Stay Weather Aware: Wednesday morning commute looks tricky

Joe’s Weather Blog: Tuesday ice concerns continue (SAT-2/17)

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On a day where Amarillo, TX saw their 1st measurable moisture in 126 days snapping their longest dry stretch of weather in their recorded history…it was a whooping .01″…we had ourselves a weird weather morning of rain/sleet/snow then blue skies. There was a covering of snow in some areas. mainly on the MO side towards the east of KC…but it was a fleeting hit of moisture. We ended up doubling the amount that Amarillo had though…a whooping ,02″.


Tonight: Clear skies and cool but not bad. Temperatures may drop quickly then sort of level off around 30° by daybreak. Winds may increase as well towards sunrise to 10-20 MPH

Sunday: Mostly sunny, windy and warmer with highs approaching 60°. Winds will gust to 30+ MPH in the afternoon especially.

Sunday night: A rapid increase in clouds with some mist or drizzle possible. Steady temperatures, perhaps even rising temperatures into the 50s to near 60°. Winds south at 20-40 MPH

Monday: Scattered fast moving showers…gray and windy with highs in the 60s. S/SW winds of 15-30 MPH


Won’t bother with this morning’s events…long gone and it’s really turning into a nice afternoon.

Sunday is good too…but the winds will be increasing quite a bit. Data this morning shows winds of 50-60 MPH just a few thousand feet off the ground…so it’s going to get real windy on Sunday afternoon. Gusts may be over 30 MPH…a concern because of the dry/dormant vegetation in the region. The rain/snow/whatever today wasn’t that much and the ground is still pretty dry…so with winds blowing and lower careful with any burning…cigarettes etc.

On Sunday night the winds will continue to crank…but a low cloud surge, several feet thick, will stream northwards from the south of the region. This will create some mist or drizzle into Monday in the region…and with winds of 50+ MPH just above the surface…I wouldn’t be surprised to get wind gusts to 40+ MPH even tomorrow night.

Then on Monday a weak fast moving wave coming up from the SSW may create some fast hitting rain showers at anytime of the day, especially considering the moisture that will be flowing through the region. Whatever happens shouldn’t last too long and amounts will be under 1/10″ or so. Also of note the potential for a LARGE spread in temperature Monday in the area…ranging from about 35° in NW MO to 65-70° from KC southwards…this is another strong front coming through and the temperature switch will be impressive from one side of the front to the other.

The weather action kicks in later Monday with that same front as it pushes into the region…again 30s to the north of the front (fast dropoff over the course of 10-25 miles) and 60s+ ahead of the front. Here is a look at the EURO model for noon Monday showing the warm/cold air fight happening in the area.

The front will sag into the area later Monday…probably after 3PM or so…then stall on the south side of the KC area…it’s possible depending on where the front stalls that areas towards the E/SE/S of KC are still near 60° on Tuesday morning while from KC northwards it’s in the 20s. Here is the forecast map for Tuesday at 6AM…wow! Look at those temperatures!

The colder air will gradually press southwards on Tuesday…our temperatures will continue to drop in the morning into the afternoon…probably down into the 25-30° range in the afternoon from KC northwards and by Tuesday PM rush…this is what we may be looking at…

So IF nothing else…watching the front on Monday>Tuesday afternoon will be a fascinating thing to do…and the contrast will be impressive.

With a slow moving front like this…at some point there has to be some precipitation. Ahead of the front 2 to 3 times the typical amount of atmospheric moisture will be in the region from Monday>Tuesday afternoon before being swept eastwards later Tuesday. That is impressive with a capital “I”. Probably the most atmospheric moisture levels we’ve seen in months around these parts. 

With ALL that moisture in the area..and with a strong front in the region…with winds above the front, around 5,000 feet up flying from the SSW to the NNE at close to 60-70 MPH(!!!!!) and surface winds blowing in colder air…it’s a nasty overrunning scenario…and when that happens in February…my concern is for ICE…and perhaps a lot of it!

Will this be an ice storm…it’s not out of the question. The EURO has been the most bullish…and temperatures will be supportive of ice accumulation BUT we’re going to be in the NW side of this event…and that means things can shift farther south in the end…also farther north too. I want to show you the EURO forecast for moisture totals in a 6 hour period from 6AM Tuesday to Noon…

That’s 1/2″-1″+ of moisture in 6 hours…that’s more moisture than we’ve seen since the 3rd week of OCT…IF it’s right.

Now let’s go forward 6 more hours..from Noon through 6PM on Tuesday and notice what happens…

Nothing really for KC…with the heavy stuff shifting towards the east. areas towards Sedalia>Butler>Pleasanton will be watching the rain and potentially freezing rain too move through.

Again though is this realistic. There are shades of the much hyped ice storm from 2017 in this set-up. The models (even the EURO) were way overdone with rain amounts in the coldest air last year. It may be happening again this year…or at least the way the model is depicting all that rain in a 6 hour period could be overdone. Aside from the “overrunning” there aren’t any strong waves or anything to really get things going. The overrunning though is impressive.

Even the NAM model has some strong signals of a big precip event for at least part of the area. The next map is showing 12 hour totals from 6AM>6PM Tuesday…how much of this occurs when temperatures are under 30°…well the NAM model has us 30° or less from about 9AM Tuesday onwards…there is about 1/10-1/2″ of ice in that time frame on that model at least.

IF we get that…it WOULD create issues…because road pre-treatments won’t work for sure…they will be washed away as the event unfolds. When the temperatures are near 30° during the day...typically many of roads hold up pretty good…but ice will accumulate on exposed surfaces. There will also be residual warmth in the roads/ground from the previous days of mild weather…so that too will be a factor in things…at least for a little while.

So there are a lot of things to watch for on Tuesday. The GFS model does have the moisture in the area…so it does have the set-up BUT it’s not cold enough at the surface which is a model bias in these doesn’t drop us below 32° till Tuesday night.

All the models have about the same atmospheric moisture set-up/availability so whatever is tapped will be a big rain producer for whoever gets it.

My feeling from several days out…

The EURO model is overdoing things in terms of the 1″ plus totals in a 6 hour period…BUT right now I think the potential of 1/4-2/3rds” of freezing rain totals are possible. There won’t be 2/3rds” totals on exposed surfaces though or power lines…those amounts will be much less than that. It’s something to pay attention too for sure…and it could be a rather significant impact event for the KC Metro unless there is a shift farther south…which (and we’re talking about 50 miles now)…IF it happens would mean KC would not get much of anything at all from this aside from some light freezing rain.

Let’s watch that day carefully…especially from daybreak through late afternoon for freezing rain accumulations.

Our feature photo comes from Marjorie Wade‎ of Raymore…look carefully for the “sundog”


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