Joe’s Weather Blog: Weekend snow-maker on track (FRI-2/27)

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Good evening (9PM Update):

I’m going to bed soon and won’t be able to stay up and check out the overnight models…but the 1st model of the evening (the NAM model) is carrying on with what it’s been doing for awhile now…basically giving us 1-2″ of snow with higher totals towards the SE/S of the metro (over 4″). We get the 1st wave of snow in the late AM>PM tomorrow but we miss out on most of the 2nd wave of snow on Sunday…see the afternoon blog about the importance of that scenario. Should this model be right…we’ll end up with 1-2″ of snow or so and that’s about it for KC proper. As I mentioned on the air and in the blog…the key to getting more than 2″ is the 2nd wave of snow in the AM on Sunday…IF we miss out on that then we’ll be left with the lower snow totals. The 2nd wave barely comes together but like the afternoon run it’s east>west orientation is more towards the north of KC near the 36 highway corridor. That band would have to set-up on the I-70 corridor for us to get the 3-4″ total snowfall. Should it be to the north of here…there’s no way we get more than 2″ of snow in KC.

Again we’ve been playing this one rather conservatively…and spelling out how things potentially could go…let’s see how it all ends up coming together…

This is what happens when you don’t have a real wave in the atmosphere to deal with and instead just deal with pieces of waves and broad scale lift.



Good afternoon (3PM Update)…

Temperatures are really struggling today and we won’t even make it to 20° this afternoon @ KCI…probably only around 17° or so…and I think we’re seeing the cold air winning a little model skirmish…and potentially how the models are underestimating the cold air…at least at the surface.

Model data out today is sort of doing what I thought it would with the usual GFS model out in la la land in terms of the amount of precip it’s generating. To be fair the EURO model was generating more precip last night but has backed off on today’s run and looks about along the lines my previous thinking from yesterday…roughly 1/4″-4/10″ liquid equivalent…which give us the 2-5″ snow swath that, at this point, I feel is a reasonable forecast.

Now the question is how does this play out…and the end result of the “storm” total may well be defined by the 2nd of 2 waves of snow that are becoming apparent. IF your area gets both waves full on…then you’ll be into the upper range (and perhaps 1″ or so more) of my forecast…IF your neighborhood misses on both waves…odds favor the lower part of the range (maybe even lower). So remember at this point that 2-5″ serves as a pretty solid average I feel.

Here is how the NWS is playing things…notice, and I agree with this part…we may only have 1-2″ around at 9PM SAT into 12AM SUN or so tomorrow night. The 1st wave may not be that big of a deal (although again it will slicken the roads).


Where I disagree at this point is what happens from there…I don’t think the accumulations will be as heavy (coverage wise) as what it portrayed above at this point. The only way it can happen (and I’m NOT saying it can’t) is IF that 2nd wave is “all that and more” in a sense. Again the “needle in a haystack” potential is there but ONLY IF we get a “full-on” hit from the 2nd burst…because I could see folks tomorrow evening saying to themselves…”wait…that’s it?”.

We’re relying on the 2nd wave to push us to the middle to higher end of our forecast range. IF we miss out on the 2nd wave…or IF you only get a glancing blow from it…then odds favor only 1-2″ of snow for your area. The afternoon NAM model indeed shows this potential…and actually gives areas south of KC…towards the lakes region a bigger snow “thump”.

The bottom line to me at this point is that there is no need to change our steady forecast of 2-5″ as an average through the region with lighter totals for N MO.

I’ll be trying to keep that forecast through tomorrow as well…then IF I need to do any changes wait till tomorrow night to resolve the 2nd potential band of snow on SUN.

Another issue to monitor is whether or not we get some sort of sleet mixing in on SUN AM…that would impact the amount of snow we get from the 2nd wave moving through especially farther south of KC metro.



Good morning…

I will be updating the blog again around 3PM today with new information so check back in then; however since there is heightened awareness about the weekend snow I wanted to get out a brief early morning blog (so you have an idea how to plan things out for the weekend) concerning the snow scenario for the weekend. If you’ve been reading my blogs this past week or so…this is not a surprise to you…now let’s see how it plays out.


Rest of today: After a morning low of 0° temperatures will rebound into the cold 20s today. The winds though will be considerably lighter than yesterday so that will help out our cause. Clouds will be filtering out the sunshine for a good part of the day.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy but dry. So IF you have some plans for this evening or overnight you will be fine. Temperatures won’t drop much tonight because of the clouds and SE winds developing. Lows will be in the mid-upper teens I think.

Tomorrow: In the morning there will be lowering clouds as the snow to our west starts to develop and move this way. Snow may break out around or after lunch…but may not really get going till the middle of the afternoon (mostly light). Temperatures will struggle tomorrow with the clouds, then when the snow starts may actually cause the temperatures to drop a couple of degrees. Highs near 25-27°. The roads in the AM will be fine…as they should be for at least the early part of the afternoon. Later into the day and overnight Saturday is when we should start seeing some slick conditions develop in the region.

Sunday: Their MAY be one last band of accumulating snow move through. This last band will be the one to determine whether we get 1-3″ total from this system or IF we tag on another 1-2″. Where this band set’s up will be tough to say till alter tomorrow evening. It could set up north/south or near the I-70 corridor. Temperatures on Sunday should be approaching 30-32° in the afternoon.

Overall though this should be a pretty widespread snow in the region. Areas that may see somewhat lessor totals include northern MO at this point. Also as of now I see no reason to deviate from the 2-5″ of fluffy snow that I’ve been forecasting. IF there are changes needed those will come either later today or tomorrow AM.


