Joe’s Weather Blog: Accumulating snow chances…icy Friday AM potential and nasty cold ahead (TUE-11/6)

Good Tuesday morning…it’s bright and sunny out there to start Election Day 2018. The lines are already long and probably will get longer heading towards the lunch hour. I voted last week, thanks to early voting in JOCO, it took about 5 minutes and was painless. I feel bad for folks who will be in line this afternoon. Rain is going to be streaking this way…so despite the lack of clouds as I type this…you will see that changing rapidly in the next few hours.

There will be a lot happening between today and next Wednesday. Towards mid-month we will start to see a relaxation of this pattern and that means an increasingly milder trend coming…that’s about 8-10 days away though. Until then there is going to be a lot of cold weather…some snow…some messy roads and potentially even some school cancellations Friday morning depending on how things evolve on Thursday evening especially.



Forecast:

Today: Increasing clouds with rain/sprinkles/light showers developing after 3pm. The rain won’t be too heavy but could be a nuisance in spots for evening rush. Temperatures will warm to the 50-55° range by lunch then start to drop of a few degrees in the rain later this afternoon…sort of a raw late afternoon in parts of the area it appears. Not all will get the rain though.

Tonight: Clearing skies later tonight after some leftover evening showers in the area. Chillier by daybreak with lows 30-35°

Wednesday: Mostly sunny and breezier with chilly temperatures. Highs in the mid-upper 40s

Thursday: Wintry weather likely. Some snow…perhaps then changing to a wintry mix…then changing back to snow. Accumulations possible, especially in the evening. Not a lot BUT with the snow…wet roads and falling FRI AM temperatures the potential of icy roads will increase later Thursday evening and especially Friday AM. This may get very messy for the AM commute and schools FRI AM.



Discussion:

The blog can be tough to write sometimes…each blog is roughly 1000 words or so and I hate wasting your time if there really is nothing going on. Well lately the blog has been a pleasure to dive into. Weather geeks have a lot to talk about now and will have more to write about over the next week or so. I alluded to the ideas of rain…snow…cold…record cold…more cold etc at the beginning of the blog…so let’s get into it.

I won’t spend much time on today…suffice it to say though here is radar.

I want to put in regional radar to show you what’s happening towards the west of KC.

A pretty fast transformation is going to happen locally it appears. The satellite picture this morning shows clear weather on top of us…but it will be changing fast later this morning.

This system will create rain in the region…not a lot…and it will be fighting some dry air initially so it may take a bit of time to actually get the rain to make it down to the ground…but again some rain is likely. Odds are under 1/10″ and farther east where the rain may struggle as it moves into drier air…amounts may not be over a few hundredths of an inch.

Onwards…

Tomorrow is chilly but bright and breezy

Now Thursday…

NO changes are needed in the discussion of the events that are going to set off the wintry weather. Confidence continues to build that wintry weather in the form of mostly snow is likely during the day.

It’s complicated because while it may snow…temperatures at the surface during the day will likely be in the 34-38+° range for a good part of the day. This makes accumulations tough to get if the snow is light. Exposed surfaces, such as car tops…decks etc could see some accumulation during the day…but unless it’s a few degrees colder…it’s tough in early November with a day-time snow arrival to get accumulations UNLESS the snow is coming down hard enough. I still think this will be a mostly snow event with perhaps some chunky raindrops mixed in during the day.

The evening though poses other dilemmas. On the assumption snow is still falling (seems likely right now)…with the setting sun…and the falling to near or below freezing temperatures…snow that is falling will start sticking. Especially to the grass but potentially in time to the roads too…especially those that are untreated. The length of time that the snow falls during the 6PM>12AM timeframe will be a key to accumulations…but at this point it’s a reasonable forecast to say anywhere from a dusting to 2″ is possible from this snow event. Odds favor the lower end of this at this point in most areas. There are signs of some banding of snow area that could enhance some local amounts…but it’s impossible to pick out those bands.

While not a significant snow…it’s an important snow in terms of impacts. Remember that temperatures Friday morning may really drop down into the mid 20s. The record low is 22° and even that is attainable after daybreak Friday morning with clear skies and potential light snow cover. The issue is that the wet roads later Thursday into Thursday night…and potentially snowy roads…may freeze up overnight into Friday morning…so that is how Friday may start. It could be messy enough to create commuter headaches and also cancel some schools. Obviously road treatments will be a key in this scenario but untreated surfaces may become very slick…and it’s worth keeping that in mind if you have plans on Friday morning. Roads will rapidly improve Friday though after a few hours.

As far as the nuts and bolts go…this won’t be a big surface storm to track…as a matter of fact the surface storm (whatever it will be) will be way down into TX and then actually start to form better towards the OH Valley region Friday. So it’s not going to be something that can be readily viewed on surface weather maps.

This is going to be a mid to upper level feature that will be tugging and generating moisture above the surface. As that moisture spreads eastwards on Thursday…snow will develop above us. As that occurs there will be some dry air below the clouds that could eat away at the first falling flakes. That could be an ongoing process for awhile too. As the snow encounters the dry air the surface temperatures on Thursday will gradually come up from near 32° to the mid>upper 30s as the afternoon comes along. So IF snow makes it to the ground..with surface temperatures like that…it’s going to be tough for it to stick. Anything warmer during the day means a lingering delay in road impacts in the evening as well.

What happens after 6PM or so will dictate the overall impacts into Friday morning. The main impact snow though (not too heavy) will likely be more towards 6PM>12AM later Thursday night and that will set the stage for any issues Friday morning.

The “forcing” with this situation…the ability for snow production is certainly there BUT it’s not overwhelming at this point. Should that change…that would impact the snow potential on Thursday night. The atmospheric moisture will definitely be there, especially towards the late afternoon…so it won’t take much to create snow as the day moves along. Some may not reach the ground…but at least some snow is more likely than less likely in my opinion…at least an 75% chance.

As far as the road situation goes…most impacts I think will be towards Thursday evening and into Friday AM. This again will be dependent on many factors but I’m concerned that whatever falls and melts might try to freeze up at some point before it can dry out…so bridges and overpasses might be an issue especially. Anything more that that will need to be monitored but that would be my concern Friday morning.

Obviously things may still change and we’ll keep you up to date.

Our feature photo today comes from Cheryl Phillips Mason as she was driving along US 50 towards Warrensburg last week.

Joe

 

 

 

 

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