Joe’s Weather Blog: A nice little, but brief, break! (SUN-1/7)

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After the 385th straight hour of sub-freezing temperatures…Mother Nature said…”Kansas City you’ve had enough”. At 2AM this morning the temperatures went above 32°…what a run. Not a record (more on that below) but an impressive run nonetheless. Of course when we finally get some needed moisture in the area…this all happens, so snow lovers are left wanting again. Ice lovers, there are none I think, weren’t too thrilled either. There was some glazing in areas that were untreated…but overall things went OK this morning thanks to temperatures that popped a bit more than I thought overnight.


Tonight: Clearing out later this evening. Temperatures will drop towards 25-30° by daybreak. Need to watch for some patchy fog and/or some re-freezing of wet roads in the area. Temperatures may drop below freezing around 12AM or so…so IF the roads don’t dry out…there MAY be ice issues overnight since the treatments have washed away

Monday: Becoming sunny and…what for it…milder with highs well into the 40s.

Tuesday: Partly cloudy and seasonable with highs in the 40s again

Wednesday: IF we play our cards right…we may be 50-55°…it will depend on the extent of clouds in the area. There is some upside too because the air above us will support highs closer to 60°


When I woke up this morning to head to work…I checked radar 1st. Not much was happening at 5AM or so…that I expected. I was timing out the precip to start roughly from 7-9 AM or so. That part worked out perfectly. Then I checked the temperatures…expecting readings of 25-30° to be common. That part wasn’t perfect. Instead temperatures rose more overnight than what I thought. So before daybreak it was closer to 35°+. This had several effects. The roads were warmer than I expected…this prevented widespread slick road conditions from developing. There was still enough dry air in the lower part of the atmosphere though to evaporate some falling rain So when the activity started the temperatures dropped a few degrees before coming back up.

You can see how things changed overnight and into this morning…

Notice the 8am temp of 37° then the drop as the precip got going into the dry air as evaporation cooled the air for a bit, before things leveled off.

The end result was for some scattered slick conditions on untreated surfaces mostly…sidewalks…driveways…steps etc since the ground was still cold while the air above was “warmer”.

The system, for what it’s worth, is going to be moving away from the region later today. There is still some icing ongoing across parts of central MO is appears and the Winter Weather Advisory, which was cancelled for KC proper before daybreak…continues to the east of KC.

This is a nice rain producer for areas SE of KC…

Rain amounts locally have been in the mostly under 1/4″ so far through 1PM. Areas towards the SE of KC may end up getting another 1/3″ or so this afternoon…areas towards northern MO…again will miss out on getting that much moisture. St Joseph has had only about .01″ so faar from this and they’re about done.

So as we now focus on the next few days…the air behind this weak system is not cold at all. As a matter of fact, as I look into Nebraska this afternoon I’m seeing a lot of 40s up there…and that’s with snow on the ground up there too. This will be the air on top of us on Monday. The satellite picture, aside from all the clouds in our area…shows the snow on the ground up there

The snow cover analysis also shows the snow extent…

Some 43% of the country has snow on the ground…

So here is what I’m wondering about Monday.

The air that will be over us Monday will be coming into the area from northeast NE and SD. Take a look at the 1PM surface map…notice the relative warmth (considering the snow up there) in the area today.

Now we’ll have sunshine here Monday…there won’t be a lot of wind though…so the atmosphere won’t be stirred up…BUT I can see a path where highs could surge to near, or even above 50° if everything worked out. Right now my forecast is mid to upper 40s…but I’ll look harder at this tonight for the update at 9/10 PM

The weather overall will be uneventful, but milder TUE/WED.

Then another strong cold front will move into the area on Thursday and bring with it some sharply colder weather again again. As a matter of fact we’ll probably have falling temperatures Thursday…and by evening we’ll be down to about 20° with single digit wind chills again…so enjoy the respite while you can.

To add insult to injury another arctic shot moves in over the next weekend. We’ll need to monitor the potential for sub-zero lows in the area Sunday morning. Saturday and Sunday may also be a day of struggling to get out of the teens to about 20°.

I want to mention a few other things…1) we had 385 consecutive hours of sub-freezing weather in KC that ended at 2AM this morning. I went through the records and even into the archives of NOAA to try and validate the all-time record for something like this to occur.

This streak for us was 15 days worth…notice that is not even in the top 10…close but no.

So the record is 20 days in 1983. I then wanted to calculate the hours involved which meant looking at the exact start time and end time (1/1/84).

So back in 1983 we started our run of sub-freezing weather at 5PM on December 11th.

We then stayed below 32° through 1/1/84 at 12PM

So I did some calculating…and had my colleagues from the NWS in Pleasant Hill double check for me…and we both came up with 499 straight hours of sub-freezing temperatures. That would be the record I believe for KC! We missed the record by over 100 hours…almost 4 1/2 days overall. 

Next item…the western US change in the weather.

The same system that will affect us on THU with the potential of rain and then some sort of wintry mix in the afternoon…will give CA some much needed rain and heavy mountain snows in the Sierra Nevada.

That’s a lot of moisture

Now the snow…

3-5 FEET worth for some of those areas…it’s needed there because this is the current snow pack…and it’s not good. Look at the contrast between this year and last year. Use the slider bar to see the difference.

Granted we’re going from near extreme to near extreme but what a switch from year to year!

Ironically…that moisture coming this week, while many will welcome…some will not. The same areas that were devastated by fires last month..are now VERY vulnerable to flooding.

Debris flows there are going to be a real problem…

Let’s end this on a snow note…a look at the recent nor’easter that hit the NE part of the country. The airlines are still trying to recover fully from this.

This link has a great recap with all sorts of neat pictures and information.

OK that’s it for today. I’m hoping to get a blog out tomorrow BUT I have a cable tech person coming to work on my constant cable/internet crashes…hopefully they can figure something out.

Doug Collins with some frost flowers on Longview Lake has the feature photo of the day



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  • Richard

    Point Pleasant NJ ! 20 inches ? Looks like they received the most.
    Great beach, boardwalks. Can’t imagine that much snow on that beach. Or any snow.
    Must be a sight. And it is probably still there.

    • Joe Lauria

      Thaw coming for that week of the 15th. It may last several days…maybe running into the 50s+..This thing on THU is trying to do something BUT that southern wave has to come towards STL…right now that’s not likely. This coming weekend we’re dumping back into arctic air I think

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