Joe’s Weather Blog: Another snow system on the way…but then better (SAT-4/7)

My goodness…I guess we’ll always have the “if it’s going to be cold like this…let’s make it something special” thing…that nobody really says. We broke a record low today by at least 2°…the previous record of 18° set in 2007 was broken by a 16° start to our morning. So that means we’ve tied a record low and broken two records this month…and the month is only 7 days old. Through yesterday we’re running 17° below average (don’t remember when I’ve seen that before for the 1st week of any month) and today and tomorrow won’t help either as more cold weather will linger. Snow is the next item of conversation as well…and that’s likely on Sunday.



Forecast:

Today: Sunny and bright with highs 40-45°. Winds will decrease during the day.

Tonight: Fair skies and cold but not as cold as the winds switch towards the SE. Lows in the 20s

Sunday: Initially dry but snow likely to move in after 8-10AM or so. It may snow pretty good for a few hours and accumulations could actually happen especially on grassy surfaces if it snows hard enough especially north of KC. Be alert to changing weather conditions and road conditions as well through 2-3PM or so. There may be some rain drops mixed in as well in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 30s

Monday: Variable clouds with perhaps a few scattered showers…highs in the 40s



Discussion:

I was surprised when I dug through the data this morning looking for the coldest 1st 6 days of April. There actually is one April that started out colder (on average) than this April…that is 1899.

My goodness though…when you look at the 7AM surface map…this is cold for early April.

The center of the cold area of high pressure is west of KC…note how the return flow is setting up in western NE early this morning. This evening we should see this wind direction change move towards KC…so that means tonight won’t be as cold as it is this morning.

You’ll notice as the day moves along the area of higher pressure, which this morning is near Hastings, NE…gradually move eastwards.

This was a big cold weather maker (again) with numerous record lows either broken, tied, or put in jeopardy this morning. The next map via coolwx.com shows the extent of the record lows this morning.

There are more than a few monthly record lows as well that have been established (the darkest/deepest blue color).

Some good news…we’re going to gradually dig ourselves out of the persistent (mostly) cold weather starting on Wednesday with several milder than average days coming, in a row no less). Another shot of cold weather is likely next weekend but it won’t have the legs of these last few weeks of cold weather in the Plains. I’m still not convinced though that we have the permanent end of the really cold weather…there will probably be more rounds of cold through the 23rd or so.

The next issue is Sunday and the snow maker coming into the area. Right now there appears to be a snow window from about 8-10AM or so through 2-4PM Sunday. The rate of snow intensity will determine any accumulations but it was cold yesterday…it’s cold today…and it’s staying cold Sunday so assuming it comes down hard enough…it will stick…especially to grassy surfaces.

Anywhere from a coating to about 2″ is possible with this. Odds favor areas north of KC having the best chance of seeing accumulations.  Again snow rates and surface air temperatures will determine the accumulation. On the roads at least…depending on how the temperatures do in the afternoon…there may be considerable melting occurring but I want you to be aware of the situation and be alert for changing road conditions later tomorrow morning or early in the afternoon IF the temperatures are under 32°. They MAY NOT be.

There will be some mid level energy coming out of the western Plains moving through the central Plains in the morning then through MO during the afternoon. This combined with increasing low level winds (above the surface) to the west of KC will bring moisture northwards and should create an areas of mostly snow (perhaps some sleet) west of KC tomorrow before daybreak. That band of snow will move eastwards and probably affect our area later in the morning.

The later the arrival the less of an accumulating snow. Temperatures will start the day in the 25° area…and we may warm up to 32-35° before the snow arrives. So depending on where the surface temperatures are (later=a few degrees warmer)…we may see a lot of the snow melt, especially on the pavement. The issue would be IF the snow rates are hard enough to overcome the pavement “warmth” considering we’re into April with the higher sun angle. It seems though that this can be done…but it really has to snow hard for that to happen.

I’ll be watching the road temperatures more carefully after 10AM Sunday to see how their responding to the sun angle, even though sunshine may be VERY limited tomorrow morning.

During the mid afternoon…there may be some rain drops mixed in as well.

That’s why I don’t want to get too carried away forecasting significant snows…and why I’ll just say a coating to perhaps 2″ or so for now. Areas farther south may not even get that, especially SE of KC where temperatures may be a few degrees warmer when things start there (perhaps more rain). IF it does snow hard enough though…the temperatures will drop a couple of degrees…

So there are a lot of moving parts in forecasting snow accumulations tomorrow and therefore impacts to the roads. I did notice some pre-treating going on yesterday which wasn’t the case leading into Easter Sunday (despite the forecasts). so hopefully the roads will fare better as things get going but again as I’ve stressed…just be alert for changing conditions.

There won’t be a lot of drying time before darkness settles back in Sunday night…so untreated areas may run the risk of some black ice forming especially on the MO side. So another thing to remember.

If needed I’ll get a data update blog done this afternoon and put that information below.

1:30 PM: The afternoon data really isn’t to encouraging for local snow accumulations in the KC area and certainly to the south as well. The GFS still has something possible but the NAM model is showing most of the precip into northern MO with nothing here and the EURO more or less follows along that idea. So this too may turn into nothing of consequence in the KC area and certainly towards the south of KC. There is also a trend for whatever falls to wait till a bit later in the morning, which would allow temperatures to warm to 32°+…limiting any snow accumulations except in the heaviest of snowfall rates. I’m still not totally comfortable with that “nothingness” though for KC…I still see a path where we could see a coating to 2″ on the grassy surfaces if whatever falls comes down hard enough in that 10AM-3PM window or so. It should be a rather wet snow as well.

I’m on my way to the Awards Ceremony for the Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair down at Union Station. Each year I judge the weather related projects and this year I’ll be handing out 2 certificates.

1st Prize went to Jessica Keys. Her project involved the relationship to precipitation events and the development of E Coli bacteria in our local streams.

2nd place went to Amanda Stephenson. Her project concerned Space Weather an the relationship of solar activity to GPS signal degradation…pretty neat stuff.

Our feature photo today comes from…Savannah Whitesell…another great shot!

Joe

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

2 comments

  • Richard

    Hey Joe thanks again ! Done with this cold ! Bring on Spring and fishing !
    I am not a golfer, but I know you are.
    Interesting tidbit saw posted about Augusta….
    Cell phones.
    In a time when sports & entertainment leagues/outlets search desperately for methods to enhance the digital experience for consumers — adding/boosting wifi, seating w USB ports, etc. — Augusta doesn’t even allow devices inside the gates.

    I think thats great !