Stay Weather Aware Tuesday

Joe’s Weather Blog: Friday & Christmas Day issues + can Santa swim? (THU-12/22)

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Good afternoon. Not too bad out there today with temperatures around 40° and light winds. A LOT of higher clouds are filtering out the sun today…and that is keeping the highs from reaching near 50° like yesterday. A lot is going to happen around here over the next few days…so let’s get into it.


Tonight: Filtered moonlight for awhile then a gradual increase in some lower clouds towards daybreak. Lows tonight near 32°

Friday: There may be some rain showers, with perhaps from freezing rain showers across parts of N MO. Temperatures above 32° areawide by 10AM or so…so anything that falls beyond that will be liquid. Eventually in the afternoon we will be drier areawide. Highs eventually near 40°

Saturday: Cloudy skies and seasonable with highs 40-45°. There is some upside IF there is any sunshine.

Sunday: Increasing temperatures before daybreak…and higher humidity too. Winds increase to 15-25 MPH early then go up to 25-35+ MPH in the afternoon. A line of showers/storms should develop towards central KS and race our way later in the afternoon. this will impact tailgaters BUT if things happen fast enough…the game itself could be dry…or at least will be getting drier. Temperatures will be near 60° and drop in the evening into the 40s by the end of the game. There is a risk of some severe weather in the form of 50-60 MPH winds…but it’s certainly not set in stone.


I thought today before we talk about our weather…we’d check in with Santa up at the North Pole…where it’s -50° right now…like usual.

What’s that Santa? It’s another heat wave up there (for the North Pole)?

Yup…Santa at this point may be swimming to get to us. Temperatures according to a buoy report about 85 miles from the North Pole went above 32° earlier. The latest information is missing however when I went to check on the current plot.

Here is a look at how the GFS model initialized conditions for the 6AM run…that pocket as you look towards the center of the map shows roughly 50°+ above average temperatures. The coldest air has sloshed over towards Siberia and Russia (the purple colors) where temperatures are crazy frigid right now


A look into the Arctic and the North Pole

Meanwhile the average temperatures in the Arctic are undergoing another heat spike…the 2nd one this month.

The scale on the far left is °Kelvin. 273°K=about 32°F (the thin blue line). The bottom numbers are the days of the year…i.e. 1/1 is 1…2/1 is 32 etc…notice from approx days 125-240 or so…temperatures were about average…then it went off the rails warm (for that region).

Some of this…not all of it, is connected to powerful ocean storms that move across the northern latitudes. These powerful storms can push “warm” (really less cold) air all the way up towards the pole.

By the way…something similar happened last Christmas as well.

What’s happening up there is crazy…

Meanwhile back here our temperatures are just vacillating because of the cloud cover and the clouds are rather extensive.

IF nothing else…clouds are going to be an issue for us through Christmas.

No real changes are needed to yesterday’s blog regarding the precipitation forecast for Friday. Some freezing rain is possible…odds favor more towards northern MO. Even there temperatures will get above 32° later in the morning (if not a bit earlier).

Whatever does fall won’t amount to too much…for many under 1/10″ or so…and for most under 1/4″.

Clouds will be an issue into Saturday.

Then on Sunday as our powerful surface storm cranks up in the Northern Plains…southerly winds will rapidly increase overnight Saturday. Moisture will stream northwards at the surface and aloft.

At the surface you’ll actually feel the moisture in the form of higher dew points and perhaps a bit of mist after daybreak.


6PM Saturday dew points…thicker air to the south of the area


Same as above except for Noon Sunday (Christmas) Dew points have popped into the 50s

Now in the broader sense as we look at the atmosphere as a whole and look at the moisture in it…notice how we thicken the moisture using the PW (precipitable water) values…helping us measure atmospheric moisture content.


6PM Saturday..again thickest atmospheric moisture is south of I-44


Same as above except for 6AM Sunday (Christmas)

That’s actually some pretty juicy December air.

Our front by noon Sunday will be still west of here…but on it’s horse moving towards the State Line.


Noon Sunday map

The GFS and the NAM model push that front to the State Line…before kickoff Sunday. the EURO is a bit slower. The timing of the front will determine when the rain ends. Once it passes drier are moves in quickly shutting down the rain. This rain/storm chances may happen between 3-7PM then we dry out. The strong south winds will switch towards the SW behind the front…before swicting more towards the NW on Monday morning.

So IF you want dry conditions for the game…you want the front to speed through.

Thunderstorm chances:

Instability will be rather minimal it appears but there may be a little bit out there between 3PM-8PM or so from west to east. Whatever can form out to the west of here will be flying through at warp speed so the amount of rain will be less and the duration of whatever falls will be under 1 hour I think for most areas especially from the KC area westwards. The NAM model does have some VERY weak instability along the State Line coincident with the front coming in. So at least some convection is possible…and since the winds JUST above the surface will be cranking from the south to the north at over 60 MPH…it wouldn’t take a lot for something to work its way towards the ground in the form of a wind gust to around 50-60 MPH…hence the slight risk of severe weather on Christmas Day. Let me show you the winds a few thousand feet above the ground.

Notice the arrows blowing from the south to the north…each “flag” part of the wind indicator is 50 knots…or about 58 MPH. Then each FULL line is 10 knots and 1/2 line is 5 knots. So above usw e’ve got screaming south winds of roughly 60 knots or close to  70 MPH JUST above the earth’s surface!

It wouldn’t take much to get a marginal severe storm (wind) from that…


Storm Prediction Center “slight” risk for Sunday. I wouldn’t be shocked IF they push that a bit farther east as we get closer to Sunday.

I don’t think we have to worry about the rare Christmas tornadoes. There have actually been some in the past…towards the Gulf Coast region. FL and AL have seen the most since 1964

On the flip side for those looking for a White Christmas…head towards the northern Plains…40+ MPH winds and full out raging snow is the reason why Blizzard Watches are in effect (in the yellowish/green color). the lighter blue color is a Winter Storm Watch


Our feature photo comes from @PeopleOfCowtown


That’s it for today…another update comes tomorrow afternoon.


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