Did you know that this morning’s low of 0° is noteworthy for KC?

Pretty impressive in what is turning out to be one of our coldest February months in KC weather history. Right now this month is in the top 15 for coldest February months in KC…last FEB we were #10. With the cold temperatures of today and tomorrow (today at least 25° or so below average) and tomorrow will be roughly 15-20° below average…we should climb the chart even more!


As far as the snow goes…at this point I see no need for any major changes in what’s coming for the region. The morning data is trickling in as I type this but looking at the ensemble NAM data from overnight…and throwing out some of the extreme higher totals and extreme lower totals…we continue to see the model data close in on roughly 4/10″ equivalent liquid…which given the ratios and the potential of some of the snow evaporating initially…gives us solid 2-5″ amounts in the region with some upside. The early run of the NAM model that is coming in this AM is NOT as bullish with that number…

The timing for the accumulating snow continues to appear to be in the afternoon…although some flakes may be around earlier than that in the late morning and early afternoon.

The models continue to show a secondary feature of accumulating snow early on Sunday…as I mentioned yesterday that is the “needle in the haystack” band that could set-up anywhere really to provide the additional 1-2″ to take us to the top end of our forecast and perhaps push us up another 1″ or so. Our overnight internal RPM models are suggestive of widespread 4-near 6″ snows for most of the viewing area. Again it’s tied to the secondary band that I’m NOT 100% confident will move through the heart of KC.

I still feel that areas across N MO may see less snow than other areas farther south. From a road scenario standpoint…the issues should gradually develop during the middle afternoon>early evening hours tomorrow, especially from KC metro area southwards as I expect about 1″+ of fluffy light snow to have fallen by sunset tomorrow.

I’ll provide more details this afternoon by 3:30PM or so…I just wanted to get something out there for those with planning purposes over the weekend. Again to stress a point from yesterday…some may see about 1″ of snow…while others may be closer to 4-5″ of snow. As usual geography is a big deal with this system. Lighter areas appear to be north of KC with somewhat higher totals south of KC.

More again later today…by the way..I’m still NOT pushing the FOX 4 Snow Index to a “10” yet as there are several items that are still NOT great in this set-up for the region.






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  • woody's uncle

    Joe, thank you for all that you do for us. One silly question. Why aren’t we hearing “polar vortex” this winter? Is it no longer PC or are we in a different set up this season? It does seem to be as cold or colder than last winter.

    • Joe Lauria

      It was a term thrown around like candy…and done incorrectly last winter. This winter…there have been a couple of occasions the PV moved closer into the US…but the cold weather this lately isn’t totally because of that feature. It seems that calmer heads are prevailing for a change. JL

  • Mike

    Hi Joe,

    Let’s just get around 8 inches of snow this weekend, another 2-4 Tuesday night into Wednesday(that time frame is close to a winter storm, we’ll have to see how that trends) ans we’ll end up with around 23 inches for the snow season. That will be good…right? It will be above average and match the direction of your winter forecast. The EURO and the GFS have been pounding the idea of a possible 5-8 inch snow….we’ll see!! Looks like after Friday next week, the warm air floods the pattern.

    • Joe Lauria

      Key seems to be that second shot on SUN…IF it set’s up just right…6″ certainly possible…may not figure that out till SAT night data tho…or at least have confidence in the placement of that 2nd shot. JL

  • Jon Smith

    I have a flight out of mci at 8 am Sunday i would be driving from Lawrence. I was trying to decide if i should get a hotel room Saturday night by the airport or not. What do you think? Is 2-5 inches still what your thinking?

    • Joe Lauria

      Hi Jon…it really is ALL dependent on how the 2nd wave sets up…IF it hits us full force…it will NOT be a pleasant drive for you. We’re sticking with our 2-5″ forecast for the storm totals…wave one may not be a lot…wave #2 has the potential to be more. If you want to be totally safe…get the room. Depends on your comfort driving in the snow. JL

  • Eric

    Sure seems like there is a lot of emotion in the weather community for a 2″-5″ run of the mill snow event that will occur partially overnight and on a weekend. And even more so for one that seems dependent on a lot of IFs. Looks like 2″ is the only thing that is fairly certain for most of the viewing area and that is essentially a nonevent when it comes to winter weather.

      • Anthony Rudder

        I was looking at some of the latest GFS and EURO models and I’ve noticed that they are suggesting at least 3″ of snow if not all the way up to around 8″ of snow. So what I have noticed with this particular storm system is that is has enough moisture to work with… However when the moisture flow is at it’s best it starts shifting to the east and north east. So what were to happen if that slowed down at all? Would the advanced moisture flow add on to our snow totals? I’d say it would and it could significantly. I’m currently forecasting 3-7″ for the following reason. One, that potential band of snow that has the possibility of effecting our area. Two, all the models are suggesting a 3-6″+ snowfall. I combined some of the pros and cons to make one whole forecast. 3″ in my 3-7″ scenario would be if the heavier band weren’t to effect us. 7″ is not out of the question depending on how much the first wave brings and if the second one effects us. So at this moment personally for the 1st wave 1-3″… And for the second wave 2-4″. Do the math if these scenarios do plan out we could have a storm total of up to 3-7″.
        Thank you for the pleasure of me commenting on this post.
        Sincerely, Anthony Rudder.

  • Jane Attebery

    Hi Joe, thanks for your weather blog and preparing us for the days conditions. I live in Osawatomie Ks and it is snowing now light snow from the south it started about 7:50am. Thanks again Joe.