Joe’s Weather Blog: Another Day…Another Cold Blast

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So here we go again…after a nice mild day yesterday (our 4th warmest 1/19 in KC weather history…actually in 2013 it was 62° as well) and a decent day today with highs near 50° we’re about to go down the roller-coaster of temperatures and tomorrow and also Thursday will be a rude reminder just what season we’re still in.

I thought today I’d start and recap the month thus far…take a look. Notice 1) the very cold start of the month…it’s the reason why we’re still running about 3° below average for the month of January. Should we finish the month with this below average trend it will be the 11th month out of the last 13 with temperatures below average in KC. In 2013 only January and September were above average. Interesting considering it was the other side of the coin in 2012 with 9 out of the 12 months with temperatures above average. So like the last couple of years the roller coaster continues.

Take a look at the month thus far…through yesterday. Click on that image to make it more readable

Capture

The coming cold will NOT be as cold as what we saw earlier this month. The main reason is two-fold. 1) the air aloft is not as cold this time. In early JAN our 5000 ft temperatures plunged to -25°C or -13°F…this time through the temperatures will, at their coldest on Thursday be more in the -20°C or -4°F at 5,000′. So cold yes…but NOT to the extreme. The other BIG player in this is the lack of snowcover in our region.

Take for example our coldest day earlier this month…1/6. It tanked to -11° officially in KC. Now look at the snowcover that was out there on that morning…

 

Compare it to the current situation.

 

We may add a little across IA and NE MO tomorrow AM…the amounts look pretty minor though. So as this cold airmass comes down…the coldest surface temperatures will modify a bit as the coldest air moves over the snowless terrain. Again not to be misunderstood…highs Thursday will be in the teens…plenty cold but NOT the single digit highs from 1/6 with the snow on the ground.

So two cold shots are coming…actually more down the road. One later tonight and the other one later Wednesday night into THU AM. Cold shot #1 is moving through the N Plains now. Here is the 2PM surface map showing the leading edge of the Canadian airmass that’s creating wind chills close to minus 40° right now along the US/Canadian border. The temperatures are in RED. Notice sub-zero readings in the upper Midwest even @ 2PM.

sfc

BTW the same disturbance in the atmosphere, creating some snow now across parts of WI/IA/MN will turn into a near blizzard for parts of the eastern seaboard. Check out how our hi-res NAM model handles this…courtesy of WeatherBell.

 

Watches and warnings are in effect are being hoisted right now for 6-12″ of fluffy snow from the Mid-Atlantic region up the coastline.

Capture

The Winter storm warnings are in pink on the above graphic…and more will be issued later today. It’s not out of the question that when winds are factored in…blizzard criteria may be realized, especially closer to the coastline.

Then the next cold shot after we try to moderate a bit on Wednesday will come later WED into THU AM…check out the 5,000′ temperatures…you can clearly see the push of the cold weather. Click on that image to make it larger.

Capture

So all these changes…and yes it will come in and leave us Friday PM…so we start to moderate again over the weekend and then we get another cold air dump early next week. All these changes and still nothing significant with moisture. You can sort of see, if you use you’re imagination a bit that towards the last couple of days of JAN and early FEB that “something” could happen. There may be a brief window that a western storm could cross through the Rockies and have enough moisture with it to give us “something”. It’s tough to see though how the Gulf of Mexico would get too involved…so it would have to work with the moisture it brings with it. A LOT of speculation there.

That’s it for today. Remember the cold days are TUE…Thursday and Friday morning.

Oh and IF you missed yesterday’s blog…I went through a LOT of snow stats for about 50 cities in the Plains/OH Valley region. You could check out and see how everybody else is doing compared to average and also last year!

Joe

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