…showing the current temperatures through the US…very impressive contrast!

This map should update every hour or so…so I’ll let you know that at 3PM…temperatures ranged from 81° in the FL Keys to -22° in northern ND, a 103° swing through the US. The heat index in Marathon, FL now is 86° (81° temp/74° dewpoint) while the wind chill factor in Minot, ND is -55. That’s a 141° difference in what it feels like across the USA!

Much of the country though is really cold…take a look at the current wind chills/heat index values for the USA…

The cold air is dominating the country…look at how much of the nation is covered in various wind chill advisories/warnings.

ScreenHunter_07 Jan. 05 15.25

The darker blue are the wind chill warnings…while the lighter blue are the advisories. Our area is under a Wind Chill Warning till Noon Monday

So how cold will it actually get tonight. Still a question because of a couple of factors and I won’t alter my -8° forecast till this evening when I have a better feel for the could cover situation. If you remember last week I think, Maryville, MO plunged to -28°. Conditions were perfectly set-up for this occurrence. Fresh snow cover, little to no wind and clear skies.

Here’s the rub though…while we certainly have fresh snowcover to the tune of 2-4″ around the area…there are still questions about the wind dropping off. I don’t think they go calm overnight…so the air will still be somewhat stirred up a bit. Also a major question in my mind in whether or not skies will be crystal clear. Afternoon satellite pictures show at least some cloud cover upstream that still needs to feed through the area for at least part of the overnight. Here is the US satellite loop showing the progression of the clouds. We need to focus on these because this will determine how cold it gets tonight I feel.

Should skies clear out…even with some wind…temperatures would tank to -10 to -15° potentially. The record tomorrow AM is -13° in 1912. Why are the clouds so important though. Well in a sense they act as a blanket and allow what little heat we have out ther to either escape into the atmosphere (no clouds=colder) or in a sense bounce back the “heat” that we gathered today back to the earth’s surface (clouds=not as cold).

Regardless it’s cold tomorrow AM. Some schools are cancelling class tomorrow. Buses don’t do well in the extreme conditions and it’s dangerous for children to be waiting at the bus stop in the frigid conditions.

Tomorrow highs again will be in the single digits I think.

Tomorrow night is tricky as well. I’ve blogged and talked about when the winds switch directions towards the south as being critical in determining how cold it gets. It’s more than likely that hen you get started Tuesday AM temperatures will be closer to 0°. The issue is what happens between 9PM and 3AM or so. In other words how fast do the temperatures drop tomorrow evening with excellent conditions for a rapid drop…and then when does the drop stop as the winds return towards the south. It’s possible we may tank to -5°, perhaps even lower off towards central MO where the wind shift will occur a few hours later…then start to climb out of the depths of the arctic air.

Need to watch a system on Wednesday then hopefully some “milder” weather towards next weekend. We may be more up and down for the middle of the month…but I have a feeling it gets cold again after that.

Snowfall wise. we’re now up to about 11″ officially in KC (@ KCI). We’re being “nickle and dimed” this season so far…but the trends certainly support above average amounts of snow again this winter in KC.

That’s it…time to lay down. Already I’ve sent out a tweet…corrected it…then corrected it again to the original. Not a good day for me and math.


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