Joe’s Weather Blog: Nickle and dime snows for Kansas City (SAT-1/13)

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Good afternoon..there’s a little filtered sunshine out there but there also continues to be a lot of cold weather…and if anything over the next 5 days the cold weather trends are still the same. We may nudge closer to 32° Sunday…then on Monday we go right back down…and it won’t be till Thursday that we crack 32° again. Oh and there will be shots of snow as well…nothing big but more nuisance=y type stuff. It will add to the whopping 2.6″ of snow we’re had so far this snow season.


Tonight: Partly cloudy turning cloudy…lows in the teens.

Sunday: Snow comes in towards or before daybreak. Mostly light and it shouldn’t last too long. More of a “powdery” type snow too. Highs will eventually reach to near 30° by the end of the day

Monday: More snow with arctic air moving through the area. We’ll establish a high for the day around 12AM and probably fall from there to near 10-15° by the end of the day. Winds will be 15-25 MPH in gusts…so wind chills tank sub-zero by the end of the day as well.

Tuesday: Bitterly cold with lows -5 to -10° and afternoon highs near 10°


These nickle and dime snow makers are getting old to me. For those who enjoy snow…it barely scratches the “snow itch”. For those who hate the snow…it’s enough to be a pain when driving. This is again what we’re facing both Sunday and Monday mornings. This is all a set-up for bitterly cold temperatures as well which I think most could do without too. So yes it’s something to talk about…but I fell like it’s just a constant re-living of the same “Ground Hog” style movie.

So it goes…let’s get into it.

First of all let’s reflect for a moment about the snow situation so far this “season”.  Here we are waffling around at 27th on the list of least snowy starts to winter…although really 26th since i’m throwing out #1…1890…because of a lot of missing data.

Not exactly a ski resort type winter around these parts huh?

So let’s reverse this…and show you the snowiest winters thus far through today’s date.

What I sort of find interesting is that there is only 1 year, the infamous winter of 2009-10 that we were “cooking” with snow. Beyond that you have to go back to the early 1990s to find a big start to winter snows in KC.

When looking at the country as a whole…not exactly scintillating stuff south of the I-80 corridor.

Strange how the deep south has the look of having more snow that many areas in the Plains region.

Here is more of a breakdown of the middle part of the US…via IA State

Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison are not exactly winter wonderlands either. They’re -8.1″ (ORD)…-14.1″ (MKE) and -17.8″ (MSN) below there seasonal values so far.

Quite the contrast between Chicago and Grand Rapids, MI…hello lake effect!

Now onto our snow on the way…again nothing “big” but enough to mess things up…especially Monday AM.

There will be some light snow moving into the area Sunday morning. Odds are it comes into the area after 12AM…it will initially be fighting some dry air below the clouds but we should start seeing flakes between 12AM-4AM or so…then everything sort of glides by after 9AM or so. This will be a powdery snow so the snow ratios will be higher…hence 1/10″ of liquid moisture will translate into 1.5″ of snow. I don’t think we get 1/10″ moisture from this…perhaps about .05″ in KC…so that will mean snow accumulations on average UP TO ABOUT 1″ or so (some a bit more…some less). There might be a bit more farther west of KC and into north central KS…perhaps UP TO 2″.

Then a second shot of snow comes in around 3AM or so Monday AM…till about Noon Monday. That could actually deliver a bit more…perhaps 1-2″ or so…so in the end…overall 1-3″ totals from the two events are possible with 2-4″ totals farther west…perhaps Lawrence to Topeka and towards Emporia. Overall though most areas will have somewhat of a blanket of snow on the ground.

This is vitally important for Tuesday and Wednesday morning lows. The issue keeping us from tanking on Tuesday morning is a good thing and a bad thing. Winds. The winds will keep the air stirred up…this will result in keeping us from tanking to 10 below I think. Something closer to 5 below seems about right to me in this scenario. Unlike New Years morning when the core of the cold air mass was right on top of the area…this time (Tuesday AM) the core will still be to the NW of the KC region…towards South Dakota. This is important because this will continue to allow the winds to blow. Somewhere in the 10-20 MPH range…

That BAD thing about that is this means some very dangerous wind chills will be the issue on Monday night into Tuesday morning especially. Wind chills of 20 to 30 below are possible again! Here is the wind chill chart…so you can see if the temperature on Tuesday AM is around -5° and you have a 10 or 15 MPH wind…well it’s nasty cold out there.

Highs on Tuesday should be around 10°…then we get a fast drop to sub-zero later Tuesday evening. From there what happens?

Notice the surface weather map Tuesday morning…with the big H in SD…that’s the core of the arctic high pressure area. we have NW winds locally.

Now look at 24 hours later…Wednesday morning. The H has drifted towards SE KS…placing us at the very start of “return flow” or when winds return to the SW or S. This is important because more often than not that stops the free fall of temperatures overnight. Where do they stop though…probably somewhere in the -4 to -8° range in the region. It’s possible that it’s colder to the south of KC than towards northern MO.

If the movement of the core of the high pressure area is even about 6 hours slower (possible) and that “return flow” is delayed by an extra 6 hours…KC could be even colder.

Another storm will threaten later in the week but unless it takes a better track…more like what the GFS model is depicting (and even that needs to be farther south) this won’t be a big deal for us…and we may not get anything of substance from it. we should moderate the temperatures though…we’ll need to get rid of the snow first however.

Beth Maher gets the featured photo of the day out towards Grain Valley, MO


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  • Cathy Allen

    Hi Joe, always love your forecast and your blog. Am I wrong when I recall the winter of 2013/2014 to have had at least 30 inches of snow? It sure seemed like it! I remember not being able to get out of my driveway, at the time. I am getting older, but I’m not that old! LOL. Maybe it was just that snows that happened that year were very consecutive? I dunno. I just recall it as being a real pain in the behind. Thanks so much! PS I don’t own a TV, so I see you on the internet. I also don’t have a smart phone, but a stupid phone, lol. 1992 called and they want their phone back!

    • Joe Lauria

      Well that winter we ended up with about 26″ of snow…including about 6″ in DEC and JAN…then 11″ in FEB…so your memory may not be that terrible. On 2/4/14 we had about 8″ worth…that was our last noteworthy storm here too!

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