Joe’s Weather Blog: More liquid rain and much less ice (SAT/SUN-1/6/7)

Good afternoon…bright and sunny skies out there with temperatures that are again struggling to warm up that much. We’re close to 20° right now and we should top off around 25-30° this afternoon. The problem is that we’ll drop off about 3-4° before leveling off tonight. That is important because we’re expecting some rain to come in Sunday morning…and with temperatures still below 32° there will be ice issues.

Forecast: (updated at 7AM Sunday

Sunday:  Rain developing this morning…there may be a few areas of ice more towards the north and northeast of KC. Reading this morning in the mid 30s…this afternoon in the upper 30s. Temperatures are a few degrees warmer this morning than expected so that will prevent too many ice problems in the KC and south region.

Monday: Clearing out and more tolerable with highs 45-50°!


Let’s start with the Winter weather advisory. The counties highlighted in blue represent the WWA. This is a live map with will update accordingly.

It really is bizarre to think about in a weird way…because we’ve been so cold for so long. Yet we’re still not getting any meaningful snow…and while this system isn’t going to produce much moisture anyway…it would’ve been a decent little snowmaker…but alas…not so much.

Let’s talk about the cold 1st as well…since December 22nd…this is the 2nd coldest 12/22-1/5 period in KC weather history.

Remember how mild it was going through December…from the 1st to the 21st…it was our 23rd warmest in KC weather history.

So we reversed course in a hard way…

What hasn’t changed is the moisture situation…dry…dry…dry.

Since 10/22…this is the 2nd driest 10/22-1/5 in KC weather history.

So we need a few gully washers…or at least some good snows…or something. Tomorrow really won’t be helpful in the sense that the ground is frozen…so whatever falls won’t exactly soak in too well. There should be decent runoff though…so some of the retaining ponds will get some help…but by the same token those are frozen over too…so the water will sit on top of the ice…at least in time it will work into the ponds though.

You might be wondering…what the heck. We’re below 32°…why can’t we have snow? Remember though that the weather happens more because of what happens above us than what happens on the ground itself (if that makes any sense). In Sunday’s case the atmosphere above us isn’t set up for snow…because temperatures above us will be above freezing by a couple of degrees.

If the last couple of weeks were more typical of KC…in and out cold shots…I’d get the ice scenario for Sunday…but it’s just been so persistent…it does seem rather strange to me.

So I’ve been delaying the inevitable long enough…let’s talk about Sunday. Why…because I hate talking about ice…useless to me really. Not pretty…makes for nasty driving…it won’t amount to a lot in the big scheme of things etc.

Overnight tonight…very strong winds of over 55 MPH will be cranking from the south to the north a few thousand feet above us. That will, in time, bring some moisture aloft into the area. This moisture will maximize on top the area through lunch before being shunted eastwards tomorrow afternoon and night. The air below that moisture stream will be dry at first.

Going farther up…we need to get additional lift to move into the area…and we can spot some disturbances around 18,000 feet or so traversing the Plains around daybreak Sunday.

Those areas of teal>yellow>red represent areas of vorticity (or the tendency of the air to spin). That creates lift ahead of the vorticity and sinking air behind the vorticity.

Note that these areas aren’t exactly too strong in the scheme of things…so the “lift” they’re generating isn’t too overwhelming…hence the lighter amounts of precipitation we’re expecting by the time things end. With that said a little ice goes a LONG way in messing up the roads…and that’s why we have to be cautious.

Forecasters can’t necessarily predict the road conditions for every community in these situations. Pre-treatments will help considerably…but the roads will be cold too…and may actually be colder in the near daybreak hours compared to the actual air BE ALERT for the changing conditions. Untreated surfaces will be slick though…that includes sidewalks and parking lots. For those heading out to services…BE ALERT to that especially. IF you see a bit of a sheen on the pavement/concrete…walk very gingerly!

Again the overall amounts of precip will not really be helpful. I wouldn’t be surprised if the vast part of KC proper gets less than 1/4″ and amounts may be even lower the farther north you go. Areas towards the Lakes region (S/SE) of OF may get more rain from this though…perhaps up to about 1/2″ in spots. Interesting to note that the areas that will get the most moisture from this are the same areas that were/are having the worst drought conditions closer to KC. There’s been a nice reversal happening there for the last couple of weeks in the moisture department.

Now some good news…we should moderate after this storm moves through for a few days. A rather strong surface storm is due on Thursday…so depending on the extent and thickness of the clouds…we could really warm-up Wednesday before the colder weather comes in Thursday. This THU system will be MUCH stronger that the piddly thing Sunday BUT in the weirdness of the winter…the moisture coming back north won’t really respond accordingly…then what does come up will more or less split around the region meaning better precip totals east of the area…and well north of the region too. It’s conceivable that aside from a few light showers…and/or back side snow flakes…that we get little from this next storm too. Amazing.

We actually may start Thursday around 50° in the AM before tanking during the day and may end up closer to 20° by late afternoon wind near 0° wind chills!

Another arctic shot of air comes in behind this…nothing we’re not now used too but it will catch your attention again. Next Friday through Sunday will be another trip into the deep freeze to a certain extent.

I’m still hopeful for a more pronounced “thaw” starting around the 16th or 17th or so. Thaws though typically mean little to no snow in these parts and that isn’t good for snow lovers. 

So I’ll leave you with this…and for snow lovers…it’s grit your teeth information. Let’s just say that for the next 2 weeks we get NO accumulating snow…right now that’s not that unrealistic. How would this lack of snow stack up to previous winters…well there has been less in the past.

Look at 2012.

Remember we can’t go UP on this list…we can only go DOWN. If though we don’t get additional snows…this will be the 13th least snowy 10/1-1/20 in KC weather history.

Tons of stats today…and mostly if you’re a weather enthusiast it sort of stinks.

Our feature photo comes from Tami Camlin‎…pretty ice crystals on the storm door.





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      • robert

        Oh, we are only a couple of weeks into winter. We will definitely get more snow. How much, nobody knows, but odds are extremely high that we will some more. Silly to even think of calling it this early.

      • Richard

        Robert, Heat miser,
        Yes, we are only a couple of weeks into winter, but Joe’s charts on here don’t look statistically promising. I like snow. I hope we do get one or two big ones.