Stay Weather Aware: Winter Weather Advisory through 6 a.m. Friday

Joe’s Weather Blog: Brutal cold this weekend + snow chances (TUE-12/13)

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Good morning…a clear and now crisp day in the area as another cold air mass has moved into the area. Temperatures today will mostly be in the 20s…and the cold weather will essentially be with us for another week or so. We will continue to see pushes of cold weather into the region into Thursday before there is a marginal return of “seasonable” air later Friday before the Mother Lode of cold air comes down this weekend. There is still the potential of snow somewhere in the area..and some may see an accumulation to that snow…that could impact lows Sunday morning and Monday morning. So a lot going on in our little weather world.

Forecast:

Today: Mostly sunny and chilly with highs in the 20s

Tonight: Variable clouds and cold with lows 10-15°

Wednesday: Partly sunny and cold with highs around 30°. A NW breeze will make it feel colder though.

Thursday: Back into the colder air again with highs 20-25°

Discussion:

Another day and more confirmation of some real nasty cold weather moving into the area over the weekend. This is a lock and no doubter. For those heading to the NW MO State football game prepare for harsh and cold conditions with near 0° wind chills and dropping temperatures. There remains the potential of light snow as well. The winds will be blowing at 15-30 MPH creating sub-zero wind chills at various times towards the 2nd half especially.

This cold air mass will continue to flow southwards into Sunday morning when lows may tank to near 0°. Winds will be less though…but any little breeze will send wind chills down to near -10°. This is important for tailgaters for the Chiefs. Sunday afternoon, despite sunshine may only be in the teens for highs. The wind though will not be terrible considering the cold air in place. So IF you’re attending the Chiefs game in the afternoon…please be prepared. It will be colder than the game against the Raiders but we should have sunshine helping part of the stadium feel just a bit better than the part of the stadium in the shade. It may not be the coldest game ever out there…but from a temperature standpoint it could be in the top 5 in recent memory (a possible blog on this may come this week sometime. There is some mis-information out there regarding the coldest games at Arrowhead)

You can clearly see the cold air as we step up to about 5000′ in the atmosphere and look at the temperature anomalies (which are in °C…so almost double this for °F)

gfs_t850a2_noram_19

That purple shading is about as cold as you can get (compared to mid December averages) at 5000 feet up. This map is valid at 6PM Saturday.

While not as extreme…the cold air up there lingers through Monday…so we will have cold weather here at the surface into early next week at least.

gfs_t850a_noram_25

Same as above but valid for Monday at 7AM

After that we should start to moderate a bit…not sure how warm it can get…but at least we should be closer to average. Also we may be setting up for a lot of clouds in the region at times next week as well.

As far as the snow prospects go…yes the chance continues for Saturday. The cold air mass will be building in sometime early Saturday. At the same time there will be a rather decent disturbance coming up from the SW part of the country. The issue though is that as this disturbance comes into the Plains the flow aloft will be shearing the disturbance…that isn’t a good sign for a lot of precip production especially with cold air rushing in.

gfs_z500_vort_conus_17

This is a look at the “vorticity” chart up at the 500 mb level or around 18,000 feet. Vorticity is the tendency of the air to show spinning characteristics. Ahead of the vorticity the air is rising…behind it it’s sinking. The colors show the strength of the vorticity. This map is valid for 6AM Saturday as the cold air mass at the surface is moving into and through the region.

Now let’s look at the same map at, except for Saturday at 6PM…the disturbance doesn’t “look” as pronounced and is in fact weaker than it was the day before.

gfs_z500_vort_conus_19

 

As the disturbance moves towards the KC region it will accelerate even more as it moves towards the area of converging jet streams denoted with the black lines. This typically weakens and shears these types of waves. That too is not a good sign for a lot of precip/snow. What would need to happen is 1) that disturbance needs to slow down although even IF that happens there would be even more dry air flowing south with the colder air mass at the surface…2) the 2 streams need to be more separated…3) IF we can get that disturbance to track farther south…we may be in a more favorable area of some now..which typically occurs north of those types of disturbances. Of these 3 possibilities…it’s worth watching #3’s chances.

It’s still not worth putting in any snow maps from 4 days out…

On the subject of snow…the average chances of a White Christmas in Kansas City proper is officially 23% @ KCI and 17% in Downtown KC…Olathe 25%…Sedalia 8%…Clinton 12%…and Lawrence 17%. On Sunday night I posted my chances of the area having a White Christmas and sadly my thought continues to be only a 5% chance. Obviously this may change since we’re 12 days away from Christmas…the GFS even has a late week storm…but by then milder air is due to be flowing northwards into the region…maybe we can have a Christmas Miracle.

capture4

Chances of a White Christmas…1″ or more of snow on the ground on Christmas Day

Our feature photo today is from @PeopleOfCowtown…nice sunrise from a few days ago

capture

That’s it for today!

Joe

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