Joe’s Weather Blog: So it really is December after all! (TUE-12/5)

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Just an incredible run of warmth in the region has now been replaced by cooler temperatures and blustery winds that will be around for the next 4 days. Believe it or not though, IF we play our cards right…the weather on Sunday may flip to warmer conditions for a day. We’ll be between cold air masses so I don’t want to promise anything yet…but I could see a path towards 55° IF it worked out perfectly. Before that though, it’s going to get colder around here with temperatures (for highs) struggling to 32° later in the week for at least a day or two.


Today: Mostly sunny and chillier…but in the big scheme of things…more seasonable than anything. Highs around 45°

Tonight: Clear and cold with lows down to 25-30°

Wednesday: Partly cloudy and seasonable for December with highs in the mid 40s

Thursday: Colder with clouds…maybe a few flakes and highs in closer to 32° with cold winds blowing too!


Well it was great yesterday…72° officially in KC up at the airport…for a record high. I didn’t think we’d get that warm because of the cloud cover…but we started the day in the low 60s so we didn’t have to warm up much ahead of a front that came through.

Now we’re on the back side of the front and the chillier but seasonable air has moved into the area…note the change from 7AM yesterday to 7AM today in temperatures…

That’s a lot of blue and purple…brrrr! We were running some 30-40° colder off yesterday mornings temperatures…

So basically, as the forecast has has clearly stated…we’ve come back to average…this is the 1st “step down” that I wrote about last week…the 2nd step down will come for Thursday into Saturday with a colder shot of air coming into the Plains.

What all this though is doing…is keeping us mainly dry There were some fast hitting showers yesterday and even some thunderstorms…but most areas around the metro got little or nothing as expected. I’m going to write more about the developing/increasing dryness in Thursday’s blog when we get the new drought report information. There is no doubt that we’re feeling the subtle effects of a almost 6 weeks of dry weather in the KC region. My suggestion, should a nice warm-up happen on Sunday…is to get some water on any newly planted trees or shrubs…they’re probably getting very thirsty and the winds for the next few days will not help that situation either.

Often on the blog I like to show you colorful maps showing the weather flow up around 18,000 feet. This is considered about halfway up in the atmosphere…today I wanted to show you the wind flow…so you can better visualize what’s happening in the atmosphere…and can pick out the various features…via

This animation above is valid for Friday…by then we’ve gone into the colder air…and IF you just look at the USA…you can see a LOT. Notice 1) the crazy amplitude (north south extent) of the “ridge” towards the western US…and the “trough” towards the Great Lakes. That is what we refer to as a “amplified flow”. You can see how the air goes goes from from the NE Pacific Ocean ALL the way up towards northern Canada into the Arctic region then comes barreling southwards towards the Plains and the Great Lakes into the eastern US. This is why we’re going to be very chilly locally later this week. You can see the anticyclonic circulation towards Oregon…that’s the core of the “ridge” and the cyclonic circulations towards SE and eastern Canada…

Where ridges happen, especially something that immense (and it’s a biggie in the world of weather) it’s very dry and typically warm…where the dip is…it’s colder.

Let me show you that but coming down in the atmosphere to about the 5,000 foot level…and look at the temperature anomalies…different projection but you sort of get the idea…this map is valid later Friday.

Sure enough…look for the reds/whites showing air that is some 25°C or almost 50°F above average in the NW territories. Where there is a ying…there is a yang…the greens in the “trough” show the air some 25-30°F below average at that level.

We’re caught in the western extent of this colder air mass…and the flow for the next 10-ish days suggest we may vary between getting into the colder air and also dabbling in the less cold weather…it will make forecasting temperatures somewhat challenging because if there is a decently strong disturbance coming down in the flow…it will allow milder air to try to move in first…then the colder air moves in behind. So depending on the timing of this…it could be a warm up during the day or perhaps a steadying of temperatures at night followed by a colder intrusion of air.

Again we’re vulnerable to this for the next couple of weeks or so.

Here’s the thing though…it’s a VERY dry pattern. Again I dislike posting super long range maps showing precip totals but let me tell you…last night the GFS model through 16 days had us getting less that 1/10″ moisture through the 20th of the month…not good for snow lovers OR just for folks who want some moisture out there. The EURO model was about the same with less than 2/10″ through the 19th or so. Obviously no moisture means no rain…or not much rain or snow for that matter.

Twice a week the EURO model comes out with it’s forecast for the next 46 days…I like to look at it…but by no means is it super accurate…but sometimes you can get themes to watch. For example it suggests this cold run will start winding down in about 13-16 days or so…before we get more moderate from a temperature standpoint. There are more than 50+ computer runs that go into this long range outlook…and some runs are supper wet…others go the opposite…so I typically throw out the extremes…so here are it’s thoughts…now we’re going into mid January!

The top part of the chart shows the individual model runs…the bottom shows the overall average. This shows some 1.4″ of moisture through mid January. We average about 1.9″ of moisture so we’re running bout 1/2″ below average based on the data above…then IF I take out some of the extreme high forecasts from the top part…that deficit would increase even more…that is concerning to me.

Basically IF the weather does this…aside from tracking the temperature swings…for those who want moisture…including or not including snow…it’s not the most exciting prospects. Again this is a forecast for the the next 45+ days..and all it takes is one storm to mess that up big time…but the pattern HAS to change from where it is now…and where it’s going for the next 10 days through the middle of the month.

Some good news…for what it’s worth..and the snow forecasts are usually terrible off this model…it’s trying to crank out 6″ of snow (total) by mid JAN.

Again JUST a model forecast…

Pam Wilson has the feature photo today…of the “Supermoon” from the other night.




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