Joe’s Weather Blog: Enjoy it now because another arctic hammer will come (THU-12/28)

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Both today and tomorrow will be the “warm” days of the forecast until at least next weekend it appears…we’ve been below 32° since the 1AM observation on the 22nd and the string may continue but there is a chance we could crack 32° depending on how the arctic air infiltrates the Plains states. It looks like the true dump will come in early on Saturday so there may be room to briefly pop above freezing tomorrow IF we can maintain a more southerly wind component. After that though…all the nastiness of the cold…including wind chills of 10-20° below zero are on the way…and Sunday and Monday will both be bitterly cold…even for KC standards.


Today: Clouds during the morning then perhaps some sunshine in the afternoon. Highs well into the 20s to near 30°

Tonight: Variable clouds and not overly cold…more seasonable with low in the teens.

Friday: Lots of clouds with temperatures around 30°.  the cold air starts seeping in later at night. Windy as well with gusts 15-25 MPH possible. There is some upside to the temperatures with enough sunshine. The front will also bring gusts to 20-30 MPH later Friday night.

Saturday: Variable clouds and colder. We’ll probably have a midnight high in the 20s then see temperatures drop to near 10° by the end of the day…so one of those falling temperature days. There may be a few flurries mixed in. Also the wind chills will be sub-zero in the afternoon

Sunday: Bitterly cold with not much of a temperature change. Again the clouds will be around and highs will be in the single digits.

Monday (New Years Day): Sunshine with highs around 10°. Morning lows will be 5-10 below.


Well we’ve been anticipating the cold…and it’s here…and will be getting worse over the next 4 days. The worst of it will be Monday morning…interesting to note that we may have one of our coldest New Years Day in KC weather history. The record low for the 1st is -13°. IF there would’ve been snow locally, I’d say we’d get there but that, right now, doesn’t appear to have much of a chance. I’m still watching Sunday though just in case.

Right now I’m planning on keeping my AM Monday low of -8° in the evening update and probably won’t change that unless I notice that we’re going to have clouds or something unexpected in the area. The core of the high pressure area dropping right down the MO River will be on top of us and the winds should be around 5 mph or less. Skies will be clear I think and the air will be bone dry. So aside from the snow cover ingredient needed for a BIG tank…10 to 20 below…we have a lot of the ingredients to whip up a very cold start to the New Year.

As far as the snow prospects go…just not much to hang your hat on. I guess something weird could happen early Saturday as the colder air presses into the region and squeezes the moisture out of the air…but that will be tough to get any noteworthy accumulations. Then Sunday just doesn’t seem set-up either for various reasons…

All this wasted cold…for snow lovers. At least Snow Creek, in Weston, will be able to make a ton of snow over the next 7+ days…

On the subject of snow…Richard, one of the blog readers pointed out to me yesterday in the comments section that Kansas City has had more snow this month than Anchorage, AK.  We’ve had 2.2″…they’ve had 2.1″!

The issue, as I pointed out in a tweet last night…is the continued scarcity of moisture (of note) in the Plains. Check out how dry it’s been out there over the past 60 days.

Notice the lack of moisture in the western 2/3rds of KS as well as the western part of OK and down into the TX Panhandle region.

There hasn’t been much of a change in the new drought report that came out this morning. Although on the KS side there has been an increase in coverage in the moderate and severe drought conditions towards central and western KS.

There still aren’t any strong signals for storminess of note in our region for the next 7-10 days. I feel as if I’ve written that line for a couple of months now…really going back to late October.

So that leaves me to talk about cold weather…

Today should be the 6th straight day with highs below 32°. It may sound like a lot…but believe it or not the record is 27(!) in a row…that surprised me…

If we don’t get above 32° on Friday…we may not get above 32° till later next week (if then).

We should stay below 20° on Sunday and Monday. IF you ‘re interested the record for the number of straight days below 20° is 13 in 1979.

The main focus on the cold weather will be on Sunday and Monday. Take a look at the coldest highs for both days…


As for low temperatures…there is the likelihood that Monday morning will be one of the coldest mornings in KC New Year history

More than likely in the Top 5 for sure.

The core of the high pressure area will be drifting away from the area overnight on Monday into Tuesday morning. So in effect, with the current timing…temperatures should again drop pretty good Monday evening and into the wee hours of Tuesday morning…then stop falling as the SW winds start to kick in. So it’s possible>likely we go below zero early Tuesday AM then start the recovery process by daybreak Tuesday…give or take a few hours.

Another somewhat interesting aspect of this cold is where it’s located. Notice that when looking at the WORLD…the coldest air (relative to average) is right in the central and eastern United States and Canada. Everybody else is either closer to average or above average..except for a few other areas… including parts of Alaska.

So we’ve had 2.2″ of snow…which in the scheme of things isn’t terrible…but it’s also interesting to note the lack of snow in many of the cities in the Plains region.

IA isn’t exactly “digging out” of a lot of snow. By the way…check out Erie, PA in the far right side of the map…over 100″ already.

OK that’s it for today. Tomorrow I’ll be writing about about the bizarre difference in precipitation patterns from here to the IA border. St Joseph…I’m looking at you!

Our feature photo comes from ‎Sandra Summers-Hanaway‎






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