Joe’s Weather Blog: Another ice set-up later tonight (WED-2/21)
Good morning…well yesterday was quite the eventful day…and while we all, I think, hate the ice…the only good thing about the situation yesterday was the much needed moisture that that area saw. KCI had over 8/10″ of whatever the heck that stuff was that fell…that combo of sleet and freezing rain…some areas had over 1″ of moisture. More on that in the discussion…meanwhile we are tracking another system that’s coming up from the southwest…once again a mostly freezing rain/sleet set-up is at hand for overnight tonight that will have impacts later tonight and Thursday.
Forecast: (late night update)
Tonight: The good news is that this is not going to be anything like what happened a couple of days ago. It now appears this will mostly be a very light event with small ice amounts at times. Treatments should help the cause tremendously. Be aware of any slick areas however as even tiny amounts of moisture can turn into black ice with the cold temperatures.
Thursday: Whatever wintry mix occurs may transition to liquid rain/drizzle as the day moves along…not a nice day with highs in the 30s. We should go above freezing sometime after lunch Thursday as the precip ends in some liquid mist in the afternoon.
Another impactfull winter weather event is on tap for the KC area overnight tonight. For snow lovers…the snow will be close to KC but odds favor most of that potential staying towards the NW of the KC Metro area…towards NW MO and NE KS…accumulating snows are possible forwards the NW tip of MO and into far NE KS and SE NE…several inches are possible there of snow.
Farther south…as I’ve talked about since the weekend…the temperatures above the surface cold air will again be trending above 32°. This means that IF snow develops up in the clouds tonight and into Thursday morning…the flakes will mostly melt in the warm layer above the surface. Yesterday I illustrated that this warm layer was over 50°…later tonight it will be a thickening warm layer as the event evolves…in other words we may start near 32° above the surface but eventually war up to about 40° about 3000-5000′ above the ground. So the falling flakes will melt into drops. Those drops will either try to re-freeze back into sleet (ice pellets) or remain liquid and freeze on contact with the cold ground (freezing rain).
If you want a diagram as to how this is going to look…and get a better idea of how things are playing out above the ground…take a look at this diagram…it gives you an general thought of how the atmosphere will profile out from a temperature standpoint above the ground.
The KC region should be more in the middle…far NW MO towards the right…more firmly in the colder air through the atmosphere while areas towards the Lakes region and SW MO and SE KS are more firmly in the warmer air through the column.
So once again…odds heavily favor a more icy scenario again. As I mentioned at the top of the blog…the amounts may not be as much…but the slow-ish evolution of this means that there will be less run-off to the freezing rain and in a weird twist could actually mean more of an ice accumulation. This now brings up the power line situation. I still think we’re going to be in pretty good shape from that standpoint…BUT there probably is still some ice on them from yesterday and when you add in a bit more ice…the weight of ice on the lines increases even more. The winds tomorrow AM may also be a bit stronger…so there is some risk of some outages. Yesterday was a very contained event from a power line situation…there were some outages but most of those may have been more car crash into poles related than power lines coming down from the weight of the ice on them.
It might be worth making sure you remember to charge your cell phones to their fullest tonight and IF you have a battery backup device…making sure that is charged as well overnight. Additional school closings are likely on Thursday
Again when it comes to ice accumulations…slow and somewhat steady freezing rain accumulates more efficiently than fast and hard freezing rain…sleet is not impactfull on the lines since the pellets just bounce and fall off the lines.
I’m going the leave the HRRR model with you for this event…depending on when yow read the blog…you may be able to see the evolution of things…but IF you look for updated information this afternoon the HRRR, that goes out to 15 hours on these maps will get you through the event. This particular graphic doesn’t show the different types of precip…but it will be a freezing rain/sleet combo I think for the KC area. (via IA State)
There is some question about where the most precip from this will eventually fall. There seems to be a shove more towards the NW of KC with this…but considering most of what’s coming to KC hasn’t formed yet…I’m not comfortable putting all my ice cubes in that bucket yet.
Here are what the model totals are suggesting…IF you slide the bar to the RIGHT…that’s the Hi-RES NAM…if to the LEFT that’s the regular NAM model
There are some general ideas here…lighter more “glaze-y+ to 1/10″ totals towards the SE of the KC Metro area while the KC Metro area is more in the heavy glaze-1/4” actual ice accumulation totals. Remember the data above is total liquid…there has to be a reduction in that for ice formation on the surface (some 40-70%) per research as illustrated in yesterday’s blog.
When looking at the atmosphere as a whole through this event…there will be sufficient moisture available so from that standpoint I always worry about these small features being a bit more aggressive. A Winter Weather Advisory is again in effect for later tonight into Thursday. Those are the counties highlighted in blue below.
There will be additional rain chances it appears on later Friday and into Saturday. Odds favor liquid for this next system as opposed to frozen…but it needs to be watched.
I want to double back to what I started with…the needed moisture in the region yesterday…
There are some nice totals in there…not over 1/2″ area-wide but not bad either. It was needed…at least at KCI that was the most since last October for goodness sake.
For the month of February we’re now running about 2.3° below average. Time is running out to get us closer to average for the month. We may try to edge closer next week as the month ends…
Since “meteorological” winter began…this is the 44th coldest winter out of about 128 or so previous winters in KC weather history
Our feature photo is of ice of course…it’s encrusted a lot of stuff out there! This shot is from Kelly Scott White out in Blue Springs at the Burr Oaks Park taken yesterday…