Joe’s Weather Blog: Could it be…maybe…some moisture? (TUE-1/2)

Another bitterly cold start to the day in the KC area as temperatures once again plummeted well below 0° across a good part of the region with an area of high pressure now starting to move away from the region. The barometer topped out at around 30.90″ yesterday and has been slowly falling since. That’s pretty impressive and one of the higher pressures we’ve seen in a while. In case your curious…the highest the air pressure has gone is 1053.5 mbs or 31.11″ so we almost got there. We were actually closer to the highest ever for the month of January though. More on that below. For those wondering why they’re not feeling so great…aches, pains, migraines etc…this may be a part of the reason.


Today: Sunny and cold but NOT as cold with highs around 20°

Tonight: Fair skies and NOT as cold with lows in the teens

Wednesday: Mostly sunny and chilly with highs in the 20s. There will be a bit more of a biting NW wind though making it feel even colder than today.

Thursday: Partly cloudy and cold again with highs in the teens. We may be sub-zero again in the morning. 0 to -5° potential.


Lot’s of little tidbits this morning including the big area of high pressure moving away. Here is the latest surface map which should update throughout the day for you as our big region of high pressure responsible for the arctic air mass is moving away from the region.

The core of the high is about in the middle of that big circle above. The black lines are called isobars…they are lines of equal pressure. The map above is contoured every 2 millibars. So this morning we’re in an area of 1042 mbs…

Your barometer at home may show this…or odds are it converts millibars to inches of mercury. That is somewhat more complicated but thankfully there are nice conversion pages on the internet available.

Here’s one…from PC Weather Products

Here is a java based converter.

Anyway…I mentioned at the top of the blog that we maxed out at 30.90″ yesterday morning. This was when area temperatures were around 10 below with some near 20 below temperatures across northern MO. The cold dense and “heavy” arctic air was centered just about on top of the area in the morning.

We got close to seeing a record high pressure in the KC area for the month of January

We missed it by a few millibars…

We missed the all-time high by a few more millibars

Those numbers are pretty tiny to read…so click on those links to get something more readable. The all time high is 1053.5 mbs or 31.11″

We certainly were in shouting distance.

Now as the core of the high moves away…the winds on the backside will blow from the SW. Remember are around high pressure blows in a clockwise manner. Our winds switched towards the south just before daybreak this morning.

That southerly component will be somewhat brief as another cold air shot is heading this way tomorrow before daybreak. It’s not as strong or as cold but it will still catch your attention because of the stronger winds…perhaps some gusts to 20 MPH on Wednesday…so the wind chills, while not as extreme as earlier will still be biting!

Our low of -6° this morning is the 3rd morning of sub-zero cold in KC so far…I think we’re not done for the winter too. Our saving grace to staying away from -20° or threatening our all-time low…a continued lack of real snow on the ground. That too won’t be changing anytime soon it appears.

The NWS in Pleasant Hill came out with this graphic yesterday showing a recapping December.

Despite the nasty cold for the last 10 days of the month..we still ended up above average (barely) for December for temperatures.

Here is a look at 2017 overall.


This cold snap started on the 22nd…and focusing on the 22nd through the 1st of JAN…this is the 3rd coldest in that specified time period in the KC area.

So where are we going from here…well there is actually a “storm” of sorts to track for the weekend. The issue is that we’re going to be losing the cold air before the storm arrives. The atmosphere will be moderating ahead of the storm so right now it appears the whatever precip we get from the storm will be mostly rain. This may not be the that significant of a precip maker…probably under 1/2″ or so…but we’ll take it. The soils though are frozen so a lot of it may not really sink in too well.

I don’t want to get too into that storm yet because its pretty out there and I’m really not convinced it’ll be that big of a deal at this point. There is a chance that whatever happens with that system may end as snow in parts of the area…it won’t be much at this point either.

Amazing, after all this brutal cold…there’s a better chance of rain with the next system than snow. It’s worth paying attention too I guess.

Another cold shot appears likely next week. Then depending on how the pattern tries to “flatten” out beyond that…we may be in for some more prolonged moderation perhaps towards mid-month (our January thaw?).

There are still no reasonably modeled “significant” snow makers ahead…I was one of the lower snow forecasts for this winter…at 16″ for the snow season…we’ve had 2″ and change here…surely we have to get to at least 10″…right?

Let’s wrap this up with some maps concerning temperatures from 2017 as a whole…

Nationally…warmer than average.


on the KS side…warmer than average…

Moisture wise…

Our feature photo comes from Jim Clark…


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    • Joe Lauria

      Concerned BUT not ready to sound the alarm yet. I just did some research about the dryness since 10/22 that I’ll be showing in the blog tomorrow and what it meant farther down the road in previous years.